Re: [Frameworks] Fluid Criticism (was Open Litter)/Context

From: gregg biermann (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Aug 02 2010 - 13:09:49 PDT

Thanks Steve -- for the Ramey essay. Recently there was a thread on
Frameworks about whether art must have a context. This essay provides a
nice sociological overview of the context and also suggests how this
relates to aesthetic evaluation in the world of avant-garde/experimental

Steve Polta wrote:
> "What is the prize in avant-garde film?"
> Fred Camper's rhetorical question about the various perceptions of the
> critic's role reminds me of a recent piece by Kathryn Ramey, published
> in/on Jump Cut just recently on the "survival strategies" of
> avant-garde filmmakers. Citing Todd Bayma and Pierre Bourdieu, Ramey
> discusses "symbolic capital" (along with disavowal of "standard social
> criteria for success") as an important motivator to many contemporary
> filmmakers. In her piece, "symbolic capital" translates roughly as
> fame and/or recognition, specifically within the community in question.
> If you care to, read it here:
> I dunno. Maybe this influences some/maybe not. But interesting to read
> and think about...
> Steve Polta
> All of these arguments take on a particular coloring in our list's
> rather small world, in which, as far as I know, not one avant-garde
> filmmaker has ever been able to make a living from making films.
> This
> is not like the art world where, while most artists can't make a
> living at it, some can, and a few get wealthy. What is the prize in
> avant-garde film? Some festival shows? A tenured teaching post? I
> guess it's natural to crave recognition, but in my own professional
> life in this field, I have heard much more anger at lack of
> recognition (sometimes accompanied by absurd conspiracy theories)
> than
> the agonized wondering that I would like to think is more the mark
> of
> a genuine artist (albeit often only early on): "Is my work any good?
> Is my work getting better? Are these films adding something to the
> discourse? How can I break through to something grater?"
> It's worth remembering that Hollis Frampton began making films in
> 1962. The first film he would ever show was from 1966.
> Fred Camper
> Chicago
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