Stand-up Theorist

Jim Pomeroy, stand-up theorist, 1945-1992.

The technological watershed of the 80s initiated the inexorable merging of media that served to commodify “information” and “knowledge” as visual. Representation, the representable, the symbolic, the imaginary, the real, and the true, became sites of contention during that decade. For the art world, the discourses of visuality became crucial to delegitimating the image as anything but ideologically situated. For the electronic industry, the opposite strategy was evolving; the image wasn’t discursive, it was unquestionable. Video games, computer graphics, digital photography, image enhancement altered the way images were experienced as well as how they were recorded, produced, and transmitted. Fetishized technology has come to obscure the roots of the historical production of knowledge. The violence and shock of the political montage of the 1920s has been replaced by the aesthetieization of shock in the media of the 1980s. Novelty has dislodged substance.

Rooted in Heartfield’s disruptive montages, Höch’s (re)imag(in)ing of subjectivity, Brecht’s “refunctioning” of theatre, and provoked by Herbert Marcuse’s critique of technology, Marshall McLuhan’s quotidian glohal village, and Jean Baudrillard’s nihilistic euphoria, the work of “stand-up theorist” Jim Pomeroy emerges.

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