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Title: The value of distance : art's cultural identity amidst technology's transformations of space
Author: Ogle, David Hadlow
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 5949
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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This study explores technology's propensity to transform our comprehensions of space, considering the implications of this for our understandings of the work of art and the value that we ascribe to it. With our encounters increasingly a by-product of technological interface, the central question of this work is posed as follows: In what ways (and to what degree) may we regard the contemporary conditions facing the art object (and the values that these elicit) as a consequence of our prevailing technological landscape and its capacity to re-configure our conceptions of space and place? In confronting this, the study begins by surveying recent public justifications made for the arts and the criteria by which their value is ascertained. A trend is recognised, in the growing prevalence of instrumental qualifiers for art's worth (its quantifiable impacts as a social utility) and a shift away from intrinsic measures. In response to this, I propose the concept of Accumulative Value, arguing that the totality of an art object's intellectual considerations and explorations (over historical time) are an intrinsic attribute of the object itself and a qualifier of its objective worth. The notion of value itself (with its varying interpretations) is then explored, followed by a contemporary re-evaluation of Walter Benjamin's concept of the aura, arguing that in our present circumstances this notion may be used in description of an object's fixed spatial locality. The degree to which technologies of telepresence undermine such locality is then examined, noting trends in technological progression toward an abolition of distance, in both a spatial and temporal sense, that diminish our ability to recognise Accumulative Value. In consummation, it is proposed that technologies, as Competitive Cognitive Artefacts, may play a role in manifesting a situation in which the intrinsic measures of art's worth are progressively disregarded, yet, that the auric artwork can come to fulfil a timely imperative, in reconnecting us to a somatic relationship with space and a linear understanding of time; such perceivable phenomena that are jeopardised by technological transformations.
Supervisor: Koeck, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral