(found and fucked with, in reference to the post below)

Since it kills Sally to link to the pissy rhizome threads, here's a link to Artfagcity who gives a comparative overview of the recent Net Aesthetics 2.0 panel discussion at the New Museum.

- L.M. 6-13-2008 2:10 am

Sorry about the pissy Rhizome threads.

I want to talk about these issues over there but argument keeps escalating into shoutfests.
- tom moody 6-13-2008 4:12 am

Did anyone question why it had to be a panel discussion at a specific venue?
- L.M. 6-13-2008 5:35 am

If you mean during the panel itself, no.

I think as Paddy said it was continuation of the first panel in 2006.

The idea is to meet in "real space" and hash some things out.

The panel itself was fairly sanguine. I thought it went well, people had fun, etc.

There were arguments but no anger or name calling.

I was taken aback by the "post mortem" the next day and haven't found the right tone to deal with that attack.
- tom moody 6-13-2008 5:44 am

I don't go to Rhizome very often. Whenever I do, the navel gazing is enough to keep me away for the next few years. It's sad that net art seems to draw such petty advocates.

I liked this bit from Vijay Pattisapu's post of June 8, 2008 12:41 pm

"What I love about discussion on Rhizome -- or at least the direction that I perceive that it's going -- is that it's one of the few critical spaces where people recognize technologies as (en|dis)abling certain strategies for the artist, and not as the strategies or value-expressions themselves (like some museum critics are wont to do (e.g., "[X] uses social web technologies and therefore embodies postmodern values," etc.))."
It's a very nicely put distinction, and I think if the discussions really were more like he suggests they could be great. And the Rhizome folks are right that most curators really don't get it. But one thing I will say for the non-net art world is that we've long ago moved well past the deadening question "but is it art?" And I don't think you'd find many non-net artists with the gall to bemoan the fact that newer generations are adopting media as their own and and moving things in new directions.

My take on these recent Rhizome discussions ó and for anyone who really wants to subject themselves here are some links 1, 2, 3 (sigh) ó is that they are an emotional forum for people who came to net art in the early days, like a lot of internet nerds, because it was a new forum with technologically proscribed parameters for discourse that provided an opportunity for power and control not available in the big wide world of regular society. Now that much more of the big wide world is online (though of course, it's still not everyone and that's still important to remember) the guys who thought they were running the show realize that its way way out of their control. So they use the Rhizome threads to try and emotionally process what happened. Which may mean Rhizome is providing an essential service but it doesn't really say much about art.

- sally mckay 6-13-2008 4:17 pm

I could look at this sweet gif all day.
- M.Jean 6-13-2008 4:27 pm

The kitties meme takes on a distinct meaning for Canadians since it manifests our sociopathic tendencies.
- L.M. 6-13-2008 4:57 pm

Prior to the event Tom Moody wrote this post in response to Marcin Ramocki's surf club analysis:

"Some 20th Century writers complained that reality (in a hypercharged mediated environment) was outstripping their ability to spin fiction.

Artists, too, have to compete with real world content far more captivating than anything they could come up with, which the Internet effectively gathers all in one place (sneezing Pandas, etc). Two possible responses are (1) to continually rise above it through aesthetic and conceptual framing and posturing or (2) to disappear into it and trust the viewer to ultimately sort out what's going on. The Web is a consumer's medium, not a producer's, so the artist is inexorably led to consumption as a "practice." The degree of criticality can only be inferred, not implied."

- L.M. 6-13-2008 6:10 pm

Thanks for your take on this, Sally and L.M. Rhizome has asked me (and other panelists) to write a follow-up mini-essay to the event. I'm currently at a loss for what to say after what happened on those three threads. Still mulling this over.
- tom moody 6-13-2008 6:59 pm

OMG, I want to go home and see my cat. Right now!!
- nanmac (guest) 6-13-2008 8:19 pm

It's all part of the cat master plan, Nanmac. First they take over the internet with their own set of viral kitty memes. Next, you go home from work in the middle of the day to pet and feed them.
- sally mckay 6-13-2008 8:44 pm

kitties may deserve this exaulted position, its much harder to get dogs to do half this stuff. They just stare at the camera loving you. Loving you more than anything on earth. Lovin you so much that their hearts will burst. (personally, I find it endlessly fascinating, but I doubt that our blog audience would)
- L.M. 6-13-2008 9:07 pm

L.M. you're being too modest. Remember this? That was damned entertaining. Now you just gotta figure out a way to capture Bat Boy's love on camera so it looks like he's an insane raving predator.
- sally mckay 6-13-2008 9:20 pm

It took two weeks to get 30 seconds of usable footage of Rocco. You stick a camera between yourself and a dog and all is lost. (Cats will always be indifferent to everything you do except opening cans and doors.)
- L.M. 6-14-2008 5:53 pm

One thing I found funny about the rhizome threads was the discussion/complaints-about-discussions of surf clubs. I've mentioned before that I love them, but I might not next year. As it stands, I love listening in on conversations, that's what blog threads allow us to do, so a dynamic form like a front page collaboration by many artists is a hoot to watch.

(If I was younger the clubby aspect might bug me/make me insecure/feel unacknowledged/all the peevish things we think when we're young and ambitious and someone else is doing something fun that we didn't do or think of, blah blah blah.)

