PETER HILL'S MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY IDEAS

Peter Hill

The Albury Wodonga Superfiction 1993

Collaboration Peter Hill and J.J. Voss (Photographer)

P R E S S   O F F I C E


TOP 100 LIST OF CONTEMPORARY ART TERMS AND PHRASES FOR 1991

Dr Harold Fraem demonstrates the principles of LINGUISTIC DARWINISM, which this year enters his list of TOP 100 ART TERMS AND PHRASES at number 87.

For the past five years Dr Harold Fraem from the Museum of Contemporary Ideas Department of Computing and Electronic networking has been producing his annual Top 100 Art Words and Phrases to be sold to collectors, critics and gallerists around the world.

From 1992 Dr Fraem plans to produce similar lists for the Museum's departments of music, architecture, and philosophy of science. By 1995 he plans to be covering every department within the Museum.

Every issue of the world's leading five contemporary art magazines is fed into the Museum's computer system. Every word is keyed in including text and titles from gallery advertisements-as well as articles, interviews and reviews. The magazines locked into the system are Parkett (Switzerland), Artscribe (London), Kunstforum (Koln), Flash Art (Milan) and Artforum (New York).

The system is programed to block out many thousands of words and phrases including prepositions, artists' names, and commonly recurring nouns and verbs such as: gallery, exhibition, art, museum, gestural, transcend, paint, enamel, Biennale, Documenta etc. etc. Once the important job of sifting has been completed Dr Fraem and his team of researchers is usually left with some 1,500 art terms, the majority of which are discarded. The more appearances a word or phrase makes, the higher up the listings it is placed.

Generally speaking those words in the Top Ten positions have been working their way up the list through several seasons while those in the final ten slots are either on their way in or their way out. There are, however a few important exceptions to this which Dr Fraem will elaborate upon during a press conference shortly to be held in the museum. Dates and times will be mailed out two weeks prior to the conference which this year Dr Fraem has called The Death of Myth and Tragedy .

The Museum's Top 100 has become as important for critics and editors as the late Professor Willi Bongard's listing of artists is for dealers and collectors, although both are formulated in very different ways. For the first time it has been decided to distribute the list free of charge to as wide an audience as possible and there is no embargo this year on magazine publication.

The not insubstantial cost of this operation has been underwritten by the Museum of Contemporary Ideas benefactors, Alice and Abner "Bucky" Cameron. A full copy of the list follows and it should be noted that the 1991 list covers the period January to December 1990. Below the list are some selected comments on its content by Dr Harold "Zimmer" Fraem as he has become affectionately known in the art world.

DR HAROLD FRAEM'S TOP 100 ART WORDS AND PHRASES 1991
 1. POST-MODERNISM
 2. MODERNISM
 3. FICTION
 4. HUMOUR
 5. IRONY
 6. APPROPRIATION
 7. COMPLEXITY
 8. FAKE
 9. DECONSTRUCTION
10. SECONDARY MARKET
11. MYTH
12. READING-IN
13. MY PROJECT IS ABOUT
14. PASTICHE
15. DE-ACCESSIONING
16. ARCHIVES
17. MARKET VALUES
18. CHAOS THEORY
19. SELF-REFLEXIVE
20. FLAG
21. TRADITIONAL VALUES
22. OBJECT OF DESIRE
23. HYPE
24. MAGICIEN
25. BILDERSTREIT
26. CYBERSPACE
27. SITUATIONIST
28. CODE
29. ROMANCE LANGUAGE
30. PARADIGM
31. LAMINATE
32. MAKING IT
33. CENSORSHIP
34. GLASNOST
35. MODEL
36. CRISIS
37. SIMULACRUM
38. SPIRRTUALITY
39. CITY
40. CYNICAL MANIPULATION    
41. C-PRINT
42. AIDS
43. REPRESENTATION
44. PUBLIC
45. MASTURBATORY
46. UN-AMERICAN
47. LOSS
48. MAGIC REALISM
49. RECESSION
50. PARODY
51. LANDSCAPE TV
52. BLUE CHIP
53. QUOTATION
54. PORNOGRAPHY
55. PRIMARY MARKET
56. DEMOCRACY
57. DEATH OF
58. TRANS AVANTGARDE
59. MUSEALISATION
60. OPEN SOCIETY
61. PERESTROIKA
62. SUB-TEST
63. PENDULUM
64. ANAL
65. TROPE
66. AUCTION
67. POST-GENDER ISSUES
68. NEGATIVE THEOLOGY
69. DRIPS
70. SUBTLE
71. RAGE
72. INSTINCT
73. FAKE SERENITY
74. SENATOR
75. JOKE
76. LETTRIST
77. KNIGHTS TEMPLARS
78. SADO-MASOCHISTIC
79. NEO-GEO
80. CYBER SPACE
81. FATCIFICATIONISM
82. OXYMORONICS
83. TRAGEDY
84. NOVELTY
85. VIRTUAL REALITY
86. LABYRINTH
87. LINGUISTIC DARWINISM
88. INTELLIGENT GLOVES
89. FRACTAL GEOMETRY
90. HYPER-REALIZATION
91. INDEXES
92. PICOLLAGE
93. SCIENTIFIC ME
94. POST-MODERN THEOLOGY
95. WORD-DIET
96. SYNTEITIC HODERNISM
97. WIHP INTERFACES ( WINDOWS,
    IOONS, MICE AND PULL,DOWN
    MENUS)
98. THE MARKET MUSEUM AXIS
100. DEATH OF THE CURATOR
Remarks by Dr Harold Fraem

"For the past five years, in fact for as long as we have been compiling the list, the top two places have been occupied by either Modernism or Post-Modernism. They have always vied extremely closely for first an second positions, but this year Post-Modernism was well to the front of the field.

Our interest, as in previous years, must then turn to positions three and four if any prognosis about a sub-text to the dominant synthetic modernist paradigm is to be found, and as you can see I've started speaking in the awful jargon which it is my sad task to collate.

Over the preceding years either Myth of Tragedy would be found fairly near the top of the list, often together in third and fourth positions. They have now dropped, like cultural cluster bombs, to positions eleven and eighty-three respectively. Fiction and Humour now occupy the coveted positions three and four on the list and this single event probably reveals more about contemporary trends in the visual arts in the early nineties than all the other art terms combined."

" Some of the terms in this year's list have entered well into the top half, such as Flag. This is unusual and is mainly related to censorship issues centering on artists like Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe. Other terms in the list refer to the content of the censored work. I can predict confidently that when the 1992 list comes out referring to 1991 there will be a similar influx of terms relating to the Gulf War."

"Still looking to the future and to the way previous years' listings have evolved, I would predict that many of the terms at the bottom of the 1991 list will rocket up the charts over the next twelve months. Those I am especially aware of include: "Hyper-realization, Falsificationism, and Death of the Curator."

"Secondary Market was the highest climber leaping from 62 to 10 which tells us something about the investment and supply-side of the market. Neo-Geo plummeted from 9 to 79 which was equally revealing about paradigm changes within the areas of production and criticism."

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