Ivan Redi on 20 Feb 2001 13:05:47 -0000

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RE: <nettime> Re: Re: net art history

For me, there is a certain connection between net-art-history and cyberspace
In both cases there are some incompatibility between the description (or
definition), and the visualization of the phenomena. Or maybe we just don’t
have the answer yet (or we do not need it). As an architect I see the world
mostly in a visual description of some strategical concept of the spatial
parameters (real and virtual at the same time). One of the major questions
is about the media one use (and also understanding) to achieve this.

Net.art: is this art in net, or art about net, or hypertext description of
art, or rhetorical dilemma what art in general should be presented in net.
Does it go beyond ugly designed web pages, pure presentation of the canvases
done in atelier, boring pages of ASCII dogmas of “something”, technological
experiments of things never worked and never will (or if working then
simple: 2 web cams and a video beam – with a load of textual explanations),
or it has more aesthetical demands than flash opening intro for nike.com
(although this is a hard topic, therefore I would rather use German word
“kontrolliertes Gestalten”)?

Cyberspace is term coming for the textual description and therefore it is
almost impossible to answer: “if there is a space in cyberspace”, at least
for our brain to translate it to an image so we can really understand it as
space (except for spoiled Hollywood audience in digital SFX sequences in
some movies). That is also a main difference between audience and public
(the audience expects a certain image, and for the public image not present
and so not really relevant). But, 10 years ago, by showing the artists how
surf the Internet, the writers how to use Microsoft Word, and explaining the
architects the possibilities of the 3d software and the computer technology
in general, has been produced a perfect confusion. If you read the work
manifestos of some high profile architectural offices (especially in USA),
you can find them very funny, because they sound like a bad written (or
translated) user manuals of some programs (for example Maya, 3d Studio,

Robbin Murphy writes in a previous posting: “Art students all want to make
Jurrasic Park these days”. Not only art students, but also architectural
students on the first place. Well, the answer is: because it is easy.  It is
nice and sophisticated to swim in a virtuallity (building on the principles
of old Rome), because of its endless patience. Endless freedom of creativity
in a known context.

As for the architecture as so for the art (net art), the time has come, to
produce relevant artistic and cultural content for the future environments.
With one, and crucial, difference that we relay on media theory (und
understanding), and not theory of the reinforced concrete (I hear my
colleges laughing behind my back). This is not a formal issue.

best regards

ivan redi

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