File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1998/avant-garde.9805, message 41

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 09:37:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Killing off the author

Ann wrote:

> Of course trying to kill off the author is something that has happened in
> all artforms in the same decades but it seems nearly impossible. Signature
> style and our reading of art for authorial intent are so deeply ingrained
> that stylelessness can easily be read as style. Is it even possible to do
> such a thing in the field of *art*, which in this century is tied into the
> general culture by little other than the narratives of artists' (and
> musicians') lives? Maybe philosophy could grow a branch of sound more
> easily than art and music could lose the concept of style and authorship?

Yes, but again, this argument goes thusly: there is art, which is a certain
kind of thing, and then there are people trying, within art, to lose the
concept of style and authorship.  Which is well-neigh impossible, given
what art is.

But this framework is very dissatisfying if one wanted to analyze the 
loss-of-author "movement" at least in part as a movement to _change_ what 
art is, how it functions within the social, and so on.  It seems to me that
one cannot analyze anti-art by situating it within a "given what art is".  
It is a bit like analyzing a communist movement by saying "given that 
relations of production are what they are, how could these ideas be expected 
to work"?


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