marc garrett
Since the beginning
Works in London United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Marc Garrett is co-director and co-founder, with artist Ruth Catlow of the Internet arts collectives and communities –,,, also co-founder and co-curator/director of the gallery space formerly known as 'HTTP Gallery' now called the Furtherfield Gallery in London (Finsbury Park), UK. Co-curating various contemporary Media Arts exhibitions, projects nationally and internationally. Co-editor of 'Artists Re:Thinking Games' with Ruth Catlow and Corrado Morgana 2010. Hosted Furtherfield's critically acclaimed weekly broadcast on UK's Resonance FM Radio, a series of hour long live interviews with people working at the edge of contemporary practices in art, technology & social change. Currently doing an Art history Phd at the University of London, Birkbeck College.

Net artist, media artist, curator, writer, street artist, activist, educationalist and musician. Emerging in the late 80′s from the streets exploring creativity via agit-art tactics. Using unofficial, experimental platforms such as the streets, pirate radio such as the locally popular ‘Savage Yet Tender’ alternative broadcasting 1980′s group, net broadcasts, BBS systems, performance, intervention, events, pamphlets, warehouses and gallery spaces. In the early nineties, was co-sysop (systems operator) with Heath Bunting on Cybercafe BBS with

Our mission is to co-create extraordinary art that connects with contemporary audiences providing innovative, engaging and inclusive digital and physical spaces for appreciating and participating in practices in art, technology and social change. As well as finding alternative ways around already dominating hegemonies, thus claiming for ourselves and our peer networks a culturally aware and critical dialogue beyond traditional hierarchical behaviours. Influenced by situationist theory, fluxus, free and open source culture, and processes of self-education and peer learning, in an art, activist and community context.
Discussions (1682) Opportunities (12) Events (175) Jobs (2)

Re: what if and tid bits i cry to much

Hi there,

> I have to disagree here. The tools (or the technology) speak volumes.
> Whilst not advocating technological determinism at all, I would argue that
> contained within any technology, is the logic, language, structure, etc.
> the society/system within which it was produced. A vast amount of art is
> produced through/with technology, and has been since the caves. Because
> technology isn't neutral in the sense that it isn't developed in isolation
> from the world, from markets, military, etc. the use of technologies in
> production of art is one of the factors which artists address and argue
> about.

I agree that tools change the style of what one creates. I agree that it
would not be a good idea to advocate determinism via the use of technology.
Yet we see it happening all the time, a lot of net artists (not all) have
been boasted how great they are - and now pushing coding as the new thing
for the arts. Personally if I create music it is art, if I write it is art,
if I draw it is art, if I put poetry on the streets it is art, if I deface
posters it is art, if I make film it is art. Even marketing the art is art.
And certain business strategies can be seen as art. The medium can be a
distraction from the message(s) - if there is no message, then that is art
being seen by protocol of the medium itself. That's fair enough but I find
that sort of thing pretty slack.

> Painting isn't pure. It isn't produced through/with technology that is
> devoid of ideology.
> What I think, perhaps is more relevant to this discussion are the
> arguments (politically motivated, of course) regarding the nature of the
> so-called 'information society'. This debate, for me, contains a number
> issues around which this list has been hovering for some time.

I agree with your notion on 'information society'. It is obvious to me
(probably to you also) that information is a freedom that many are fighting
to explore freely currently. It is political and it is critical. Many
governments are keen to present other information to their citizens that
many free thinking types can see are lies. The Internet has been great for
forming debates questioning issues such as this globally. Contradicting the
information that is being shoved down people's throats. The so called
revolution has happened in relation to the Internet, it might not be exactly
what everyone expected but it certainly has scared many organizations who
would prefer not to be challenged for their inadequate and inhumane
behavior. Digital hooliganism, some of the decent hackers have played a very
important part in pushing technology in a direction that puts many
exploiting agencies ob edge. There are various conceptual digital artists,
Heath Bunting for instance - who has actively taken it upon themselves to
explore these areas. He makes technology a more social event by offering the
facility for the many. Who enjoy the choice to use cheap technology as a
function, make your own computers - setup your networks. That is his art -
and that is the poetry in his work, that is the beauty in his work, the
message is in the function.

> > Could just as well be a chunk of wood someone found after a storm, or
> > a computer program. Whatever inspired the artist to lend form to
> > some message. All artist are inspired by different tools at
> > different times. There is no rule about better or worse tools that
> > applies to all.
> I completely agree that different tools suit the artist at different

I kind of disagree here - it is the academia and the market place that
decides what suits who. Not the artists. Artists, just like actors - are a
ubiquitous creature. Redesigning themselves to adapt to the need of academic
thought and the market place. In this case Net Artists have taken the bait.
Let's be very truthful here, I bet there are many artists on this list who
used to paint. What is so great about technology is that many people have
moved into the realm of creative thought/activity via the use of technology.
Now that is brilliant, it blows apart the cannon that so many art groups
advocate to justify their supposed lineage via college education. This means
that anyone can make art on their own terms - now that is revolutuionary...

