. community —

New Folk Art?

Paul Warren (pwnr@interport.net) wrote:

computer culture artists: a new type of folk art?

Donald Kuspit chose not to write about Larry Auerbach's work. While
it may seem odd, or even a bit self-depreciating to say this as the
curator, Larry's exclusion from the essay did not surprise me.

… I felt that Larry represented a new type of artist we haven't seen
before. That is, artists who come to image making more from a
computer background than a fine art background.

In fact, the web is now blossoming with computer culture artists who
have created a new type of folk art. And as with most folk-based artists,
they can often strike at the heart of meaning with a fierce integrity
which is technically and emotionally "off-limits" to the more trained artist.

I decided that FuturelessFuture would not honestly reflect the future of art
without including an artist who worked within the context of the computer
culture while disregarding the more conventional artworld. And when I saw
Larry's work, I felt that he not only fullfilled this premise, but was clearly
one of the most interesting computer culture artists on the web.


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Mark Tribe (mark@rhizome.org) wrote:

folk art, homogenisation and solidification

I found Paul's comment about your site interesting because I also come from
an art-theoretical background, and tend not to like what he refers to as a
"new type of folk art" by "artists who come to image making more from a
computer background than a fine art background." Examples of this stuff
abound, and can be found in such places as SITO=OTIS. I think there is a
real issue here, and would be interested in developing a debate around these

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Paul Warren (pwnr@interport.net) wrote:

non-theoretical artists saying scary things about life (excerpt)

Well this ought to open a big pandoras box. The idea of non-trained,
non-theoretical artists saying scary things about life tends to upset a lot
of art people.

As another "trained art-theoretical" artist, I can say that shifting from
painting to computer art really put me out on a limb (which of course was
the point).

I tend to get shot at from all sides. The fine art community sees it as a
real threat to their whole way of life (which in fact it is) and the
computer art geeks think that I have invaded their sacred territory and I
am threatening their identities as artists (which in fact I am).

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Joseph Nechvatal (jnech@imaginet.fr) wrote:

naive folk computer graphic art (excerpt)

>I tend to get shot at from all sides…

I think you may be exaggerating. I have worked within the gallery system
with computer assisted images for ten years now. Perhaps the difference is
that for me a computer screen is a tool - not an end. Mostly I use it to
create images which are painted on canvas through computer-robotic
technology. I am really in the minority here - the painters say it isn't
'painting' and the computer geeks say it isn't 'computers' after the image
leaves the electronic screen.

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Andreas Broeckmann (abroeck@v2.nl) wrote:

mem_brane event: Medien Kunst Aggregate (excerpt)

Where in the current media ecology are the critical points of intervention
for art to initiate openings, turbulences, breaks, fluidity in a force
field characterised by homogenisation and solidification? What are the
practical, political and aesthetic implications of a conception of art
that is no longer based on 'artwork' and 'intention', but that is defined
by notions like project, process, networking? Unavoidable also the
question for the ethical dimension of the usage of technology.

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Paul Warren (pwnr@interport.net) wrote:

we have to intend to make it

There are some interesting word usages here. What precisely is "a force
field characterised by homogenisation and solidification?" Can you give me
an example?

Also, if we are concerned with "a conception of art that is no longer based
on 'artwork' and 'intention'," then how will we know whether or not there
is art?

While I agree that art is in a powerful process of redefining itself (which
it is always doing anyway), I think, at the absolute minimum, we have to
intend to make it.

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Andreas Broeckmann (abroeck@v2.nl) wrote:

the Internet as a field of interaction

In response to Paul Warren's request for clarification:

1. This is a reference to both the Internet as a field of interaction, and
to media art: both are under the threat of getting clogged up in
institutionalisation, regulation, and the Desire to Make Art. (The
terminology is obviously borrowed from Deleuze and Guattari. Check
Massumi's brilliant interpretation of their collaborative work.)

2. I do feel that there is some fundamental disagreement here. For me the
problem lies where Paul insists on some essential qualities of art, whereas
I want to disperse the notion, not because it is useless, but because its
artist/intention/artwork-based variety has long been unable to account for
what I see as interesting in media art. Look, for instance, at Margarete
Jahrmann's or Alexei Shulgin's work, at the practice of Knowbotic Research,
or of Pit Schultz. I am not so much interested in a discussion of the
nature of art, but I do want to describe some of the dynamics of the
transformation in this field of practice.

What I am arguing is that, although there may be intentionality involved on
the side of the artist, the impact or, dare I say, meaning of media art
practices is not tied to that intention, but is something that happens in a
much wider field of distributed practice. That is why, for instance,
notions like interconnectivity, collective creativity, in/dependent machine
agency, or interpersonal communication are becoming such important
_aesthetical_ categories.