. blog —

Thoughts on "New Media Artists vs Artists With Computers"

In his post "New Media vs Artists With Computers", artist and blogger Tom Moody sees the distinction between conceptual photography and art photography made in the 1970s as a correlate to that between new media artists (i.e. those who exact a high level of mastery over hardware and software) and artists working with computers now (i.e. those who use computers and digital technologies in their art practice, often towards a conceptual end and in a more amateur fashion.) Citing Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Lee Friedlander as an example, "art photography" was a practice valuing the artist's command over the medium, whereas for "conceptual photography" (e.g. Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons...) the emphasis was not on one's mastery over the tool, but rather the tool as a means to express an idea. In applying this contrast to artists working with computers today, Moody astutely observes a similar ethos between conceptual photography and "artist's with computers." In my opinion, one weakness to the post is Moody's stark polarization between his constructed categories, stating, "New media suggests a respect for hardware & software and belief in their newness, something artists with computers don't care about. New media involves a finicky devotion to programming and process, whereas artists with computers are bulls in the Apple Shop." The opposition he presents between "new media" vs. "artists with computers" in this instance is clunky and not entirely accurate -- there are artists working with software who don't buy into a "belief in...newness" (like Joan Leandre) while there are "artists with computers" who are attuned to programming (like Paul Slocum). The primary difference between these two camps -- if you want to follow Moody's distinction -- is the type of questions artists ask. To use the examples I gave, Leandre's work would fall under "new media" because his object "exists as data" (to recycle the Manovich quote from Moody's post) but his corrosive use of code interrogates the very ephemerality and instability of software (retroyou nostalg(2)). While he appears to be in command of his medium, he directs this skill to reflect his lack of control, and that tension guides his work. Thus, while he might fit Moody's categorization of a "new media artist" his work is more complex and, frankly, more intelligent than simply using code to elicit a sense of wonder in it of itself. Truly, I can't think of a single "new media artist" who sees that as their end goal. For Slocum, a trained programmer, his work is more conceptual and often does not require advanced skill. That's not his point. Four Seasons of Work Desktops (2007), a series of screengrabs of Slocum's work computer taken over a two year period, is a catalog of the banality of the interfaces we see everyday. While a commentary on computing, and a conceptual work, it is not a reflection of Slocum's adeptness nor intended to be. Slocum does draw on this ability as a programmer in Pi House Generator (2008), a software which infinitely generates house music from the digits of Pi, but again, the work isn't about mastery at all, but rather it is a humorous observation on the repetition of electronic music. Slocum and Leandre are not asking mutually exclusive questions, and in posing a pronounced opposition between the "new media artist" and the "artist with a computer," Moody is missing the point.

— Share this Article —


Aron Namenwirth Dec. 3 2008 22:01Reply

i think you missed the point.

Harm van den Dorpel Dec. 4 2008 09:09Reply

Which is mine category?

Tom Moody Dec. 4 2008 10:06Reply

Hi, Ceci,
Thanks for the response and giving some examples (which my post avoided). I hope to respond on my page soon.
Best, Tom

curt cloninger Dec. 5 2008 00:39Reply

Hi Ceci,

I largely agree with your analysis. Lots of great conceptual artists have had craft skills (Warhol, Duchamp, arguably even Cage). The most ingenious conceptual artists are able to figure a way of allowing their craft to inform their conceptual work (because matter matters) without making their work "about" craft per se. For example, Cindy Sherman has mad craft skills. Without them, her conceptual explorations would be a lot more clunky and a lot less adroit/deft.

Granted, there are a group of Processing artists (for lack of a better term) interested in using generative algorithms (craft skills) to create what I understand to be contemporary abstract expressionist work (albeit with a much larger emphasis on process – more akin to Pollock than Rothko). Jared Tarbell is an example ( http://www.complexification.net/gallery/machines/interAggregate/index.php ). The irony is, these generative/expressionist artists, apart from their inherent interest in process, actually have a lot in common with "artists-using-the-computer" outsider/pop artists (like your friend http://out-4-pizza.livejournal.com/ ). Both share a fetishistic interest in an a-conceptual visual aesthetic. Granted, their respective aesthetics look entirely different, but they are both very much interested in what the work looks like.

