Cornelia Sollfrank on 21 Feb 2001 17:12:43 -0000

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

hi all,

it is interesting to see what issues trigger response and create a
discussion on this mailing list. i have to say that i am very pleased to
see that it is art. (that the discussion mainly refers to / resp.
it's /death is very limited und little productive.) some years ago nettime
was accused of being a hostile environment for artists/art discussions.
this was the reason why most of them/us left at a certain point and opened
their own list/network/environment. 

now it has become an issue to reflect upon what actually has happenend in
this field in the last years. and this discussion takes place on, amongst
other venues, (verified) nettime, again. obviuosly, this is still/again a
platform where enough people gather who did not give up, resign, and stop
thinking and acting, although we all have learned the lesson meanwhile: the
net would not change the world in the way we had wanted to, in the
opposite! and, of minor relevance, the net would not change the
fundamentally profit-driven and corrupt art system.   

i am not sure if net art(ists) ever had 'promised' such a thing, or if it
more had been a wishful projection. anyway, there was/is an enormous
subversive potential in the net which untermined/s art-system-parameters as
(identifieable)(individual) authorship, (finalised) piece of work, white
cube-ism, purchaseability etc. there are/have been various
(serious/playful) ways to handle this potential. 

but even these individuals who have connected to the art system with their
names, pieces of work, museum/gallery presentations and sales (very few)
are confronted with the fact that, so far, no adequate ways of presentation
could have been developed for the white cube, and that the selling of pure
data (what 'net art pieces' mostly are) leaves the art market quite
helpless. this gives evidence for the subbornness which lies in the
artistic use of the medium. the fact that some high-end works have been
commissioned by museums, or that serious efforts are being made to collect
net based works does not mean at all, that net art per se could have been
integerated into the system. 

but this is also the reason why net based art has been developed further,
in more art system adequate formats, as there are various kinds of
installations, starting with sculptural "browers", going to
pleasing/colorful data projections, and a range of re-materialisations of
data. this is probably the most promising (and, of course, a very boring)
way to become a professional 'net artist'.

i also agree with pit's elaborations in many points. i.e that we generally
underestimate the value of the net-based works, and that their relevance
has to be seen within their historical framework. 

now is now, and not but even if it has no name what is happening,
and even if the general implementation of 'a new art form' did not take
place, there is endless ways to go on with resistant and subborn, political
and aestehtic practices. the informational sphere is still quite
unprotected, and we have powerful tools. ..."continue working in the

best, c.


::::::::::::::"A smart artist makes the machine do the work":::::::::::::::::::
:::::::::::::: generator:::::::
 Cornelia Sollfrank  |  Duncan of Jordanstone University |  Dundee |  Scotland 

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