> And as I was being purposefully provocative in my previous mail, I should
> just like to make it absolutely clear here, that I would really never
> advocate rules for art at all. ever.

fair enough...

> What I'm trying to get at by saying painting as an art form is obsolete is
> this:
> There is an undoubted relationship between art and the system within which
> it is produced.
> To be ignorant of that system, and the ways in which we interact with it
> people, as people who make art, etc.) is lazy.

This dictates a notion of elitism to me, if someone wants to make art on
their own terms this does not make them lazy. What is lazy is the
presumption that everyone needs to be like oneself, or do I mean
conservatism. If everyone used the same materials, had the same haircut,
wore the same dark sun glasses, wore the same poloneck jumper. I would have
to leave this planet very quickly becuase the place would be extremely
boring. I am glad there are painters, digital artists - who gives a shit
whether they are dealing with the same issues or protocol or reasoning. What
system are you refering to? Do you mean society, their own home lives, do
you mean that they are uneducated? Do you mean that they are old fashoined?
Do you mean that they have their own circumstance and situation that does
not apply to the contenporary rules of computer networking? I'm a digital
artist and anarchist - the kind of people i believe whom are lazy those who
for some reason believe their own press or the press that they have been
given - the college histories and myths that have been fed. Intellectual
snobbery by x students who have not really left college yet, still using
that spoon fed baby language. Life is not that easy and people reflect this
fact and I value this kind of thing. There are enough Net Artists now its
getting tedius almost.

> The system isn't separate from us. We are part of it, and can affect it
> (not so much as individuals, but collectively) as much as we are affected
> it.
> The perception of ourselves as artists inspired to create beautiful
> without consciously knowing how we make work (for fear that knowing might
> spoil the magic) has to be rejected. Completely rejected.

mmm - this worries me slightly. Why are you so keen on people not rejecting
what you dislike? The psychology here smells of determinism even though you
said that this was not your stance earlier in the message.

> I believe we need to re frame our experiences of producing art so that we
> can hold on to what is valuable to us, without having to buy into the
> creative genius package.

I agree here. Everyone has genius within them. Always have done. But what if
that someone is a painter? In your world they would be extricated.

> In the west, painting and sculpture, more than any other art forms,
> culturally (not literally) contain within them those notions of genius and
> creativity, of individual artist inspired by god, by life, to create works
> of art, masterpieces. This is my main reason for claiming painting as an
> art form to be obsolete. It is these notions that are obsolete. I am not
> sure if they can be separated from painting, hence the leap to painting as
> obsolete art form.

So you want to delete a whole art form because you thin that they have
common link that you. Yourself do not think is relevant. have been
influenced by big subjects 'inspired by god, by life' So if you are not
influenced by life what are you influenced by? Your arguments are not
realistic because they do not take life into account, that is precisely what
is in the way of your terms.

> > Modern art is so bad, we need help anywhere we can get it. Why
> > eliminate the artists who just like to paint and don't want
> > computers. To many, a computer = boring job. Some would rather
> > paint.
> This raises a really interesting point, I feel. I get truly sick of
> working on my computer, inside, not using my body very much. I yearn to
> a carpenter or a gardener. I think many people feel the same. Painting
> seems the equivalent of being a gardener. Physicality, smells, dirt etc.
> Is it just a hobby then?

This makes me want to change all that I have said in my e-mail to you so
don't get too heavy with me for I see different side too your mind now. Your
humanity exudes an essence that no one can ignore in this last bit. Art to
me is exactly all the things you said above except a hobby, it is a way of
life, it is a way of existing, it is a way of hearing and seeing, it is
about exploring and feeling, it is intuitive and playful, it is stupid and
it is intelligent, it is vulnerable, it is angry, it is obsolete.

marc garrett


Re: Elects Magdalena Sawon toBoard of Directors

Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Elects Magdalena Sawon to Board of Direc=
torsHello Ivan,

Mark Tribe an Artist? Good question though...


June 7, 2002 Elects Magdalena Sawon to Board of Directors

In addition to Ms. Sawon,'s Board of Directors consists of:


Re: what if and tid bits i cry to much

Re: RHIZOME_RAW: what if and tid bits i cry to muchI agree here but with a =
shift - "art or not" & "Is it art?" could be more obsolete than painting is=


My point exactly. Except I don't think there is an "art or not" equation.=
"Is it art?" is as obsolete as painting is.


