Adrianne Wortzel on 18 Aug 2000 22:42:55 -0000

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<nettime> arts@large column letters

For those of you interested in writing letters to the NY Times protesting
the end of Mat MIrapaul's arts@large column; in addition to writing to &

it wouldn't hurt to also email the following executives directly
responsible for this, particularly to Mr. Meislin: 

Richard J. Meislin, Editor in Chief, The New York Times Electronic Media Co.

Bernard Gwertzman, Editor, The New York Times on the Web

Will Tacy, Managing Editor, The New York Times on the Web

There is also an online NY Times Forum on Digital Art at
where letters can be posted!

My letter below:

Dear ________:

I am writing to express my dismay at the announcement that the arts@large
column will no longer be published.

arts@large is not just a driving force in digital culture, but a driving
force in culture at large. The proliferation of digital cultural
productions in art, theater, writing, and the current re-emergence of the
artist-as-inventor has great repercussions on local, regional, and global
levels and it is vital that it remains in public focus.  Digital culture
is also a force for integrating disciplines such as art and science and
for breaking down the arbitrary barriers between them. Productive
partnerships are being formed in the arena of digital culture that are
unique and will have a deep influence on our future.  We are moving from
the familiar bipolar consideration of things - either/or , black/white,
art/business, to a pluralistic one that will have a whole new order of its
own.  arts@large is the only forum I know of which has its finger on the
pulse of that phenomenon. 

Is virtual real estate one more neighborhood that artists have pioneered
only to be evicted when the big guns of e-commerce move in?  Must digital
art and culture be placed in the position of minor importance in contrast
to the Goliath of e-commerce?  Does the Times represent film and theater
only in terms of box office receipts?  Isn't the Pope simultaneously a
deeply religious man AND the head of a large corporation? 

Matthew Mirapaul is a rare and excellent journalist, capable of highly
intelligent focus on a powerful moving target and brilliant at capturing
it and conveying its trajectory to a larger public.  Its seems a shame to
bury this treasure. 

In the 13th century, Western European cartographers marginalized
relatively unexplored territories by depicting their inhabitants as
monstrous races at the very edges of the flat earth. Marginalized as they
were, at least this population was on the map!  By obliterating arts@large
from the face of the earth, the Times is bypassing a crucial element of
art and culture and losing a the efficacy of its power to represent the
world in real time.  This an extreme disappointment for this reader of the
Times and Cybertimes.  I hope you will reconsider. 

Adrianne Wortzel
Associate Professor
Department of Advertising Design and Graphic Arts
New York City Technical College of the City University of New York
300 Jay Street, Room 1112 Namm
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Phone:  718 260-5512
Fax:  718 254-8555
Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
51 Astor Place
New York, New York 10003
Phone:  212 353-4013

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