Re: [-empyre-] Museums (was Re: copyright)

oh no! here too? well eryk i hope that we can keep the rhetoric and
insults back on raw, i'll play nice if you do. if you don't, i wont play
at all. agreed? i'm sorry for dragging all that in here, but here is a
better place to have a resonable discussion on what is indeed a valid
topic. unfortunately, raw doesn't need anyone's martyrdom to be a
caricature, it achieves that all on its own. but that's its purpose, it
is the anything goes arena. as many times as i have unsub'ed from that
list, i've resub'ed - i just love the chaos. but that is another

judging from the lines around the block at the whitney, i'd have to
(respectfully) disagree with your statement that museums appeal to a
very narrow audience.  it has been very much an issue for museums as of
late to increase their attendance, which is precisely why they are
messing around with in the first place. the general public seems
to like quite a bit of it. museums can no longer rely on the rarified
funding sources you allude to, they need to change (a study was
commisioned by the whitney asking people why they didn't go to the
museum more often, and the number one reply was that people didn't know
what to wear). many years ago i had a long discussion with a guy who was
sure that in the future, the "art world" would indeed cease to exist and
in its place would be the simple appreciation of the thought well
thought, the object well made, the ascendance of design. and in many
ways he is right. thats why larry rinder is head honcho curator at the
whitney right now. he takes a fairly populist approach, and comes from a
craft museum.

as far as net art in the museum context, i have to point out three
things, first being that most people don't have the required hardware
configuration to view my work, as well as the work of ben fry, and
indeed much of the many web3d artists on this list. they also don't have
the patience for the downloads and installs. the museum becomes a
convenient access point and outlet. second, that it *has* to be shown in
the museum context for it to gain the respect and appreciation it
deserves, and that respect then creates a level playing field so that
net artists can compete with "other" artists for available resources,
enabling them to make the best work they possibly can. and third,
museums have always been the "cold storage" of culture. the history of
net art has a greater potential to be preserved if it is in the
collection of a museum. i know i'd love to be able to see jodi's first
work again, i don't know if its even possible. if it were in a
collection, i'd have the chance. 

regarding c.paul, she has been fighting the fight since day one, and she
*is* the solution, not the problem. you should have a look at this is an old old web site companion to
a print magazine she published a long while back. she is a pivotal
figure in the very existance the ia site should be getting a
face lift, new content, and a infusion of capital in the not too distant
future, so keep yer eyes out.

i agree with you (as i did on raw) that the endless kavetching about not
getting paid is tiresome, and i'll quickly mention - you didn't hear me
bitch about it. quite the contrary, i pointed out i've paid my rent this
month with speaking engagements alone, and if you didn't already notice,
there is nothing i like more than to blab about my work. i loved "show
and tell" in grade school too. the point being, that for me and many
others, the museums have been an enabling force, not a liability (and
you wont find a more open minded curator than c.paul).

i don't at all dislike the idea of funding independant projects, small
web sites, and personal explorations into the genre of garden gnomes,
and i would be happy to see a serious garden gnome project get funds.
that is indeed (part of) the beauty of the web. i enjoy these bizzare
"fan" sites (for lack of a better word) as much as the next person.
regarding your garden gnome project specifically, you oddly couch it in
terms of a museum, with a select few gnomes represented, but what i want
in a garden gnome site is thousands of gnomes, every damn gnome ever
photographed, gnomes through the ages, with critical texts describing
trends and forces in gnome fashion, with a glossary of pertinant
gnomenclature (sorry couldn't resist that one).

in actuality, 99.9% of "art" web sites that have ever received funding,
got that funding from outside of the major institutions. it has been the
little organizations like thundergulch, creative time, even rhizome, who
have been supporters from early on. these orgs are outsiders, they are
the model you describe. a few of us have pushed into some larger arenas,
and at the moment they don't pay with money but they do pay with
prestige, and that is worth as much as money. pushing higher and harder
only means there will be more opportunities at all "levels" and it only
increases the public's desire to see more and different things, in the
comfort of their homes, or in the museum on a saturday afternoon. in
other words, its all good.

ever the insomniac (god i need a new project).