I must say, it is curious to hear net.art associated with a concern for craft/aesthetic and a lack of concern for concept. On the contrary, net.art (the [now] curatorially recognized variety) was all about concept, because there was no bandwidth in 1996. Even an animated gif takes time to download, but a concept is the ultimate low bandwidth medium. I'll reference a couple of pieces: Shulgin's Form Art ( http://www.c3.hu/collection/form/ ) – a cheeky para-institutional critique of formalism using low-bandwidth HTML forms. It is simultaneously conceptual, formal, pop, and geek tech. It is conceptually concerned with critiquing "aesthetics," but it is hardly trying to be aesthetic. Indeed, that's the joke. Also Mark Napier's coderly painting (or painterly coding). Something like http://www.potatoland.org/shredder/ is simultaneously painterly and conceptual. But much net.art that I recall was just plain conceptual (as in Fluxus, text-centric, instruction-based conceptual). Even the most "conceptual" contemporary youTube remix artist is much more "aesthetic" than early net.artists, simply because youTube artists have more animated, streaming bits to tweak.

Is it really an either/or? Are we still thinking dialectically about concept/aesthetic, craft/pop, insider/outsider, form/content, abstraction/figuration? These are modern dichotomies, and we have never been modern.


MTAA Dec. 5 2008 08:52Reply

MTAA discussing something very similar 10 years ago in an interview with Colin Keefe.
November 18, 1998

M: […] getting more people involved in what online art might be, and not just people who already had sophisticated computers. Which is kind of another thing that we think about, is that we're not really trying to make sophisticated -

T: - technically sophisticated -

M: - technically sophisticated work because the net is a wide - the web is a wide thing, but you know, a lot of it is inaccessible.

T: For some stuff we see on the web, it just seems like a lot of gadgetry. And it's kind of formal, you know, like formal art. It's like an abstract expressionist painting or something, it's just about the painting, you know? And, I don't know, I've just never been that interested in formal art, since my early college days, you know? It just bugs me. We like to have some sort of *content* other than just the medium itself. I mean people were talking about "browser art" and I
was just like, "throw that stuff in the trash, man!" Makes no sense to me at all. (pause) That was my feeling.


Ceci Moss Dec. 5 2008 15:31Reply

"Is it really an either/or? Are we still thinking dialectically about concept/aesthetic, craft/pop, insider/outsider, form/content, abstraction/figuration? These are modern dichotomies, and we have never been modern."

I think Curt really picked up on what I was trying to get at in my original post here. The thing I objected to most in Tom's "New Media vs. Artists With Computers" was this insistence on an opposition, and by pulling in examples, I attempted to problematize the dichotomies and assumptions at play. (Curt also makes a good point by citing some of the more conceptual elements of early net.art.)

One interesting kernel within Moody's post is his suggestion to examine the similarities between conceptual photography and a contemporary internet art practice that shys away from what might be considered "formalism". You could also do that with particular moments in the history of video art as well.

curt cloninger Dec. 6 2008 04:19Reply

Hi Ceci,

I think Brody Condon's recent dialogue with Nauman's work is a good example of the historically contingent (or at least potentially fruitful) relationship between contemporary "new media" video and '60/'70s "conceptual/phenomenological" video. Generative coders found an affinity with Sol Lewitt. My own "new media" audio performances ( http://deepyoung.org/current/breathing/ | lab404.com/video/francis.html ) find an affinity with La Monte Young and early Steve Reich (and Beckett on another vector).

It seems more interesting to try and keep everything simultaneously in play and on the table rather than seeing art history as a dialectic competition with one side emerging as the victor and the other side disappearing as the irrelevant loser. There is this great passage in "Making Things Public" where Bruno Latour cautions against "progressive" politics. It seems an equally relevant caution against a kind of "progressive" art criticism:


"Imagine you have the responsibility of assembling together a set of disorderly voices, contradictory interests and virulent claims. Then imagine you are miraculously offered a chance, just at the time when you despair of accomodating so many dissenting parties, to get rid of most of them. Would you not embrace such a solution as a gift from heaven?

This is exactly what happened when the contradictory interests of people could be differentiated by using the following shobboleths: "Are they progressive or reactionary? Enlightened or archaic? In the vanguard or in the rear guard?" ["New media artists or artists with computers?"] Dissenting voices were still there, but most of them represented backward, obscurantist or regressive trends. The cleansing march of progress was going to render them passe. You could safely forget two-thirds of them, and so your task of assembling them was simlified by the same amount.

