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K. O. Götz’s Kinetic Painting and the Imagined Affordance of Television

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Authors

Guillermet, Aline 

Abstract

Between 1959 and 1963, the German Informel painter K. O. Götz produced a series of works inspired by what he perceived to be the affordance of television for a new form of kinetic electronic painting. Although these works – the Raster Pictures, and the film Density 10:2:2:1 – secured his reputation as a “television artist,” they were made without any direct use of the new medium, to which Götz had failed to gain access. This article argues that the concept of “imagined affordance” (Nagy and Neff, 2015) enables a critical reassessment of Götz’s elusive relation to television. Rather than focusing on the lack (of cognition or access) that this concept implies, I demonstrate that “television” functioned as a flexible paradigm that enabled the artist to combine the theoretical underpinnings of painterly modernism with information theory, in a moment defined by the emergence of pre- and early digital technologies.

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Media Theory

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3

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