olia lialina on 24 Feb 2001 01:12:55 -0000

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<nettime> net art history (digest)

Josephine Bosma wrote:

> 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.

Josephine, I don't underestimate your work. The paragraph you refer to is
full of love and respect. And I do enjoy interviews as a genre (I love

But it is a pity that interviews dominate the critics' output.

The interview approach cultivates stars, not ideas. And stars, especially
superstars, can be very lovely targets. You can pronounce them dead
whenever you like. Ideas live longer.

Interviews are easy to read. They catch a moment. They let future readers
touch the past. A picture develops. History's created. But it's a history
of artists' arrogance, self promotion, mood changes.


One interview provokes another. Critique is reduced to updates and data
collection.  I get mail from people writing their PhD, MA, BA in net art
or net culture. They ask questions like this:

- "Mrs. Lialina, In 1997, in your interview with J.Bosma you said: "...",
do you still think the same?"


-"Mrs. Lialina, In 1998, in an interview with T.Baumgaertel you mentioned
that "..." Why did you say that?"

or just

-"What's "Agatha Appears" about?"

It reminds me of an old net artists' statement: "Net artists are their own
museums, curators, CRITICS."

> > 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!

I've a new theory about 3 generations in net art. Will write it soon. (Or
we can have an interview. ha-ha-ha).


integer@www.god-emil.dk wrote:

> nn opinie it = the most intelligent + interessant data outputted by olia
> lialina [second being ascii paparazzi]

natalja, ti stanovish'sa sentimental'noj. ja ne uznaju tebia


murphy@thing.net wrote:

> > But don't you see that net art and net artists changed the
> > landscape of contemporary art? Now, art institutions have to
> > learn to act as nodes (not as a center). And they do.
> Can't see that has happened much from my perch here in NYC.

One day it too will come to NYC.


Pit Schultz:

> to demand now, why not more artists are put into the heaven of
> net-dot-art is understandable but neverteless futile. we speak already
> about the past. of course one can try to overwrite history, by inventing
> a genre of 'artistic software' and neglect that groups like jodi or iod
> for example started a whole "do it yourself - school" of understanding
> code and the visual layers plus its social context as one thing,
> tactically including bits of programming language. an approach now
> very viral on the microsound levels of electronic music.

Yes, very true.


brad brace wrote:

> "ascii paparazzi!" =)). The "classic net-artists" were merely a few of the
> first to (regressively) behave online like our regular
> "make-art-for-museums artists," and sure enough, the whole ol' tired
> insidious art-institutional entourage was quick to swallow the bait. But
> how interesting is that?

That's very interesting! Thank you for pointing that out! I guess we're
witness to a real crash in the institutional art system. Some "regular
artists" developed outside the regular system. It's more significant than
the Dolly the sheep phenomenon. And more interesting than the crop of
"irregular artists" raised by galleries.


Ivan Redi wrote:

> 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 v with a load of textual
> or it has more aesthetical demands than flash opening intro for nike.com?

You've got 6 out of a possible 9 points! It's the highest score of the

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