- L.M. 6-14-2008 6:19 pm

L.M. and I were talking about this the other day, and I was saying how the activity of surfing media way predates the internet. When I was a teenager my friends and I communicated in a kind of media-sample lingo all our own. We memorized lines from Monty Python and Star Trek and interviews with our favourite rock stars and anything else that hit our radar and spent all our communication energy remixing and mashing those quotes in a running stream of self-reference that would make little sense to anyone who hadn't been following it all along. It was a way of parsing the culture, finding our own entry points, and most of all learning about the world we were entering into.
- sally mckay 6-14-2008 9:52 pm

Yeah, like my brother and I used to quote the Lester Bangs/Lou Reed interview "Let us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves" in conversation.

(VB via SM)
- sally mckay 6-14-2008 10:03 pm

Except that the surf clubs that are referred to in the Marcin Ramocki notes are inhabited by very canny & sophisticated artists. (which is why I like them)
- L.M. 6-14-2008 10:21 pm

Yes that's a good distinction. Like Paddy Johnson says about Petra Cortright's webcam video, "Iíve been struggling to articulate why the aesthetics of this piece of go beyond taking a few clip images from the web and slapping them on a video." I agree about that video. It's brilliant, and I can't say why. A cultural moment sweetly atriculated.
- sally mckay 6-14-2008 10:51 pm

I remember first seeing that sweet piece on Tom Moody's site. That's when I became interested in her work.
- L.M. 6-14-2008 11:42 pm

(The pleasure of not being a writer is that I'll never have to struggle to articulate anything. I just bang shit out of my keboard whenever I feel like it.)
- L.M. 6-14-2008 11:48 pm

Paddy in her blog post ribbed Petra a bit for not showing that vid in front of an auditorium full of people (Petra showed stills), saying the web gave her a "feeling of safety."
That may or not be the case. It may also be that it's not a public piece in that way.
I missed the Nasty Nets screening at the NY Underground Film Festival so I don't know how these little Quicktimes and YouTubes scale up to theatre size and whether it's fair to expect them to hold a crowd's attention. (I would say it would have to be an uber-sympathetic crowd, not a bunch of angry first gen. Net Artists out for blood.)

As for "surf club" it seemed to me obvious that a group of artists over the age of 21 forming something called Nasty Nets Surf Club was ironic but people took it seriously when it got institutional support. As seen on the Rhizome threads it then became like waving a red rag at a bull for certain people. "What, those teenagers are getting validated just for surfing? No way!"
- tom moody 6-14-2008 11:54 pm

I'd have a problem showing a projected video of my face in an auditorium. Especially with all that earnest focus that she has. (not all artists want to perform and that's a situation where it would feel like performance)
- L.M. 6-15-2008 12:00 am

Yes. Also the moderator had told us beforehand not to play long media pieces or to make it too much "show and tell" of our work. He wanted discussion, not monologues or performances. That YouTube is not "long," but screen time is very different depending on the size of the venue and what people are expecting.
- tom moody 6-15-2008 12:12 am

I remember Carolee Schneeman giving a talk a while ago at presenting a video that had been put through a number of filters and pictured her giving head for a really long time. She'd shown it a lot and also found it difficult to watch while talking to a crowd, so she left the room and came back after a clip was done. I suppose that would have been impossible for Petra to do during a panel discussion, and I don't know how it would scale up either, though that's a pretty short piece, and it seems like it *should* do fine.
- Paddy Johnson (guest) 6-16-2008 4:57 pm

I get Cortright's comment about the web giving her a "feeling of safety" in respect to that video. On youtube it is in company with web cam girls doing all kinds of things as well as a myriad of silly animations. In an art space it would be seen as making comment on the web context, rather than being a part of it, and questions would come into play about the artist's attitude to web cam performance that would skew the frank, sensual aspect of the piece into something detached and conceptualized.
- sally mckay 6-16-2008 5:15 pm

Just so we don't start a rumor--Paddy said it gave Petra a feeling of safety. I don't know Petra's feelings about it.
- tom moody 6-16-2008 6:37 pm

I think we should keep this spam as a public service.

- L.M. 6-17-2008 1:51 am

- sally mckay 6-17-2008 1:59 am

OK converted to kitteh: i performed stripteaze showz in my webcam room durin all nite long. my memba asked me 2 do different thing wit my body... n i always did whateva they wantd. ...
- L.M. 6-17-2008 2:14 am

Here's a sally comment converted to kitteh:

l.m. n i wuz talkin bout thiz otha day... n i wuz sayin how activitee uv surfin media way predatez internet. when i wuz teenaga my friend n i communicatd in kind uv media-sample lingo all our own. we memorized linez frm montee python n star trek n interviews wit our favouriet rok star n anythin else that hit our radar n spent all our communication energy remixin n mashin those quotez in runnin stream uv self-reference that would make little sense 2 anyone who hadn't been followin it all along. it wuz way uv parsin culture... findin our own entry point... n most uv all learnin bout world we wuz enterin in2.

- L.M. 6-17-2008 2:17 am

hah! thanks. I can haz surfclub.
- sally mckay 6-17-2008 3:18 pm

The epistemological question raised by the GIF (at least for me) is:

--is the cat tolerating the water while doing something else more important (like, grabbing for a goldfish about to go down the drain)?


--is the cat enjoying the water?
- tom moody 6-17-2008 3:49 pm

I had a cat that used to do this. She would pat at the running water with paws and then if her head got wet she would pretend not to notice because if she did she'd have to stop playing because everyone knows cats don't like to get their heads wet.
- sally mckay 6-17-2008 4:08 pm

Navel gazing: "The technological base of (the content of) the network determines the cultural superstructure of (the content of) net art."
- tom moody 6-24-2008 1:15 am