Portraits of the XXI century: representations and misrepresentations of face and artistic responses
An edited extract from the book Post-Digital Print, this essay offers an analysis of the strategic use of print, by avant-garde artistic movements throughout the 20th century, as well as in the context of the underground press from the 1950s through the 1980s, and finally in light of the most recent developments in underground publishing (such as the production of technically perfect ‘fakes’ made possible through digital technology). The actions, gestures, and strategies of all of these types of press, while demonstrating how print can be put to use as a ‘liberating’ medium, are also intimately connected to contemporaneous technological developments. Such a parallel history of technologies and artistic strategies reveals how cultural and social passions have always found their way into print, using whatever means happened to be available and appropriate at the time – thus significantly reflecting and documenting the historical period in which they existed. Even now this continues to be the case (although in a more ‘scattered’ way than before, across different cultural scenes and using various combinations of technologies and strategies). As it will hopefully continue to be in the future.
Alessandro Ludovico is an artist, media critic and chief editor of Neural magazine since 1993. He has published and edited several books, and has lectured worldwide. He’s one of the founders of Mag.Net (Electronic Cultural Publishers organization). He also served as an advisor for the Documenta 12’s Magazine Project. He has been guest researcher at the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and he teaches at the Academy of Art in Carrara and NABA in Milan. He is one of the authors of the Hacking Monopolism trilogy of artworks (Google WIll Eat Itself, Amazon Noir, Face to Facebook). Currently he’s PhD candidate at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (UK).