constructive criticism

Posted by Kalx | Mon Sep 28th 2009 9:05 p.m.

I've been involved in new media and net.art since its inception or at least during the pioneering days when I could purchase a four letter domain name that was not being bought out by a corporate robot. What I am seeing now is a lot of others jumping on the bandwagon but I am not familiar with the general context of new media in its recent incarnations.

Before there seemed to be a more definable way to categorize the influx of work and even have a mental image of the hierarchy based on artist's ability to parallel outward into other culutual groupings. Now I am seeing more automatized and less thorough verification of context and meaning in the art work. There used to be more of a social/political context to a lot of the work (Eryk Salvaggio's ASCII 9/11 imagery.) I think what is happening now is there is no interest on the part of outside entities due to nobody's qualified ability to sift through the quantities that are exponentially crippling one's abilty to sift through it all and find value in it over something else.

What I need to know is how is new media, which I think is very relevant to the advancement of culture through technology, is going to gnash through the machinations of gears and dissolving relevance in the social media age of computer technology. What is being done to advance new media through these upheavals and forced changes in direction? My real question is: if anyone is not doing something to divert attention from social media and "pop-content" then should I start now in doing this myself?

I think it's entirely possible to decentralize the way people use the internet, but I think there's a general cynicism in doing so because I don't think many have tried. I just noticed that there has been a lot of attention drawn away from meaningful artistic work in favor of frivolous nonsensical corporate interest on the internet. I would like to discuss practical ways to subvert this trend.

Please discuss.
  • marc garrett | Tue Sep 29th 2009 11:05 a.m.
    Hi Kalx,

    "I just noticed that there has been a lot of attention drawn away from meaningful artistic work in favor of frivolous nonsensical corporate interest on the internet. I would like to discuss practical ways to subvert this trend."

    I have been saying this for a while, and have actively been exploring other alternatives - as many know...

    marc

    • Kalx | Fri Oct 2nd 2009 10:44 p.m.
      I must own up to the fact that I am not as keen on the activity of this list as I used to, partially because of the alienation. I was just mustering up my general impression and wanted to vocalize how I was seeing things at a particular moment. I think I am realizing that "corporate interests" use methods to literally flush out any hope of an individual becoming a paramount figure as an artist. It seems that most of these calls for artists and collective identities are simply methods of branding and taking out the human context of art movements, and isolating the lone artist that makes a name for themselves by their own merits.

      Although I'd love to see some really lengthy discussion on scientific/academic methodology used to subvert this. I mean really subvert it to the point where corporate nonsense on here doesn't exist any more because, not only in art, but everywhere there seems to be this huge problem that corporate interests have created which are too numerous to mention.

      I've noticed these trends:

      -Social networking is being used to marginalize identities and create a kind of information overload effect where there is no way to "stand out" on merit alone.
      -Corporate interests use their knowledge of how to direct traffic on a mass scale and only promote things which they support. I have not seen any anti-corporate agenda advertised on major social networking sites as it runs counter to the essence of what they're doing.

      The top web sites in terms of traffic are the same exact web sites that have been on top for a long time. Myspace recently slipped and facebook has taken over in terms of popularity but it's really the same beast. Everyone crowds into the same spot and generates the content for the web site that keeps it extremely popular and allows it to advertise and collect statistical information on its userbase while limiting the internet's flexibility and allowance for creative initiatives beyond a 140 letter blurb.

      I have criticism about this but it's almost the same as criticizing national identities. Where's your google ID card? When the internet was young there was pioneering that could be done and small, independent non-corporate entities could generate more traffic than some of these corporate entities who had yet to get their feet wet in swindling consumers online. The most alarming thing is just how much less traffic other sites get BECAUSE of google and facebook and twitter. It's just the time that goes wasted covering the same ground intstead of finding anything new and valid that goes beyond these sites. And I think part of this is how corporations dillute the traffic that goes into smaller site (ex: rhizome) by overriding the meaningful content with bullshit.

      That's why I am a little pissed that I spent 25 dollars to pay for meaningless corporate art rhetoric with no merit when in the late 90's/early 2000's, I could read antiorp post meaningful dialogue while creating really good software that totally bypasses corporate entities and web content that is more worth perviewing than any of the worthless dross that I see now on a daily basis. And on top of that, I usually miss the good stuff because I am too exhausted to figure out who is not a corporate shill.
  • curt cloninger | Tue Sep 29th 2009 12:45 p.m.
    It may be that the sound molecules of pop music are at this very moment implanting here and there a people of a new type, singularly indifferent to the orders of the radio, to computer safeguards, to the threat of the atomic bomb." (Deleuze/Guattari, 1980)
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