Mark Amerika

Participant category:Artist exhibiting at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Artwork:The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics (2012)


The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics artwork
is the latest work in my series of
transmedia narratives that investigates
the construction of fiction identities or
what in my two books
META/DATA (MIT Press, 2007) and
remixthebook University of Minnesota Press, 2011)
I refer to as a digital flux persona

The idea of constructing personas that distribute
themselves in the networked space of flows
relates to the work of interdisciplinary artist Eleanor Antin
who once said that when she started making visual art
she began constructing new personas to step into and out of
as a way to develop new work

These personas helped her produce what
in another context
she called “an art-making machine”

which resonates with a Vito Acconci sample
I will remix into the composition:
…if I specialize in a medium, then I would be fixing a ground for myself, a ground I would have to be digging myself out of, constantly, as one medium was substituted for another – so, then instead of turning toward ‘ground’ I would shift my attention and turn to ‘instrument,’ I would focus on myself as the instrument that acted on whatever ground was available.
One cannot be taught how to become
Acconci’s “instrument”
Antin’s “art-making machine”
Nam June Paik’s “mystic who forgets himself”
nor my own “digital flux persona”

That fiction has to be generated by the human being
en route to becoming an artist-medium
one who trains themselves to tap into
their unconscious creative potential

i.e. one who is deftly aware of the fact
that these constructed personas need not be
construed as alien alter-egos set in opposition
to the prefabricated realities of a “normal” consuming self
but in a more positive sense use their constructed personas
to advance the networked distribution of Creativity itself

a Creativity co-dependent on a network of causes and conditions
that inform the experiential quality of the struggle
that persists throughout an artist-medium’s life
as they continually fine-tune their body (their body-image)
as instrument

Each artist has to figure out their own
unique creative path for themselves

There is no sure-fire way of constructing
the “right” set of digital personae so that
you can build your own one-person 
”art-making machine”

The ways are endless and yet the destiny
seems to be the same

(call it the transmigration of
embodied destinarrativity)
The advent of digitally networked culture
and the social media performance art practices
we all now must role-play as
an operational mode of survival
in an ever-transforming age of aesthetics
creates an unusual opportunity for
new media artists to develop alternative paths
in the construction of their flux personae
and to focus on the “cybernated life”

Paik’s musings on the cybernated life
set the stage for a new philosophy of new media:
Cybernated art is very important, but art for cybernated life is more important, and the latter need not be cybernated.
For the contemporary remixologist
this means that creating a digital aesthetics
is an important aspect to ones overall practice

but even more important is
the advancement of Creativity itself
via the interventionist acts of an (h)activist avant-presence
that continually initiates the “always becoming” of
the artist as postproduction medium
whose cut-and-paste as-you-go
open source lifestyle practice
models the survival strategies of the future-now


Mark Amerika’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center. In 2009-2010, The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece, hosted Amerika’s comprehensive retrospective exhibition entitled UNREALTIME. He is the author of many books including remixthebook (University of Minnesota Press, 2011 — and his collection of artist writings entitled META/DATA: A Digital Poetics (The MIT Press, 2007). His latest art work, Museum of Glitch Aesthetics, is located at Amerika is a Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Principal Research Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at La Trobe University. More information can found at his website, and at his twitter feed @markamerika

The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics is co-produced with Abandon Normal Devices.


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