Extreme Computing event

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BlankAnyone going to be at the Extreme Computing event tomorrow in London -=
if so, say hello. I'll be there causing trouble...

marc garrett

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<DIV>Anyone going to be at the Extreme Computing event tomorrow in London -=
so, say hello. I'll be there causing trouble...</DIV>
<DIV>marc garrett</DIV>
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Re: what if and tid bits i cry to much

Hello Eryk,

I came to the same assumption at the end of my writing... Hence my confusio=


I'm not sure what you read, but you aren't disagreeing with me at all.


furtherfield wrote:

Hello Eryk,

I don't know. It does seem strange, almost useless arguing such a thing=
as this with you once again. We had a similar discussion about a year ago =
(I think) on this and I remember that we did not agree then and it does not=
seem will budge on our original interpretations on this (as you might agre=
e, very worn out) argument. But just like you, I enjoy getting shifting cra=
nium into gear and having a good chat about such issues every now and then.=
So with a warm respect for your position and ideas on such a thing, I will=
put my pennies worth into the glut. On an issue that probably will not be =
resolved until the market & Academia decides something must change for its =
own greedy-like intentions.

What you believe is of course your own take, and it just so happens due=
to circumstance it seems that you reside in the 'painting is dead' camp. A=
nd it is lucky for you (and me) that we have decided not to explore the act=
ivity of painting and therefore are not branded, or stigmatized as second-r=
ate citizens because of this. I personally feel a sense of regret that cert=
ain 'arts' activities have been and are pushed aside for the sake of new pr=
actices, I also do not trust many people's motives to kill something of whi=
ch is not theirs to kill.

For I believe that art (the act of creating) is a personal choice and w=
hen someone is told that they are doing something wrong or not relevant, es=
pecially when it is something that they enjoy, and people say 'ah, that's d=
ead, long gone'. I get goose pimples all over (almost). On who's terms is p=
ainting dead? I am not arguing that painting should be saved or anything li=
ke that but what I am questioning is people's urgency to kill a dream, or a=
n intimate function that can bring beauty or a certain poetic reasoniong to=
someone's life via a process of making art. To take that away by devaluing=
it via terms of art domination over creative choice I feel is wrong. All t=
hough, there could be some positive outcomes of such things happening for p=
ainting. For me, if people just painted outside of the art arena, it would =
give it more credence, in fact more value. The Art arena is yet another soc=
ial construction it seems to seperate the valid and the invalid. This is ne=
w, so therefore better...

Those who have decided to for whatever reason to pursue or partake in s=
uch a so called, labeled 'dead thing' must of course come to terms with the=
fact that the moving image, recent strategic shifts of net creativity and =
the academic, are holding the 'Vanguard reigns'. I do not feel comfortable =
with this 2-tier situation of market led & academic led control. This means=
that there is a type of thought control on what one must pursue as a creat=
ive individual or group. We must not forget that just because we have the p=
rivilege or advantage to be seen as exploring 'cutting edge' work in the we=
stern hemisphere, does not mean that it is a valid or right right thing to =
be doing.

I am not an anti capitalist in respect to it being an everyday function=
or in the very real sense of survival, and of course we all must eat. Yet =
I am not happy to be told what is good and what is bad by people who I do n=
ot know or respect. This does not mean you of course. I mean higher up, the=
'Thought Police', those people who for some reason have convinced themselv=
es that what they say must be- the be and end all. It's like having a paren=
t telling us 'You're too old for this now, or this is not appropriate'. And=
I am not a child so I listen to my own heart in relation to what I believe=
and learn from real experience (outside thought police perameters) whether=
it may seem misguided or not. And on that premise I can gather 'embodied k=
nowledge' on a subject. Whether painting is dead is not the issue, it's muc=
h more to do with why people wish to say such about harsh things in the fir=
st place that I question.

I am very interested in the variants on code as art, but that does not =
mean that my eyes are closed from appreciating a message, a concept in a pa=
inting just because it is not conforming to a protocol. I know that I will =
not budge you on this one Eryk, and our ideas can sometimes clash. But I ap=
preciate where you are coming from conceptually and in respect of historica=
l events. I knid of agree with a lot of what you say but have a deep doubt =
to trust the way things are panning out. So - I agree a lot, but in pricipl=
e feel alarmed. I have yearning of a luddite, to smash up all this computer=
stuff that I myself am using, yet enjoy the adventure of exploring new str=
ategies at the same time. What a confused bunny I must be eh!


I think "careerism" is a good catch all phrase for explaining away ev=
ery aspect of the art world we don't like,
but in this case I have to disagree, and I'm disagreeing based on a p=
osition of 1) I am not a careerist and
2) I believe painting is an obsolete art form.

