Dirk Vekemans
Since 2005
Works in Kessel-Lo Belgium

PORTFOLIO (2)
BIO
born in 1962 in Lier, Belgium.
studied filology at Louvain, Belgium.

worked a lot in bars and restaurants before i became obsessivly addicted to producing stuff on computers.

i once won a design contest of cgi-magazine and they let me go to New York for four days, that was nice.

i think in terms of writing mostly (or programming, but those are very similar processes for me)

painting is a very different process and i'm very bad at it but i do it anyway because i like the differences it produces and i like the freshness of amateurism, i guess.

what i produce new media-wise is also very much influenced by my daily practice of webdesign and programming with its concerns of usability and the pragmatic approach it implies.

Discussions (292) Opportunities (0) Events (1) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Net Art Market


Judson & all,

Sorry i've had to postpone continuing this discussion by some sleep and actually make some money with my daytime job, so here's my answers to Judson's reply.
I do feel i have to be as exact as i can about this (oh dear), if only to do right to other artists, so the reply is gonna be lengthy, sorry.

For clarity, if any there is, i'll cut up your reply some, Judson, and paste it before my answers if you don't mind

> if we can make something at all, we can consider ourselves lucky.
> that's enough. we're not dead, vegetables or completely paralyzed,
> so the only REAL challenge to making art is pretty much beat.
> "artistic integrity" is like a writer refusing to publish works in
> the local language of the distributers, for no particular reason,
> other than to be more judgmental. I just don't get what purpose it
> would serve, what concrete effect "integrity" would actually produce.
> expression is just a useful tool for communication, we CAN choose not
> to use it that way, but we can't not communicate ever. money is just
> a form of communication. a pretty narrow, empirical one. from 0 to
> a zillion, value = currency, as opposed to it being a useful scale
> for agreeing on colors.

my reason for refusing to (try to) get my texts published is a complex of motivations and you should read it in the context of publishing poetry specifically. So let me explain that context and its consequences first:
Poetry written in a small language like Dutch is by itself a very marginal affair, so it is more a question of maximizing your audience than of economical choices. If you choose to publish within the existing publishing print market you're likely to get a maximum of 200 to 1000 readers, a pretty stable audience of well trained interested individuals, most of whom write poetry themselves. Add to that that when you do this, you generate a reflex with people outside that elite circle that you are categorising yourself as someone who writes elite poetry. So imho it's rather the contrary of being 'judgmental', to refuse to be labeled such: besides making my texts available for everyone, i present them in their purest form, unlabeled by any sociological process. Why? to maximise the marginal effect poetry has in our society. Add to that that i regularly read my poetry for free at small gatherings, i think you can hardly make the point that i'm in some way arrogantly refusing to communicate.

Communication is my main motivation, if you want to reduce that to what you perceive as a behaviouristic reflex, or a marxist struggle or a spiritual search for soul or whatever grid you want to lay down on it, that's fine with me. Personally i see all those interpretational grids as mere descriptive aids in trying to deal with what is essentially a dynamic process whose finality we are perhaps only searching because we are trained to search for final goals behind processes that may just exist, be there, be beautiful? That's one, but there's a but:

I started by saying that my reason was a complex of motivations, so the actual situation with regard to Dutch poetry and my respons to it being unsellable in the first place, is complicated by other reasons that originate in how i see society as it is evolving now. Those views are largely inspired by Deleuze & Guattari and supplemented by other readings and my day to day experience with programming. It boils down to me feeling that it is absolutely urgent to communicate the importance of poetry, not only as a useful additive, but as an essential ingredient in anything you try to accomplish with regard to your life and to the society you are part of. In the Starter file on Cathedral project i say somewhere that i consider it my duty as a father to investigate possibilities etcetera, i actually feel that to be so. I joke a lot because i don't think it helps at all to be serious all the time, but i am dead serious about that part. In your behaviouristic or pragmatist grid that will probably make me a complete nutcase, i actually rather enjoy that.

Judson wrote:
> this assumes that there's some "artistic motivation" that precludes
> how we deal with our environment, and in particular society?

Now i will not proceed here to go deeper into that, it's precisely a matter that i once hope to clarify by making the project. If you ever went to see the project, you'll agree that it isn't clear at all, i'm perfectly aware of that, but what i am trying to communicate is difficult, and i'm too stupid a guy to make it clear in a sec. In fact i need the detour of the project to clarify my own mind, i'm constantly writing on the verge of my ignorance and i go flat on my face on a regular basis. Now Deleuze used the very same words to describe his own writing, but he had easy talking, being ten times smarter than me and a respected philosopher and all, i'm just a poor poet from downtown Kessel-lo, Belgium...

