. community —

Who you callin "folk?!"

A note on the use of language

As artists and curators are coming to the web to create, programmers and
non-artists who are its native inhabitants are being labeled "folk" artists. I
find this disturbing. Frankly, what most programmers and non-art school web
practitioners create should not be confused with "art." But isn't this situation
a bit like the artist/curator taking the role of Columbus finding the New media
World full of the old inhabitants? Just who is the primitive on the Web anyway!?

In the overall equation, since artists are the newcomers to this land of
communication, which is not peopled by trained new media artists and historians,
aren't we then the "folk" creators in the new digital media world? Our
contributions are vital to the continued growth of the Web intellectually and
physically. But should our self-definition be the only variable that counts in
defining the actions of programmer-artists who outnumber us and whose intentions
we are not aware of? As we carve out a piece of this fertile new land, shouldn't
we be asking them what they think and building alliances so we can find out?

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