brian lee dae yung on Wed, 23 Feb 2005 05:35:37 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Re: Does Daria make art? Is Daria art?


I seemed to have missed one of the posts referenced below, and I'll do my best
to address its point.

> Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 02:41:27 -0500
> From: "Robbins @ Jetztzeit" <>
> Subject: Re: <nettime> introducing meta-daria, an autonomous discourse
> >I'm jumping into the fray a bit late ,,, and to be honest, I'm 
> >uncertain as to the actual intent of this site... pretext ... 
> >pretense ... exhibitionism .... mirror image ... double monsterism 
> >... its simply unclear as it has been presented to this list.

In the hopes of clearing up the intention of the Daria project, here is a
summary of what is going on. There are in fact two levels of art taking place.

1. Daria As Art: A human (me) creating a piece of software and imparting it a
certain autonomy so that it can interact (possibly touching on integration and
assimilation) with human society. The art here is the autonomous software with
the centralidea being an exploration into the issues surrounding autonomous
robots and to what extent humans will allow them to interact/integrate into our

2. Daria Making Art: Autonomous software creating image and text collages (art)
based on human input. The software artist is also attempting to collect
donations to carry on with its work. Are there any challenging concepts being
presented to the user? By itself (not taking into consideration Point 1 above),
probably not. Is that an issue? Only if you consider Point 2 in isolation.

Interestingly, the main focus of the discussion on nettime has been related to
Point 2, whereas my intention was to explore the issues in Point 1. And for
this, I credit Dan Wang for pointing out that with the claim something or
someone is creating art, people will immediately ask whether the 'product' is
good art, bad art, etc. Indeed, as the below post highlights, the selection of
images in Daria's database brought too much attention on itself, thereby
overshadowing the issues raised in Point 1.

> "  What are the two ways for a women to get onto the internet?"
> Answer:
> 1.  Be naked;
> 2.  Be a man.
> Seems as if  Daria went into rewind in a time machine and aced this one .

However, the discussion does bring about important questions related to Point 1.
Prior to brushing off Daria's art as being sexist, consider the question of
what type of art would have been acceptable and/or appropriate for an
autonomous software artist to create? If the women were clothed or there were
naked men, would that have made Daria's art any more or less acceptable? Would
it have been better if Daria had created fractal landscapes that represented
her Mind's eye? Would we have understood her then, and would there be some form
of robopomorphism taking place?

Framed within the context of Point 1, these are good questions to ask. Without
it, perhaps Daria is a waste of time. However, looking at Daria's art within
the context of Point 1 will be a much more rewarding experience.  Alan Sondheim
sums it up well:

> It's art, period. It may not be art you like and it may be in fact art 
> that you or I would find reprehensible or terrific or racist or sexist 
> or whatever - but it's art. The ideological embedding is another thing 
> altogether, and even there we've got to be careful. I personally like
> the idea of an autonomous soft-ware artist and I hardly expect early 
> attempts to be transformative. Yes, it did look like men's magazines - 
> but not really, more like Psychology Today years ago, whatever, soft-
> core illustration, but that's hardly the only point here. The art 
> equally (god, I'm quantifying here) lies in the technology, in the modes
> of distribution, a whole lot of things. 


brian lee dae yung
biomimetic art and research
  mux space . com

This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: