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[Nettime-bold] Re: Re: <nettime> Re: Re: net art history
nullpointer on 20 Feb 2001 11:51:43 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: Re: <nettime> Re: Re: net art history

the party's nearly over.. so soon it will be time to leaf through the litter
and pick up the bits that are worth keeping for the next party, maybe we
should have it in the garden.

C:\REM [Header]

(all suffixes enabled)

-----Original Message-----
From: Josephine Bosma <jesis {AT} xs4all.nl>
To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net <nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net>
Date: 19 February 2001 14:08
Subject: Re: Re: <nettime> Re: Re: net art history

>I think the way to approach net art is very much the way Steve Dietz has
>approached the question (that is one of a number of questions that keep
>coming up): "Why have there been no great net artists?" with an essay by
>the same title.
>http://www.walkerart.org/gallery9/webwalker/ww_042300_main.html  So not
>approach it from one particular angle (politics or art history or
>technological excellence) but from many angles at once to get a new
>picture of not just net art but of art as a whole. Individual artpieces
>can be compared to older works of course, but to compare net art as a
>whole with, say, mail art or performance or whatever will always be
>lacking/failing somewhere.
>olia lialina wrote:
>> "A Link is Enough" was published last November in DU
>> magazine. On the next page there was another essay on net
>> art, written by Boris Groys. He writes about his vision.
>> He's brilliant. His ideas and comparisons are fresh and
>> unexpected, but after a few paragraphs you see that he has
>> no understanding of net art and networks.
>So true. That does not mean his work is not interesting to reflect
>certain issues. Like for instance there is also a text on interactivity
>in which another theorist, Dieter Daniels, gives a lot of interesting
>thoughts on media art.
>http://www.hgb-leipzig.de/~mareio/daniels/daniels_e.html  One should
>simply read between the lines and project a lot of ones own experiences
>on it. What is wrong in this Daniels quote?: "Bill Clinton's
>superhighway electoral campaign in 1992, however, already heralded a
>radical turnabout. In a record period of time, the idea of free network
>communications hatched somewhere between hackers, ex-hippies, and a
>small avant-garde in art and politics, became the central message of the
>media industry. This is why, finally, people forgot what media-assisted
>interaction and communication was supposed to overcome: nothing other
>than the hegemony of the media industry as the cause of cultural
>consumerism." It seems as if the biggest problem with theorists and
>academics is that they know a great deal but they work too little from
>the situation at hand. What central message of the media industry? And
>then: were 'media-assisted interaction and communication' supposed to
>overcome anything of the media industry in the first place? Such a small
>difference of thought can have great implications, like for instance it
>could legalise (taking the thought further into media art theory) the
>neglectance of media art which is simply beautiful. I am not saying we
>should not be media critical anymore, just net art theory should be
>multi-facetted. Groys seems to be leaning towards beauty in the
>traditional sense too much (symbolical objects), Daniels leans towards
>media art as political tool.
>> And it's a pity that net art critics who have been working
>> in the field since the heroic days have reduced their
>> activity to interviews. Or hurrying and competing to be the
>> first to announce death and failure. ASCII Paparazzi.
>err.... ascii paparazzi? Sorry dear Olia, this is too insulting to come
>from you. Anyway, the biggest problem net art journalists and observers
>have is that we are too few with too much to do. Plus not all the work
>that is done makes it to the 'central online discourse' but remains
>hidden in local paper press or books. As for the interviews that I
>publish: there are two reasons to publish them. First of all one
>interview often can give a view of a certain area or field at a specific
>time that is far more precise then I would be able to describe it in a
>general text. Secondly do I think it is more important to show the
>variety of works and practices out there right now then it is to write
>analytical texts about them. If you have little time that is, relatively
>little time with the speed of developments now, the explosion of calls
>for net art works, net art exhibitions and conferences worldwide. Get
>stuff out, that matters! Make curators etc see what goes on, who is out
>there doing what, give ideas, provoke different angles maybe! The
>problem with interviews is that one has to transcribe them, which is a
>lot of work. Remember this type of work does not get paid for either,
>which is the last thing I would want to complain about, but well... A
>problem connected to this is that e-terviews are not working as good as
>f2f interviews, whereas combinations of the two are great. So one also
>has to have the opportunity to meet artists in person (which makes some
>people feel shut out)
>> Btw, saying that net art is just beginning isn't very
>> different from saying it's dead.
>That is a very strange thing to say, and I would say highly subjective.
>I remember your words not so long ago, where you said in a conversation
>that was published online that you were waiting for the next generation,
>for those that would say your work is old news! We are now at a time
>where we are at a crucial point where net art is about to really break
>through, and I mean -understanding- net art is about to break through.
>When I look around me at conferences and so forth the questions of both
>the audiences and the moderators of panels have developed greatly. Is it
>wrong to say this will develop further and that we should be ready for
>it, help with it even? Would you prefer institutions to develop the
>theory around net art themselves, on their terms, from their point of
>> My students came back from Transmediale in Berlin and said
>> there was a speaker, Mark America, who was announcing that
>> net art is dead.
>> from Mark Amerika's CV:
>> "Amerika was recently appointed to the Fine Arts faculty at
>> the University of Colorado in Boulder where he is developing
>> an innovative curriculum in Digital Art."
>Sometimes one sees great mistakes in who gets appointed to teach or
>judge art. Mark Amerika is first of all a writer, an experimental
>writer. He should teach hypertext or something, not digital arts in
>general. His presentation at Transmediale should have been
>contextualised by his hosts. He knows very little really about net art,
>and he will be used by traditional art professionals to justify
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