nick
Since 2008
Works in Ithaca, New York United States of America

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DISCUSSION

Art In Your Pocket


Since Apple has kept the economic barriers for entry into this world of mobile development relatively low, it's easier than ever for artists to use these devices for their creations and have an instant audience of millions to enjoy them."

Excuse me? You have to not only purchase an iPhone to use this software, you have to also develop on an Apple system, and you have to distribute it through an Apple store. As well as paying for the "ability" to become a certified developer. As well as requiring your applications to be "approved" before being available to others (forget about anything involving sexuality, "obscenity", critiques of Apple or its partners, or so on). How is this keeping the "economic barriers" "low"? I have to say I am getting quite disgusted with all of the prostrations at the Altar of Apple since their system only gives off the specter of being open, when in actuality it is an entirely closed, hermetic system. Why not valorize other platforms that are more open, such as Symbian, Series 60 Python, OpenMoko, the varieties of mobile Linux, etc? Oh right, those platforms are used by the "masses" or "tech heads", not the iPhone-toting artistic "elite".

DISCUSSION

Conversations with a Computer (2008) - Daniel Everett


No, the comment is about dehistoricizing a practice that already succumbs to that enough via standard discourse. I would have appreciated comment by the editors about how this was related to earlier work and how it follows in a decades-long tradition---and is not something that is just "discovered" in the "operating system of Mac computers". I am critiquing more the editorial decision to feature the work, absent any commentary about it, and accepting the artist's words as providing enough context, rather than the work itself---if my intent was not clear.

DISCUSSION

Conversations with a Computer (2008) - Daniel Everett


Um, this is nothing new; the piece comes from using ELIZA, the well-known program written by Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966 and available widely since then. I presume the artist is using the version that is bundled with emacs, a text-editor (and much more) that is available in all standard distributions of Unix/Linux, of which Mac OS X is one. Sherry Turkle has written extensively (in the 1980s and 1990s) about people's experiences with such computer programs; see The Second Self and Life on the Screen.

DISCUSSION

Rhizome 2009 Commissions: Announced!


My point is that it is impossible (or, should be impossible) to see art outside of a political context, especially when it is shown in conjunction with large world events such as the Olympics. I find the argument that we are letting interesting work "into" China part of a long-standing discourse that reeks of colonial times---as if there is not already enough interesting work in China (see the Wen Pulin archive of Chinese avant-garde art for many examples (http://wason.library.cornell.edu/Wen/index.php), as much of that work can't be shown widely in China). These sorts of events, consequent of their scale, are always embedded within a capitalist framework of massive economic benefits (witness the recent Olafur Eliasson installation in NYC, where much of the talk is around how it's going to bring $55 million of economic activity to the city http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewContent.act?tag=3.5721%3Ficx_id=D91EU0TO0). I think it's important to continually question the way large conglomerations of artworks serve various mechanisms of the state and of global capitalism. So my problem is not only with how the show is constructed, but also with the particular works in the show. We only have to go to the presentation of Guernica at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition to see how Picasso was able to form a critique through the showing of his work, or look at the work of Santiago Sierra at the 2001 Venice Biennale where he made clear the hypocrisy of the visitors to the glitzy events. The artists in this show did not have to present the works that they did, and I would find the Trojan horse argument stronger if some of these projects would have been constructed as a critique of current policy.

But this thread was originally about the Rhizome commissions, and if we want to talk about the Synthetic Times show, let's open a new thread. I find it interesting that with the exception of T. Whid, there has been no other comment on the commission winners so far...

DISCUSSION

Rhizome 2009 Commissions: Announced!


Hi T. Whid,

Thanks for the links, I've seen those projects in the past and are quite fond of them. There's also the historical antecedents, of course, of Electronic Disturbance Theater's Tactical Floodnet, the whole etoy saga, technologies to the people, txtmob, and many many more. I guess what I was hoping was that this year's commission cycle, coming as it does in a special year that comes only every four years, and coupled with their expansion of the call to works in the physical space, would look to complement political net.art with political physical space, installation, whatever-you-want-to-call it art. I don't think there is anything (technological or infrastructure-wise) that is preventing net.artists (or other artists for that matter) from engaging with political subjects. It seems to be more of a choice by the artists themselves. Take the Synthetic Times show (http://www.mediartchina.org/) now open in Beijing. Did those artists have to participate in a show that helps to legitimize an oppressive and ruthless regime? No. Could they have worked to present a counter-show, in a different venue in a different country with different works, that would have challenged the Chinese government and the valorization of art within a celebratory Olympic context? Yes. Where is the critique or outrage in the media art world regarding this show? I haven't seen, heard, or read it. I find it ruefully ironic that I have to look to the likes of Sarkozy in this context.

That turned into a rant on a different topic, but I think it's directly relevant to my original post...