[-empyre-] 'real' networked art

Timothy Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Sat Oct 17 14:58:48 EST 2009

>Thanks, Anna, for stressing the internationalism of 'early' net art, 
>particularly its Eastern European and Balkan flavor.  Your post made 
>me think fondly of a project I did in Slovenia with Teo Spiller in 
>99-2000 for INFOS 2000, for which we ran an international net.art 
>competition.   I believe that I've posted before on this, but the 
>conceit was that artists had to agree to permit their work to be 
>copied and disseminated off-line on CD-Roms that were distributed 
>for free both to Slovenian technology fair, INFOS 2000, and to 
>international alternative media centers (with the aim of reaching 
>audiences lacking home high speed connections).   This ended up 
>being a very interesting experiment that generated  widespread 
>international participation.  There's still our account of this on 

>  "Internationalism" was also the driving force of CTHEORY 
>MULTIMEDIA.  I don't think anyone working in these venues were 
>particularly worried about establishing an art ghetto.  Rather there 
>was extreme enthusiasm about working outside of the conventional 
>gallery-museum network with the hope of reaching an alternative 
>audience.  Of course things have become more conventionalized over 
>time, but generally the artists working on these exhibitional 
>efforts tended to be committed to the kind of collaboration that 
>typifies -empyre-.

>  Interestingly, this is the same spirit that has grown the Rose 
>Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, with the majority of the general 
>'collection' having come voluntarily from international artists 
>committed to the communal notion of a new media archive.   I like to 
>think that the spirit lives on.



>Ok - got it!
>Kazys wrote:
><Both High-low/internal vs. Cool/Uncool/transdisciplinarity are 
>reflections of the same transition to network culture.>
>however, I would still ant to maintain that relative to the period 
>in which they ere working, '90s net artists were not necessarily 
>elite. I don't think small or niche = elite. The question of access 
>and mass has taken on a renewed medial push in the age of 'hits' and 
>their registering. This links up to Anne's points about the ways in 
>which search engines produce forms of identity. Likewise algorithms.
>One thing we might be forgetting about that early net art was its 
>internationalism - alot of it came out of eastern europe and the 
>balkans especialy and was very much connected with early net radio 
>and its relations to Dutch net culture. A number of people, 
>Stallabrass included, have remarked on the net art movement as one 
>of the truly international art movements of the late 20th century. 
>For me, this alone takes that work out of some 'art ghetto' and 
>makes it concerned with a lot more than avant-gardism...
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

Timothy Murray
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
A. D. White House
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853

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