In what ways can ideology be viewed as a factor in the mounting and reception of Jack Burnham’s Software in New York, and Jasia Reichardt’s Cybernetic Serendipity in London?

INTRODUCTION The following is, more or less, the dissertation submission I made for my Masters In Art History, 2018-2020 and finally awarded in early 2021. The dissertation compares two seminal Computer Art exhibitions and how they were positioned in relation to the art and the curatorial choices. The first exhibition, Cybernetic Serendipity (1968) was curated by the […]

In what ways was the non-professional computer artist’s questioning of what counts as art also a challenge to the notion of authorship?

Computer art emerged amid the social and cultural backdrop of the Cold War era in Britain, America and Europe. In the artworld the idea of post-modernism began to emerge with Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism and performance.[1] However, the history of computer art and its importance in changing our ideas of who and what can make art […]

Stirling-Maxwell’s Connection to the North Atlantic Slave Trade

A study of Pollock Houses’ Walled Garden to Reveal a Hidden History to the Slave Trade Pollok Estate and its financial associations with the North Atlantic slave trade. Preliminary research reveals that Scotland was complicit in the trade of goods manufactured by African slaves during the colonial period, up to Abolition 1833.[1] Many Glasgow locations and […]

Ideology: How viewers are positioned in relation to garden portraits of wealthy patrons.

This article analyses five paintings from 1751-1905. Each work is a portrait of wealthy patron/s in gardens or on their land. Employing ideas about ideology drawn from the nineteenth century German philosopher Karl Marx (1818–1883), and French philosophers Louis Althusser (1918-1990) and Michel Foucault (1926–1984), this article considers how the viewer has been positioned in relation […]

Changing methods of Interpretation: Barnett Newman’s ‘The Wild’

This article examines in what ways and for what reasons have established approaches to the interpretation of works of art been challenged since the 1970s? The article will focus on Barnett Newman’s 1950 work, The wild, and will compare two essays, firstly by Lisa Frye Ashe, and then by Michael Schreyach. The ‘beholders involvement’ is […]

The Glassford Family Portrait and Cultural Value

John Glassford of Dougalston (1715–1783) was one of the wealthiest merchants of his time, trading principally in tobacco.[1]Glassford also invested in tanneries, dye works, operated a chain of stores in Virginia where he sold iron and metal tools; large quantities of cotton fabrics of low to medium quality to make clothing for planation workers

Artistic Genius? Jasper Johns’ Flag (1954)

In Critique of Judgement, Emmanuelle Kant argued the case for the artistic genius;[1]which is defined as a member of society with God-given talent, almost always male,[2]whose unacceptable behaviour may at times be excused, but who otherwise exhibits an extraordinary creative gift.[3] This article will reflect on two texts that discuss this concept of artistic genius in relation […]

Slaves Made Glasgow: A survey of Glasgow street names.

From 1740 to 1790, Glasgow was the leading entrepôt of tobacco in the world.[1] Many locations and street names in Glasgow celebrate the magnificent wealth building of early merchants, who took Glasgow from an insignificant Scottish town of barely a dozen streets, to a global trade dominion. Often overlooked however, is the near total reliance on slave […]

Beyond the Binary: Postcolonial Cybernetics and Scottish Identity

This post examines the issue of Scottish national identity using a theoretical framework drawn from Cybernetics and Postcolonial theories. Specifically it focuses on the construction of the historical relationship between Scotland and England through the process of manufacturing myth. By examining the parallels between Cybernetics theory and Postcolonial theory as it is applied to Scottish […]