In the remaining third, not everything had to be taken into account either, since most of the positions were soon to be made obsolete by the passage of time. Among the contemporary parties to the dispute, progressive minds had to take into consideration only those few seen as the harbingers of the future. So, through the magical ordering power of progress, politics was a cinch, since 90 percent of the contradictory passions had been spirited away, left to linger in the limbo of irrationality [or in the limbo of Rhizome's discusson forum]. By ignoring most of the dissenters, you could reach a solution that would satisfy everyone, namely those who made up the liberal or revolutionary avant-garde. In this way, the arrow of time could safely thrust forward…

But through a twist of history that neither reformists nor revolutionaries ever anticipated,… we have shifted from the time of Time to the time of Simultaneity… Revolutionary time, the great Simplificator, has been replaced by cohabitation time, the great Complicator. In other words, space has replaced time as the main ordering principle.

It's fair to say that the reflexes of politicians, the passions of militants, the customs of citizens, their ways to be indignant, the rhetoric of their claims, the ecology of their interests are not the same in the time of Time and in the time of Space. No one seems prepared to ask: What should now be simultaneously present?"

(Latour, "Making Things Public," 39-40).


Latour's "cohabitation Time" seems to me a fruitful place from which to critique and make art. I am no longer waiting for (or actively lobbying to bring about) the perceived obsolescence of "enemy" movements. There are no passe or outre influences. Everything is now in play and on the table.


Brian Droitcour Dec. 8 2008 17:06Reply

I was doing some unrelated research, and came across this eight-year-old exchange between Alex Galloway and Michael Samyn of entropy8zuper.org. It makes me think that the dichotomy Tom Moody suggested was more relevant when the technology was less accessible, and that Ceci's difference in perspective is at least partly generational


Alex Galloway: i really love your stuff…

Michael Samyn: Thank you. It feels strange for us to be appreciated by
someone @rhizome. We always have the feeling that Rhizome is interested
in a totally different kind of Art, you know the kind of art that
*looks* conceptual and only uses code as an aesthetic element and is
never about anything but itself.

AG: yeah you're probably right about that ;) … but mostly by default
since i think that much of the early net.art stuff had no choice but to
be either formalist (i.e. jodi) or conceptual (i.e. heath bunting)… it
was primarily due to the bandwidth restrictions, imo. but that phase may
be over now…

then people came along and started working in flash and java, but they
really didn't have any artistic vision.. just wanted to play with the
technology.. you know, the "pointcast" effect. your stuff is powerful
because it's some of the first truly immersive net art, like watching a
feature film. and it's emotionally immersive.. not just visually…

more here:


curt cloninger Dec. 8 2008 21:18Reply

Hi Brian,

It seems more like this:


Tom Moody's characterization (circa 2008):
a. tech-savvy = unconceptual = rhizome.org
b. tech-agnostic = conceptual = artfagcity.com

Michael Samyn's characterization (circa 2000):
a. tech-savvy = unconceptual = e8z.org
b. tech-agnostic = conceptual = rhizome.org


A more accurate (though no less simplistic) characterization of internet art might look something like this:
I. 1996-1999 = net.art = low-bandwidth = conceptual
2. 2000-2005 = net/browser art = medium-bandwidth = conceptual and aesthetic
3. 2005-present = net-based video/template art = high-bandwidth = conceptual and aesthetic

Samyn is writing at the cusp of a transition in internet art history. e8z will soon collaborate with Galloway on the carnivore project ( http://r-s-g.org/carnivore/). On that project, Galloway will handle the overall conceptual framework and farm out the coding and visual aesthetics to Samyn (and several others).

Here is an idealistic screed I wrote a mere seven months after the Samyn/Galloway dialogue:
I actually quote Samyn from that same dialogue. At the time, I too was associating phase 1 of net.art with high-concept/low-aesthetic work.

Moody is lumping the first two phases of internet art (and all "new media art" prior) into one vague straw man.


