robert adrian on Tue, 21 Mar 2000 03:26:40 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> crush: a response to crash

The name of the game being played seems to be "validation".
Its an old game and has been played for years by curators,
museum directors, collectors and accomodating artists.

Out there in the boonies all kinds of riff-raff are churning
out all kinds of stuff and just dumping it on line and calling it
Net Art (, netart). A deplorable situation - and totally
out of control!

So now we are getting the big institutional juggernauts out -
producing exhibitions that are intended not to encourage the
randomness and variety (dare we say "pluralism"?) of network
creativity but to roll it flat - to iron out the wrinkles and give
it a definition, a name, and pin it to the board. In a word to
"validate" it!

Part of this process are the "panels of experts": critics,
professors, curators, pundits, called together to validate the
validation process in cosy museum-sponsored symposia.

But what if net art (or whatever) isn't art? What if its just
stuff by people who may or not call themselves artists but
are very busy producing/publishing/hacking in the internet?

If there is a definition for this kind of on-line activity then
it is only that, pehaps for the first time, the means of
productioin and distribution are the same ... a work produced
for the net is also prooduced in the net. Moreover it is
produced each time it is called up on a browser (
which means that the recipient of the work also produces
the work. The work is never complete because each viewing
is a new work, determined by the hardware, software,
bandwidth, attention span and environment of the viewer.

The problem for the institutions/museums is that anybody
with access to a friendly server can put anything they want
on line without asking anybody and they can call it anything
they want. The classic validation process could lock out
anything offensive to the institutional/museum aesthetic -
not so with the internet ... at least not so far.


robert adrian
wiedner hauptstrasse 37/69
a-1040 vienna austria
tel: +43 1 504 3110
fax: +43 1 504 4849

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