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the MTAA-RR

[splash image]

MTAA-RR:

Jun 27, 2008

Epic net art

posted at 22:11 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

pseudo.jpg

Another question raised at Rhizome’s Net Ae panel of a few weeks back was the idea of an ‘epic’ net art. Where is it? Is it possible? Who would want to do it?

Is pseudo.com an example of epic net art? Did we not know that we were in the midst of the most epic work of net art ever as it went on?

The first piece of net art that MTAA ever did, BUYING TIME: The Nostalgia-Free History Sale was done in conjunction with G. H. Hovagimyan’s ArtDirt streaming video show on Pseudo.com. (We didn’t know what the hell we were doing at the time.) There was a lot of art happening at pseudo’s offices (as well as really great parties). Jeff Gompertz (of Fakeshop) was heavily involved as well.

I’m bringing all this up as a way to help bolster Harris’ claim that pseudo.com was a ‘fake’ company and an elaborate piece of ‘performance art.’ Perhaps it was. Did he out-etoy etoy but not tell anybody until now? Can something be an art work if no one knows it’s an art work? Is he simply a revisionist fraud?

+++

Also on Rhizome; comment there if you like. permanent link to this post

Jun 26, 2008

Crazy art links!

posted at 16:14 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Olafur Eliasson’s “Waterfalls” are ON! It’s rainy today so I didn’t bike and will miss out on checking out the perfect view of one of the falls from the Manhattan Bridge. It will suck to bike it if/when the tourists figure out you can get a great view from there.

UPDATE
Roberta Smith’s review of the Waterfalls

+++

Josh Harris: still nuts; calls Pseudo.com “an elaborate piece of performance art.” Not so sure about that…

+++

Is it a Warhol? Who knows? Who cares? (Except for the chump that paid millions for it, his insurers, The Warhol Foundation, etc.) Me? I think it’s a damn good Warhol whether he did it, knew about it, or whatever. permanent link to this post

Jun 24, 2008

(I promise that) HARDCORE (conceptual art will make a comeback sometime very, very soon.)

posted at 17:20 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

mtaa_hardcore_240x240.jpg

Inspired by Nayland Blake’s merch (check out AFC’s interview), we’ve decided to notify our 10s of readers that we have a t-shirt for sale.

Buy it now! permanent link to this post

Is Beck following Cory Arcangel around?

posted at 17:13 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

It sort of feels that way to me…



Listen to a full track from Beck’s new album here (login required). permanent link to this post

More Loshadka @ OTO

posted at 02:58 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid



Petra Cortright has posted a big batch-o-pix @ flickr showing some behind-the-scenes footage of Loshadka’s show at Over The Opening.

Check it out…

m.river updates - also some shots from Kai permanent link to this post

Jun 22, 2008

xandxx

posted at 17:22 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

xandxx

10 netartworks I was interested in around 10 years ago and 10 from the last few years.

Note - This is not a best of list. It is just some works that I think about for time to time. Ive added a MTAA work in the netart_x section only because it was done with Eryk Salvaggio and his webiste from that time (one38.org), like so many works from that time, is gone. Seeing as I’ve left off a good many netartworks that I like, I may (or may not) change the list from time to time. I think of xandxx as an netartwork. I hope to live long enough to add a netart_xxx section in 2018 on the longest day of the year. permanent link to this post

Jun 20, 2008

Don’t go chasing…

posted at 19:38 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

…Olafur Eliasson’s New York City Waterfalls! (warning: dumb flash site)

The NYC real estate blog Curbed has been doing a good job of following the construction and tests (with some anti-art snark tossed in, but whatev) of Eliasson’s public sculptures. Check out the Curbed waterfall archives.

