Philip Galanter
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

BIO
generative artist using installation, video, audio, and print

also faculty member at Texas A&M

also writer exploring complexity theory, art theory

also curator for generative, robotic, complexity, and tech art

for more please visit http://philipgalanter.com
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DISCUSSION

sad news - stockhausen



This is idiocy on so many levels that it's hard to know where to
begin. I'll keep this short.

(1) bin Laden is not an artist. He has no artistic intent. He does
not work in an art context. His "creations" cannot be considered art
from that point of view. 9/11 is not a work of art if one believes
the artist has any say in such things.

(2) But I suppose Barthes-on-steroids might argue that it's the reader
who determines whether something is art or not. Perhaps that is what
you have in mind here. But what kind of person would think such a
thing when it comes to 9/11? Only someone who views everything and
anything through an aesthetic prism to the exclusion of any other
consideration.

Such a person is a slave to reductionism.

Political pundents tend to reduce everything to politics, and consider
little else. Religious zealots tend to reduce everything to an issue
of dogma, and consider little else. Such reductionism is a foolish
approach to a multidimensional world. Most here understand that.

Well, aesthetic reductionism is equally foolish. And in the case of
9/11, it is a foolishness that is disgusting in its lack of humanity.

On Dec 18, 2007, at 6:01 PM, manik wrote:

> "NEED FOR WARMTH AND HOSTILITY TOWARD TOUCH"
>
> Peter Handke wrote that after read Witgenstein.
>
> If that could help to understand all this controversy with K.H
> Stockhausen declaration we'll be satisfied.Why?Because Vijay here
> start with(maybe)key question about relationship between reality/
> whatever it is, but in this case we suggest to take reality in
> colloquial sense/and culture/in entire appearance covered with this
> term/.Radical translation of possibly connections and mutual
> influences between those two totality could be useful for radical
> changing this miserable situation in 'Western World Art'.
>
> Strange thing's that similar words about 9/11 happening were impute
> to D.Hirst
>
> http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,790058,00.html
>
> Cheers
>
> MANIK
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Vijay Pattisapu" <lexicontrol@gmail.com
> >
> To: <handsproje@gmail.com>
> Cc: <list@rhizome.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 10:09 PM
> Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: sad news - stockhausen
>
>
>> "[Stockhausen] provoked controversy in 2001 after describing the
>> Sept.
>> 11 attacks as 'the greatest work of art one can imagine' during a
>> news
>> conference in the northern German city of Hamburger, where several of
>> the hijackers had lived.
>>
>> "The composer later apologized for his remarks, but the city still
>> canceled performances of his works."
>>
>> In so many languages to say that "x is a work of art" to praise x,
>> usually for its beauty. In that bland idiom, "art" is a bit different
>> from how we use the word in other contexts (like Rhizome), because
>> beauty is just a subset of art. Maybe. Maybe in the demotion I'm
>> confusing beauty with aesthetic pleasure, which are two different
>> things. Maybe beauty is the end of art. Need help here.
>>
>> I can't get into Stockhausen's head, but I speculate he was using
>> "art" in its more direct sense, viz., he posed a possibility, albeit
>> too strongly, of taking 9/11 as a performance.
>>
>> I think you'd agree, Nanny, that terrorism is performance, at least
>> insofar as spectacle is the terrorist's goal as much or more than the
>> actual violence.
>>
>> It is interesting, though not terribly useful, to collate here 9/11,
>> Stockhausen's statement about it, and Nietzsche's epigram:
>>
>> "One imposes far too narrow limitations on art when one demands that
>> only well-ordered, morally balanced souls may express themselves in
>> it. As in the plastic arts, so in music and poetry too there is an
>> art
>> of the ugly soul beside the art of the beautiful soul; and the
>> mightiest effects of art, that which tames souls, moves stones, and
>> humanizes the beast, have perhaps been mostly achieved by precisely
>> that art."
>>
>> I don't know. I've never even been to New York City, so my
>> understanding of 9/11 is cheap.
>>
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mWW6kRITEY
>>
>> Vijay
>>
>>
>>
>> On 10/12/2007, nannykitachen <handsproje@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> i don't think that telling 11 september is an art work, is a
>>> performance and
>>> i don't think that he approves 11september
>>> i didn't understand why they are saying all the things
>>> 'performance'?
>>>
>>> Vijay Pattisapu <lexicontrol@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pimp C died at the same time.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 07/12/2007, sachiko hayashi wrote:
>>> >
>>> >
>>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-7135487,00.html
>>> >
>>> >
>>>
>>>
>>> --
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>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
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DISCUSSION

Re: NYT review of ArtBase 101


Interesting discussion.

