hi Sarah and list,
I just had a quick look at this project, which I hadn't done yet.
Some quick comments:
The interface is not cool at all imo, instead it is embarrassingly
missing the mark. Museums creating promomaterial (which this site
basically is) that looks like outdated retro partyflyers for
exhibitions about new media art ... OMG (oh my god), as my 13 year
old daughter would say.
The exhibition in itself seems interesting. It does not seem to
contain any art with immediate online components, which is strange
since the intro does refer to it. However: net art is a very broad
term in my point of view, as you may know. Not all of it needs to be
presented in or even be created for an online environment. Its
connection to/basis in online cultures makes it net art.
The problem is of course that there is no evidence whatsoever that
the curator/organisers have any awareness of this, or that they are
aware of any deeper issues in net art then is shown via the screen.
The words 'screening schedule' below every work in the section 'the
artist and the computer' speak volumes for me. In fact, the words
'screening schedule' could well turn into a future nightmare for net
The idea that art online would die when a net.artist proclaimed it
dead is of course absurd when one knows that this type of work has a
history that started long before net.art even came about, like also
Simon Biggs explains. The dot.com hype had little to do with it,
except create an at times quite undesirable attention for art online.
On the upside this attention took new artists, curators, critics and
audiences to the field. What died (or is comatose) was both the
dot.com.art hype and the ideological cult around net art/net.art.
On Jun 20, 2007, at 12:08 PM, Sarah Cook wrote:
> hi all
> Thanks for your thoughts thus far... what seems interesting about
> this exhibition is how little of it is actually about the net at
> all (never mind the dotcom boom and the death, or not, of online
> art activity)... and if MoMA is rewriting history (which I don't
> think they are), I'm not sure to whose agenda. (They're not
> crediting dotcom boom to a rise in net art, but to a rise in
> technology-based arts, of which net art is one, which this show
> seems to leave out). To be frank, on first glance at the website, I
> can't see anything which ties these five installation works
> together, with the films, and with the 'shorts' programme (and the
> 'artist and the computer' section which also appear to be screening
> based, a mix of animation, film and video... a bit like a
> OneDotZero programme, but with better quality work, though not
> necessarily a stronger curatorial thread. I would argue that very
> few of the artists in the 'Artist and the computer' section
> identify themselves with the field of new media art at all - by
> dint of the fact many of these works have been seen at places like
> the Tate). The presence of anything net is their del.icio.us links,
> so I'm not sure there will be an interface for the web in the
> physical show at all.
> Is it simply a 'range of newly invented art forms' at the expense
> of any history or theme - aesthetic, political, economic or
> otherwise - to bind them? Sorry if that seems overly harsh (I am in
> extra-critical writing mode at the moment!). Is 'ambivalence to
> art'* a defining characteristic of new media art? That could be a
> very interesting debate!
> Also, not to be pedantic, but the link says 'view the online
> exhibition', which I think is a bit generous, as the website --
> super cool looking in a retro Walker Art Center kind of way ;-) --
> is more of an online catalogue, with links to the artists sites,
> than an actual exhibition (i.e. Paul Pfeiffer's work is not
> online). Does it matter?
> *the marketing text on the website reads:
> Now that "new media" excitement has waned, an exhibition that
> illuminates the period is timely. Automatic Update is the first
> reassessment of its kind, reflecting the artists' ambivalence to
> art, revealed through the ludicrous, comical, and absurd use of the
> latest technologies.
> I'll drop an email to Barbara and invite her to comment -
> especially if you all want to start a list of questions (she's not
> subscribed to the list at the moment).... meantime your
> perspectives are very welcome of course.
> On 20 Jun 2007, at 09:08, _manu Luksch wrote:
>>> The momentum of the dot-com era infused media art with a heady
>>> energy, artists,
>>> many switching from analog to digital equipment, tried their
>>> hands at a range
>>> of newly invented art forms.