thanks for the responses, Josephine and Simon, and after reading the many posts of these past days, it's quite humbling actually, to reflect on what these 'stories of the current era' might mean and where they might take us, how potentially rich and allusive they are. So my hesitation now is diminished, and I want to thank you all for alerting me to some cross-overs and crossings, for example Simon's thinking of the generational and where he would see his work in regards to others before (thanks also for making that book available, 'Remediating the Social' ), Howard's remembering of earlier protocol but also the activist late 80s and early 90s (Online Against AIDS, 1990). Yes, we were working on such an activist event in Houston in 1990, that same moment, i remember it vividly, and one of the alternative spaces where we performed is just now having a retrospective on those activities and performances of that era, and the AIDS Quilt had come to the city too, and I remember working on our performance of Ad Mortem in 1990, not knowing anything of mailists or networked networks and MUDS. But then again, the Quilt operated in a manner of distributed collective activism which was incredibly important, then, in community building, and it worked.
I think what I therefore enjoyed most, from reading you all, are these threadings or weavings that, as Josephine responded to me, are not just about art and net, or netart or new media arts (and its discursive formations, validations, and eventual incorporations, whether museum or book or academy), but online cultures or communities that may use the online as one way of talking to each other or doing things together (Johannes Goebel's description of CROSSFADE makes perfect sense to me: >>CROSSFADE focuses on sound as artistic medium. The purpose of this ongoing project is to contextualize and facilitate access to a diversity of sonic and musical directions, which utilize network technology as an integral part of their production. A curated space, CROSSFADE spans different aesthetic points of departure and integrates visual works with sonic constituents. New approaches towards the specific properties and artistic potential of networks as time-based technology will be at the heart of CROSSFADE, which aims at becoming a meeting-point for artists as well as audiences whose paths rarely cross, be it locally or globally, aestethically or sociologically>> - I think terms of access need to be discussed more, who back in the 1990s was able to access such networks?
and the idea of archiving such meetings, and the correspondence, the writing, the organizational productions and artistic or activist collaborations, is daunting. I was struck by some of you mentioning that you saved/archived your mails,
(I tried to save Netbehavior posts for myself and gave up; I archive empyre list discussions since 2009 and don;'t know why) and Josephine picked up on Simon mentioning it -- addressing this idea of an "archive of mail archives" --- but did you not also warn us, Josephine, that some voices got heard, some got taken seriously, and where do the recorded voices end up, and where the unrecorded ones?
Most daunting to me also the idea - proposed by Charlotte Frost - to append this amazing wealth and meandering puzzle of partial stories and memories to what I assume is already a written art historical book [her forthcoming book, "Art History Online," due out in 2014] - this confounded me a bit, the crowdsourcing happens a f t e r the book was conceived and written? Or is the new book a printed version, and the archival discussion generated here will expand out into some fluid living meta thing including the .ljudmila friends' waybackmachining: would a future arthistory be able to be radically open to what it cannot contain nor adequately comprehend nor waybackmachine?
[Simon Biggs schreibt]
The work of Penny Travlou (part of the ELMCIP project I also worked on) is directly relevant here. She's undertaken an extensive long term (3 years plus) ethnography of a number of net based communities, mainly focused around specific listserv's and their associated communities (like Netbehaviour) but also things like Art is Open Source, the P2P Foundation and the embedded hybrid online/offline work of people like Eugenio Tisselli. She's working on a book on this (probably published in the next year or so) and there will be a long chapter (60 pages plus) in another book, with other texts from the ELMCIP project, coming out the end of this year. If you want to read something sooner there is a chapter by Penny in the Remediating the Social book (which I edited) which you can download here:
This isn't so much history as stories of the current era - but hopefully it will lead to more inclusive histories being written in the future on this topic.
On 4 Oct 2013, at 15:54, Josephine Bosma <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> hello Johannes,
> The titles 'Art History Online' seems confusing because it could mean at least two things: how art historians have used the Internet, and how art has developed online.
> Both do not really seem to be the issue here, or at least they are not for me. To discuss art and the Internet from some sort of 'digital born' perspective alone is very limiting in my point of view. That tends to leave us with discussions of Web art and maybe some software art (browsers mainly) alone.
> Online cultures are important to analyze and discuss though. For this we do need those archives. What the Internet brings to art is not just a big, relatively open network structure, a publishing space, or a dematerialization of objects and bodies. It (more or less) does these things while allowing for or enabling a transformation of art discourses. The Internet is a politically charged space, something which not only unfolds in NSA spying. Politics also come into play in who is taken seriously, whose voices are heard, whose opinions are recorded, where they end up and how they are presented and contextualized there.
> For sure there is more to say about this, please feel free to comment, also you, lurkers. ;-)