Ry David Bradley Dec. 10 2008 09:52Reply

Hi all,

I understand what TM implies, implicitly because of what it means in relation to artists who use computers but don't know any code. A nuance Curt's conceptual equations lack is that it is possible to be tech savvy and not know any form of coding, but surely this does not equal tech-agnostic. Or does it all hinge on code? Does this lessen their practice (end users like the Sherman example) from a 'new media' perspective? What part of computer assisted art production (new media?) is there for those who use pre-developed software or tools (gasp) and don't hack or modify it in any way, but just find a personal way to use it? Arguably, from a more holistic perspective, it is quite possibly implausible to assume that anything can ever truly be created from the ground up, as we all rest on the shoulders of forebears in every project imaginable. Sometimes i get the feeling the same rhetoric, if applied to other pursuits, might mean that if you didn't develop your own text editor from the ground up the words written aren't validated in the same way as if you did. Should this really be the focal point of cultural production made with technological assistance? This situation leads to a kind of tension between artists and developers, it's an ideological boundary that is largely symbiotic. But that's not to say it doesn't exist at present and in recent years. All i can deduce from the scenario is that an artist who uses a hardware/software doesn't need to have authored that hardware of software to be able to use it in a personal vision. A true piece of art is some surface or metasurface that has been activated in such a way as to produce a visceral resonance in the experience of the broader community - but there is no higher truth to any one formal or expressive approach over another. Artists with computers and new media artists, as this post and comments indicate, do definitely need some form of non-hierarchical clarification.

From a personal perspective, I use small commercial software to paint pieces in ways I could only dream of doing in oils, and to do so I use whatever software and hardware tools are available around me, i'm pretty sure that's the way it's always been for most artists save for a few behavioral innovations. If I wanted to customize, program, hack or re-develop something, rather than purchasing a C++ manual and spending the next 5 years mastering it, i'd prefer to continue painting that entire time and work with other people who already have a high command of the programming skillset. So to boil it all down here - going by my practice I don't know if I would be characterized as a new media artist or artist with computer, purely because of the divide that TM has mentioned. I didn't write any painting programs, but i paint with them in a personal and unique process that is very mindful and interested in adding to the great lineage of this distinctly human form of visual disclosure. But at the same time I produce animated websites, digital video, audio etc, so I wouldn't say i'm either tech-savvy or tech-agnostic, but in a strange and large middleground where I feel a great deal or this division resides.

Ry. :)

curt cloninger Dec. 10 2008 12:49Reply

Hi Ry,

I agree with you. I use "tech savvy" and "tech agnostic" to characterize my understanding of other people's arguments, but those are not my arguments. How close or how far one works from "scratch" should be determined by the topical concerns of one's practice (cf: http://www.graphicsnews.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=463 ).

I'm just chiming in to counter what I perceive to be a mis-characterization of "new media art" history.

To summarize:

It is historically inaccurate to associate hand-coding with a lack of concern for concept and to associate templates with a concern for concept. Actually, in 2000, the exact opposite association was made. To use C++ meant you were a legitimate conceptual artist, and to use Flash or Photoshop meant you were an illegitimate graphic designer. Then and now, such dichotomous associations are overly simplistic.

Using code to make art doesn't inherently make one's art "about" code any more than painting on hand-stretched canvas inherently make one's paintings "about" hand-stretched canvas. Using templates and off-the-shelf software to make art doesn't inherently make one's art "conceptual" any more than using pre-stretched canvas inherently makes one's paintings "conceptual."

Furthermore, concept/craft is an artificial dichotomy endemic to modernism. Cindy Sherman's work is necessarily concerned with both. Each informs the other. I dare say the same is true of Oliver Laric's youTube remix work. Laric's approach to the craft of video editing is different than Stan Brakhage's approach (Laric's approach serves more "conceptual," less "aesthetic" ends), but that doesn't mean Laric is unconcerned with craft. Sherman's approach to the craft of photography is different than Walker Evans' approach (Sherman's approach serves more "conceptual," less "aesthetic" ends), but that doesn't mean Sherman is unconcerned with craft.

Anyone who claims the status of "conceptual" artist as an excuse to avoid rigorously sweating the details (and as an excuse to dismiss those who do sweat the details) is probably a pretty lame conceptual artist. Even Nauman and Weiner sweat the details. Their ability to remove "aesthetics" from the equation is achieved with a great deal of rigorous craft. It's just a different kind of craft. Warhol sweated the details so well he was able to fool a legion of armchair art historians into believing that he wasn't sweating the details.

Furthermore, the critical tactic of rendering past art movements irrelevant simply by characterizing them as "unprogressive" is convenient but facile.


M. River Dec. 10 2008 12:37Reply

HTML 2003, M.River of MTAA

4 large (4' x 8' each) plywood letters (H, T, M and L) made of salvaged material from the Matthew Barney exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. The letters were placed in front of Team Gallery [W. 26th St.] on the first night of the SUMMEr of HTML tour. After the show, the letters were cautiously abandoned on the street around the corner…


Ahhhhh, Good times, good times…

Tom Moody Jan. 19 2009 10:55Reply

I did post a reply to the allegation that I was "missing the point":


According to my omniscient stats no one replied to this so I think it's fair to say I won the argument.

curt cloninger Jan. 19 2009 14:15Reply

Dear Tom,

You abandon the site of this open, unmoderated, many-to-many discussion of an idea you've proposed. You reatreat to your blog to post some cryptic, scatalogical minutiae to yourself. You then flash back here and declare yourself "the winner" of an ongoing dialogue that has no winner or resolution. Since no one has the inclination or interest to follow you out of this public forum back to your solipsistic enclave to dialogue with you in a closed forum moderated by you, it's fair to say you win the "argument." Brilliant!

