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Passagen-Werk by Mark Amerika

Passagen-Werk was a six-week blog performance for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver’s “Decades of Influence” exhibition. The work, a digital remix of the literary montage style invented by Walter Benjamin as part of his own Passagen-Werk or Arcades Project, attempts to take one quote and one image that the artist selects from wherever he is traveling in the world and post it on the museum blog creating a new version and update of the piece every day of the exhibition.

The work samples from a mélange of artistic, pop culture, philosophical, comedic, and Internet sources and Google image searches to create an original time-based media performance that is meant to indicate the artist’s feelings through the superimposition of externalized media formations. In one post, Jerry Seinfeld gets mashed up with poet Robert Creeley and an abstract image of clouds. In another, a still from Agnes Varda’s Cleo de 5 à 7 gets mashed up with Nietzsche and the concept of sense-data. Over time, the blog performance reveals an interdisciplinary approach to daily art practice that focuses more on the nomadic artist’s thoughts as a unit of measure, and less on the idea of the object in the museum space.


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