Anyway here are some quick responses in the interest of correcting
misinterpretations of my previous post. Also some
observations ...all in no particular order...

re: Simon's "every icon"...my impression is that Boxer "got it" and
the "I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of time"
comment was an (attempted) jest very much in tune with the spirit of
the piece.

re: my comments regarding time and it's good and bad use in art. I
wasn't attacking this show as having lots of examples of bad time
art. I'm not taking a position on that. I'm saying Boxer's
attention to time as a theme in her criticism is not flip but rather
is entirely valid even if expressed in the article in a "lite" way.

similarly re: the opinion that Boxer's review had so little content
there was nothing there to respond to. Well, first, empirically
there apparently is something there to respond to because we have
lots of responses even here. But more to the point, I wanted to
"help" Boxer by pointing out her choice of "time" in internet art as
a thread to string her comments on is insightful...I can easily
imagine multiple books on the topic, and that her cautionary message
about poor use of time in art is worth hearing. Reasonable people
can disagree whether this or that piece deals with time well, but
simply her bringing "time" to the front of the room is enough of a
service to justify the article.

re: my comments regarding film and such. I wasn't making a claim
that good interactive art making is *just like* making a good film.
That would just be silly. What I *was* pointing out was that the
transition from static visual art to visually stimulating time art is
a perilous one. The fact that some responses questioned whether
internet art was, in fact, a time art at all underscores for me the
weak state of the art in this regard...even in the critical language
itself.

re: the question of making art for oneself vrs the audience, and who
should meet who more than halfway or not. I didn't say it is somehow
wrong for an artist to optimize his activity for his own
satisfaction. I affirmed that artists are free to make that choice.
I only said that having made that choice it is an unreasonable
expectation on the part of the artist of the audience that they will
find the work equally optimal for *their* satisfaction as well.

i.e. artistic self-satisfaction is no guarantee of audience
satisfaction, and all too often they are conflicted interests. One
should try to have reasonable expectations about this...and not deny
other artists a different balance.

cheers, Philip

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://philipgalanter.com -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: NYT review of ArtBase 101


I can understand how some might find Sarah Boxer's review a bit
insulting or maddening. After all, internet artists put a great deal
of thought and effort into the work, and to simply have the results
cast aside with a glib observation or two seems somehow unfair. But
who ever said art, or art criticism, was fair?

More to the point, though, this criticism is ignored at the artists
peril. There is, perhaps inadequately expressed, a message there and
we should thank Ms. Boxer for it.

Boxer's focus on time is, I think, quite telling. I suspect that a
good number of internet artists started out as primarily visual
artists, and have somehow underestimated how much internet art is in
fact a *time* art, and how important that is.

You can see this in the classroom everyday. Student painters or
photographers who decide to take up video are usually (at least at
first) bad at editing. By bad I mean really terribly awful.
Narrative is fragmented and incoherent and then defended in class
critique as some kind of "higher" fine art aesthetic rather than
being called what it is...bad filmmaking. Interminable static shots
are the norm. Fade to credits never comes soon enough. And so on.
The artist's infatuation for his/her own images becomes the audiences
burden.

Painters and sculptors understand that issues of absolute size, what
they call scale, are fundamental problems to be solved. For time
based forms problems of scale also include the dimension of time.
Fine artists must be masters of space, but time artists must be
masters of both time and space.

These problems become multiplied when fine artists turn to the
internet as a new medium. That time counts shouldn't be a surprise.
It is the rare work of music or film or stage that asks the audience
to take a leap of faith, to struggle through the entire work without
satisfaction along the way, just to get to a big payoff at the very
end. Music frequently begins with the introduction of compelling
themes that give the listener an incentive to go further. Good films
not only end well, but give the viewer rewards all along the way.
How much internet art does this?

I've seen far too many examples of internet art that seem to
disregard the element of real time, and thereby ignore or
miscalculate the experience of the audience. To be sure the
nonlinear nature of much internet art makes the compositional
problems of pacing exponentially more difficult. But that's no
excuse...that's exactly the challenge the artist has willingly taken on.

I suppose one can be an artist and do the work and not care a whit
for the audience's experience. But don't blame the audience, or the
critic, if they click a few times and then walk away. It's not their
fault. It's yours.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://philipgalanter.com -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

please email for the quickest response: listl@philipgalanter.com

DISCUSSION

Re: Internet2: Orchestrating the End of the Internet?


Thanks back to you Jon for furthering the discussion of some of the
tough issues raised by the new networked communication technologies.

To be clear, my intent in my first response was to address the
question posed in the subject line. That is, I wanted to make the
point that Internet2 is not orchestrating the end of the internet,
and that in fact they are extending and enhancing the very virtues
that you and many others hold to be valuable. I tried to do this by
correcting a number of technical misunderstandings that seemed to
indict Internet2 as a villain, when in fact the opposite is the case.

So I hope it won't be too disappointing if I don't respond to your
second post in a point by point manner. It seems to me that most of
the concern there is really more about the MPAA and the broadcast
flag than Internet2.

Internet2 is indeed talking to the MPAA, but they are talking to
literally hundreds of organizations and interest groups. Some of
those groups hold opposing views and differing visions of the future.
It is in everyone's interest that Internet2 provide a forum for as
broad a discussion of advanced networks as possible.

And I don't want to be put in the position of defending the broadcast
flag. I can see issues and interests on both sides, and find myself
somewhere in the middle. But I'll toss in a few thoughts
nevertheless.

