OS XXI is a book-length project that reads contemporary art and performance as tools for understanding the changing character of attention under the pressures of digital technology. Its core contention is that networked technology has prompted a range of new (and interlinked) aesthetic strategies including academicism, information overload, reformatting, and retemporalization. Among a significant sector of artists, the dominant reaction to digital technology has taken the form of looking backwards; others have sought out live performance (albeit in ways that encourage smartphone mediation). The title refers to the ‘operating system’ of culture in the twenty-first century.
Claire Bishop is the author of Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (London/NY: Verso, 2012), and Installation Art: A Critical History (London: Tate, 2005). She is the editor of Radical Museology, or, What’s Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art (Cologne: Koenig Books, 2013) and Participation (London: Whitechapel/MIT, 2006). She is Professor in Art History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.