New York

Bernar Venet

The New York Cultural Center

The complete nonworks of a French nonartist can be seen in a show called the Five Years of Bernar Venet at the New York Cultural Center. Venet practices—or practiced—a dilettantish monkeying with “information theory,” starting in 1966 and ending, as previously announced, at the age of 30 in 1971. The whole career was an attempt to be swingingly cybernetic, but now that we can look back we see that it was hardly serendipitous.

It is amusing that radical revisionists so often come up with ideas that are pseudo-intellectual recapitulations of aspects and fringe benefits of established university life. In Bernar Venet’s case this involves a befuddled wonder at the enormous profusion of recorded information, and a recognition that through this tremendous bulk of factual material there runs yet another axis to consider: time (for him, obsolescence). But both realizations are immediately available,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.