|Benjamin Weil on Wed, 11 Mar 1998 08:47:15 +0100 (MET)
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|<nettime> funding for the arts etc.
Further to the multiple postings of last week in reference to the termination of adaweb, I was initially inclined not to go back into what quickly began to look like a snake pit, as i thought there was no relevance to create more unnecessary turmoil. However, Mr. Byfield's postings have encouraged me to step in for a last time, and clarify a number of points here. 1/ part of adaweb's founding mission was to explore possible alternatives as far as funding for art on line was concerned. John Borthwick and myself believed it was important to consider the landscape, and figure out a way we could derive an economic model for a type of art production which was no longer unique (no commodification possible here!) and whose only existence - so to speak - was virtual. the idea was to be able to commission works, and compensate the artists we invited to work on those projects. possibly a utopian vision, one might say. 2/ looking for alternate means of support was partly informed by the difficulty experienced by colleagues who sought to get public funding for their activities, and the fact that we wanted to fully concentrate on producing those works, rather than having to find work for hire contracts. (for the prompt to fire insults, i will here state very clearly: this is *not* by any means a value judgement, but just reflecting a choice to try and do things differently). Furthermore, it was my belief that the development of the web would be an extraordinary opportunity for art to desegregate itself, and (re)gain a central position in the ambient cultural discourse and practice. Both John Borthwick , the adaweb team and myself believed that exploring the dynamics and pushing the limits of the medium with the artists we produced work with, as well as the ones we hosted the projects of, was an important thing to contribute to the net. it was one model among the many that were - and still are - being developed. 3/ working with corporate money was assumed to be one way of dealing with the absence of public funding. however, rather than knocking at the corporate door asking for "charity" money, we thought we could convince them that art could be a valuable asset, as artists have always been cultural forerunners, and that in that sense, it could be understood as a form of creative research which could make them understand better the medium they were investing in, and draw attention to their corporation as being innovative. to conclude, i must admit that the extreme violence of certain protagonists in this discussion surprised me: i guess that anyone who is not perpetuating a certain position of hatred vis a vis corporations, anyone who tries to find different ways to do things, tries to posit the problemsdifferently is just a criminal who needs to be immediately punished. and btw, those of you who feel that artists should remain "pure" and "independent" (like there is of course such a thing as independence, we all know that, right?) you will be happy to learn that yet another web site was just closed, another "corporate teat sucker"! word.com, another site was trying to do things differently, was nixed. i would finally like to thank Robin Murphy, Ted Byfield and Michael Samyn for attempting to refocus the conversation outside of the snakepit it proved to turn into. Benjamin Weil | 212 620-7288 x.104 --- # distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission # <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism, # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets # more info: email@example.com and "info nettime" in the msg body # URL: http://www.desk.nl/~nettime/ contact: firstname.lastname@example.org