Epic Net Art: The (Pre)Coda
For anyone who remembers this old thread (http://www.rhizome.org/discuss/view/37756) here's a snip from a 1999 lecture by David Ross. Clearly those who forget the past are doomed to etc.
Transcription of Lecture by David Ross, San Jose State University, March 2, 1999
Ross's 21 Distinctive Qualities of Net.Art
4. The net allows for the production of epic work. Brecht talked about epic theater which was a challenge to conventional notions theater, to the notion of theater as a commodified spectacle. Theater that actually related to the direct lives of people, with all the attendant boredom, the interstitial space between things happening in life. Art has always been about compression, always within a confined space of materiality, despite the large-scale possibilities. The real scale is day-to-day life. It's artists who began to blur that line, artists beginning with Duchamp and on to Fluxus and others. Those artists finally found a medium where they could work unfiltered. That can take place within an economy of abundance, can make epic work possible. Someone could come to me with a proposal for SFMoMA's website that would take the next twenty years. This is feasible. That abundance allows for amazing things. We've seen this with webcam activity. I find it fascinating. Andy Warhol must be jealous that he didn't live to experience webcams. He would have had a webcam on every corner of the factory just looking at the water cooler. I haven't really seen anyone online take on that kind of epic aesthetic activity. Epic time is variably defined.
5. Net.art is purely ephemeral. The opposite of the epic quality of net.art is its pure ephemerality. There's no trace. It can have poetic brevity, that brief a life in the collective consciousness.