How does fixed medium documentation change artistic practices?
- new art forms emerge: film, recording, video/TV and digitally based new media
- there is a range of approaches to the use of fixed media, along the continuum:
performance <------> Document as
- “documented performance”
implies a certain neutrality
to the capture, but in fact is influenced
by every aspect of the documentary medium:
- note that early anthropological field practice "documented" (and distorted) folk music with notation, then recordings
- “document as performance” is
often team produced, and based on standardized production values
- preferred placement along the
continuum differs by genre; e.g.
- the historical development of each of these formats parallels changes in listening habits and preferences (Thompson, Sterne, Simes, Katz, et al.) and perhaps performance practice as well
- recordings in turn influence
future generations of live performers, particularly those involved with
improvisation, aural tradition and so on
Contemporary art music practice today
- acoustic – mixed (live + electronics) – electroacoustic (fixed medium and live performance) – new media (cf. Manovitch)
- note archival problems associated with each of these: succession of formats (e.g. vinyl, tape, DAT, CD, digital files) all of which need machines to read them
- with improvisatory forms, the choice of “fixing” a live performance vs maintaining the machines required to produce the live work (can the latter “migrate”?)
- multi-media/new media works multiply the problems of documentation
- some works may be fixed; others indeterminate, algorithmic, stochastic, interactive, distributed (i.e. internet based), conceptual, etc.
- fixed medium works, however, can lead back to live performance (diffusion) interpretations
- physical survival of art works vs their cultural survival when marginalized
- does digital data and software make cultural artifacts more ephemeral or give potential longevity?