AdC observes that the *life* of a net.artist is approximately
three years, javamuseum's own was four. Is it better to burn out
than to fade away? Is that what has happened to javamuseum?
He says in his post:
I would call me an active and critical observer of the "net art
After JavaMuseum published meanwhile really a lot of "netart"
features, I personally still doubt, that "netart" represents an
art genre of its own.
It is still not accepted widely as a specific form of New Media
artworking, not even the term "netart" is defined in an
approximately acceptable way, and it is going round continously
in circles, as the active artists and their working remain in a
kind of ghetto,
Hmmm - acceptable definitions. Acceptable to whom? Against what?
For the many net.artists the difficulty in the definition of the
term continues as one of it's most attractive qualities.
I'm intrigued by the use of the word *ghetto*. If AdC means
[is this what is outside the ghetto or just other ghettos?]
then yes, net.art could be a ghetto. Yet, couldn't it be said
that every genre is/was developed and practiced (at least
initially) in a physical, social or cultural *ghetto*. You might
argue that a single genre or movement will always be a minority
[ghetto] in the wider context of 'art'. The *ghetto* of net.art
may be virtual but there is little other significant difference
in its continuing development of an 'ism' or a 'something-art'.
An artist might long for personal acceptance of their work,
acceptance by *the institutions* but to despair of there ever
being acceptance of a whole genre seems (as Simon suggests)
and what is most important, due to the fact that "netart" as it
is practiced currently, represents only an intermediate phase in
nearly any art working,
I'm afraid here I think AdC has brought into the myth that
net.artists have always been totally exclusive to the net or that
the medium starts and stops at the modem. I suspect that this
has been partly aggravated by *our* current need to historicize
net.art and a prevalent metahistory that artists of the 'Thames
and Hudson heroic age' worked without any other context or
extending practice other than the net. Both recent discussion of
practice and the search for definition indicate that it is more
apparent than ever that a dialogue with the net extends far
beyond what fits in IE or safari.
For me, the suggestion that the net is solely an intermediate way
of working digitally is akin to the suggestion (for example)that
drawing is solely an intermediate media to painting. If I am
talking with a painter I do not assume that they have 'abandoned'
drawing in favour of painting simply because I may not have seen
their drawings in a gallery. Neither do I assume that for a
painter, drawing was only an intermediate practice, which led to
them becoming a painter. Conversely I would not assume that if an
artist whose primary media is drawing has somehow 'not
progressed' because they do not paint. Why is it so tempting to
apply these ridged boundaries to digital media?
For many artists the net remains either their primary media or a
necessary one. There simply remains too much potential for the
net not to constantly re-engage artists who enjoy digitality. It
is addictive and flows into and out of other areas of practice.
Rather that being seen as an intermediate phase I would suggest
that many net.artists see the relational space between the net
and [.] art as wider than simply being online. Tom Corby's
(quoting Peter Weibel) comment that artists operate in
"interdisciplinary and intercultural contexts" is as true as it
has always been. The ambition of net exclusivity has rather (I
would argue) been a dilemma for many theorists committed to
applying fomula to define genre rather than to the artists who
have rarely demanded such a monogamous relationship.
in this way, there is no real continuous art working possible
which wouldbe able to explore the entire potential of the
Internet for artistic purposes and look for the innovative, and
an artist generation of "netart" does not last longer than two or
Personally, I cannot think easily of any established net.artist
who has been practicing for less than three years. Perhaps we all
died after three and we just carried on working like Professor
Binns in Harry Potter:)
Those artists who are continuously working net based, however,
confirm only this general impression.
Of course, net based art has currently not the potential that an
artist could earn his living by selling an artwork, as there is
no market, and I doubt there will be any market ever due to the
rapidly changing net environment. So, the motivations to
explore seriously and continuously what net based art could
represent, are existing for most artists only during a kind of
intermediate state. <snip>
Unless (of course) the ambition has never been solely to sell a
net.based artwork. It does seem that AdC appears to be suggesting
that artists are fundamentally career [sales] driven and that if
it is not possible to make money from a genre then one should not
explore it for too long. Does a painter only paint secure in the
knowledge that they will be able to be self-supporting solely on
their painting? Every sculptor? Every musician? We all hope and
dream but I would say that all artists live with the reality that
even with talent, hard work, and desire - nothing guarantees a
*career*. Does that mean we all give up and move on to other more
Most artists have (and always will) accepted that a much as they
would like to (and hope to) be paid and/or sell what they do,
the reality is that most will either have to make things which
are *seen* as commercial as well (to support what is *seen* as
not), teach, fill in 1000 grant applications per annum, work in a
bar, make their artwork when then kids are asleep/in lunch-hours,
deliver pizzas or at least marry well...
(delete to taste):)
Of course, this was only a brief view on facts and arguments, but
from my personal point of view the current structures of "netart"
have, if any perspectives at all, only short term, but no long
term perspectives, and remain therefore in a really desolate
This statement saddens me. I hope it is symptomatic of a burnout,
which will recover in time. I see so much work around on the net
(or in dialogue with the net) that is dynamic, engaging and
challenging. If AdC or others cannot see it, I can only guess
that they have just become too tired to go and find it. Sadly, it
does still require so much effort to find many these artists.
This is becoming harder as net traffic increases and pages drown
under comparison shoppers and e-z-searches but the artists are
there. Having fun, creating AND looking forward. Perhaps, just
not in the javamuseum...
Date sent: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 10:08:16 -0500
Send reply to: Myron Turner <[log in to unmask]>
From: Myron Turner <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: "Netart", definings
To: [log in to unmask]
> A rather despairing post arrived this morning from Wilfried
> Cologne, who most of you will know as the organizer of
> has clearly committed an enormous amount of energy, time and
> this project but has decided to call it quits and for reasons
> apropos of our recent discussions