. community —

Visual pleasure and the little screen

Perhaps works in public like these need to pay attention to the nature of public
space - to interact with that space in some way. Video didn't work that well in
galleries either.

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Date: 4.8.96
From: Perry Hoberman (hoberman@bway.net)
Subject: neither sculpture nor installation

I don't disagree - the question is whether there is also room for digital works
that operate more along the lines of paintings; that is, works that are displayed
in public spaces that are neither sculpture nor installation. One could make the
point that all computer art (and video art) displayed publicly on monitors is
sculpture by definition, since the monitor itself is a 3-dimensional object
(actually I think you & I would probably both agree on this). OK, so let's say
all this work is sculpture or installation. Does this mean that unless you do
something interesting/unusual/unique with the objects/space, the work is
uninteresting? Doesn't this rule out everything _except_ installation art?

I don't really agree that video art (I assume you mean single-channel)
never worked in galleries. The best single-channel work (much of it by
artists who - not coincidentally - also worked in installation &
performance) dealt with the fact of public space without necessarily
needing to make a unique physical intervention (works by Nauman & Acconci
come to mind). I think this is one of the things that distinguished it from
television in general – and the very reason why I for one never craved
home viewing for it. (after all, aren't there other aspects of public space
besides the sculptural?)

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Date: 4.8.96
From: Tony Dove (Tdove@aol.com)
Subject: morphing of public and private space

Responding to this discussion on screens in the gallery space:
It brings up some interesting questions about the morphing of public and
private space and of the recipes for both production and reception for new
media.

I think part of my frustration with the computer screen in a gallery is the
sense I have of it being a tunnel into technology that ignores the room it's
in - a private space - an elsewhere - and an odd thing to do in a quasi-public
space.. This said someone will present screens in a way that undermines that
statement.

I think an even bigger issue is "the quick visual fix" thing. This is I think
about the fact that much work dealing with digital technologies is time based
and this creates some reception bumps in spaces where presentation modes have
been about discrete objects that exist ouside of time - or in the viewers own
chosen time. I think there is often confusion on the part of the makers of
work as well as the audience about how and why this work "takes time". And
the spaces fight it because their own reception patterns are pretty deeply
received at this moment - although experiencing the anxiety of cracking
categories. And I do think that linear monitor based video exhibitions have
been problematic in the gallery space - it's just not a space most people
expect to spend hours in. Whereas the same work in a movie theatre….
This is a general response to the phenomena and not to Digit - I was at the
opening but haven't been back yet to really experience the work.

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Date: 4.11.96
From: "G.H. Hovagimyan" (gh@thing.net)
Subject: public, private, power channels

> Responding to this discussion on screens in the gallery space:
> It brings up some interesting questions about the morphing of public and
> private space and of the recipes for both production and reception for new
> media.

Actually Perry Hoberman Got the Idea to have a round table, artists panel discussion on this
issue at the Postmasters Gallery. I went to it last night. It was very good. Very friendly and
exciting at the same time.

It seems to me that the proprietary/ closed system/ hegemonic types were in evidence but still
haven't figured out how to consolidate power. They tried to talk about the WWW as elitist but
immediately felt uncomfortable. I mean really, how elitist is being an artist in the art world.
The problem that most curator/ gallerist/ critic types have with digital art in general and web
art in partcular is that web art goes around the traditional hierarchical power channels.

However there is a general spirit of openess by the hierarchies that has not been around since
the late sixties.

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