PRINT March 2009



Illustration from Cory Arcangel’s essay “On Compression,” from his book A Couple Thousand Short Films about Glenn Gould (Film and Video Umbrella, 2008).

AS THIS MAGAZINE continues to chart the rapidly changing coordinates for art within the broader landscape of contemporary culture, two recent experiences—a pair of discussions with students in graduate art programs, one of which took place in Rotterdam, as part of a symposium on art criticism at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, and the other at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles—have laid greatest claim on my attention. However distinct their European and American contexts, both groups of artists seemed wary about the art-world system as it stood before them—but, strikingly, their desire to look beyond it did not stem from any jaundiced perspective on market forces, as one might have expected, or from some idealistic, democratic vision of the arts, as one might have hoped. Rather, their impulse to step outside the defined networks of

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