they must not be very bright

Posted by Plasma Studii | Mon Oct 4th 2004 5:05 p.m.

>In the flash forums where I am often found lurking, it is a common
>complaint that safari
>throws up enormous problems with actionscript, and (in particular)
>javascript via
>actionscript (often to control page sizes & browsers) I have no idea
>(and no-one has as
>yet been able to enlighten me) as to why this is. I haven't been
>using MX2004 long
>enough to know if this is still the same with actionscript2

flash is programmed lazily. the user interface is a nightmare. when
it was invented, they didn't plan on the possibility of scripting.
now that they've added it, it opens a huge can of worms.
particularly, that flash has nothing like macromedia's other (and far
better designed, far more flexible, far more useful, and far less
popular) authoring product, director.

but IE has it's own big draw backs. chiefly that it makes up
non-standard features and discards standard ones. (incidentally,
Netscape did it at first too, before IE existed, but the scene was so
different then). Microsoft has made non-standardizing standard
practice. so for flash to ultimately work with IE/WinXP (the bulk of
users), it has to adopt the stuff that annoys other browsers.

so, if you want to use flash, that's cool. but just do it having
decided to make your work for folks on IE/winXP and not the web in
general. in fact, i can't think of anything that works well locally
AND the web. even Java acts more differently on different platforms
than they admit. But we have always assumed, if we make it for the
web, it should work everywhere. very little actually does.
  • MTAA | Mon Oct 4th 2004 6:47 p.m.
    On Oct 4, 2004, at 7:05 PM, Plasma Studii - uospn
  • Francis Hwang | Tue Oct 5th 2004 8:48 a.m.
    As a side note, I just came back from a conference where I saw somebody
    give a presentation on controlling Flash movies remotely with Ruby
    programs. The project that enables you to do this, Alph, is a sort of
    insane hack but possibly quite useful. One of the interesting things
    about this is that Ruby is really dynamic so you can have objects in
    Ruby that actually are references to Flash objects on another machine
    over the network, but you can call methods as if you were coding in
    ActionScript.

    http://alph.rubyforge.org/

    On Oct 4, 2004, at 7:05 PM, Plasma Studii - uospn
  • Jess Loseby | Wed Oct 6th 2004 11:23 a.m.
    apologies - house full of ill children and I'm trailing behind the thread...

    > so, if you want to use flash, that's cool. but just do it having
    > decided to make your work for folks on IE/winXP and not the web in
    > general. in fact, i can't think of anything that works well locally
    > AND the web. even Java acts more differently on different platforms
    > than they admit. But we have always assumed, if we make it for the
    > web, it should work everywhere. very little actually does.
    >
    Is it true that *we* always have assumed that it will work everywhere? Limitations set by
    software, viewers hardware, connections speed, plug-ins have always had to be a
    consideration for artists no matter which platform they themselves favoured. Have artists
    really believed that a work was globally accessible simply because it was on the net?

    When I first starting making work for the I used to get it in the neck for 'proofing' work
    on lists to check what problems people had. The response form the *net.art technical
    department* was that I should now these things before I started if I was doing things
    'properly' (always seemed mildly patronizing). I do proof them myself now on various
    systems but I don't think I pick up as many issues as I did when I asked others to look - I
    simply can't know all the variables. My observation is that a majority of artists seem
    well aware of the viewing issue inherent on the web and respond in a number of
    different ways. Many appear to 'spread' their work amougst a variety of formats that will
    make a certain amount accessible to each group in the knowledge that very little will be
    accessible to all. It seems a bigger problem for artists who will only produce work using
    one particular technique, but what do you say to them - diversify?

    My feeling generally it that it still bandwidth (particularly outside the US) that is the
    primary mediator to what people can and cannot view rather than browser. With the
    extension onto PDA's etc this is even more of an issue. I know viewing work on a pda for
    the first time for me was a wake-up call - like jumping back 6 years where i waited
    patiently on the end of a dodgy dial-up to view works I was told were 'multi-platform'.

