>X-Authentication-Warning: bbs.thing.net: majordomo set sender to >email@example.com
>Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 16:21:10 +0200
>From: Florian Cramer <firstname.lastname@example.org
>To: Nettime <email@example.com
>Subject: Re: <nettime> a modest proposal for josephine bosma
>Reply-To: Florian Cramer <firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Net.culture is depressing for three reasons (I am not even counting
> > the curators’ general ignorance of current art practices other
> > than net.art, which constitute the overwhelming majority of art
> > history past and present). First, the amount of frivolity
> What makes you so uptight that you deplore "frivolity" in art (and
> elsewhere)? - Or is your statement a parody to prove Josephine's
> diagnosis of puritanism?
> > other than generalized paranoia about surveillance and libertarian
> > rants about wanting freedom
>Who's a libertarian? Quotes, names please!
> > rational judgement. The endless celebration of post-structuralist
> > theories of deterritorialization and fluidity are truly over the top.
>What are you referring to? Examples, please!
> > uninterested after a while. Second, this is the art form of mostly R &
> > D for the software industry and wireless communications,
>I am still waiting for any software company or free developer group to
>release the jodi, I/O/D or Netochka Nezvanova desktop user interface!
> > Net.art is above all formalist and formally predictable. There is very
> > little conceptual depth or anything else substantive, intellectually
> > provocative or profound about it.
>This is somewhat cheap talk as long as you don't name any work or artists.
>Of course, there exists enough second-rate/epigonal net.art to ground your
>critique, but I would be interested if you would, for example, also
>sustain it against projects like mongrel, RTMark, jodi, to name only a
>few. Then we would have a real statement, and wouldn't speak about
> > Cultures that were colonized politically by Europe from the 15th to
> > the 20th century have slowly started to undergo new forms of
> > colonization called neoliberalism.
>Your notion of "Europe" is no more differentiated than any broad
>stereotypical claim about "Africa", "America" and "Asia"; and I think
>Documenta XI fails exactly where it disdifferentiates and globalizes
>A perhaps academic sidenote: What makes me personally sceptical about the
>use of "post-colonialism" as a broad term is that it is slightly
>colonialist in itself. The term has, to my knowledge, been coined chiefly
>in a post-Marxist British academia to describe "hybrid" cultures (Homi
>Bhabha) created either by migrants from formerly colonized countries in
>Western countries or by locals in formerly colonized countries as a
>hybridization of traditional and imported/forced-upon Western cultures.
>While these descriptions seem accurate, they are unnecessarily restrained
>by the (probably Anglo-British) perspective on colonialism.
>The city where I live, Berlin, is rich with Turkish-origin immigrant
>cultures bearing all the "hybrid" attributes of postcolonialism (Turkish
>rap, Turkish tranvestites etc.), but: Turkey has never been colonized by
>the West. In general, immigrants in Germany and many other European
>countries to the largest part do not come from formerly colonized
>countries, or could only defined as postcolonials if you really stretch
>the term. On the other, I could - as a native German Berliner born in the
>Western part of the city - rightfully claim to be a postcolonial subject,
>because West-Berliners had neither West nor East German citizenship (and
>thus neither passports, nor the right to vote for national elections)
>before 1990 and lived (formally) under French, British and US-American
>military occupation rule. - Of course it would be BS to call former
>West-Berliners postcolonial subjects.
>So I find "postcolonialism" a somewhat limited term, coined by people who
>apparently couldn't even imagine that there is any other form of migration
>and cultural hybridity than as an after-effect of (chiefly) British
>colonialism. (And why does their "postcolonialism" fit factually
>non-colonial Turkish migrant cultures, but not, for example, factually
>postcolonial cultures in Eastern Europe or ex-Soviet republics?)
> > As a result, older forms of hybridization are being supplanted by the
> > McDonalidization of most urban cultures and bad taste is now defined
> > by American companies, but is bombarded into other countries via
> > massive p ropaganda campaigns that make lousy food, technologically
> > mediated interaction, and obsessive consumerism seem desirable.
> > Multinationals and most governments do everything possible to censor
> > information about their faults.
>I think backing your statements with some more arguments and facts here
>would be good, because otherwise they come dangerously close to paranoid
>right-wing rambling! Replace "American" and "McDonalds" with "jews", and
>you've exactly rehashed the political rhetoric of the right in the 1930s.
>(But this is a trap many people fall into, especially in the
>"anti-globalization" movement. I tend to find this movement scary because
> > One of the things that net.culture seems to want to be is what its
> > name implies: to be THE culture of the moment - that represents
> > the radical transformation of the world by digital technology, or a
> > confirmation even maybe.