And don’t miss the Gothamist post on the Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall. permanent link to this post

Jun 17, 2008

post-net art…

posted at 21:42 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

…is a better label than net art 2.0.

not post-net.art

not anti-post-net art

post-net art permanent link to this post

Jun 14, 2008

LOSHADKA at OTO (Photos)

posted at 19:41 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

LOSHADKA at OTO

Photos from last night in OTO’s Flickr set
permanent link to this post

Jun 12, 2008

1 hit

posted at 02:23 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver


1hit from mriver on Vimeo. permanent link to this post

Jun 11, 2008

Kurtz wins

posted at 11:56 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

If you know the facts of this case there’s no way you can’t be angry about it. The witch hunt finally ends.

PR follows…

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 11, 2008

ARTIST CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES IN PRECEDENT-SETTING CASE

Department of Justice Fails to Appeal Dismissal
Kurtz Speaks about Four-Year Ordeal

Buffalo, NY — Dr. Steven Kurtz, a Professor of Visual Studies at SUNY at Buffalo and cofounder of the award-winning art and theater group Critical Art Ensemble, has been cleared of all charges of mail and wire fraud. On April 21, Federal Judge Richard J. Arcara dismissed the government’s entire indictment against Dr. Kurtz as “insufficient on its face.” This means that even if the actions alleged in the indictment (which the judge must accept as “fact”) were true, they would not constitute a crime. The US Department of Justice had thirty days from the date of the ruling to appeal. No action has been taken in this time period, thus stopping any appeal of the dismissal. According to Margaret McFarland, a spokeswoman for US Attorney Terrance P. Flynn, the DoJ will not appeal Arcara’s ruling and will not seek any new charges against Kurtz.

For over a decade, cultural institutions worldwide have hosted Kurtz and Critical Art Ensemble’s educational art projects, which use common science materials to examine issues surrounding the new biotechnologies. In 2004 the Department of Justice alleged that Dr. Kurtz had schemed with colleague Dr. Robert Ferrell of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health to illegally acquire two harmless bacteria cultures for use in one of those projects. The Justice Department further alleged that the transfer of the material from Ferrell to Kurtz broke a material transfer agreement, thus constituting mail fraud.

Under the USA PATRIOT Act, the maximum sentence for these charges was increased from five years to twenty years in prison.

Dr. Kurtz has been fighting the charges ever since. In October 2007, Dr. Ferrell pleaded to a lesser misdemeanor charge after recurring bouts of cancer and three strokes suffered since his indictment prevented him from continuing the struggle.

KURTZ SUMS UP END OF FOUR-YEAR NIGHTMARE

Finally vindicated after four years of struggle, Kurtz, asked for a statement, responded stoically: “I don’t have a statement, but I do have questions. As an innocent man, where do I go to get back the four years the Department of Justice stole from me? As a taxpayer, where do I go to get back the millions of dollars the FBI and Justice Department wasted persecuting me? And as a citizen, what must I do to have a Justice Department free of partisan corruption so profound it has turned on those it is sworn to protect?”

Said Kurtz’s attorney, Paul Cambria, “I am glad an innocent man has been vindicated. Steve Kurtz stared in the face of the federal government and a twenty-year prison term and never flinched, because he believes in his work and his actions were those of a completely innocent man. Clients like him are a blessing, and although I have had many important victories, this one stands at the top of the list.”

As coordinator of the CAE Defense Fund, a group organized to support Kurtz from the beginning of the case, Lucia Sommer sees the end of the prosecution as bittersweet, and like Kurtz, is thoughtful about the broader significance of the case: “This ruling is the best possible ending to a horrible ordeal—but we are mindful of numerous cases still pending, and the grave injustices perpetrated by the Bush administration following 9/11. This case was part of a larger picture, in which law enforcement was given expanded powers. In this instance, the Bush administration was unsuccessful in its attempt to erode Americans’ constitutional rights.”

