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<eyebeam><blast> Art and Media
I would like to string together a few thoughts that have croped up here
Tim Jordan discussed two internet based practices, one of them is the
IOD Web Stalker which offers a way of drawing the particular structure
of any web-site and producing simultaneously <art> and power analyses.
Well, this strategy of analysing and revealing underlying structures of
the medium one is using, corresponds to a Michael Asher/Hans
Haake/Andrea Fraser type of institutional criticism. I believe until
1991, this practice of demystifying art as a site of economic and
political interests, could have an impact on the reception of art. Comes
neoliberalisation, I doubt that art practices which remain in the
museum/gallery space or work on a level of individual site-specific
intervention, can have an impact of adequate proportion. At a time, when
the Ghetti museum buys up any pictures to become the second largest
picture archive in the world after Bill Gates', we see where the museum
world is heading to.
Artists were never really able to use television as a medium and
network, they just took over the video as a new technological medium and
kept showing it in the art space. The public sphere of the major
audio-visual medium was not successfully accessed by artists. I guess
that's where I have to disagree with Simon on his idea that digital
based art becomes a distinct art form. Art practices on the web are no
more just another discipline as cultural studies are, they both have an
impact on all disciplines or make disciplines somewhat obsolete.
Deep Dish in New York is the only example of an artist and media group I
personally know of, who thought of using satellite time for beaming down
counter-cultural productions. Media workers seemed to be most reflective
about how to access media time and attention, that's why we invited them
rather than artists to Just Watch to discuss media representation in
terms of identity politics as well as means of production and
dissemination. The accounts varied, as I said, according to the context.
Womedia in Manila made many compromises with the people in power from
Marco's through Corazon Aquino's governmental periods, to stay on air.
In other places, access to the television channels is out of the
question, some producers make tv-quality programming on issues like Aids
or women's medicinal knowledge in India and produce activist tapes on
the side which are distributed in the narrow-casting mode, i.e.
screening tapes out in the communities. In more than one case, events
that were neglected by mainstream public affairs programs, were taped by
some independent video makers and later sold countless times to the
stations because it was the only material available. Like those Indian
women chasing the military off their land, or Salman Rushdie's book
burnings in Britain.
I'm just afraid that if we skip to the new medium without having done
our homework with the previous one, we risk to run into the same
incapabilities. Remaining in the white cube, be it with VCRs or PCs, is
not going to bring us into the digital age.
I'm thinking about Jordan's idea of providing another frame for the
art-project with the capacity to globally frame a local articulation.
I'm quite sure that's the direction it will have to take but I need a
little more time to think over the implications of television and the
internet being linked in the not so very far future.
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