sorry for the delay in the reply... i was around...
did you think it was silly? funny, possibly, but not at all silly or unfair.
as i tried explaining (using an awful english, i suppose) while i was there at the holy fire exhibit+debate the initiative was perfectly acceptable, on on eside, but totally out of the contemporary era, on the other.
good things first.
art is art. there are disciplines, methodologies, aesthetics, movements, currents. but art is art.
so calling vuc cosic's (and other artists') stuff "art" (not "new media", not "digital", not "net"...) is good. It's fair.
then comes the critique.
i approach the critique starting a bit backward in time. To say it with philosophy, it's something like this:
Kant -> Hegel -> Benjamin -> Heidegger/Sartre -> Adorno -> Derrida -> Bateson
there is a (philosophical) trend going towards something that can/sould/could be called Neo Virtual Realism (hence, the name of the website with my face looking back on it).
as walter benjamin recycled the concept of the flaneur found in baudelaire, we are probabily just in the right time to start re-using it in the contemporary context.
just as realism was the "answer" to romanticism in assessing the great changes provoked by the industrial revolution, our "Neo Virtual Realism" is the "answer" to the current ones.
changes that can be seen in many directions: environmental, anthropological, cultural. They are in media, in the air, in information, in what you eat/wear/buy.
art (just as philosophy) are sensorially very active in responding to such muations in the integrated ecosystem (mind/environemnt/economy/culture/information...).
So we have the avantgardes... there has been net.art in the 90s and we possibly/probabily have something boiling right in this moment, that will mature in the next few days/months/years and materialize itself.
now: avantgardes are a "materialization" themselves of the mutations of the integrated ecosystem perceived bythe artists/philosophers partecipating in them.
as an example: conceptual art in the 60s placed several fundamental concepts that are influencing even today's art and philosophy.
on one side: the process. The focus moved away from the "object", replaced by the process.
Sol Lewitt's simple instructions to draw the paintings ("Six white geometric figures (outlines) superimposed on a black wall.") are perfect in defining this mutation.
on the other side: mutation has an impact on the ecosystem.
the process of augmenting the distance from the gallery and the museums began with those avantgardes.
it is a deep re-definition of the concepts of art/artist, economic value, aesthetics.. and a lot more.
if we switch context and we analyze the contemporary era with the same level of detail (if possible at all, since we are "inside" of it) we will see that probabily the most fundamental statements performed in the "digital" era are:
- the end of dualisms (material/immaterial, organic/inorganic, true/false, art/not-art)
- visual(sensorial) fetishes as the primary means to define significance/value (methodological fetishism)
- methodological destructuralization
Now, to get back to the beginning: i have no problems in peoply trying to do their jobs in the best way possible, bringing "new media" into the "art" world, getting people involved, getting money circulating. The persons at holy fire actually did a really nice job in organizing/documenting/supporting everything. "Art" looks at all of this with raising interest and with everything that comes with it.
But i personally don't find any interest in it. By switching persons and asking questions in a silly way (were they stupid questions? are you sure?) i wanted to state:
- a simple discontinuity
- a total dis-interest
a simple discontinuity: art-market is based on "identity", "unicity", "limitedness". Which are things that are just not contemporary. Nor significative. Not any more. I am truly happy if someone makes some money that way, but it is truly not-significative on an artistic or philosophical point of view. By switching identities and artwork explanations, i used a silly-simpke mechanism to break at least a dozen of rules needed by an "average gallerist" to use an artwork commercially using the old models.
a total dis-interest: i actually got bored (conceptually and phisically) of it all, so i had some fun.. together with Vuc Cosic, Alexei Shulgin, and Olia Lialina, which all confirmed having a deep sensibility to all of these issues, and also of being some truly nice people to hang around with. Even Steve Sacks was truly nice to us harassing him in his exhibition space at Art Brussels. :)
was i clear? :)