[-empyre-] networked art & the Netopticon

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Jan 20 21:55:01 EST 2011

forgive my bad writing - late night last night reading too much in bed 
rather than sleeping...

> Hi Jon, Alison & all.
> Will get back to you both, with answers for your last post later...
> Apologies for creating yet another thread. I just wanted to try and 
> focus some ideas around networked art & the Netopticon, with the view 
> that the various other parts of the (excellent) discussion threads can 
> continue with their own routes and expansive possibilities also...
> I think what's interesting in respect of your own work, is that it has 
> been around as long as the growth of what we have noted (here) as the 
> Netopticon. And artists working on networks have a particular 
> connection with the technology and how in its distributive nature, 
> possesses a difference than 'singular' object-hood. Many have 
> discussed that copys or reproduction of images, sound, videos etc... 
> on the Internet, challeneges the concept of what has been perceived as 
> 'original'. Yet, I am not sure if this is completely true. Because, 
> out of each creative action occurs a new context and meaning, which 
> comes from the decisions and concepts explored behind an artwork 
> itself. Changing the context of anything gives new light upon any 
> subject, medium or concept.
> In the publication on Autonomedia 'Creating Insecurity: Art and 
> Culture in the Age of Security'. Daniela Ingruber writes "The only 
> reply to today's security mania is the artificial - art. The obsession 
> can be escaped by dismissing the real. Art irritates. Art consists of 
> irregularities. Nothing is so far from security as art; and of all 
> types of the artificial, film is the most peculiar when it comes to 
> security issues: the same technology can be used for both: security 
> and film..." Security Mania: Flim as a tool of healing. Escaping or 
> fighting insecurity. http://www.autonomedia.org/node/101
> So, this leads me to your one of your artworks 'A Short Film About 
> War' http://www.thomson-craighead.net/docs/warfilm.html - from a 
> series of what you call 'desktop documentaries'.
> Mark Cooley wrote what I thought was an insightful article about this 
> work, saying "...given that the user/subject is provided with an 
> impressive enough spectacle to call his or her own. Who is freer (in 
> individualist terms) than one who can virtually see / possess 
> everything? I am a god in front of my screen, but one who's both 
> omnipotent and impotent. With a click I become master of my destiny, 
> but my destiny is not my own."
> Keeping this theme of the netopicon in place; I would be interested to 
> know what you both think regarding the circumstance of  making your 
> art with similar tools as corporations and surveillance groups do, 
> especially in the context of film or video and use of networks?
> Wishing you well.
> marc
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