anges-allés wrote:
> Hi John!
> As far as I am concerned, Museums, and Museums in general, no matter who
> is running
> them, have a problem. That problem is, they appeal to a very narrow,
> limited audience,
> whereas, ideally, is much larger than that audience.
> Art, when placed online, is, as we all know, available to millions, for
> free. All one has to
> do is search out some interesting links. It is open ended, democratic,
> and in many ways,
> a much more beautiful and direct way of experiencing "art" and
> experiences.
> When art that is meant to be viewed in this fashion- is
> presented in museums, it
> loses this democratic element, as well as, in my humble opinion, a good
> deal of it's beauty.
> Now, I say Christiane Paul is partially responsible because she works
> within the museum
> structure which I have come to resent out of my personal convictions
> that is best
> presented without frames, borders, or walls. This isn't a personal
> attack, as you have
> inferred, but rather the result of a wide sweeping generalization of the
> idea of museums
> in general. I think it is important to get over knee-jerk reactions to
> ideas like these and
> look over alternatives to the older methods of display of art forms
> which are radically
> different than the ones we use today. [Rhizome is a hive of knee jerk
> reactions, which I
> am in the middle of taking to a point of explosion, hopefully, in an
> attempt to diffuse the
> mass insanity and politicking which is occuring over there. I'm sort of
> offering myself as
> a stupidity-martyr for the sake of instigating the list to the point of
> caricture. I don't intend
> to spread this behavior onto other lists.]
> Museums are, in many ways, completely obsolete when it comes to
> The network
> that supports is enormous compared to the foot traffic in a
> museum. It is also a
> much more diverse audience than is attracted to a museum. The agenda I
> speak of is the
> system that inspires artists to work for galleries, even though work can
> be presented online
> for dirt cheap, attract an audience easily, etc. But over at rhizome, we
> hear complaints that
> the Whitney Biennial didn't pay its artists enough, yet everyone
> participated. This seems like
> a truly bizarre thing to me, in that artists are basically giving work
> to the exhibition for less
> money than they feel it is worth, simply because of the prestige that
> the museum offers. I
> think this is a poor structure- I am not fond of art that is
> manufactured to achieve prestige
> for itself. The opposite of this is what I had rashly termed "real life
> art," which is art that is
> made independant of museum, gallery, or art world involvement.
> I am a firm believer in the art of everyday life, and I feel this area
> is neglected in such
> exhibitions of "outstanding art." I believe that lawn gnomes are
> outstanding art. It is a very
> subjective choice, rendered by a very few select experts- and I distrust
> anyone who would
> claim this position.
> I have nothing against Ms. Paul personally, but I question the role of
> museums in
> I don't think the Whitney needed to include in the biennial,
> because it co-opts some
> of its vitality. I would much prefer financial aid for the development
> of projects which are
> already in progress, as well as smaller funds to support smaller,
> independant websites
> created by people who enjoy creating art on the web and sharing it with
> millions of people,
> but are not neccesarily indoctrinated or grandfathered into "the art
> world, per se."
> John Klima seems to dislike this idea, and my work, in general. I assume
> this is because I
> believe firmly in independance in, and he works closely with
> museums.
> Everybody loves some sunshine.
> -e.
> John Klima wrote:
> >
> >Melinda Rackham wrote:
> >
> >>>as far as copyright, i'm very loose on the topic. i find the stack of
> >>>paperwork involved when i agree to show a work rather silly, i barely
> >>>bother to read it and sign without a care for the fine print. when
> >>>
> >>i find that scary  - eg siggraph almost seems to want to you to sign you
> >>life away ..
> >>also even GNU General Public License has copyrite clauses
> >>
> >
> >i'm not scared. i've never read a clause that says i grant "exclusive
> >pertual rights of ownership" nor am i likely ever to. anyone who would
> >show "glasbead" or "ecosystm" or "earth" without asking me, is of no
> >importance in the first place. its not like gagosian is gonna download
> >glasbead, burn some cd's and start selling em for a trillion dollars. i
> >wish they would! and if i can't make much jingle from my work i doubt if
> >anyone else can with my work.
> >
> >
> >>>as far as my "estate" i could not care less, i'll be dead and i do not
> >>>intend to have heirs, at least none that i know of, yuk yuk.
> >>>
> >>yeah me neither.., thats why i want it now!!!
> >>
> >
> >good point, though i assume you would know if you had any heirs :)
> >
> >>also ive had lots of mail off-list from artists responding to my earlier
> >>post, but not wanting to do so publicly on the list.  Im wondering is
> >> such a small and fledgling arena still that we are uncomfortable
> >>looking into, or exposing our own practices, cause as daniel points out its
> >>a systematic problem , affecting writers and curators as well.
> >>
> >
> >well, judging from the mud slinging on rhizome today, it seems nobody is
> >particularly uncomfortable about exposing anything.
> >
> >i just have to copy this here cause its just too ridiculous not to pass
> >around, from the mouth of the briliant net artist eryk salvagio:
> >
> >"Christiane Paul is low balling you into little boxes
> >and laughing her way to the bank. She is helping to
> >co-opt the vitality of your work by giving you an
> >agenda, and she is dismissing the work of legitimate
> >art, as opposed to the art-for-order made on demand
> >of galleries or for galleries instead of real life
> >art made for real people to communicate a message
> >or experience."
> >
> >hehe
> >
> >so glad you started empyre list
> >
> >best,
> >
> >j
> >_______________________________________________
> >empyre forum
> >
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

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