I don't want to hijack Crumb for my own topic since I actually like the idea
of structured moderation for a list like this. But I see there isn't a theme
this month so perhaps we can take some of these questions and give them some
form for a future monthly theme.
on 2/15/03 4:04 PM, - G a r r e t t - at [log in to unmask] wrote:
> what are the Thing doing these days? its been a while since i saw
> anything involving them, their net.presence seems to have diminished!
You may have noticed recently The Thing was involved in a controversy over a
Dow Chemical parody, which resulted in their Internet provider, Verio,
deciding to cut their access for good. I don't know whether Wolfgang has
found another one yet, most likely in Europe, that won't give in to DMCA
TT has been around since 1991 and has never, itself, had much of a
net.presence. It's more of a generator or "animator", if you will.
Since March's theme is "Curatorial Models" that may be a more proper time
to go into the various online curatorial (or anti-curatorial, depending on
your POV) projects based in NYC that I was involved with over the past ten+
years -- TT, ada'web, Plexus, artnetweb, Rhizome, etc. and the problems they
>> I would, however, like
>> to throw out the idea that net art is a critical stance rather than an art
>> form, much the same way as "conceptual art" now is. Can a painting be net
>> art? Sure, why not?
> mmmm interesting stance, i'm not a purist by any means and certainly
> don't hold with ideas that net.art is only ascii based etc but i need
> to think on this one, you've made me hesitate, so i think i'm in
> agreement with you!
Since it's been raining here today I've hunkered down and read through parts
of "Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology" edited by Alexander Alberro and
Blake Stimson (MIT Press, 2000). Only rain could force me to read through
old Art & Language texts but, having done so, I'm convinced that history
does repeat itself, especially art history. So much of net art discourse,
such as it is, is conceptual art discourse. Net.art (with the dot), as
formulated by Vuk and, more so, Alexi Shulgin and others on nettime was
based in this belief of already been there, done that but now we have
computers and modems.
Of course, conceptual art was a big influence on many of us of a certain age
in NYC who got involved with the early '90s (including Wolfgang Staehle, GH
Hovagimyan, Remo Campopiano, Stephen Pusey, Benjamin Weil, Adrianne Wortzel,
Jordan Crandal, myself and many others). Most of us had art careers before
the net and I think we all thought of it as an continuation of our existing
art practice not changing careers. For me, I thought I finally had the tools
to, in Joseph Kosuth's terms, "manifest my intent" in a way I couldn't with
paint and canvas or, for that matter, critical theory.
So, you see, from my POV, it doesn't make sense to view net art as an art
form but, at most, a tool (like theory more than a brush). It makes even
less sense to squeeze net art into an institutional, curatorial category.
But then we get back to questions asked by conceptual art...