Concretism and Danish Digital Art – New Political Dialogues from an Avant-Garde Perspective
by Jens Tang Kristensen
In this chapter, Kristensen identifies how a dynamic of technical fetishism in contemporary art can be detected in the post-war art movement known as concretism, a Danish variant of the avant-garde. This movement, which he traces in a thorough historical analysis of the Danish post-WW2 avant-garde scene, considered art to be integrated into the public sphere and workplace in a self-referential form – expanding and complicating the concept of ‘art’ from a discreet and authentic object to a universal, non-objective form based on socialist, humanist and mathematical principles. In the contemporary continuation of the work of the historic avant-garde, Kristensen sees a potentially subversive critique of the global, neoliberal doctrine of Nordic societies today in the sociopolitical engagement of digital art. He emphasizes the need for new forms of artist collectives and calls for the artistic activist act to occur through activist-oriented modes of life-practice in sync with broader global collective movements.