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Still more thoughts on Infinite Fill. The so-called Bedroom shows Roberta Smith talks about in her review--she mentions Dearraindrop but Scott Hug's and Daniel Reich's shows also come to mind1--are mainly of sociological interest (collectives arise to challenge the hegemony of the individual genius, only to eventually be beaten down by the art world's need to market solo work--my cynical prediction), and backward-looking to the extent that they stand for some "rejuvenation of painting" discourse. The Providence collectives didn't invent the "colorful room full of manic cartoon imagery"--arguably that was Kenny Scharf's contribution to art...20 years ago. Whereas there is something larger at stake in IF, which is the merger of so-called new media art with traditional gallery exhibition practice. If art is to avoid shriveling into some finicky "cult of the hand," it's going to have to reconcile itself to technology, and eventually something interesting will emerge from what they used to call the "dialectic" between the two arenas. In Infinite Fill, the monochrome grid is the level playing field where the two opposed forces meet, intuitively connecting Sol LeWitt, needlepoint, and video games in an easy to read, "anyone can play" matrix. Also, as Sally McKay suggests in the comments to a previous post, "Infinite Fill" is a pun--it's about a computer filling up space and artists filling up a room with work. So far, none of the Bedroom Gang has come up with anything that elegant or concise, theory-wise.

1. I would exclude Paper Rad here, since their Foxy Production show was fairly tightly organized, with different walls devoted to different themes. I missed the Dearraindrop extravaganza at Deitch but friends said it wasn't so good--too much wall space to fill with manic creative activity. I did see their previous floor to ceiling effort at John Connelly, and like most people thought Billy Grant's video was the best part. You don't need a Soho barn for that, though--just a TV!

- tom moody 8-10-2004 9:39 pm [link]