Judson wrote:
> we do anything that isn't an involuntary reflex, because we are
> motivated. and how to function in society is not decided by fixed
> rules, but constant revision. if anything, the motivation to make
> art is an artificial motivation (meant literally, not necessarily
> good/bad) that obscures any number of core motivations. in
> programming, there's a concept called "levels of abstraction". the
> desire for money is no less or more external, it's another means to
> the end, just like art. the desire for the food money can buy, is
> actually a lot more direct a solution than anything art can offer
> (though it happens a lot here on subway platforms).

plus a bit further Judson wrote:
> if a homeless guy, spends all day singing, you may say either sing
> for money or don't complain about the cold. but that's advice, not
> like deciding whether his singing at all is worthwhile or not.
> besides, there's no end of currencies besides cash. what about
> popularity or just plain dignity? how is art not motivated by
> SOMETHING? art only exists as a solution, a vehicle, for getting
> what you really want, be it respect or a new pair of shoes. how can
> we dictate which is the "right" path, when so many get to a goal?
> so, what's your goal?

I consider this kind of reasoning to be a fairly striking example of how the meaning generating processes of programming are reflected in views on society and in society itself. Lev Manovich has pointed this out in his "The Language of New Media': the way with deal with programming and computers gets transcoded into society itself. You get to see basic desire as an object, encapsulated in higher 'levels of abstraction', so therefore art must be an instance of an individual desiring food, or, please do mention it, sex.

I perceive this transcoding process to have enormous consequences, i feel that it gets to be catastrophical, a one way ticket in the way we deal with computers and the information boom. We urgently need to master our information, but in our need for speed to accomplish this, we're overlooking some basic alternatives due to our lack of consciousness of how the programming paradigma's and dogma's define our actions. We need to address these alternatives as urgently as we address our moderately succesful object-oriented programming approaches.

And i am definitely convinced that i or rather someone with a little more brain than i have, one day will be able to proof that alternatives exist, that these alternatives are related to poetic functions or processes, that they are less mystic or error prone than you would expect and that they can be used in an efficient way. But i will not be able to convince anyone, i'm just too plain stupid and confused, it's half a miracle i succeed in anything i program allready...
Voila, there's my goal.

>
> but i actually don't see any good it does anyone in valuing one over
> the other. as long as we're not starving, shelter, can breath, ...
> who cares how we get by? or rather, if, in the end, it works, then
> that's all we need to worry about. why continue to judge?

The next step i took when turning to net art is more problematic, because my natural instinct would be just to continue in the same scheme: do my stuff and see what happens. Now, as we all have learned from Doug Engelbart, scale does matter: the audience for international net art is huge in comparison to how many Dutch speaking persons would possibly ever read my poetry.
This fact alone changes (or imho should change)one's decisions in either trying to make your net art into sellable products or trying to get by in some mass-market shunning shareware scheme as Geert suggested.
It changes because you are aspiring to become part of something that has economic value, increasingly so. Net art is by its essence a potential mass-media, it has the potential of reaching thousands, even millions of users. Of course it's a mere potential (or is anyone present here with that kind of user log's, i wouldnt think so) but it makes that you are constantly aware of that potential, it infuses your artistic process with considerations and micro decisions of how to do things. These are bu no means expressions of value that i accredite but you know for instance that if you are going to work in an academically conceptual style you will get less users than if you start of with a sloganesk approach like 'We crash your browser with content". You know that if you strategically market your 'product' you will get more users than if you leave that, your economic value is, of course, the amount of viewers you get a day, so if you want it or not, you are as an artist inscribed in the economic order.

My view is that those plain facts do change something about the contents of the word's 'artistic integrity', and that that goes for any artist, regardless of how you deal with my theoretic ramblings or lunacy if you want. And i think it's a great thing that this kind of discussion should be held here, and at Regina Celia Pinto's place and everywhere were Net artists are active. Let my kind of poetic and unprofessional philosophical messing about not keep you from having it continuously, because i don't think there are any definite answers

judsoN wrote:
> but i actually don't see any good it does anyone in valuing one over
> the other. as long as we're not starving, shelter, can breath, ...
> who cares how we get by? or rather, if, in the end, it works, then
> that's all we need to worry about. why continue to judge?

i think one should judge every day, and try to be right every day...things change...

sorry for the length,

dv

.. what is left unfinished, cannot be undone...

http://www.vilt.net

Judson wrote:

> if we can make something at all, we can consider ourselves lucky.
> that's enough. we're not dead, vegetables or completely paralyzed,
> so the only REAL challenge to making art is pretty much beat.
> "artistic integrity" is like a writer refusing to publish works in
> the local language of the distributers, for no particular reason,
> other than to be more judgmental. I just don't get what purpose it
> would serve, what concrete effect "integrity" would actually produce.
> expression is just a useful tool for communication, we CAN choose not
> to use it that way, but we can't not communicate ever. money is just
> a form of communication. a pretty narrow, empirical one. from 0 to
> a zillion, value = currency, as opposed to it being a useful scale
> for agreeing on colors.
>
>
> this assumes that there's some "artistic motivation" that precludes
> how we deal with our environment, and in particular society?
>
> we do anything that isn't an involuntary reflex, because we are
> motivated. and how to function in society is not decided by fixed
> rules, but constant revision. if anything, the motivation to make
> art is an artificial motivation (meant literally, not necessarily
> good/bad) that obscures any number of core motivations. in
> programming, there's a concept called "levels of abstraction". the
> desire for money is no less or more external, it's another means to
> the end, just like art. the desire for the food money can buy, is
> actually a lot more direct a solution than anything art can offer
> (though it happens a lot here on subway platforms).
>
> but i actually don't see any good it does anyone in valuing one over
> the other. as long as we're not starving, shelter, can breath, ...
> who cares how we get by? or rather, if, in the end, it works, then
> that's all we need to worry about. why continue to judge?
>
> if a homeless guy, spends all day singing, you may say either sing
> for money or don't complain about the cold. but that's advice, not
> like deciding whether his singing at all is worthwhile or not.
> besides, there's no end of currencies besides cash. what about
> popularity or just plain dignity? how is art not motivated by
> SOMETHING? art only exists as a solution, a vehicle, for getting
> what you really want, be it respect or a new pair of shoes. how can
> we dictate which is the "right" path, when so many get to a goal?
> so, what's your goal?
>
> --
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
> PLASMA STUDII
> art non-profit
> stages * galleries * the web
> PO Box 1086
> Cathedral Station
> New York, USA
>
> (on-line press kit)
> http://plasmastudii.org
>

