No doubt this is the main issue. And most certainly there will ne no agreement on this issue. But that is okay because the goal of this discussion cannot be to find agreement but to read what others have to say and to question and shape one's own view by that. At least that is why this discussion is very interesting to me. It's less about what I have to say but what other's think (and certainly this may turn my loop into a sprial).
So, Charlies three questions have an equally naiv and non-naiv answer: "new media art" has always to be art and cannot not be art, since it is called art. Now we may start or rather continue the eternal exchange on "art". So maybe it is more helpful (?) to discuss the materiality (or immateriality if you prefer) of "new media" in correlation to "art" - this again being the never-ending discussion on technology, craftsmanship, media and their conditions and conditionings in relationsship to art.
And then there are those who say the thought is the art. And they have found their ideal medium in digital logic. And I would say there is no art without media, mediating between you and me. So, what are the conditions of digital logic (formal representation, formal languages, networks, mapping etc etc) for making art, how are the tools part of the work and my experience of it? Maybe we are looking for an exchange on criteria - like, in an equally naiv and non-naiv way - what is "good", and what "not". To come back to the topic of this month: On what level do taxonomies help to understand (describe, access, open, evaluate, offer tools for discussion) and on what level do they hinder communication. (Thank god (or whoever), artistic production is not dependent on taxonomies - though, this is understood as well, artists do respond to taxonomies in intellecutal, artistic, and institutional ways (instituniola meaning: like in program notes, desciptions of their works etc.))
> From: Charlie Gere
> Reply To: Charlie Gere
> Sent: Monday, September 13, 2004 8:23 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: art
> I am glad to see that the word 'art' has entered the discussion, albeit
> in a rather embarrassed fashion. It seems to me that in the main art is
> the term that is least debated, discussed or engaged with in attempts to
> define and delineate what constitutes 'new media art'. I know that for
> many, including I am sure some of you reading this post, the term 'art'
> and all it represents is beside the point as far as new media practice
> is concerned. Nevertheless there is something to be said for thinking
> about such practice in relation to art as a category. Therefore in a
> somewhat naive spirit of enquiry I would like to pose the following
> *Is 'new media art' actually 'art'?
> *If so, why?
> *If not, why not?
> PS Pre-emptive apologies to Lars if any discussion these questions
> provoke ends up in a dusty and boring place
> PPS To prove that I too occasionally actually look at work and in the
> service of providing examples, here are two pieces that I personally
> like, and which also might be relevant to the above questions (though I
> am sure that many of you are familiar with these works already);
> Thomson and Craighead's 'Short Films about Flying' -
> Susan Collin's 'Fenlandia' - <http://www.susan-collins.net/fenlandia>