Context Is the Only Medium That Matters
99 years ago, Marcel Duchamp made Fountain. He didn't "make" the object—it was a commercially manufactured urinal—he "made" the artwork. Fountain is art because Duchamp called it art. Its influence on art is undeniable: it made context a medium alongside paint, clay, film and the other Fine Arts. A century later, context is arguably the only medium that matters. It's through context that content earns meaning. But content easily migrates through innumerable coincident contexts, thanks to the proscenia of web browsers and hardware bezels, sharing networks, high octane appropriation, and digital manipulation. Something you make can be endlessly recontextualized. If all contexts are plausible destinations to any given content, what happens when you live within the context of all contexts?
About Pablo Garcia
Pablo Garcia is Associate Professor in Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received his first email address upon entering college, and he remembers being introduced to software like Photoshop long before they were commonplace. Garcia's work ranges from scholarly contributions to art historical studies to contemporary artworks examining digital culture. His expertise in the history of drawing technologies stems from a decade of research, including one of the most comprehensive private collections of vintage camera lucidas in the world. Garcia is the author of DrawingMachines.org, a free archive website documenting the history of mechanical and optical drawing tools from the Renaissance to the present. In 2013, Garcia, in collaboration with Golan Levin, launched the NeoLucida, a modern reinterpretation of the camera lucida. His work has been exhibited in galleries and festivals across North America, South America, and Europe and has also been featured in the most widely-read journals in the world, including Art in America, WIRED, FastCompany, Huffington Post, GQ, Mashable.