Here are the reasons I give for 2) since position 1) is arguable depe=
nding on who you ask. I will make clear
that I fervently believe that _any_ form of expression is a valid art=
form. Look at the Salvaggio-Museum if
you want money where my mouth is. I do not believe we even need to de=
clare an area of art an "art form" in
order to make it valid art. Yesterday, I was in an art supply store, =
and considered stealing the notebooks they
leave out for people to test pens. They were beautiful collaborative =
drawings- squiggles, unicorns, calligraphy
and multitudes of colors and random phrases- but I got nervous becaus=
e the woman just told me my friend
had been fired and I didn't want to be the guy who went in there to s=
teal used notebooks. But I digress [that's
really how you use the word "digress" by the way].

So, I want to say something: There is Art1 and there is Art2. Art1 [a=
nd the numbers are arbitrary] are the
artifacts created by anyone who aims for any external expression of a=
n idea or emotion or concept; but also
deals specifically with beauty and aesthetics. This is the category I=
have dedicated the Salvaggio-Museum to,
the idea of every day artifacts and accidental manifestations of inhi=
bited creative energy.

Art2 is the academic side of art, fueled by innovative ideas fused wi=
th innovative techniques. This is the art
that most art museums are dedicated to and the stuff that most people=
pay for. This art is created on a
line from cave paintings to Eduardo Kac. But because it is on a line,=
there is a need for this art to swim or
drown. It must always be absolutely modern if it is going to catch us=
in an unexpected way. Too often, Art2
is replaced by Art2a and Art2b; Art2a being a preoccupation with hist=
ory and personal expression, that is,
people who create art solely for the purpose of expressing continuing=
concepts, and Art2b consisting of
people solely interested in innovating technology for the sake of art=
, with the concept of personal, emotional
expression coming secondary to the "shock of the new." [Rhizome consi=
sts mainly of Art2b; it's only been
recently that I have accepted that this is not an entirely bad thing;=
just not my most preferable.] I'd much
prefer to see a union between Art2a and Art2b, which could lead us to=
Art3, which is what all of us are
waiting for. [Last metaphor would be to look at music and technology:=
You have the Art2b music of
Autechre; the Art2a of Annie Difranco, and the Art3 of say, Aphex Twi=
n. Nothing wrong with any of

Anyway; painting as Art1 is fine. But when painting declares that it =
is Art2, Art2a, 2b or 3, we fall into
the concern that just maybe it isn't. It is an antique as far as inno=
vation is concerned and so therefore can't
be considered in the same world. And it shouldn't be. People who are =
insulted by this concept of Art1 not
being Art2 need to figure out why Art2 is so important to them. The a=
nswer, usually, is that Art2 carries
the "scene." It is where people get paid, it is where people say "Hey=
, you're a star!" The reason for this,
in my own opinion, anyway, is that Art1 is too embarrassed of its own=
sincerity in an ironic world. Sincerity
is also an antique. But when the value judgements of Art2 are sought =
out for someone making Art1, it's
just like Billy bringing his Baking Soda Volcano to the NASA conventi=
on. It's the wrong scope. It's a fallacy
to assume that the larger the scale the more valid; which is why I ca=
n't understand why so many Art1's need
the validation of an Art2. You paint because you love to paint, okay.=
You paint to express ideas, fine; there's
nothing wrong with painting, poetry or good wine. But why anyone need=
s to assume that good wine is a kind
of television is beyond me. It's confusing a Pit Bull with a Bulldog.=
Both are Dogs, but they're both very
different kinds of dogs.


furtherfield wrote:

Hello Natalie,

I appreciate your question in relation to why people are so eager t=
o dismiss one type of art/method to put another in its place. The answer is=
that it is political and careeer led - if one advertises their own practic=
e enough by promoting that activity as new, the best, better etc, in the en=
d everyone looks in that direction like frightened sheep with a self - cons=
cious glance. In a system that is led by trend it is important to have scap=
egoats that can be cast in the realm of the past, that historical trash can=
of what is known as obsolete. It is about supply and demand - and it certa=
inly is not about philosophical reasonong as you yourself might yearn it to=
be. All products must have an expirary date in the land of plenty, a moder=
nist strategy in the cumfy misleading guise of postmodern ideoligies. There=
is nothing wrong with people creating their art work on their own terms bu=
t if one expects to be taken on as an equal when creating an art such as pa=
inting do not expect to be respected by those who rule the day via digital,=
installation, code - for they are re-inventing the future with their own n=
ames, instigating the process of branding for all to see. Claiming new lang=
uages, claiming power, claiming a space in the future, discounting the past=
as dead, the future as alive because they are potentially part of that idi=
om. That is how things work and in a world that places the delusion over hu=
manity, what else can you expect? The function contradicts their words...


is it normal to turn into the person you always hated ?

why do some people think a painting is a canvase and not philosop=
hically something else

why can't everybody under stand potential

i am dead .......................................................=

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