curator on 10 Jan 2001 08:51:33 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Disassociate Webdesign from Usability

How often we have wondered wistfully, "Why can't we all just get along?"

Our think tank convened in early 19XX (that's an approximate date) to
discuss this very issue and they have yet to emerge from their secluded
hideaway.   We haven't heard or seen them in quite a while, nor have we
noticed any change in the smoke issuing from their chimney.  We are left to
assume that either they have all killed one another or that they are still
deliberating. (We very conveniently choose to ignore the possibility of slow
starvation.)  Thus we are led to declare ourselves particularly unprepared
to address the question publicly.

However, when presented with a concept of computer art that assumes that the
word art somehow is equated with the words visual art, we pounce.  That is
the fear that wells up within when we see great big boulders lying in the
middle of our little dirt information super byway like SFMOMA's latest.  If
art continually chases technology, it will always be in the service of
industry.  ("I simply must learn Flash 5 or I'll never be able to complete
my piece." says the young computer artist.)  Similarly, if the museum chases
technology...what are the artists in the museum chasing. Didn't Intel
sponsor that processor gobbling monstrosity known as 010101. In short, we
cannot let those who author closed source applications determine our digital

That's the issue if you ask us.  Maybe that's why we can't all just get

If we sit back and let them, the macromedias and adobes will have us
believing that they are the source of the creative impulse.

But before this thread fades into oblivion let's be sure to thank geert for
starting the whole discussion.  Otherwise, what impetus would we have to
express ourselves ?  We are very lazy after all.

BTW Eric, we would be fairly disappointed if Mute were expected to behave
more like TV Guide.  Would you?
"subverting the visual in art"

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on 1/9/01 04:40 PM, Eric Miller at wrote:

> As a designer, I see two a couple of different issues here that are
> getting inadvertently lumped into one.  But the biggest issue is that
> users as well as designers are bringing their preconceived notions about
> what the 'Net is when they surf.  "It's a library!" "It's an entertainment
> medium!"  "It's a personal communications tool!"  "It's for liberating the
> proletariat!"  etc. Any reason why it can't be defined flexibly enough to
> accommodate the needs of all the users?
> for starters, this is still an immature medium.  We don't always know what
> works.  so we experiment.  you experiment with what you post, how you post
> it, how you present it, and how you structure it.  and then on top of
> that, it gets filtered through different machines, and different
> connections, then the big filter--the user's conceptual approach to
> understanding what you've done.
> But on top of that, we tend to speak in absolutes about design.  "Flash is
> bad."  "DHTML is bad."  "Plain text with H3 headers is good."  "Plain text
> is boring."  well, none of these can globally apply to the hundreds of
> millions...billions?...of web pages out there.
> so why the holy war?  text has a role, animation has a role, a/v has a
> role, and none is inherently good or bad.  We don't seem to have the same
> arguments about erudite literary journals vs. "Entertainment Weekly" vs. a
> child's pop-up book.  And all are perfectly valid ways of communicating a
> certain type of content to a certain audience.
> pardon me if I'm retreading the obvious here.

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