patrick lichty
Since the beginning
Works in Chicago, Illinois United States of America

Patrick Lichty is a digital intermedia artist, writer, and independent curator of over 15 years whose work comments upon the impact of technology on society and how it shapes the perception of the world around us. He works in diverse technological media, including activism, printmaking, kinetics, video, generative music, and neon. He is Editor-in Chief of Intelligent Agent, an electronic arts/culture journal, part of the activist group The Yes Men, and operates IALA Gallery in Baton Rogue, Louisiana.
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Net Ae 2.0 postmortem

Something fun -
In 2002, in a slight haze (I was having profound problems with panic with public speaking that year), I stated on a panel at CAA that net art was a dead as "your dear ol' Aunt Edna" after Net.condition and the Whitney Bi 2000, as the form had a conon, and thus become much more defined.

I also feel that in regard to the avant, New media is also "rather dead" as it has 'canons'. But it's great when things pop open, new forms, ill-behaved works, etc. There are things like social media (I refuse to say "Web 2.0"), virtual worlds,, etc, that keep surprising me.

To Tom...
I hope I can get a chance to hear Damon's questions. As for monetization, etc. I'm just curious about it as a cultural effect at this point, as it's a strange turn from Media art's history. And, looking at the shift between the 95-00-ish sort of crowd, the 00-ish, 05-ish crowd, and the current "clubs", there seems to be a big shift to the traditional art world. I'm not passing judgement, I just find it really curious as something that is a change in sensibility that is at odds with media art's traditions.

But I think that it's important to ask people who came up in certain eras how their practice is responding to culture. THere are painters who just get known for a "thing" and just stay there (Marden or De Kooning, for example). It's why I like musicians like Johnny Cash or David Bowie who have really been chimaeric at times.

But funny, in an interview for a position, I was asked "you're into a great deal of subjects and approaches, why wouldn't we call you a dilettante?" I think that's a really academic attitude, and a big problem with the academy and the gallery/museum ecology as well. You would like to think that a continually shifting, exploratory approach would actually be preferable, especially in teaching rapidly developing things like tech & art.

The other thing that I like to say is that if there's a class about something, you've gotten there too late, because it's been formalized and the person teaching you is probably one of the vanguards or a student of same.

In regards to the last paragraphs, the common thread is fluidity and stasis, as I think you really have to be open to change, but institutions tend to try to lock one into a position.

An honest question: I wonder whether the previous gen's sort of engagement with the gallery is a: a natural outgrowth of mid-career practice, b: a reaction to seeing this shift to the gallery and saying, in effect, "WTF?", or c: a social experiment, or d: an unforeseen hyperdimensional phenomenon.


Net Ae 2.0 postmortem

Wow, what a great thread...

Well there are a lot of very complex threads coming out of this, and I wish that I had been able to go to this as well as the "Art in the Age of Terrorism" at Eyebeam, but I'm on semi-hiatus for the summer.

A couple points - to historicity.
To reply to Tom, despite interpretations of anyone else, I don;t think the current gen (I most definitely emerged in the MTAA/McCoy/Shulgin/RTM etc period from 1995-2000, which I call the " & DIY New Media era") are fools at all. However we're in a point where we have numerous effects ramming into one another. There is the gap of history of 90's tech art practices that simply has not been written much, and is only being taught by those of the period who are in the academy. There is the sheer speed of net culture that almost defies history to keep up (is this really an "end to/of history"?). There is also the lack of acculturation in regards to basic curiosity that I see that comes from the rhizomatic skipping around through subjects. For my students, no one has heard of anything before 1970, or it's pretty rare.

Current generation? Pretty brilliant at fast, light, fun, plugging into the system, pop, punk, etc. with a lot of art world savvy. Pretty much a realization of two threads - Tech art integrating with academic art practice, and NM into the trendiness of the contemporary art world. Really amazingly good at making those strategic moves. I feel like I learned a little of this when Second Front came around, but nothing compared to the current gang.

My only concern with the New Media art world crowd is just an ongoing question in regards to conceptualism & media art's challenging of the gallery - maybe that's been abandoned for now. Is that cynicism, a desire to go and get theirs before the world goes to hell, or something else?

