When I started working on New Tendencies I recognised that for any theory of art, or theory of art and media, it is requisite to have a theory or at least an idea of what is history. I put this question “What is history?” over this talk, which is at the same time an Homage to Korcula Summer School. This question “What is history?” has been the theme of the second summer school in 1965, organised by philosophers and sociologists from Zagreb and Belgrade.
Technopolitics is my preliminary answer to this question, What's History? It is an answer that is contingent on this present form of society. I am highlighting the role of technology not because I am a technophile, but because I think science and technology are playing a central role in this current form of society which we may still call capitalism. [...] If we accept that Technopolitics offers a valid model for historical change in advanced industrial and post-industrial societies, there remains still a rather significant problem, the, well known, mediation problem. How can I argue that the use of history in my narrative is more than just a context? If it was only a contextualisation of an art practice than this would constitute a relatively minor achievement. It would be questionable if the intense study of technopolitical history would indeed be justified. We need to ask, returning to Jameson: What are the relationships between the respective technopolitical paradigm and the “objective structures” and “situation specific aesthetic function” of a given artwork (or the aesthetics of a whole group or movement)? (excerpts from lecture notes)