Cornelia Sollfrank on 17 Jun 2001 18:29:08 -0000

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Re: [oldboys] rere: obn@venice : say it with flowers!

dear helene,
dear all,

first of all thanks for your comment which gives me and the other venice boys the opportunity to give some more background information. of course, i am very sad that you evaluate our action just as weak. here comes more information in order to give you the opportunity to rethink your very severe judegment.

>as one of the old boys who did not show up at VENICE I'm relying on the I miss
>the names of the obn members who take responsibility of the flower act.

responsible persons were:
Julianne Pierce, Francesca da Rimini, Cornelia Sollfrank supported by Verena Kuni.

>May "say it with flowers!" be intended as a critical or cynical act the
>gesture is naive and weak. >

>Additionally the copying of Vuk Cossic's gesture at the opening of
>"net.condition" at zkm is not very funy. 

At this point you mix and misunderstand some things:
We do not COPY vuks gesture at the zkm. he had put down the flowers under the browser by jeffrey shaw, because this piece of work as the whole net.condition show in general was the symbolic death of (in vuks opinion) that's why he made the gesture with the flowers. one of the main characteristics of before 1997 had been, that it was completely independent from the traditional art (market) system, because it did not just function on a new medium but because this medium was at the same time it's means of distribution. the crisis started with documenta, showing for the first time at the world's biggest and probably most influential art show and Extension, the first international competition by a museum. since then the community is facing an enormous identity crisis which is caused, in my opinion, first of all by a lack of COMMON reflection upon this problem.
i am working and thinking exactly about this for many years now and also made some significant comments upon this (see i.e. furthermore i published a text in 1998 (the 'seven questions on' publ. by bollmann vlg. where i make (amongst other analysis) a call for the net.artists' manifesto. my last effort to start a discussion not just ABOUT but WITHIN this former community was a session at the LIQUID HACKING LABORATORY last september in Nuernberg ( which was in this respect not very successful, as most of the artists simply deny that the interface between and traditional art system might be problematic, or they escape the problem by regulary announcing that they have retired now (at least until the next show comes up).

i can imagine that for people who are not involved with this might be of little or no interest and that's why it might look from outside like a purely self-referential thing, but i am still driven by the very strong belief that the subversive potential of is not exhausted yet. we simply shouldn't sell our asses to cheaply to the art system, or resign too early. 

and to clarify another thing: i would never say that anybody should NOT take part in a good show, in contrary, that's what all artists want and should do, the bigger the better. but you should clearly think about the system you are confronted with and what your expected role there is. and if you simply want to play it, or if there is something else you feel better with. remember obn@zkm? and regardless of all dissent within obn, one of our main COMMON points was to be and stay aware of (power)structures as a starting point of all political thinking. 

pls. try to see our 'mind the flowers' comment within this broader cyberfeminist context as well as in the context of the discourse i have elaborated on above. then you will hopefully find out, that this obn action was not weak, but more intended to 'awake' somebody to something...

>It victimizes obn while giving the impression of
>an envious obn because obn was not invited to participate in venice.

imagine, vuk was not invited himself, he curated an autonomous pavillion. anybody can do that! and i have to say, this is not a bad idea, because the whole art world seems to gather in venice. you have the perfect audience. so, if you have to say something to the world, go to venice and make an autonomous pavillion. some obns are seriously thinking of that, too. don't be envious! just invite yourself:-))

and, btw. the bouquet was there, indeed:-)) 

reg. miss.gunst: pls. ask verena kuni to explain more detailed her net identity.

best, cornelia

:::::"A smart artist makes the machine do the work"::::::::::::::::::::::::
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:Cornelia Sollfrank | Rutschbahn 37 | 20146 Hamburg | Germany :::::::::::::

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