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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  2004

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING 2004

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Subject:

Re: Where is Potatoland exactly?

From:

"Dr. Tom Corby" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Dr. Tom Corby

Date:

Sat, 18 Sep 2004 22:59:30 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (167 lines)

*Is 'new media art' actually 'art'?
*If so, why?
*If not, why not?


I don't think it is possible to describe common necessary and present
conditions
for "art" let alone the new media variety, as it is too varied. I think the
closest
we will get is that art (including the new media sort) is a family
resemblance term,
i.e. that different forms of art share no defining common features but are
linked by
a patterning of overlapping resemblences.

>Coming across net art online may be serendipitous - through a zine link, a
>friend sending an deep url urging you - 'go look at this its really cool' -
>how then is the uninitiated to know that it is art -  I mean - if I don't
>come across one of Napier's projects via the Whitney, Guggenheim or SFMoMA
>but serendipitously drop in to Pototaland on the fly.

In response to Susan's problem in describing Potatoland to her audience
I will have a similar one when I present a seminar on art to 1st year
students
next week. In this instance I will discuss Mark Wallinger's "a real work of
art".
http://www.fact-index.com/m/ma/mark_wallinger.html
a work that deliberately problematises the "what is art question" as part of
it's subject matter

Similarly part of what potatoland (and a lot of net art) is about, is a
deliberative playing with
it's status as an art object.  Through it's location in the web it becomes
what Harold Rosenberg called an "anxious object"
something that it shares with much contemporary art, i.e. perhaps we are
asking the wrong questions in attempting
to formulate typologies for new media art per se. Maybe what we should be
doing is trying to tease out
those "family resemblences" across the entire range of art practice that is
inclusive of non-technological forms also.


tom

p.s. a good read on the "but is it art question" is Nigel Warburton's recent
book of I think the same title.




----- Original Message -----
From: "Susan Hazan" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 8:36 PM
Subject: Where is Potatoland exactly?


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.

Yes. my apologies - I am back on Charlie's case.

*Is 'new media art' actually 'art'?
*If so, why?
*If not, why not?

Charlie

But I don't buy Tom's comment . So "yes" new media art *is* "art", if we
say it is because I have a problem with the operative term 'we'.

Coming across net art online may be serendipitous - through a zine link, a
friend sending an deep url urging you - 'go look at this its really cool' -
how then is the uninitiated to know that it is art -  I mean - if I don't
come across one of Napier's projects via the Whitney, Guggenheim or SFMoMA
but serendipitously drop in to Pototaland on the fly. As Gibson said -
there must be some sort of consensual hallucination going on here - in this
case it is not about the Internet but about where net art is taking place
and how is it recognised when one bumps into it.

And in spite of the fact that I can almost see you all shaking your fists
at me - I would like to reopen the discussion on institutional recognition.
(ducking.).

I have been trying to look at net art/new media/whatever through the
paradigm of the Encoding/Decoding media scenario of contemporary semiotics
such as (Stuart Hall 1980) and the institutional practices of production
(John Corner 1983) the moment of encoding, the moment of the text - the new
media act and the subsequent moment of decoding which is just a predicated
on artistic gesture/reception as the first moment of encoding.

My point being if no one tells the surfer he is consuming art he might not
even notice (this is no doubt where some of you are saying . its doesn't
matter) I personally think it does.. Then of course we could get into a
rather drawn out philosophical discussion on 'if a tree falls in the middle
of the forest. etc...  But this is where taxonomies and vocabularies need
to put into place - (Beryl's categories are an excellent starting place)
and I have been trying to do my own list using the three moments of
production, distribution and consumption. (I would love some input here).

Production - performance  -  icons - text - browsers - spam-art
-  e-mail  - software  -  code -  algorithms - video - audio.

Distribution - websites  -  cell phones - discourse
-  CD/DVD  -  performance - chat  -  SMS - PDA's  -  e-mail -   proprietary
software.

Consumption - home - school - galleries -  web-zines - festivals -
competitions - media centres - conferences - discussions lists.

* Of course several of the terms will always appear in more than one
category

My problem with all this free floating artistic practice going on all
around us is that there is now (more than ever) and acute need for
institutional authentication and validation - and this needs negotiating on
both sides of the encoding/decoding paradigm.

Encoding - artistic gesture
Decoding- user recognition

Basically I am reiterating the need for some sort of institutional
butterfly-pinning if we desire to see 'our beloved object' evolve in
festivals, galleries, media centres places where real people actually step
across the doorway and recognise that what they had discovered online in
fact emerged from individuals, or group practices in specific locations
around the world.. I suppose if I really have no choice - I could run a
whois search and assure myself that Cyberspace is made up of real people.

Susan Hazan
Jerusalem/London

"Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of
legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught
mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from
banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines
of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of
data. Like city lights, receding..." Willaim Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)



__________________________________________________________

Susan Hazan

Curator of New Media
New Media Unit
Computer and Information Systems
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
http://www.imj.org.il
Tel: +972-2-6708066
Fax: +972-2-6708077
Mobile: +972-55-550686
[log in to unmask]

__________________________________________________________
No trees were killed in the creation of this message
However, many electrons were displaced and terribly inconvenienced
__________________________________________________________

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