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: Re: Net Art Market


Jeremy & all,
i'm sorry, i just started out as net artist & i don't know much & all but: aren't you crossing a line here? This discussion started out with a reasonable enough presupposition that net-art should be sellable, or that net artists wishing to do so could do with some advice as to how to actually sell something ( it's not a presupposition i share, I think i have sufficiently made that clear in my contribution to Regina Celia Pinto's debate at http://arteonline.arq.br/newsletter/debate.htm , but that is not the issue).

Aren't you now suggesting that the net artist should adapt her artistic conceptions to suit the market? How far are you then from making the kind of paintings Pall Thayer suggested to Geert?

it's that imho you are just so obviously proving a point i'm making amidst all of my pseudo-ironic rambling, namely that an artist is doomed to corrupt her work with extra-artistic needs when you start working the selling way...

just a thought,
dv

Jeremy Zilar wrote:

> is it possible that there has yet to be a net art project that is
> large
> enough or grand enough to call the attention of a collector?
> I know things dont need to be large to be good, but in order for
> people
> to begin to look at net art, dont we need to start looking larger
> than
> the average site? or extending beyond the computer in ways?
>
> -jeremy
>
>
> curt cloninger wrote:
>
> > It seems like the first (and perhaps only) altoids-sponsored net
> artist was Mark Napier, but I can't remember. I think Diesel sponsors
> similar stuff, but it's more in the form of contests, and it's more
> filmic/motion design.
> >
> > ryan griffis wrote:
> >
> >
> >>hasn't Altoids and Nintendo also sponsored similar net-based
> >>projects?
> >>i tried to find the Altoids projects again, but only found promotion
> >>of
> >>their investments in contemporary art. i know that they had a net
> >>art-based project...
> >>ryan
> >>
> >>On Apr 22, 2005, at 12:21 PM, curt cloninger wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>>Hi Jason,
> >>>
> >>>Sony PlayStation 2 sponsored such an "online gallery" a while
> back,
> >>>curated by hi-res.net and commissioning/hosting work by various
> >>>experimental designers. The space is archived here:
> >>>http://archive.hi-res.net/thethirdplace.com/
> >>
> > +
> > -> post: list@rhizome.org
> > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> > -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
> > +
> > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> > Membership Agreement available online at
> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
> >

DISCUSSION

Re: masters of war


.. amen to that, plain letters & can hear him singin' it loud & clear...

marc garrett wrote:

> masters of war
>
> Come you masters of war
> You that build all the guns
> You that build the death planes
> You that build the big bombs
> You that hide behind walls
> You that hide behind desks
> I just want you to know
> I can see through your masks
>
> You that never done nothin'
> But build to destroy
> You play with my world
> Like it's your little toy
> You put a gun in my hand
> And you hide from my eyes
> And you turn and run farther
> When the fast bullets fly
>
> Like Judas of old
> You lie and deceive
> A world war can be won
> You want me to believe
> But I see through your eyes
> And I see through your brain
> Like I see through the water
> That runs down my drain
>
> You fasten the triggers
> For the others to fire
> Then you set back and watch
> When the death count gets higher
> You hide in your mansion
> As young people's blood
> Flows out of their bodies
> And is buried in the mud
>
> You've thrown the worst fear
> That can ever be hurled
> Fear to bring children
> Into the world
> For threatening my baby
> Unborn and unnamed
> You ain't worth the blood
> That runs in your veins
>
> How much do I know
> To talk out of turn
> You might say that I'm young
> You might say I'm unlearned
> But there's one thing I know
> Though I'm younger than you
> Even Jesus would never
> Forgive what you do
>
> Let me ask you one question
> Is your money that good
> Will it buy you forgiveness
> Do you think that it could
> I think you will find
> When your death takes its toll
> All the money you made
> Will never buy back your soul
>
> And I hope that you die
> And your death'll come soon
> I will follow your casket
> In the pale afternoon
> And I'll watch while you're lowered
> Down to your deathbed
> And I'll stand o'er your grave
> 'Til I'm sure that you're dead
>
> Bob Dylan
>
>
> Copyright ? 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music