Reinventing the wheel? Who doesn't? I have always said that it's taking a readymade and throwing it into a new context and putting the right spin on it. Popular consensus states that Shakespeare appropriated... Maybe it might be nice if the current wave had some desire to engage with the previous generation, but for many, it just does not seem to be a high priority, and that's ok. Hey, that's a belief that the generation previous to me (Rubin, Nappi, Verostko, Nake, Sandor, etc.) seems to have, and I'm _interested_, although I'm not continuing their threads.

I look at it as a conversation, but I can understand when there isn't an attribution/tip of the hat due to lack of exposure or cooptation, the latter being a little rude, but the art world can be rude. However, although I liek to get lively on panels, I still have basic respect, as much as I can. Some of the trollishness I see in contemporary practice here and there is just something I don't prefer, but I'm no doormat, either. That's all.

Beyond this, I see a pretty linear progression of history, and it's great to see Paperrad as Punk 3.0, perhaps.


Net Art 2.5 private beta

I hope you all take this in the ironic spirit in which it is intended.
Here it comes again:
The Alpha Revisionist Manifesto.

Have been writing a sequel for the past 2 years, but I almost feel like we're ready for a trilogy by now.
It's funny... staking out the turf with revisions is very nice, perhaps even Neen.

Sorry for my silence, after this Spring, I woke up and realized I had been on a barbecue grill for too, too long. Well done. I'm trying to take a bit of the Summer off...

But I love the versioning and revisioning not dying. It shows me that we're still groping for the future, or trying to stake out the presents, if we're to apply McLuhan's take that living in the present looks like speculating on the future to everyone else.


The charges against Steve Kurtz have been dropped

Hey Gang -
Was at Steve's 50th party last weekend, and overall, the mood is optimistic. 11 or so days to go, cross your fingers.
I'll say what his cake said after the hearing ;)


The Rematerialization of Art

I must have missed Cao Fei that, Jaume Plensa, Jenny Holzer, John Simon, Lincoln Schatz, Cory Arcangel in the Whitney and NewMu this year. I will go back and check."

Not a good barometer - New Museum MoMA, and Whitney are good for plumbing the US art scene, and I never judge from 1:only NYC, and 2: only biennials.

However, there was July, Klima, Lazzarini, Flanagan, McCoys Napier, MTAA - a bunch more. Maybe not those museums, this year. Your point is taken, just isn't mine.

"Jenny Holzer got her start tacking truisms up on New York phone poles, not in the new media sphere."

Not the point. What I'm getting at is how New Media techniques are becoming part of Contempoary practice. I'm not that concerned if you started with New Media or not (I did).

Rather than a show about packaging/marketing, it would seem better to pair new media sphere artists with non, and not make a big deal about what you're doing.

An example off the top of my head: pair Douglas Gordon's 24 hour Psycho with Cory Arcangel's Slow Tetris. This bootstraps Arcangel into the discourse of a known "media art genius" from the gallery side and he comes off rather better for the comparison, because his piece is more cheeky/fun. The theme is "time in media," not sales.

"Not saying this isn't being done with Arcangel--it is (maybe even with those pieces, I forget). My point is that's a better way to bring art into the computercentric world the rest of us live in than these circle the wagons exhibitions."

Not sure I'd call it a wagon maneuvering exercise - the show is not perfect, but few are. I think it's more about looking at the current generation of media artists and considering the shifts in art world practice, which is hardly "let's talk about New Media", although it is in a media arts center. We could probably rewind this 25 years and stick a VCR in our hands.

Computer-centric world - just my 2 cents, but I really hope that artists working with technology aren't limited to talking about technoculture.

Salvatore mentions narrative (good!), and:
""the point" possibly shifts toward the perspective that in the contemporary era *all* production is aesthetically characterized, creating a radical change in which what really makes the difference is the visual (sensorial) fetish incorporated in a "thing". And that's the a really substantial change running from Marx to Adorno or Benjamin.
In this perspective everything is actually new media, whether you print it, paint it, code it or whatever. "

Yes, exactly. the formal codification of what New Media is represents a real problem, or what people would like it to be, like web art becoming browser art.

Interesting thing is that I'm making completely solid state NM using embedded microprocessors. Very computational, but also very material, and (unless I'm wrong) should last as long as a VCR tape.

Honestly, I'm more interested in cultural media persistence than commodification.

Olia - very interesting about not wanting to be part of the "contemporary" scene. Very provocative.