Harrison, Nate.

*1972 in Eugene, Oregon
lebt in Brooklyn, New York
Studium am California Institute of the Arts

2009 PhD Candidate, Art and Media History, Theory and Criticism, University of California, San Diego



Ausstellungen [Auswahl]:

2011 "A Purpose On Image", Beton 7, Athens, Greece
"I Like The Art World And The Art World Likes Me", EFA Project Space, New York
2010  Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
"The Amen Break", Galerie Thomas Flor, Düsseldorf, Germany

Aura Dies Hard (Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Copy) 

Date: 2010
Length: 14:10 min.
Format:  4:3
Specification: Colour, Sound


Nate Harrisons Videoessay stellt die traditionelle Auffassung über das Medium Video als eine immaterielle Kunstform in Frage. Anlässlich des Besuchs einer Ausstellung über die Geschichte des Videos beginnt eine Erzählerstimme aus dem Off die Behauptung des vom Kurator verfassten Ausstellungstextes anzuzweifeln, wonach Videokunst immer schon mehr den performativen Aspekt dieses Genres hervorhebt als die Herstellung eines einzelnen, kostbaren Kunstobjekts. Der Erzähler betont demgegenüber, dass seit der 1960er Jahre, also mit dem Beginn der Videokunst, sich eine Hierarchisierung bei den Kopien abzeichnete, die von autorisierten Videoexemplaren wie Master-, Ausstellungs- oder Archivkopien bis zu illegalen Kopien, die unter Verletzung der Urheber- und Vertriebsrechte vervielfältigt wurden, reicht. Die Kunstszene hat also neue Rituale der Vervielfältigung, der Konservierung und des Vertriebs  kreiert, die deutlich zeigen, dass die Entwicklung der Videokunst – im Sinne von Walter Benjamins Charakterisierung für die Authentizität traditioneller Kunstwerke  – als eine Bewahrung der Aura betrachtet werden kann. Die Worte des Erzählers werden illustriert mit Ausschnitten aus 48 der bekanntesten Video- und Performancearbeiten, die er in der Ausstellung gesehen hat und deren Kopien er in seinem persönlichen Videoarchiv aufbewahrt.







► 1. Your video has been chosen among over 1700 festival entries to participate in Videonale 13. How central is the video medium to your overall artistic production? Is it complimentary to other media you use or do you work exclusively with video?


Video is important, but perhaps even more important is the sound component. My projects usually involve some amount of writing, and are realized both as video essays or as audio essays. I suppose it depends on whether or not I also want to present a visual argument. For my work for Videonale, the visuals were essential to the overall concept.


► 2. Is there a particular theme, concept or problem your art addresses the most?


I am interested in modes of cultural production and circulation given the dominance both of an "immaterial lifestyle" today and intellectual property regimes that complicate that lifestyle.



► 3. What artists do you relate to or find significant for your own art-making?


In general I have always been attracted to the film and video essay form, so of course prominent makers such as Guy Debord, Chris Marker and Harun Farocki figure into my practice. However, currently I am finishing my doctoral research so I am more focused on various authors right now: Peter Bürger, Fredric Jameson, Jean-François Lyotard, Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello are just some writers and thinkers who are really helping me at the moment. All of the above could certainly also be said to inform my video practice and approach to media critique in general.


► 4. Do you think the video medium can address social or political issues better than other art media?


This question for me is the classic question, debated over so dramatically by Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, for instance. For me the question is similar to this one: how to realize the socially or politically transformative potential of new communication technologies without their subordination to ideological instrumentalization? My answer, which is unsatisfactory, is that one has to look at the problem dialectically.



► 5. Art can be seen as a mirror that registers and reflects life or as a tool that transforms it. Which of the two positions is close to your own art-making philosophy?


Certainly the latter. Lived experience is a constructed one, it builds over time. So to understand art as a "mirror" of society is to ignore the fact that art and culture *produce* subjects, not merely reflect their already-formed ideas and ways of being in the world.


► 6. How do you understand success in an art-making career?


An adequate answer would be much too long! I do not believe in a separation between art making and knowledge production, so I suppose "success" would entail seeing my students (I am a Professor of Art in the US) take ideas and continue working with them in new and interesting ways.


► 7. What is the most difficult and the most rewarding thing about making art / being an artist?


The most difficult and rewarding are actually the same thing: autonomy. On the one hand, being an artist is not a 9-5 job; you're always on the clock. You really have to be disciplined and proactive with your use of time. On the other hand, you get to spend the majority of your time concerned about matters that you find most relevant, important, or meaningful to you.



► 8. What are your upcoming projects?


I have a couple of collaborative video projects I am working on with my wife, but I am mostly focused on my dissertation at the moment!


► 9. What do you do when you don't make art?


Write. Think. Teach. Hug my wife. Pet my cats.


Logo Videonale e.V.


Zum Abonnieren des Videonale-Newsletter bitte E-Mail eintragen.


Stay informed on our latest news!