[-empyre-] Is the Internet like a Medium of Art?

gh hovagimyan ghh at thing.net
Tue Apr 8 23:35:12 EST 2014

Recently I did a "Post Browser" piece <http://nujust.net/~nublog>. It  
harkens back to earlier net.art works such as netomat or Jodi.org.  I  
look at the internet as both a medium or vehicle and material. The  
material is the information that is on it. The medium is the networks  
that transport the material. It also has the properties of a global  
mythos that transcends and/or absorbs local associations. The  
internet can be both a subject and and object.  Or rather you can  
hold both a subjective and objective viewpoint at the same time. I  
agree with Daniel's discussion of the qualities inherent in the  
internet. I also like to physicalize my new media art bringing it  
into a hybrid balance with the real world.

On Apr 4, 2014, at 1:45 PM, Daniel Herwitz wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> One has the sense that the internet is no more a medium than  
> language is. Language may become poetry, prose, screenplay, blog,  
> scholarship, essay and so one, it is irreducible to any given  
> medium or genre. The internet is, one might think, similar. One can  
> put anything up there, design a website every which way, from  
> curated images to pure text to any imaginable coordination of word,  
> image, projection, in any form of simultaneity or narrative. The  
> limit is merely the technology, which is immensely capacious. But  
> there are ways in which the internet is like a medium: it  
> derealizes whatever is uploaded from all traces of physicality. The  
> aesthetics of the nineteenth century according to which it was  
> necessary to view the cathedral of Chartres in early morning when  
> soft light bathed its facade in golden haze, and then inside at  
> midday when the summer light of midday illuminated its stained  
> glass windows in deeply saturated green, blue, purple, and red, in  
> order to know the art and aesthetics of the cathedral, when the  
> aura of place was supervienient for the aesthetic imagination,  
> simply evaporate, turning the artwork on the internet into a  
> dimensionless, placeless, strange thing, at once ghostlike and as  
> banal and ordinary as morning email. Images on the internet are at  
> once abstracted, and consumables, and this means that certain kinds  
> of media fare quite differently on the internet than others:  
> paintings uploaded as images lose all materiality, sculpture the  
> same, film projection loses size but retains one dimensional scope,  
> performance (whether skyped, taped or crowd-sourced) happens in an  
> encomium wholly apart from the theatre. The internet may not be a  
> single medium but it is a clear filter which filters distinctive  
> kinds of art media quite differently. This means art communication  
> on the internet is at once a loss and a gain, and needs to take  
> cognizance of that. The important thing is to try to create art  
> that will not degenerate into a mere example of another website of  
> millions, on which people click for a few seconds between clicking  
> on everything else. How does one retain the quality of absorption,  
> uncertainty and intensity associated with the aesthetics of the  
> nineteenth century, that is, associated with seeing art in its  
> place (Chartres) and for a long time. How long is enough, and how  
> intensely?
> -- 
> Daniel Herwitz
> Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor
> Department of Comparative Literature
> University of Michigan
> 2012 Tisch Hall
> 435 South State Street
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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