Francis Hunger on Mon, 1 Jul 2019 20:50:11 +0200 (CEST)
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Re: <nettime> Has net-art lost political significance?
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- Subject: Re: <nettime> Has net-art lost political significance?
- From: Francis Hunger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2019 20:45:54 +0200
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A bit more
detail about why I'm asking this
currently writing about various
tactical and activist practices in
the wireless space, including
software-defined radio communities
who are reverse-engineering,
hacking, sniffing and jamming
signals, communities and activists
who are building communal Wi-Fi
and cellular networks and artists
making work in or about the
politics of the wireless spectrum
– who owns it, how it’s controlled
and so on.
I think exceptional work in the early 2000s was
done in the Acoustic Ecologies and Acoustic Space series by
rixc.org and Rasa and Raitis http://rixc.org/en/acousticspace/all/.
HMKV Dortmund saw the Waves exhibition
feeling a bit paralysed.
these works; I love their
inventive materiality and the ways
that they exploit and
reverse-engineer existing systems,
but I don’t know what claims I can
make for their political impact.
And yet I feel that this work is
still very worthwhile.
It may simply be the case that artists have
notoriously overstated the possible impact of their
works/research. Which makes sense against the historical
context: During the late 1990s and early 2000s "Internet" was
still something new and not part of overall discourse and
academic discourse, so it was relatively easy for artists
tapping in or creating a certain discursive field that appeared
to be "avant-garde" at that time. This possibility to create and
direct discourse slowly evaporated with capital on the one hand
and academia on the other joining in, and re-shaping the
discoursive field towards "the digital" as we know it today.
Claims of impact may also have been made to simply
get funding, since one of the tactics of tactical media was
getting public or private funding, since the works were not
being sold on the art market. So no income from Basel.
Already early on there has been internal critique
against certain claims that (some) media art made. Personally
for me the most important intervention was Alexei Shulgins 1997
proposal against "interactive art".
and I wonder, if similar critique of tactical media was around
at that time. I think so.
All in all it never has been an undisputed field,
and you feeling paralysed may be just worth to follow. One of
the results of this kind of critical inquiry may be to look more
precisely into the claims that AI based art makes today.
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