Nmherman on 11 Jan 2001 03:51:23 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] SFMOMA and Intel

In a message dated 1/10/2001 6:41:00 AM Central Standard Time, 
curator@conceptualart.org writes:

> 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.  

I tried to start a discussion of 010101 on Rhizome, David Ross insulted me, 
and when I insulted back I was told to drop it.  By all but the most radical 
of my fringe group.  Museums' hold on art was waning before the internet and 
they're using it now not only to preserve their stature but coerce the mass 
of its potential.  Elitism and trickle-down allocation of value has been the 
American Way for centuries and is in prime form in 2001.

>  art continually chases technology, it will always be in the service of
>  industry.  

I call this the "artistic-technological complex", and have often before, but 
am rarely listened to.  The military was the cognitive rationale for 
industry, hence they joined into a complex.  Art is the new rationale for 
technology.  Growth is fueled by consumerism, i.e. the buying of unneeded and 
wasteful and ineffective products.  Display technologies need content.  
Artists provide the content.  And by artists I mean ESPN, Lou Reed, Ken 
Burns, and Milan Kundera.  The crises of the artistic-technological complex 
are the crises of the very idea of art and artist--the oldest problem in 
human history--not the crises of making cool browsers.

("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 
>  technology...what are the artists in the museum chasing. 

Success, viewers, a sense of playing a part in something, I suppose.  or 
dates and star treatment, ego gratification, self-discovery, social activism, 
you name it.  Most famous artists think they deserve their fame.  (A lot of 
them change their minds later and burn everything though.)  Artists want to 
be somebody; they want to be artists instead of just to try to be artists; 
they want to be in the world as artists.  I think it's an incestuous, greedy, 
narcissistic view of life but it's very convincing to many.  Some people like 
the stimulation of striving for artistic success.  The artists in 010101 are 
also chasing the carrot and filling an essential role in the corporate future 
art economy.

Didn't Intel
>  sponsor that processor gobbling monstrosity known as 010101. 

Yes; they also are collaborating with IBM on how to make disk drives that 
cannot copy prohibited files.  Imagine you find the cure for NAS, neural 
attenuation syndrome, and try to upload it.  It'd be like throwing a brick at 
a 747.  Lots, and I mean lots, of people would get sickeningly rich off such 
tech so don't be surprised if they pull it off.  People are witless of the 
dangers of computerized society and won't see what hits them until it's too 
late.  (Unless we agitators succeed more.)

In short, we
>  cannot let those who author closed source applications determine our 
>  destiny.  
>  That's the issue if you ask us.  Maybe that's why we can't all just get
>  along. 
>  If we sit back and let them, the macromedias and adobes will have us
>  believing that they are the source of the creative impulse.

They already have practically proved that they are.  They have almost 
exterminated alternate scenarios, in my opinion, if you look at media culture 
and economy in its entirety:  where it is now, where it's been since Reagan 
or Moses, and where its momentum is pointing.

>  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.

I think the discussion is just getting concrete and meaningful.  Why kiss it 
goodbye with gestures of collegial good will?  I'm not lazy.  But this post 
won't get past Byfield I bet.

Max Herman
The Genius 2000 Network

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