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Subject:

Re: Where is Potatoland exactly?

From:

Murphy <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Murphy <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 18 Sep 2004 17:58:55 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (58 lines)

On Sep 18, 2004, at 3:36 PM, Susan Hazan wrote:

> I have been following this discussion with great interest but there
> has been something nagging at me. The conversation seems to have
> almost exhausted every inroad to net art and new media but the a
> little voice keeps on telling me that this discussion is a bit like
> preaching to the choir. I am trying to put together a presentation on
> intangible art and specifically net art and I understand that the
> audience I will be facing might only have a very vague sense of what
> net art might be. I mean – I can almost hear the question ‘where is
> Potatoland exactly?’ and to be perfectly honest I don’t have the
> answer.
>
>

Hi Susan,

My computer crashed two weeks ago here in hurricane-land and I've been
offline until I obtained another one so I'm only now plowing through
the posts here but I couldn't help myself from responding to yours
first even though I have no idea what the rest of our colleagues have
been chatting about over that time. I hope you will all forgive me my
ignorance and for writing run-on sentences.

We've been at this a long time and so we tend to accept terms like "net
art" when it doesn't actually apply to anything artists are engaged in
right now. While I was cut off I managed to fly to New York City for a
weekend of fun and frolic and talking to my old cronies and I got the
feeling there was a big shift going on. When I left NYC three years ago
I felt as if everything I'd done for the past ten years was worthless.
Now, talking to people there, I feel I was right all along but I have
no idea what I was right about. Part of it seems to be related to the
fact that I've been around so long that I've heard the same questions
being posed over and over again but that is still better than no
questions posed at all.

So, where is Potatoland? The easy answer is that it is Mark's studio,
or an extension of if. At least it was in the beginning. He was a
painter who decided to put images of his paintings on a website and it
went from there because he also worked as a programmer and had certain
skills and a really quirky sense of humor about it all. I didn't see
him when I was in NYC so I don't know what he's been up to lately. His
site crashed on me when I went to look at it but what I saw looked very
painterly and the kind of thing he loves to do. Java applets and
programs.

What I saw when I was in NYC was different and had more to do with
mediology. It wasn't net art, art that only exists on the net, but it
certainly was about networks and technology. What I saw was also
beautiful but more important, very, very, simple and at home in its
environment. I think we may be entering a period where artists have
come to terms with institutional settings and learned to adapt.

Hope this helps, now I'll go back and read what everyone else has been
writing.

Rob

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