You would invent, police, and evaluate the critical reception of your own ideas from the safety of your own blog.

We'll turn Manhattan into a raft of joy:

Yr Monkey,

Eric Dymond Jan. 20 2009 01:05Reply

was there a competition? am i missing something?
i see broadsides from Tom with an odd need to draw parallels where none exist.
net artists vs. artists with computers?
that's sophomoric nonsense,
and truly lazy theorizing. it's a crutch used to illustrate a point that can't be argued with originality.

and those are my broadsides.
where's my shoe, aha here


Tom Moody Jan. 29 2009 10:43Reply

"open, unmoderated, many-to-many discussion of an idea you've proposed"

You mean the web, where people communicate with hyperlinks?

Hanging around these chatboards too long is dangerous to a healthy lifestyle due to the high ad hominem abuse factor (see above), so yeah, I "retreated."

I was hoping maybe Ceci would continue the discussion but I understand this is not the place for it. "Winning the argument" was a dig at someone here who said I always had to "win."

curt cloninger Jan. 29 2009 19:03Reply

Hi Tom,

Don't give up on Rhizome yet. Its love is like bad medicine, but (if you will forgive me a personal observation) bad medicine may be just what you need. And we need you, occasionally condescending to visit us here where you regularly admonish us that our uncivilized environment is no place for the more hierarchically moderated forms of online dialogue to which you are accustomed. I also like the way you almost talk to me, but never directly. It reminds me of John McCain in the presidential debates.


Keep coming back. It works if you work it.


Tom Moody Feb. 3 2009 09:37Reply

For the record my blog post was called "New Media vs Artists with Computers," not "New Media Artists vs Artists with Computers," as Ceci retitled it. The post was about categories of ways of working.

Here's my response to what Ceci wrote above for those who can't or won't follow a link outside this walled garden:

>>Ceci Moss at Rhizome.org tested the argument with actual examples of artists' work, something the original post avoided. Paul Slocum is of course that rare bird flying between the art and new media realms. Joan Leandre is comparatively mired in a particular set of geek assumptions. Go to his site and you find, for example, dozens of .exe files with the warning that downloading them can harm your computer if you don't "choose each file to a High Density fat32 and run New World's install program." Whether or not that is a joke, this is the essence of geekdom and most art world people will not go there, particularly any art world person with Windows who survived the Internet Exploder era. Leandre's "Velvet Strike" is more credible at least on an anecdotal level: the artist hacked into hard core war game nerd sites and put antimilitary graffiti on the virtual walls, pissing off many players.

>>cf. "New Media vs Artists with Computers" with Guthrie Lonergan's "Hackers vs Defaults" table ( http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22hackers+vs+defaults%22&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq= ). That table may have been read as two different flavors within new media, and therefore benign, but this blog would like to claim it as another example of "stark polarization," to use Moss's term. Also cf. Net Art 1.0 vs 2.0.

curt cloninger Feb. 3 2009 11:51Reply


We've read what you've written. Have you read what we've written? Above, we have posted nuanced distinctions and historical delineations to augment your oversimplified dichotomy. Now it's your turn to read what we have written and respond. It's called a conversation. But you are bent on talking at us rather than dialoguing with us (or ignoring us altogether in a heroic attempt to engage Ceci, the hierarchical "head" of this thread. Why don't you just send her an email?). Guthrie's dichotomy is a provocative oversimplification. It is meant to get a dialogue going rather than to fix a canon. That dialogue is happening here. I think Guthrie's claim that "artists with computers" are "Being and critiquing The People by using the tools made by The Man" is intriguing but problematic. It poses a question regarding tactical media praxis that seems worth exploring. We are currently exploring it at other less polemic online lists and at the library. We will further explore it in Buenos Aires at the end of the month ( http://medialab-prado.es/article/programa_del_seminario_inclusiva-net_netart_segunda_epoca_la_evolucion_de_la_creacion_artistica_en_el_sistema-red ).