>I find it wrong to speak of "net.culture" in singular - and that was my
>biggest problem with Nettime in its early years. So when Nettimers
>actually identified themselves as "the" net.culture, to whatever extent
>critical and in opposition to corporate visions of the net, this
>implication indeed seemed to lurk behind the term.
>But it seems to me that Nettimers have lost their view of one
>"net.culture" since long. There is not one, but many net cultures, and
>Nettime tries to get some of them (artists, net political activists, art
>critics, free software activists, privacy activists, you...) in touch with
>each other. It seems to me that the common denominator is not to be "THE
>culture of the moment", but - quite in contrary to what you perceive - to
>offer good old-fashioned critical reflections and alternatives to hypes.
>But I agree that such a critical agenda is constantly in danger to be just
>a reverse mirror image of what it supposed to be criticized.
>About Net art you write:
> > as "that awfully ugly stuff that never downloads anyway"). A barrage
> > of spam from a self-centered semi delusional artiste, found footage
> > with images of home made porn re-edited, a documentary about avatars ,
> > so called 'new forms of cinema' showing the situation
> > anti-globalization protests in Europe and North America, numerous
> > websites announcing non-existent governments and countries and
> > corporations for no apparent reason, endless webcam diaries about
> > white suburban people who think their lives are interesting, and a
> > number of works in which artists contemplate on their invented selves
> > are mixed with grim looking pieces about biotechnology and designer
> > babies, numerous "artful" porn sites with obscenities in various
> > languages, pages covered with code and unreadable text, lousy
> > computer animation, black and white streaming videos of empty or
> > gloomy spaces and labyrinthine MUDS and MOOS with 12 signs of
> > depression.
>Again, it is easy to polemicize like that if you don't name whom and what
>you mean. If you talk about a "barrage of spam from a self-centered semi
>delusional artiste" and mean jodi or mez or maybe NN, you would make a
>bold statement that could be meaningfully discussed, but being vague like
>you are, you could, if pressed harder, always retreat to being nice and
>saying something appeasing like that you didn't refer to jodi, mez or NN,
>but just to the many NN-ripoffs out there.
> > One wanders from site to site filled with what I described above and
> > then suddenly, slightly lost, there is a space filled with works that
> > look strangely like repeats of structuralist film, 70s femininst
> > autobiographical video, or neo-geo painting (even worse the seconc
> > time around). Even if these genres have yielded very interesting
> > seeing them here made one wonder why specifically people argue that
> > net.art represents a total rupture with the past .
>Who does claim this? I yet have to come across the unfiltered
>high-modernism you describe in Net.art. To date, I would identify such
>naive techno avant-garde rhetoric rather with hightech institutionalized
>3D interactive installation art like Jeffrey Shaw at ZKM (the ZKM was
>actually founded with the intention to create a "second Bauhaus" of the
>digital art) and, to some extent, with ars electronica, but not with the
>lowtech self-made approach of the Net art we are discussing here.
>I think Net.art rather presents (or at least has presented for some years)
>a rupture with this institutionalized hightech art. Within the history of
>digital and generative art, it also seems the first which used its
>material/code ironically, as collage instead of clean-room constructivist
>laboratory constructs. And I still keep being baffled by the
>non-recognition Net.art receives in the mainstream art world simply
>because it doesn't provide material objects that can be easily
>commoditized, exhibited and sold. As such, it hasn't stopped challenging
>the art world on its material grounds like no other art before. (Even
>so-called conceptual art more or less boiled down to material
> > Also interesting works by 'newer' artists or artist groups
> > that have nothing to do with nettime/Next Five Minutes/Ars/ Transmediale
> > circuit are rarely noticed by the players of the "scene".
>My personal impression is the opposite: that these circuits are starving
>for young people to be put into circulation.
> > The political brainwash of the majority of the field is so strong that
> > it overpowers all works and leaves one with very little room for serious
> > ideological and political interpretation. The question then haunts you:
> > makes the work of few serious artists in net.culture ignored by most
> > nettimers?
>Again: whom do you mean?
> > everyone?" "Wouldn’t it help to deflate the pretense of all those who
> > to have reinvented art practice if net.cultur-ites actually engaged in
> > discussion with art historians and practiioners who have expertise in
> > previous waves of new media?" "Wouldn't some politicized artists of color
>I think the situation is by far not as bad and net.art critics are not
>as art historically ignorant as you write.
> > the 90s was more trend then strategy. The art market simply needs new
> > to survive and net.art was one of them.
> > are reinforced." Looking at it from that perspective net.art just might
> > succeeded in pushing a few new artists to the foreground.
>Once again, we can't discuss your point if you don't tell us whom you
>have in mind.
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