Referring to the international outcry the case provoked, involving fundraisers and protests held on four continents, Sommer said, “The government has unlimited resources to bring and prosecute these kinds of charges, but the accused often don’t have any resources to defend themselves. This victory could never have happened without the activism of thousands of people. Supporters protested, vocally opposed the prosecution, and refused to let it go on in silence. And without their efforts at fundraising, Kurtz and Ferrell would not have been able to defend themselves from these false accusations.”

Sommer added that the next step for the defense will be to get back all of the materials taken by the FBI during its 2004 raid on the Kurtz home, including several completed art projects, as well as Dr. Kurtz’s lab equipment, computers, books, manuscripts, notes, research materials, and personal belongings. The four confiscated art projects are the subject of an exhibition entitled SEIZED on view at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, NY, through July 18: http://www.hallwalls.org/visual_shows/2008/show_seized.html.

BACKGROUND TO THE CASE

The case originated in May 2004, when Kurtz’s wife Hope died of heart failure as the couple was preparing a project about genetically modified agriculture for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Police who responded to Steve Kurtz’s 911 call deemed the Kurtzes’ art materials suspicious and alerted the FBI. Kurtz explained that the materials (legally and easily obtained basic life science equipment and two harmless bacteria samples) had already been displayed at museums throughout Europe and North America with absolutely no risk to the public. However, the following day, Kurtz was illegally detained for 22 hours on suspicion of bioterrorism, as dozens of agents from the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Homeland Security, Department of Defense, ATF, and numerous other law enforcement agencies raided his home, seizing his personal and professional belongings. After a federal grand jury refused to charge Kurtz with bioterrorism, Kurtz and Ferrell were indicted on two counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud concerning the acquisition of of harmless bacteria for one of Critical Art Ensemble’s educational art projects. (Critical Art Ensemble is the recipient of numerous awards for its projects, including the prestigious 2007 Andy Warhol Foundation Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Grant, in recognition of twenty years of distinguished work: http://www.creative-capital.org/index2.html.)

The Department of Justice brought the charges in spite of the fact that the alleged “victims of fraud”—American Type Culture Collection and the University of Pittsburgh—never filed any charges or complained of any wrongdoing, and the fact that in bringing the charges the Department of Justice was acting completely outside its own Prosecution Policy Relating to Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/
foia_reading_room/usam/title9/43mcrm.htm
).

For more information and extensive documentation, including the Judge’s dismissal, please visit: http://caedefensefund.org permanent link to this post

Jun 10, 2008

LOSHADKA at OTO on Friday June 13

posted at 14:32 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

poster

OTO is pleased to present on Friday June 13th from 7 to 10pm, an new installation by LOSHADKA (http://www.loshadka.org/)

ILIA OVECHKIN
PETRA CORTRIGHT
DAN WICKERHAM
WILL SIMPSON
TRAVESS SMALLEY
JAY PEYTON
BILLY RENNEKAMP
THOMAS GALLOWAY
HAYLEY SILVERMAN

SPEED LIL-LIZ_GUY69: HELLO pup
PIXL_lixxard: SUOP SUP SUP SUPSUPS
lil-liz_guy69 of sup: h foutue attacks you with armed hand where you with for this praise with neon I heard it descends U To the bottom
PIXL_lixxard: spout out some wwtf go to the hell go to your tomb which I do not go anywhere with a witch
lil-liz_guy69: U are dry everywhere of the United States in your shorts of spoils eating a meat pie
PIXL_lixxard69: I hold a cat which I make of drugs and im energy with the swimming pool of stuffing of space
lil-liz_guy69: a good number of drugs and drinks and music and hot hot hot babies in an oil factory functioning for dollar$
PIXL_lixxard: each one there will be sexy AM completely foutu I right or amirite
lil-liz_guy69: honey bee which you know that I am ready with the ready git and obtain pumped
PIXL_lixxard: hehehebreaking all the rules on this ground


more at oto…
permanent link to this post

Jun 07, 2008

Net Ae 2.0 postmortem

posted at 22:01 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

I was more obnoxious than I meant to be and I came off old and cranky.