    A best I would say that the all that is possible is to recommend a particular browser or
    connection speed but know that you may never be able to do enough to be accessible
    to all. The rise of adware and the necessity for anti-spam/pop-ups, raised browser
    security has restricted previously accessible work unless you are happy to reconfigure
    your browser in response to each site. As I said, I also use firefox and safari on a mac
    as well as IE on a pc and these issues seem affect all equally.

    I went to look at a friends stunning VRML datascapes the otherday, changed browsers,
    downloaded the software I needed, tweaked various settings and then my processor
    was too slow and it all fell over. Would you argue that he should he stop making them?

    I'm interested in your thoughts in this, not trying to be pedantic:)

    jess.
    o
    /^ rssgallery.com
    ][
  • Steve Kudlak | Wed Oct 6th 2004 12:06 p.m.
    That's why I posted the weather links. They actually try to get
    it all to work reasonably well in a variety of circumstances.
    Note when I explain weather stuff to Junior High students I usually
    have made a journey around the various public facilities to see
    of things work in various places. I mean one has to consider that
    not all folks in their early teens have a computer and can tweak
    things as needed. I do note sometimes adults give up prematurely.
    They throw up their hands very easily and just give up, when just
    a few things would have got them what they wanted. Giggle, medical
    people are the worst in this regard I have found so far. They are
    also the worst at listening to the advice of others. But I do digress
    and besides that could be just my experience.

    In general it is nice to have things work across platforms and across
    browsers and hopefully if even moderately daunting tweaks are spelled
    out and various factors are taken into consideration.

    It is understandable that things don't work on all things and
    all cicumstances. But sometimes the disregard is pretty arrogant
    but that I saw coming from the commercial sector or the wannabe
    commercial sector. There was a site called "Dimestore Productions"
    and it was pretty slanted to the latest and greatest. If you were
    caught in some place like West Virginia you were pretty much out of
    luck if you wanted to use the innovations the webmaster seemed to be
    installing. He was pretty arrogant about it too. This is what I don't
    like to see done. When people get very callous about getting things
    to work. I know to some folks these are grungy little details best
    left to "those who deal with such" but they are as important.

    Have Fun,
    Sends Steve

    > apologies - house full of ill children and I'm trailing behind the
    > thread...
    >
    >> so, if you want to use flash, that's cool. but just do it having
    >> decided to make your work for folks on IE/winXP and not the web in
    >> general. in fact, i can't think of anything that works well locally
    >> AND the web. even Java acts more differently on different platforms
    >> than they admit. But we have always assumed, if we make it for the
    >> web, it should work everywhere. very little actually does.
    >>
    > Is it true that *we* always have assumed that it will work everywhere?
    > Limitations set by
    > software, viewers hardware, connections speed, plug-ins have always had to
    > be a
    > consideration for artists no matter which platform they themselves
    > favoured. Have artists
    > really believed that a work was globally accessible simply because it was
    > on the net?
    >
    > When I first starting making work for the I used to get it in the neck
    > for 'proofing' work
    > on lists to check what problems people had. The response form the *net.art
    > technical
    > department* was that I should now these things before I started if I was
    > doing things
    > 'properly' (always seemed mildly patronizing). I do proof them myself now
    > on various
    > systems but I don't think I pick up as many issues as I did when I asked
    > others to look - I
    > simply can't know all the variables. My observation is that a majority
    > of artists seem
    > well aware of the viewing issue inherent on the web and respond in a
    > number of
    > different ways. Many appear to 'spread' their work amougst a variety of
    > formats that will
    > make a certain amount accessible to each group in the knowledge that very
    > little will be
    > accessible to all. It seems a bigger problem for artists who will only
    > produce work using
    > one particular technique, but what do you say to them - diversify?
    >
    > My feeling generally it that it still bandwidth (particularly outside the
    > US) that is the
    > primary mediator to what people can and cannot view rather than browser.
    > With the
    > extension onto PDA's etc this is even more of an issue. I know viewing
    > work on a pda for
    > the first time for me was a wake-up call - like jumping back 6 years where
    > i waited
    > patiently on the end of a dodgy dial-up to view works I was told were
    > 'multi-platform'.
    >
    > A best I would say that the all that is possible is to recommend a
    > particular browser or
    > connection speed but know that you may never be able to do enough to be
    > accessible
    > to all. The rise of adware and the necessity for anti-spam/pop-ups, raised
    > browser
    > security has restricted previously accessible work unless you are happy to
    > reconfigure
    > your browser in response to each site. As I said, I also use firefox and
    > safari on a mac
    > as well as IE on a pc and these issues seem affect all equally.
    >
    > I went to look at a friends stunning VRML datascapes the otherday, changed
    > browsers,
    > downloaded the software I needed, tweaked various settings and then my
    > processor
    > was too slow and it all fell over. Would you argue that he should he stop
    > making them?
    >
    > I'm interested in your thoughts in this, not trying to be pedantic:)
    >
    > jess.
    > o
    > /^ rssgallery.com
    > ][
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  • Plasma Studii | Wed Oct 6th 2004 12:50 p.m.
    >Have artists
    >really believed that a work was globally accessible simply because
    >it was on the net?

