* An earlier version of this essay was published as "Artforum-ismus", in Texte zur Kunst (August 1996).
1 The conservative right's position against interdisciplinarity in academia was incidentally bolstered by the recent antics of New York University physicist Alan Sokal. Sokal wrote a mock "cultural studies" article entitled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" for the journal Social Text (Spring-Summer 1996), which published the piece without recognizing it as a parody. The debate which followed further exacerbated the dichotomy between those in favor of interdiscplinarity and those opposed to it. However, a rigorous consideration of how cultural studies (as a field) differs from interdisciplinarity (as a methodology) was egregiously overlooked in both Sokal's ridicule and the ensuing controversy around it. see Ruth Rosen, "A Physics Prof Drops a Bomb on the Faux Left," Los Angeles Times (May 23, 1996); Stanley Fish, "Professor Sokal's Bad Joke," New York Times, (May 21, 1996); and George Will, "Smitten with Gibberish," Washington Post, (May 30, 1996).
2 Rose as quoted by Janet Malcom in her article on Artforum's editorial history entitled "A Girl of the Zeitgeist - I," New Yorker (October 20, 1986).
3 Roland Barthes, Mythologies, (New York: Hill and Wang 1972), 114.
4 When I cite Warhol as a cultural icon for Artforum I mean this both in a figurative and literal sense. As a literal referent, the name, artwork, and overall cultural "project" of Warhol has been a ubiquitous presence in Artforum from the time of Ingrid Sischy's editorship to that of Jack Bankowsky, the magazine's current editor. A superficial search for articles on Warhol over the last ten years in the magazine yields no less than thirty-eight entries, most of which are not scholarly considerations of Warhol. Rather they exhibit the use of Warhol's legacy as a cultural "readymade" for the type of interdisciplinarity that I am addressing. Ironically, the most rigorous consideration of Warhol's relation to the institution of art was offered in an article by Bankowsky himself who stated "...the biggest obstacle impeding Warhol's canonization is the confusion of the famous personality and his artistic achievement." Overall, however, Bankowsky is seduced by what he sees as Warhol's "...single affirmative embrace, on all those extraartistic [sic] contents that an essentially proto-Romantic American Modernist tradition repressed." While this was indeed the case with Warhol's project, Bankowsky's own project (Artforum) nevertheless reduces this facet of Warhol's legacy to a spendthrift "anything goes" type of interdisciplinarity. see Bankowsky's "Words Around Warhol," Artforum (April, 1989).
5 Barthes, "That Old Thing Called Art," collected in Post-Pop Art (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1989).
6 Malcom, 60.
7 Rhonda Leiberman, "Divine Host. Small Talk," Artforum (December 1996).
8 For an analysis of Warhol's position within the paradox of modern art see Benjamin Buchloh's "Andy Warhol's One-Dimensional Art: 1956-1966" in Andy Warhol: A Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art, 1989).
9 Should my placing of the mythical Warhol as a central figure in the selling out of critical theory seems forced, I would argue that it is not a coincidence that Julian Schnabel will soon release in America, as his directorial debut, a film on Jean-Micheal Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Warhol is played by that other mythical figure, David Bowie.
10 Malcom, 59.
11Janet Malcom, "Girl of the Zeitgeist - II," New Yorker (October 27, 1986), 52.
12 Malcom, "Girl of the Zeitgeist - I," 50.
13 Rosalind Krauss, "Sense and Sensibility," Artforum (November 1973). Her discussion of this article can be found in the letters section of Artforum (February 1974).
14 Glenn O'Brien "Art Club 2000," Artforum (February 1994).
16 In an attempt to rejuvenate their (pop)ularity, Art Club 2000 recently changed their name to The Group Formerly Known as Art Club 2000 and have jumped on the "institutional critique" bandwagon in its most recuperative state.
17 Rosalind Krauss herself has publicly waged such a critique of "cultural studies," once at the 1996 College Art Association annual conference in Boston, and also in 1996 at the Whitney Independent Studies Program. Krauss spoke of the misapplication of cultural studies whereby university administrators used "interdisciplinary" studies to scale down departments rather than to broaden them. For example, there is talk in some universities of eliminating French Studies departments since (the administrative argument goes) all texts are translated into English now.
18 John Rajchman, "The Lightness of Theory," Artforum (September 1993).
19 Vito Russo, The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies (New York: Harper & Row, 1987).