nullpointer on 21 Feb 2001 16:06:32 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Re: net art history

>> the party's nearly over..
Some think is dead...
whether it is or not is of course a question of perception and semantics.
However I feel that there is no doubt that the "golden age" of reveling in
the creative freedom of a new media is over. No longer can we hold up the
medium as the sole validifying factor of an art work. The many modes of
pratice that have been explored since was born will become just part
of a more general syntax with which we value,critique,record and enjoy. Like
any new medium it carries its own intrinsic forms and aesthetic, and like
any medium it is in flux, it's own boundaries redefined with each new
refrain or impact.
However too much grey change from one form to the next and too many shouts
from a swelling crowd is not good for history or for theorists.Critique and
theory needs reliable subjects and consistency of source material.
Unfortuanately this need for definable boundaries increases in inverse
proportion to the knowlege of those documenting them.
ASCII Paparazzi.
. Anyway, the biggest problem net art journalists and observers
have is that we are too few with too much to do.
In a sense I agree, yet I feel that often the (ASCII Paparazzi as olia puts
it) are the majority,
writers and theorists who are caught up in the tide of
because it is "new" ,"fashionable","looks good". The newmedia/net world
implies progression and forwardthinking intelligence, evolution and
transgression even before you begin.
I have been to countless seminars and conferences where the conversation is
all too backslapping and uninformed, demystification and real dissection
often takes a back seat to eulogy.
Interviewers ask artists about themes or subject matter that the journo has
written about and therefore insists lies within the peice even if the artist
denies it outright (yes there is a discussion of author/viewer e.t.c. but it
doesn't make a very interesting conversation.)

Don't even get me started about institutions, 2 years at the Tate, managing
a healthy portion of their online arts projects again brought me to many
unexpected and sad/happy conclusions about the state of play in the

so soon it will be time to leaf through the litter
>> and pick up the bits that are worth keeping for the next party,

I am hoping that the crossover will do the weeding...We can already see how
some "classics" were never classics an the first place. Perhaps the harsher
scrutiny of the institutions and of the history makers will, in it's own
way, refine the qualities that make some real contenders.
I'm not being negative, I really think that this is a good thing, because
I've seen too much weak work trophied, work that in any other medium would
never have made it out of the box. It will also make greater demmands on the
documenters, the journalists, not to be ASCII paparazzi, but to help form a
more thought-out history, from more than emails, screens and macromedia

C:\REM [Header]
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