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Apr
07
2004
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Re: Net Art is not Dead it just smells funny

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POSTED BY: mark cooley | Wed Apr 7th, 2004 3:49 p.m.

i've been following this thread - i agree with Marc when he made the statement that killing something is inherently a political act. this i think is a very useful starting point for discussion, but it seems that what has follwed is not all that productive, at least intellectually, so let's get on with it. what exactly is "the death of net art" a killing of? i can't answer this question, or nor would i want to, but there are some clear historical examples of "killing things" in a philosophical and aesthetic sense, and many of these killings had an active political agenda. some are "the death of royality", "the death of God", "the death of the author", the death of photography, painting and every other media we can think of. obviously, all of these battles had clear agendas in mind. i'm more interested in the specific agenda than than simply turning off when hearing the phrase "the death of...". obviously, if we say that we would want to declare a death to facist ideology, would it be a problem? if we wanted to declare the death of "the war on terror" as it now exists, would that be a problem? obviously, we do participate in a hiarchical culture. Rhizome is part of that culture. there are cultural managers, there are people who are chosen to speak for others and take on that roll. this is a political act. the fact that the Times talked to Rachel put her in the position of speaking for her "Community" this is problematic itself, but beyond this, as many of us know the Times had complete control over the framing of the article which was approximately "the death of net art", but from a specific institutional framework. in effect, what i read, is the Times declaring a fading of popularity of "net art" by the institution. the whitney, walker, etc. were mentioned. if, in this context the Times was saying that "net art" is not valued among dominant art institutions like it was some years ago. is this a problem? to some it is, but to others this would be what artists should be after - to provide an alternative to the institution. in other words - who cares if the NY times says that the institution is moving away from net art. many would say that is a positive thing. the Times appropriated a phrase ("the death of...") of historical relevence and worthy of serious discussion (especially it's political agenda)and made it into a weapon to get us all to put up our defenses and in effect proclaim - "but we really wanted to be part of the institution". i think that Rachel, Rhizome etc. is getting a lot of heat when perhaps we should be writing the Times. i don't know - just a few thoughts.

mark cooley

marc garrett wrote:

> Net Art is not Dead it just smells funny
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> As Rhizome.org officially shot itself in the foot, killing itself

Link:
http://www.netbehaviour.org