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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  October 2013

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING October 2013

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Subject:

Re: FW frm Howard Rheingold: online art communities - reply to Tweet

From:

Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 5 Oct 2013 07:40:01 +0100

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1982? Again, not my understanding. Here's the Internet Society's web page documenting the beginnings of the internet:
http://www.internetsociety.org/internet/what-internet/history-internet/brief-history-internet ) .

This proposes 1973/4 as the key period, which is pretty much in line with my earlier claim that 1974 was the important date, with the development of TCP on ARPANET. I guess that's what I used when I did some FTP back in the 1970's (the mainframe I was talking to was a military research machine so would have been connected to ARPANET). By the early 80's various network protocols were becoming popular, including CSNET, BITNET, USENET, JANET and NSFNET. TCP/IP wasn't agreed as a universal protocol until 1985/6.

Seems to me there is no clear date when you can say a bunch of different networks became the internet. It was a process of development and quite fuzzy. For me it's the development of TCP that seems key as that really allowed networked data transmission in the form we understand it today.

As for the first art to use the internet (or a network) in its production and/or dissemination? That's a good question which I don't know the answer to. I know that Bell Labs were doing work with ASCII art in the 1960's which was transmitted over fax and other experimental networks (Knowlton, et al). There were also artistic experiments in the 70's with slow scan TV. I often cite Hole in Space (Kit Galloway and Sherry Rabinowitz, 1980) as an early example of telematic art (art using realtime telecommunications systems), followed by the work of people like Tom Klinkowstein (who I did a workshop with in 1983) and Roy Ascott (Plissure du texte, 1983). However, HoS and slowscan were analogue, using either ISDN or fax-like protocols. Hard to define it as net art (recognising that net.art is something else - a specific group of artists working primarily in the mid to late 1990s). According to Wikipedia the earliest internet based work was by Vera Frenkel, titled 'String Games' (1974). If Vera was the first net artist then I can't think of a nicer person to have that historical accolade:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_art

best

Simon


On 5 Oct 2013, at 00:06, Rob Myers <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 04/10/13 01:41 AM, Simon Biggs wrote:
>> To my knowledge the internet has existed as long as we have had the internet protocol.
> 
> That's since 1982, but commercial access to the Internet didn't become
> popular until the late 1980s.
> 
>> People tell me the work I was doing in the 70's and 80's must have
>> been amongst the earliest examples of digital art. However, I was not
>> a pioneer but a third generation artist in the field, with the first
>> generation emerging in the 1950's and the second in the late 60's and
>> early 70's. I was very aware at that time of these earlier examples
>> and took much inspiration from them.
> 
> This raises the question of what *was* the first art to be sent over the
> net (and its companion question, what was the first discussion of it
> online? :-) ).
> 
> I believe a Harold Cohen drawing was sent from California to London when
> Imperial College connected to the Arpanet, for example.
> 
>> Memory is short and the published histories are often seriously
>> wrong.
> 
> Yes. I've been very impressed with CAS's work on British art computing
> history, which tallies with the gossip I heard in the 90s.
> 
>> These historical discussions are always interesting as
>> overlooked pieces of the story are put into the public sphere.
> 
> Definitely!
> 


Simon Biggs
[log in to unmask]
http://www.littlepig.org.uk @SimonBiggsUK http://amazon.com/author/simonbiggs

[log in to unmask] Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/edinburgh-college-art/school-of-art/staff/staff?person_id=182&cw_xml=profile.php
http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/simon-biggs%285dfcaf34-56b1-4452-9100-aaab96935e31%29.html

http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.org.uk/  http://designinaction.com/
MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices  http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php

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