[-empyre-] 'real' networked art

Ian Clothier I.Clothier at witt.ac.nz
Sat Oct 17 15:34:28 EST 2009

Probably I have missed one or two heartbeats in this discussion, but it would be good to return to the contention that time might be of greater relevance to net art, and digital media context in general.

An abbreviated wish list for context, which will be presented more fully at re:live would be:

1. Context that is current.

2. Context that is media independent. 
Much context to date is dependent on the media that is under discussion however there must be a context on practice that is not limited by media. Everyone knows that net.art is not a category like 'sculpture' but we currently persist in media associated context. 

3. Context that is not necessarily anchored in a sense of place. 
This is necessary because media practice is occurring within, beyond and in-between the art/museum institution and the broader spacetime of social communication media and it’s adjuncts. Social communication media are driving creative possibilities rather than vice versa. 

4. Context that is relevant multi-culturally. Really important in global context, many are all a little tired of Western only context.

5. Context that is shared. Rather than singular contextual identity (Foucault, Baudrillard, Hayles, Manovich) context is provided by several simultaneously (us).

Curt Cloninger posted to the new media curating list a possible framework based on time, which are sufficient to actualise a hybrid post modern, inter-cultural and contemporary context:

"Some scales of speed simultaneously at play in The Art Formerly Known as Time-Based:

1. The time it takes the actual media art object to play out (as Jon Thompson noted -- a decaying sculpture, a perpetually updated data cloud). 
 categorically problematic is aleatoric software (like Brian Eno's "77 Million Paintings") which perpetually runs with enough generative variability to keep from ever "looking" like the same thing twice (although arguably it is performing the same perpetual function at an algorithmic level).

2. The Cartesian clock time that the discrete viewer/user actually spends viewing/interacting with the work in the space (three seconds, 30 minutes, or whatever).

3. The more subjective Bergsonian time (analog, non-digital, qualitative not quantitative) that the discrete viewer spends affectively experiencing the work (could involve personal prior memories, could involve the work coming to mind later after leaving the space). This is related to the Cartesian clock time, but by no means solely determined by it.

4. The time that the entire show or project runs.

5. Archival time -- how the work is archived, collected, subsequently displayed, gradually folded into an art historical canon.

6. The evolutionary time of art criticism and art historical scholarship (and its overlap with philosophy, science, culture theory, etc.)

7. The evolutionary time of an art practice throughout an artist's life.

8. Curatorial research time.

9. Institutional evolutionary time -- the time it takes art institutions to come to terms with and incorporate new media forms (or new conceptual approaches to old media forms).


Ian M Clothier
Intercreate Research Centre

-----Original Message-----
From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Timothy Murray
Sent: Sat 10/17/2009 4:58 PM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] 'real' networked art
>Thanks, Anna, for stressing the internationalism of 'early' net art, 
>particularly its Eastern European and Balkan flavor.  Your post made 
>me think fondly of a project I did in Slovenia with Teo Spiller in 
>99-2000 for INFOS 2000, for which we ran an international net.art 
>competition.   I believe that I've posted before on this, but the 
>conceit was that artists had to agree to permit their work to be 
>copied and disseminated off-line on CD-Roms that were distributed 
>for free both to Slovenian technology fair, INFOS 2000, and to 
>international alternative media centers (with the aim of reaching 
>audiences lacking home high speed connections).   This ended up 
>being a very interesting experiment that generated  widespread 
>international participation.  There's still our account of this on 

>  "Internationalism" was also the driving force of CTHEORY 
>MULTIMEDIA.  I don't think anyone working in these venues were 
>particularly worried about establishing an art ghetto.  Rather there 
>was extreme enthusiasm about working outside of the conventional 
>gallery-museum network with the hope of reaching an alternative 
>audience.  Of course things have become more conventionalized over 
>time, but generally the artists working on these exhibitional 
>efforts tended to be committed to the kind of collaboration that 
>typifies -empyre-.

>  Interestingly, this is the same spirit that has grown the Rose 
>Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, with the majority of the general 
>'collection' having come voluntarily from international artists 
>committed to the communal notion of a new media archive.   I like to 
>think that the spirit lives on.



>Ok - got it!
>Kazys wrote:
><Both High-low/internal vs. Cool/Uncool/transdisciplinarity are 
>reflections of the same transition to network culture.>
>however, I would still ant to maintain that relative to the period 
>in which they ere working, '90s net artists were not necessarily 
>elite. I don't think small or niche = elite. The question of access 
>and mass has taken on a renewed medial push in the age of 'hits' and 
>their registering. This links up to Anne's points about the ways in 
>which search engines produce forms of identity. Likewise algorithms.
>One thing we might be forgetting about that early net art was its 
>internationalism - alot of it came out of eastern europe and the 
>balkans especialy and was very much connected with early net radio 
>and its relations to Dutch net culture. A number of people, 
>Stallabrass included, have remarked on the net art movement as one 
>of the truly international art movements of the late 20th century. 
>For me, this alone takes that work out of some 'art ghetto' and 
>makes it concerned with a lot more than avant-gardism...
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

Timothy Murray
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
A. D. White House
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
empyre forum
empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

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