First, it's important to remember that more than one market force is
at play here. Yes the MPAA (and RIAA) wants to protect the property
rights of those who create and market media. But the consumer
electronics industry doesn't want to see the end of home recording.
The carrier companies (cable, satellite, ISPs, etc) don't either.
And consumer groups still have a voice. (And so does our
democratically elected government.)

I'm convinced that when all is said and done the typical consumer
will still be able to record at home for all the fair use reasons
currently available to them. The MPAA has said that even they want
home recording to be preserved. Will there be transitional problems?
Will old equipment become obsolete? Sure...as always. Ask anyone
who went with Beta rather than VHS. Or audiophiles who thought the
Elcassette would lead them to sonic nirvana. Such is the nature of
progress.

Next, regarding hackers and the ability to innovate and experiment
with broadcast media. The broadcast flag, to my best understanding,
has to allow for not only hardware recording devices, but also
computers used as home entertainment centers. Can you imagine
Microsoft not demanding this? And to keep the competition fair third
party software vendors will have to have some way to create products
as well.

As a programmer what this says to me is that operating systems will
have to provide a software layer that will allow
playing/recording/skipping/looping video media while preventing (or
attempting to prevent) massive piracy. Those software hooks will
have to be available to any programmer...even kids and
hackers...because ultimately they will be impossible to hide anyway.

Perhaps someone else will come up with an example, but under such a
scenario I can't imagine functionality that is short of piracy and
yet unavailable to random programmers. I'll admit that there is some
speculation in the above...but this is all a work-in-progress and
there is speculation on all sides...even on the EFF site.

Getting back to Internet2. A few quick points.

"Pick-up collaboration" on Internet2 is indeed live and well. But
guess what? Artists didn't invent it. Scientists are leading the
way there. They are also the ones who invented the World Wide Web.
Nevertheless, both are available to artists as open platforms for
creativity. Have at it!

And yes, the Internet2 Commons has a fee attached to it, but you have
to understand what you are getting. Standard videoconferencing (with
Polycoms and Tandbergs and so on) is limited to 3 or 4 sites at a
time. If you want to include, say, a dozen locations you need a
device called an MCU. Along with the MCU hardware cost there are
also maintenance costs and administrative hassles. For many schools
buying and supporting their own MCU's is prohibitively expensive.
And contracting for external MCU services is really expensive too.

For many schools the Internet2 Commons provides very useful
functionality. Rather than tax every Internet2 member they decided
to fund the effort by only charging the schools that want to use it.
Compared to the commercial alternatives the I2 Commons fees are a
really good deal.

There are, of course, other ways to videoconference. iChat on the
Mac is cool...as long as everyone else is using a Mac and you only
need to connect to a couple other people. The Access Grid is great,
but it requires multicast (perhaps via a unicast gateway) and isn't
exactly plug and play or commonly used.

For connecting random sites nothing is as ubiquitous as good old
H.323 and H.320. Check out last years megaconference. *372* sites
on every continent but Antarctica connected via video and voice.

http://www.megaconference.org/

Regarding putting low level DRM into routers. All I can suggest is
looking into what it would really take to get such a protocol, or
*any* new extension, into IPv6. At most Internet2 could sponsor a
proposal...not that I think they ever would. And then there would be
an *international* standards process to contend with. I don't care
what the MPAA may or may not want...it just ain't going to happen.

Finally, regarding the better documented Internet2 performing arts
events. You have to remember that many of these events are designed
for a certain kind of setting. More often than not the setting is a
large conference for an audience of several hundred university
technicians and administrators. Such a setting invites a rather
standard "concert" type presentation...and comfortable mainstream
content.

But this is hardly built into the network!

And the master class thing may not be your cup of tea, but in large
parts of the country distance education, and access to the talented
people that tend to migrate to urban centers like NYC, is a
significant breakthrough.

There are all kinds of other options waiting to be explored. Way
back in 1999 NYU's first use of Internet2 involved small
performances, intimate improvisations, and other artistic "pick up"
experiments with theater students at MIT. More recently NYU
Professor and performance artist Barbara Rose Haum did a very nice
piece with collaborators at the University of Kansas.

Personally, when it comes to MARCEL I am less interested in more
academic theory. What I'd love to see MARCEL spawn is more actual
art. And I am sure that as soon as an Alan Kaprow for the network
age wants to reinvent what we mean by "art" and "performance"
Internet2 will be there for them.

Phil

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Internet2: Orchestrating the End of the Internet?


Oh drat. I see that I screwed up the editing of one of the quotes
from Jon's original post.

So I'm posting this correction to my own post....

Jon originally said:

>By this July, every DVD player and TiVo box will sniff for a
>"broadcast flag" that prevents it from copying digital TV
>broadcasts. This hardware intervention effectively destroys even the
>possibility of fair use, since artists and educators cannot
>transform, parody, or criticize what they cannot record

And I accidently appended this line while editing my response making
it look like Jon said the following:

>The broadcast flag does not prevent making recordings for time
>shifting or other personal "fair use".

sorry about that! Phil