I would like to point out that my initial posting from the hip regarding
Leonardos copyright policies was not directed against Leonardo in
particular in any way. I totally respect the history and evident quality
of this medium, and I am greatful for Roger's explanations. So maybe in
the future I will submit an article if the same piece would still be
allowed to circulate freely on the net.
However, the turn the discussion then took, recently being about
citation metrics, shows a problem which remains unsolved even if
magazines like Leonardo commited themselves to a dual strategy. In the
eyes of the academic establishment only those texts count as 'published'
which have been published in those 'enclosed' peer reviewed journals. If
you are not publishing there you don't exist. This has real consequences
when you have to deal with funding bodies such as the AHRC with whom I
had only the worst kind of experiences. I have been making media art
work, curated shows and written and published for 25 years but in the
British academic system I am a nobody, an unwashed central european who
writes awkwardkly shaped sentences.
The introduction of a formal citation metrics would only make things
worse and the moment my personal validation and wellbeing depends on
sharks such as Thomson Reuters I am out of here.
Extending such a system to artistic production would be an absurdity.
Who measures what in which way? For instance, in media art very often
the artists do not possess the necessary skills to carry out a work,
they need to hire technical people. If such a work gets exhibited now,
who gets the points? Often the technical people dont even get mentioned.
the golden Nica for Carnivore should maybe have been given to the
authors of tcpdump (command line network sniffer)
For the British acadmeic system it is a big problem that quality in art
can not be measured. So lets not try to do it.
Except maybe as a joke. I had this idea ten years ago but never carried
it out, so it is up for grabs. Its called Net art Futures and you can
invest in the future success of a net artist. You can also trade your
futures with other investors. To make this possible a widespread
monitoring system would have to be installed whereby artists can fill in
the information themselves: group exhibition 3 points, solo show 5
points, Biennale 10 points, mentioning on mailinglist 0.5 ;-) etc. The
excess money generated through this trading activity would go to artists
then as a subsidy, so artists have an incentive to keep their file up to
Well, by now most of those derivatives would be penny stocks I am
afraid. But if a citation metrics had been in place in the early 1940ies
the reputation of a certain L Wittgenstein would also have been very
poor. The guy only published one short book, the Tractatus, and nothing
else afterwards. By the standards of metrics fetishists he would have
been a total failure
On Wed, 2008-05-14 at 09:24 +0200, Ken Friedman wrote:
> Hi, Simon,
> This is a significant challenge, but not unsolvable. Australia is likely
> moving to metrics, so we are wrestling with this here, too, or we will be
> The challenge would be to establish a metric that works for creative,
> exhibiting and performing arts. Just as peer review takes place at the
> journal level in publishing metrics, something similar happens in the arts
> already. The question is how to formalize it.
> Without saying that it is perfectly possible, the late Dr. Willi Bongaard
> did something much like this with his Kunstkompass, and the kind of system
> he used could easily be expanded.
> Just about to dash, so I won't answer Roger's note (got to think!) or your
> reply, but I will say that in visual art, at least, it seems very difficult
> to avoid the influence of the market. I do not like that fact -- but then,
> observe that very few artists turn down a sale or make career moves that
> will harm their market.
> One reason I like having a day job is the fact that I have always been
> free to follow my interests as an artist. The corollary is that there have
> been times when I am quite visible followed by times (often long) when my
> work vanishes from the public eye. My day job as -- first as a management
> professor, now as dean of a design faculty -- also insulates me from the
> pressure that I would feel as a teaching artist whose university required
> to emulate the market through some form of evaluation. Reputation is also a
> market factor, at least when reputation is linked to job, promotion, and
> Whether market forces or metrics, peer review or making your living another
> way, Bob Dylan had it right: We've all got to serve somebody. I've chosen
> service in a different line of work as the price of freedom from the
> that other artists serve.
> But on the issue of metrics, allowing they are hard to avoid, I think we
> could well develop a metric scale for creative, performing, and exhibiting
> Warm wishes,
> On Tue, 13 May 2008 09:21:48 +0100, Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >For artists and arts institutions who are engaged in (and whose academic
> >jobs are to a large measure justified by) research this will make an
> >interesting challenge. If the role of peer review in the UK research
> >evaluation exercise is diminished or replaced by a citation index how will
> >the current system, where artefacts and exhibitions can be evaluated as
> >research outcomes, function? Is this the end, in the UK, of recognising
> >creative arts and their native modalities of outcome as research (as
> >to research about the creative arts)? If that is the case then numerous
> >initiatives that many of us here have engaged with, including things like
> >CRUMB, will be potentially compromised.