Bruce W. Ferguson

  • Bruce W. Ferguson

    “RACE,” “SEX,” AND “GENDER” have lately become neutral, even stylish terms for the real conditions of active racism, boundless homophobia, and institutionalized misogyny that threaten the fabric of urban democracy. While such terms—and why not add “difference” and “otherness” to the melting pot?—designate legitimate difficulties, as appropriated by “cold” academics their uses and meanings are shifted and diluted. All too often the effect is to neutralize authentic suffering, textualizing the contradictions and challenges of prejudice. At the same time, the ensuing “political correctness” offers


    CHRISTOPHER WOOL IS A painter by default and by defiance: painting is his medium but not his message. Wool chooses to paint almost in spite of painting’s limitations, and his works gain some of their power from the original perversity of that choice. His painterly activities do not stem from a need to justify a tradition of painting, nor are they an attempt to address a historical set of questions within painting’s critical discourse, as though that in itself could guarantee his meaning. Like other artists of his generation, his influences range from film and television to literature and other


    PAINTING, AS A PRIVILEGED EMBLEM of humanism, has been taken as the visual record of the dynamic pulsation between doubt and idealism that has characterized the Modernist period, a vigorously generative oscillation that grew out of, and also stimulated, the often stumbling but powerful modern notion of “progress.” Modernist nonfigurative painting in particular is held to be exemplary, at least partially, I would suggest, because of the two deep ironies contradictorily embedded in it. First, despite the profound doubt (of authenticity, of relevance, of presence itself) that inhabits modern

  • Edinburgh International Television Festival

    The Edinburgh International Television Festival is actually a national conference organized to discuss issues important to television broadcasters in the United Kingdom. “Scratch” video was the subject of one session’s discussion and viewings. “Scratch” has its base in the popular subcultures of disco and video clubs, originating in disc jockeys’ practices of mixing and violating records to result in repetitive phrases and imperfect sounds. Scratch video is the latest version in a continuing Modernist esthetic project of deconstruction. It has its art-world equivalent in the work of media