There are several ways to approach the fact that your artwork has little pragmatic agency to change anything:
1. Retreat to a claim of formalism and say art was never meant to alter anything culturally. Live in a hermetic gallery culture.
2. Retreat to nihilistic postmodernism and claim nothing can be changed. Do it with a chuckle and call it irony.
3. Claim you are changing things subtly and imperceptibly by staying low and off the radar, being ingenious, cryptic, absurd, etc.

#3 is the most interesting to me. I see "artists with computers" who are doing this (sometimes accidentally). I think Kevin Bewersdorf is close with something like http://www.maximumsorrow.com/writing/spiritsurfing.html . It is not quite as funny, but seems similar in tone with Warhol's A to B and back again. That is a compliment.


What is the point of writing, theory, and dialogue? Is the point of writing to come to some kind of closure, fix a canon, and arrive at an end? Or is the point to open things up, problematize them, and bring ways of being into the world that have not yet happened or even been conceived – to arrive at a what-if/what's-next?

Oversimplifying and mis-characterizing a dichotomy between 1.0 and 2.0 artists creates a rift between two groups. It is a rift that keeps the latter group from inheriting and evolving practices and moves developed by the first group. It forces the second group to reinvent the wheel, all the while patting themselves on the back for the radicality (or accidental nochalance) of their "new" wheel. You are a curious mouthpiece for the artists you perpetually name check and implicitly claim to represent.


Tom Moody Feb. 14 2009 11:15Reply

Ceci replied to my post and I replied to her.
Fine if you want to insert yourself into the conversation but it's still a free country, no one has to reply.
Your use of the first person plural is a most uninviting conversational technique.
Best, Tom

curt cloninger Feb. 14 2009 15:50Reply

Hi Tom,

You're not obliged to talk to me. It's just trollish to obliquely dis the things I post while going out of your way to avoid directly addressing me. And what's the value of participating in a multi-user discussion forum if you won't directly engage those who engage you? It's like a Lincoln/Douglas debate without the cross-examination rounds. It's a waste of the format.

"We" is not the royal we. It is an academic "we" – my colleagues and I. I'm inviting you (admittedly baiting you at this point) to join "us" in dialogue.

As You Wish,

Tom Moody Feb. 14 2009 16:38Reply

It doesn't seem possible for you to have an online discussion without abusive language ("trollish" etc.) so I try to avoid engaging you directly. Sometimes it's difficult not to respond to your personal digs, hence the "oblique dis."

The academic "we"–gimme a break. We think you presume too much.

Can we (meaning, the two of us) please stop talking now?

I would definitely participate more in Rhizome discussions but you seem to feel they are yours somehow.

Best, Tom

curt cloninger Feb. 14 2009 17:19Reply

Hi Tom,

I'm sorry I abused you with my language. I will try to be nicer.

The reason I feel such ownership of the Rhizome discussion forum is that it is actually my blog.


Alex Nodopaka Feb. 14 2009 18:04Reply

I have been loosely following this latest exchange with some ironic interest. Not knowing to whom Rhizome belongs & not wishing to take any sides we (any participants) in this forum should post with some wit our personal views.

Periodically, in such forums, heated exchanges will occur & no matter who has the last word, any of us can simply click off the subject.

Confrontational exchanges are a natural process and to suggest their elimination will serve only censorship.

I benefit from this exchange as an interested observer & think of writing this up as a play. In the process I’ll maybe even coin new isms about the inherent discussions: performism, upmanshipism, demonstrativism & expressivism… lol

Besides my meddling into this on sporadic occasions I value the learned terminology in the exchanges & realize that art can no longer be brought home. Future art may become only participative. Participatism? lol

Tom Moody Feb. 18 2009 13:57Reply

Well, you can shoot the messenger and say he's missing the point all you want but there are divisions between new media and the "artists with computers" category discussed in my post.

Look at the mostly supportive threads on Rhizome re: a recent Wikipedia-intervention-as-art:


vs the thread on Paddy Johnson's blog discussing the same piece. Most of the people on Johnson's blog are strangers to me but they don't seem to be new media regulars and they have come together to say the intervention is a weak idea:


Someone left this little gem: "Maybe flashy icons and digital bling would have made it more interesting?" I can only speculate that that's someone who followed a link over to Johnson's from Rhizome but that is definitely a reference to the "surf club" artists Johnson frequently writes about, written in the snotty, deliberately obtuse style one frequently sees here in discussions of such artists.

Stark polarization is a fact, deny it all you want.