Date: 25-Oct-2014 – 23-Nov-2014
Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania
Romantic Conceptualism is a new solo exhibition by Scot Cotterell. Using the exhibition title as a prompt, various paid amateur actors create videos and photographs in response. Using content commissioning web-services to hire actors from across the world, at a fixed USD rate, the works become studies of the aesthetics of this peculiar platform. They come together as a collective conjuring, a self-referential loop, a chant, a drone. A distributed idea and a redundant manifesto.
Through the process of search, find, order and transaction the disparate agents offering these low cost production services in their ‘online global marketplace’ are bought together as outsourced assistants in the production of new cultural material across cultural, social and economic borders.
The exhibition title, the text prompt used to make the work and the main textual content of the individual works is one and the same, Romantic Conceptualism. A dialectic term with a binary central pin, on which it revolves. That central pin, as if through a dead specimen, holds a term before us for study, a term that suggests a point of emergent difference, cellular change, evolution. The point at which a cultural phenomena morphs a sub-level offspring. The point at which one DJ says to another ‘I don’t make french house music, I make filtered french house music’
The term is sexy, semi-paradoxical and clunky.
It suggests two modes in operation together, a categorical bracket, a box in which to place things.
An adjective and a mode of thought, the prompt also acts as a carrier, injected into this distributed content creation system, populated at either end by humans but facilitated at every point in between by machines, codecs and devices.