Plasma Studii
Since the beginning
Works in New York United States of America

PORTFOLIO (8)
BIO
judsoN = computer artist for shows internationally on stages, galleries and the web, and the Artistic Director of Plasma Studii, a non-profit arts organization in New York. His goal is to use technology as a tool to fuse arbitrary distinctions in art, such as dance and sculpture, color and sound frequencies, stages and web sites. His live interactive pieces appear in such venues as plays in circus tents across Europe, installations for places like the Arts Council of Mildura, Australia, on web sites at ISCAM (in Istanbul) and cTheory for Cornell University (twice). His artwork published in books (US, Europe, South America) and on CD-Roms worldwide. Studied choreography under Doug Elkins, music composition with a student of Stockhausen.
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DISCUSSION

sample of our trivial existence


so i have a question, mostly for eryk, but welcome any opinions out there.

why would anyone continue to subscribe to the idea that triviality = bad, while broadening
the qualifications for things like aretistic merit? hence, the value of trivial things (i seem to
remember a mention a while ago of a found red mitten) have equal value as (for example)
desmoiselles d'avignon.

rather than broaden the good/bad dichotomy, many seek to broaden the definition of
whatever seems important. if "art" is important, claim all things are equally artistic and thus
equally important. (not that "art" is the only nebulous term, but a pretty ubiquitous one)
certainly the labels "computer art", "web art", "net art","digital" popularly obscure the real
things they refer to, such that no one agrees on any logical definition.

what's wrong with saying trivial is fine. despite the superlatives in marketing like movie ads
and artistic statements, most things are actually trivial. i like trivial things, i am lucky to have
a chance to make them. trivial things certainly don't have to equal malevolence, like hitting
somebody on the head. they also don't have to be phenominal Michaelangelo masterpieces
to be enjoyed. in fact, why would there be anything wrong with enjoying the trivial more
than the phenominal?

what's wrong with saying you can like a rothko, but not equate it with a monet? (with a
rothko, the artist is making their statement as a responce to an event, after the fact. with a
monet, the event is a responce to the artist. the statement, after the fact, is an unessential
addition to something else. a person could easily just say i like the statementy stuff, without
saying it has as much to offer, or arguing that a 4-year-old could NOT do that.

rather than argue 4-year olds make neat things, but of no great artistic merit. liking things
of no great artistic merit is fine. but the popular art argument is to say "if a 4-year-old can,
their works must be genius." (the unspoken way of saying, call everything equal, rather than
alloow mediocrity to be acceptable.)

___________________
PLASMA STUDII
501(c)(3) non-profit
stage * galleries * web
POI Box 1086
Cathedral Station
New York, NY 10025
http://plasmastudii.org

DISCUSSION

(no subject)


so i have a question, mostly for eryk, but welcome any opinions out there.

why would anyone continue to subscribe to the idea that triviality = bad, while broadening
the qualifications for things like aretistic merit? hence, the value of trivial things (i seem to
remember a mention a while ago of a found red mitten) have equal value as (for example)
desmoiselles d'avignon.

rather than broaden the good/bad dichotomy, many seek to broaden the definition of
whatever seems important. if "art" is important, claim all things are equally artistic and thus
equally important. (not that "art" is the only nebulous term, but a pretty ubiquitous one)
certainly the labels "computer art", "web art", "net art","digital" popularly obscure the real
things they refer to, such that no one agrees on any logical definition.

what's wrong with saying trivial is fine. despite the superlatives in marketing like movie ads
and artistic statements, most things are actually trivial. i like trivial things, i am lucky to have
a chance to make them. trivial things certainly don't have to equal malevolence, like hitting
somebody on the head. they also don't have to be phenominal Michaelangelo masterpieces
to be enjoyed. in fact, why would there be anything wrong with enjoying the trivial more
than the phenominal?

what's wrong with saying you can like a rothko, but not equate it with a monet? (with a
rothko, the artist is making their statement as a responce to an event, after the fact. with a
monet, the event is a responce to the artist. the statement, after the fact, is an unessential
addition to something else. a person could easily just say i like the statementy stuff, without
saying it has as much to offer, or arguing that a 4-year-old could NOT do that.

rather than argue 4-year olds make neat things, but of no great artistic merit. liking things
of no greatg artistic merit is fine. but the popular art argument is to say "if a 4-year-old can,
their works must be genius." (the unspoken way of saying, call everything equal, rather than
alloow mediocrity to be acceptable.)

