alexei shulgin on Mon, 17 Mar 97 23:28 MET

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nettime: Net.Art - the origin

I feel it's time now to give a light on the origin of the term -

Actually, it's a readymade.
In December 1995 Vuk Cosic got a message, sent via anonymous mailer.
Because of incompatibility of software, the opened text appeared to be
practically unreadable ascii abracadabra. The only fragment of it that
made any sense looked something like:

[...] J8~g#|\;Net. Art{-^s1 [...]

Vuk was very much amased and exited: the net itself gave him a name for
activity he was involved in! He immediately started to use this term.
After few months he forwarded the mysterious message to Igor Markovic,
who managed to correctly decode it. The text appeared to be pretty
controversal and vague manifesto in which it's author blamed traditional
art institutions in all possible sins and declared freedom of
self-expression and independence for an artist on the Internet.
The part of the text with above mentioned fragment so strangely
converted by Vuk's software was (quotation by memory):
"All this becomes possible only with emergence of the Net. Art as a
notion becomes obsolete...", etc.
So, the text was not so much interesting. But the term it undirectly
brought to life was already in use by that time .
Sorry about future historians - we don't have the manifesto any
more. It was lost with other precious data after tragic crash of Igor's
hard disk last summer.

I like this weird story very much, because it's a perfect illustration
to the fact that the world we live in is much richer than all our ideas
about it.

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