    seemed like that's what you were disgruntled about, but if that's not
    a prob to you, then no prob..

    >My feeling generally it that it still bandwidth (particularly
    >outside the US) that is the
    >primary mediator to what people can and cannot view rather than browser.

    but even if the connection speed is slow, once it is downloads, files
    will either work or not, regardless of the speed they got there. and
    no matter what the speed, you'll still have to download the file
    first. (streaming is essentially just downloading in pieces, rather
    than all at one time) bandwidth has no effect in this case.

    >I went to look at a friends stunning VRML datascapes the otherday,
    >changed browsers,
    >downloaded the software I needed, tweaked various settings and then
    >my processor
    >was too slow and it all fell over. Would you argue that he should he
    >stop making them?

    not at all. but he should acknowledge (and probably does) that you
    are not his target audience.

    hope the kids feel better.
  • Plasma Studii | Thu Oct 7th 2004 11:06 a.m.
    going off from what liza and jess were saying, i should probably add
    that i think it is fundamentally the foremost important aspect of any
    art (and maybe even anything we do), to identify and mould our target
    audience. one will spring up by default if we aren't conscious of
    it, but the (only?) benefit of our deformed cortexes is that we can
    choose to be responsible for our actions.

    making art where the artist is really the target audience, often the
    only person it communicates a desired message, is fine. but folks
    need to be honest about it and just show it to themselves. on the
    other hand, if the target audience is wider, the artist has as much
    need to communicate so that audience gets the message, as they would
    want to speak the same language as the person they are buying a car
    from. there is a big difference how we speak when we want/need to be
    understood, we cater to whom we are speaking.

    some art now targets (speaks to) the gallery owners, curators, other
    artists. but art seldom targets people outside that tight group.
    this is fine, but artists need to take on responsibility of creating
    a kind of elitism. to some degree it is already happening, and even
    rhizome is really a members-only club. as artists, we can either
    make work someone outside the art scene would enjoy, don't show
    others our artwork, or lock the uninitiated out of the art scene
    altogether, admit only those who are happy to invent messages and
    attribute them to the work.

    abstract expressionists had no message. communicated to no one. but
    greenberg made messages and projected them onto the work (the message
    that there doesn't have to be a message). projecting messages is a
    curious feature of the art world, but one the art world has tacitly
    agreed on. so long as outsiders don't investigate, both parties are
    satisfied, as if a real conversation took place. And outsiders
    rarely interfere since they see nothing but to people gesticulating
    wildly but in (what appears to be, though could arguably be a private
    language) jibberish.