___________________
PLASMA STUDII
501(c)(3) non-profit
stage * galleries * web
POI Box 1086
Cathedral Station
New York, NY 10025
http://plasmastudii.org

DISCUSSION

everybody's favorite patch


an audience can try to relate what they see to concept. it's pretty much an automatic reflex
for many. nothing wrong with it. but artists making some effort to inject concept, rather
than try to strip it away, is ... just kinda silly. a feeble hustle, trying to get an audience to
buy (fork over attention or money) for something (an art object) that's really nothing (lacks
skill to varying degrees). aqt best it's just armchair philosophy.

i dig jenny holtzer's sentences, but see no need to call it "art". one of my top 5 favorite
things on the net is her web art (that i seriously doubt she touched) from like 1995. it's
essentially a blog. things can be cool, have little or no practical purpose, and still not be
"art". why do conceptualist even want to be artists? (think it's stilll at http://
adaweb.walkerart.org/project/holzer/cgi/pcb.cgi )

if an artist can make something that stands on it's own, exciting without a "concept", ideas
expressable in an essay, ... for instance you don't need to understand anything about it
(including English or Italian) to appreciate "The Last Supper". Familiarity with the bible or
pre-renaissance perspective is not at all required. (Though granted, many dig that too)

Words and meaning are an easy short cut. It is like a drawing where the characters can't
really be identified and the artist for some reason feels they should. so he/she adds an
arrow and labels them. now the drawing because it lacks skill, makes up using concept.
concept comes in many forms but employs the intellect to make up for what the viscera just
doesn't react to.

the more an artist adds concept, the more the endeavor becomes just a flimsy back-seat
driver yammering. concepts are a patch for (what the artist feels) is poor execution. there's
no sense in aspiring to "art" and not be willing to put in effort.

many grant-type situations, venues and the conservative world of academia further confuse
the issue by asking for a "statement". who really cares what the artist has to say? if they
couldn't say it in their medium, they just haven't finished, or bit off a bigger job than they
can chew. giving documentation some context is simply writing good documentation. aside
from an artist's return address, more words are just distraction from the work.

___________________
PLASMA STUDII
501(c)(3) non-profit
stage * galleries * web
POI Box 1086
Cathedral Station
New York, NY 10025
http://plasmastudii.org

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Conceptual Art


skill is just the work, the effort. art without skill is like excersize with no energy expended.
what's the point? why would anyone want to say "sitting on the couch is exersize" or insist
"conceptualism is art"? why argue it is or isn't? theoretically exersize is possible if the goal
of burning calories is dropped. same for art. but it's a phenominally useless endeavor to
persue.

to say conceptualism is somehow more valid or interesting because no one is excluded,
everyone can make it regardless of skill is plain silly. everyone can acquire skill. some have
a harder time then others allong the way, but that's the nature of human effort. sometimes it
takes some imagination or innovation. but lacking the effort, skipping the hard part, doesn't
improve anything. (in fact, it can certainly be said, deeper insights come from experience,
getting ones hands dirty. we think with a lot more than our brains.)

skipping the work, the gradual acquiring of skill, the investment of time/energy (beyond just
sitting on the couch dreaming about it) is trying to get sometghing for nothing. though the
literal path may take some work to forge, the option to work or not is free for everyone. DIY
doesn't have to imply a "get rich quick" scheme.

conceptual art is at the very best like yelling at the game from a lazy boy after finishing a six
pack. but i'm not about to argue restricting couch-potato-like behavior.

