Robert Adrian on Tue, 1 Apr 1997 17:23:44 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Re: nettime: things?

The discussion is so interesting that just reading it
takes more time than I've got ...

Reply to John Hopkins (Mon, 17 Mar 1997)

While agreeing with everything you have written I would like
to add something about the way new traditions emerge as new
media change the cultural environment or replace older media -
whether it be in art, politics or just daily life ... for example:

Perhaps it is true that the discussion of the name ** is
silly (although entertaining) but It seems to me that,
unlike the art-historical constructs known as"isms", is more
important than it may seem because of the way it challenges the
concept of art-making as a more or less solitary (and product-
producing) activity.

>From the very beginning of the use by artists of Telecomm
technology, (about20 years ago) the problem has existed of
identifying and defining the "work" and the "artist" in
collaborative network projects. The older traditions of art
production, promotion and marketing did not apply and
artists (and especially art-historians, curators, and the art
establishment), trained to operate with and within these
traditions, found it very difficult to recognise these projects
as being "ART" - or as being anything at all! seems to attempt to define an art practice in dispersed
networks and as a form of distributed or collective authorship.
In this way it is a very different program than the usual work
by artists on the net which are mainly advertisments for
themselves, their projects or their galleries - or images of
their work in some other (traditional) medium.

As I have understood the concept, there are no single
"" but a general field (called, for no very good reason,
"") in which a collective work is formed by the project
participants/communicators. can, in this sense, be
understood as an important conceptual formulation in the process
of identifying traditions appropriate to the new telecomm media.
(Other parts of the ongoing Nettime discussion appear to be doing
the same kind of work for sociology, economics and politics)

The similarities with "mail-art" are obvious - and can
probably expect as much feedback from the "art-establishment" as
mail-art got. At least I hope so - it would be terrible if the art
establisment wrapped it in its gorilla embrace!


ps - Just hit the following unsettling info (via T.Baumgaertl) as I
ploughed further down the backlog:

>Press information
>documenta X goes Internet
>documenta X , reknowm(sic) exhibition of contemporary arts, introduces
>the documenta X website on 21 March  1997.

and that after the news that the Whitney is also webbing ...

Is the gorilla approaching ...?

*Art should concern itself as much with behavior as it does with
appearance* - Norman T. White
Robert Adrian

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