I am interested in Reiner's definition of "mediation" in the context of the museum. It brings to mind the notion of the "museum as medicine" - - good for our cultural well-being, serving society through culture, but still having a funny after-taste. Museums do not pretend to present themselves as raw, unmediated spaces to show art; they are polished forums in which they attempt to stratify art into many levels, to foster connections between the art and its public - - and they do that thing that they do to bring in their visitors. But museums - the larger ones, and the smaller ones too - have also identified themselves as institutions of "leisure" and fund themselves to support all the marketing/promotion/development that goes into presenting it as a leisure attraction.
What IS the responsibility of a museum to its public now, for net.art? Is it just as a mediation - in its seamless presentation of the work? When the technology fails, the seamlessness is lost. Can we define were the mediation ends and the experience of an actual encounter with [net]art occurs? Is it in the wall text, in the catalogue, and the acoustiguides used to explain and illuminate the exhibition? The website that sometimes substitutes for the exhibition for some visitors? Or, perhaps the mediation is ALL of it - the very inclusion of artists in a big media art show, with the totality of critics and curators and educators that bring it to the public.
In that sense it makes it more complicated for the artists and the institution. At some point, the artist decides that the mediation is not appropriate for the work. The mediation is complicated by all its other functions as an institution of leisure. Artist Paul Kaiser identified himself as "P. Mutt" in Bitstreams due to the Whitney's connection with Phillip Morris, and the byline in the New York Times' "Footlights" section ended with the sentence "Phillip Morris is a leading corporate sponsor of the arts in an era of reduced federal support." There it is - - another Duchampian reference in net.art, but more powerfully, it's on the wall.
Solomon R. Guggenheim
>>> reiner strasser <[log in to unmask]> 03/27 3:14 PM >>>
>If one of the things "large"
> institutions bring to the table is additional audience/press, what is
> the responsibility to the level of discourse? Why do 9 out of 10
> articles about Bitstreams talk about Jeffrey Blake and his "moving"
in my view
the responsibility of 'big museums'
is not only the presentation of art but its
function is also a mediative - to make art
(to be a mediator of/for art - not only an agent of art)
like the artist 'has to' serve the society
the art institutes 'have to' serve the art
(and therefore the society - [thru] culture).