DISCUSSION

Re: Conceptual Art


some say conceptual art is pretentious bullshit, some love it. but reading both sides of this
5,376th episode of "The Conceptual Art Question", these issues remain untouched for me:
why (or why not) is skill necessary? why (or why not) call skill "art" (didn't it used to be -
what REALLY, tangibly changed)? why validate work that shows no skill? why does anything
NEED to be considered art?

On Aug 8, 2005, at 6:16 PM, Eryk Salvaggio wrote:

>Joe and Curt,
>
>Might I take a stance in defense of conceptual art?
>
>One of the ways art is most interesting to me is when it exposes a new possibility, reframes
an old problem, or explores limitations of current ways of thinking.
>
>This is why new media is fascinating to me- even if it is, for example, the concept of
blogging, podcasting, etc that excite me for the sake of its possibilities, these do lead to a
tangible reframing of ideas about access, distribution, and waking up creative potentials in
people that might otherwise rest unstirred. Whether I ever hear a podcast that blows me away
is almost irrelevant to the benefits of the technology simply existing.
>
>How we think about the world, and the words and concepts that we use to describe a world
to ourselves, are what define us

but is defining at all necessary? does it serve any function that causes or prevents physical
dammage? can we still eat and breath without it? of course!

furthermore, why defend words with paragraphs? it's a circular proof. if you get something
out of the ideas, so be it. who cares where they come from or if we label it "art"?

>, probably more than the world itself manages to define us. Conceptual art is a means of
breaking out of boxes and exploring different ways of doing things (and a lot of it is
deliberately engaged in violating the rules of language itself as a means of exploring the
limitation of language itself. An idea is not always, as you say, "a collection of words"). Like
any other art, some of it will resonate and some will not. But I have never really been
comfortable with the segregation of "forms" of creative thought. If a piece of software comes
along that radically changes my way of thinking about the world, it is about the same to me
as if a new piece of art comes along that radically changes my way of thinking about the
world. If that piece of art is, say, something Jenny Holzer writes with LED lights, I don't
believe it is separate from if she said it to me in person.
>
>Artistry is fast losing its definition as a skill set; technology is going to make sure of it. As
that opens up the creative process, ideas are going to grow far more important than the
technical execution of an idea. It's not about the quality of the art, it's about the quality of
the articulation. Consider, for example, what spellcheck has done for an entire generation of
grammatically challenged poets. It isn't very difficult to imagine a computer program that will
automatically replace your word with a word that helps your stanza fit into the template of a
sestina, for example, and at the click of a button make suggestions for changing it to a
ballad. (A more practical example is the notion of audio tracking software that allows for an
entire genre of popular music to be made by individuals without any idea of how to play an
"actual" instrument). As technology accelerates the number of radio producers, musicians,
film makers, magazine publishers, and artists, the tangible output is going to be secondary
to the concept driving it. In other words, if anyone can make anything with the tap of their
finger, then the idea of what they make, and the fact that they have articulated it, will be far
more important than the process of how it was made.
>
>I've read Curt using, specifically, the example of Michael Mandiberg's "After Sherri Levine":
Walker Evans takes photographs of share croppers in 1936, Sherri Levine, in 79, takes
pictures of the pictures and puts them on line. Mandiberg, in 2001, scans Evans' originals,
and puts them on line, then scans Levine's pictures of those pictures and puts them on line,
elsewhere. Curt says the work is poor because it couldn't exist without an artists statement-
and that, therefore, the artists statement is the piece. The artists statement is always an
explanation of history and context. But Mandiberg's artist's statement is a history and a
context, of art, and how we re-evaluate art as technology changes our interactions with the
world. "After Sherri Levine" makes a point that strikes a nerve; but also crackles the synapses
as it makes new connections between ideas.
>
>It is not exactly a moving piece of emotional art, a call to arms, a protest piece, or anything
of the sort. But it does say something interesting in an interesting way- and saying
something interesting is about all any of us with access to the right technology will need to
know how to do.
>
>Two Cents,
>-e.
>