    on the other hand, if artists have nothing to say or aren't
    successfully saying anything to non-artists, there's no reason they
    can't just make art for storage. everyone CAN decide for themselves
    who the target is, who they are really speaking to. what if there
    was nothing wrong with not showing, not trying to communicate
    specifically to others. what if there was just a lot less art out
    there. would that be so bad?
  • JM Haefner | Thu Oct 7th 2004 2:13 p.m.
    Of course, the noble thing to do is work for one's own reasons, but
    today how often is that really true? How can an artist be such without
    someone knowing about their work in some way? Artist seems to presume
    some thing is to be experienced that was created by them.

    Yes, the areas we choose to explore are purely our choice, but once it's
    put out in the world it becomes something entirely different. If thought
    is focused on the outside world viewing our work...it becomes about all
    that goes along with it. Like the artist statement -now the work is not
    the focus, but THE ARTIST.

    Culturally, I think we are setting up another form of audience targeting
    by providing competitions. It's a kind of self censoring in reverse.

    Hummm even art for storage seems to presume someone will take a look at
    it -don't you think.

    Jean

    -----Original Message-----
    From: owner-list@rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list@rhizome.org] On Behalf
    Of Plasma Studii - uospn
  • Plasma Studii | Thu Oct 7th 2004 3:02 p.m.
    mixing up replies from two posts here...

    from twid:
    >There is nothing to talk about. It's not formally, conceptually or
    >aesthetically groundbreaking. It's pleasant. Even from a purely
    >formal graphic design angle it's not very progressive: how is it any
    >different from the screensaver on my Mac or the visualizer on my
    >iTunes?

    >How is it different from my screensaver or visualizer other than it
    >uses much more tasteful colors?

    jess pointed out an important distinction between "understanding" and
    "enjoying". (both i would call "communicating", but that's a
    semantic thing.) one major distinction seems to be made, art has an
    element to be understood (a subjective argument, but one that we
    don't need to agree on) and screen savers main goal is just to keep
    the screen looking interesting when nothing else is happening.

    but this says more (between the lines). implies there is something
    better about belonging to the category "art". if the screen saver
    mesmerizes someone for 5 minutes and art with a concept loses their
    interest after 30 seconds, then why wouldn't we all want to call what
    we do screen savers? what is the benefit or why do we aspire to
    engage one way but de-value another? there is an unspoken sense here
    that "art" is a higher goal than "screen savers". not that it is or
    isn't, but why?

    from jm haefner:
    >Of course, the noble thing to do is work for one's own reasons

    but fundamentally, why is that at all noble? why take the work out
    the front door, then? if our only motivation is to satisfy
    ourselves. if you make a painting purely to sell it for a profit, it
    is like any other job. why then do we both, take it out the door and
    do it for reasons other than pure profit? if it was only for
    personal satisfaction, there'd be no reason to show anyone else.

    >Hummm even art for storage seems to presume someone will take a look
    >at it -don't you think.

    with many artists i have known, they would be heart broken to throw
    out the paintings they did 20 years ago. the paintings are stored
    with the assumption, the artist will continue to look at them
    periodically through the years. not as a map of where they've been,
    but purely for their own appreciation and enjoyment/interest.
  • ryan griffis | Thu Oct 7th 2004 6:22 p.m.
    > Hummm even art for storage seems to presume someone will take a look
    > at it -don't you think.

    a friend recently told me that the painter Kevin Appel said that the
    more a work of art is handled, the more it's value increases.
    i recently helped deinstalled a huge cardboard and scrap wood sculpture
    by Hew Locke that someone had purchased for, well, a lot. it has spent
    way more time in storage than in exhibition. And the collectors are
    paying a fortune to house cardboard in a climate controlled archival
    storage facility!
    on the other hand, my partner gets paid less to take care of other
    artists children that art movers get paid to move their art.
    don't know what this means to the conversation. anecdotal trivia.
    ryan
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