All around a fine evening.

It was a bit of a set-up between artists of the older generation (T.Whid, the McCoys; artists who took part in ‘net art 1.0’) and artists of a younger generation (Petra Cortright, Damon Zucconi) with Tom Moody thrown in to prove that you can be over 30 and also a member of a surfing club.

But seriously, I was fairly bombastic at one point and it went something like this: “It seems like the artists that were involved in earlier stage of net art have given up on it to a certain degree, my question to the younger artists on the panel: why haven’t you figured out that it’s a dead end?”

This little rhetorical bomb was tossed specifically to spice up the discussion a tad. I’m going to try to expand and clear it up.

Before I get into it I need to make clear that when I talk about net art, I’m using the classic definition: “art that uses the internet as its medium and that cannot be experienced in any other way.” To me, this definition shouldn’t be diluted, it just leads to confusion. I use the term web art for art on the web that can exist entirely in one browser session. Note that I think blogs (including photo, video, or other media blogs) fulfill the classic definition of net art.

First, MTAA hasn’t given up on net art entirely. We’re working on a small piece currently that fits the classic definition of net art and our latest large piece, “Want”, has, at the very least, the possibility of fitting the ole skool definition. So my assertion that we’ve ‘given up’ on net art isn’t really true. Jenn McCoy also mentioned after the panel that she and Kevin haven’t given up either, she likened it to trying to get pregnant but it just won’t happen for whatever reason.

What we’re ‘giving up’ is the idea that this ‘pure’ sort of net art will ever enter the gallery in a way that makes any sense. Many net artists have come up with hybrid net art that does make sense in the gallery space. Examples of MTAA’s efforts in that direction are “Endnode (AKA Printer Tree)” and “Want.”

Second, the ‘dead end’ comment is a red herring. The younger generation never entertained these grand and flawed ideas of a ‘pure’ net art. The artists on the panel made it very clear that their work comprises video, looping animations, photography, holography(!), web sites, etc. I believe that Damon’s first comment was that his work is multi-disciplinary. The earlier generation of net artists learned the hard way that transitioning the ‘pure’ form of net art into the gallery is very problematic. The current generation of digital artists seems to have side-stepped this problem entirely.

+++

A few words on surfing clubs (PDF link to Marcin Ramocki’s thorough essay on the genre).

Mail art is to net art as graffiti art is to surf clubs.

The panel discussion bogged down considerably during the surfing club portion in my opinion. I’m guessing that since the clubs are by their nature somewhat insular and ‘insider-y,’ the audience felt it. There were 3 practitioners of the genre discussing it without a real thought to making it very accessible to the audience. During my live-twittering of the panel, I made a couple of comments to this regard (1, 2).

Apologies to anyone that was insulted by my tweets. It was a rather rude way of offering my criticism.

+++

Cross-posted to Rhizome; comment there if you feel the desire. permanent link to this post

when push comes to shove…

posted at 13:53 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

From the epilogue of Defunct in Ohio , a work I wrote for SMAC! in 2003:

Machines and systems come into this world. They thrive and then grow old. Technology gets updated, replaced or just fades off on its own. Sometimes, because we miss them, we dig up graves and let the dead walk the earth. We love seeing undead lurch around, bloody limbs and all. New media is growing old. We are already writing the eulogies. While some prepare for last rights, others will contact voodoo priests and sharpen their spades. Me? Im ironing my plaid thrift store shirt, excited for the funeral. permanent link to this post

Jun 04, 2008

Net Art 2.5 private beta

posted at 19:45 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Apropos of my participation in the Net Aesthetics 2.0 panel with Rhizome this Friday, I typed out some words on why I think it’s a bad idea to version art periods. It’s just a couple paragraphs. Hopefully at the panel I’ll be able to flesh out my thoughts off-the-cuff.

Please don’t version art periods…

Oh, alright. I’ve resigned myself to using the term “Net Art 2.0” to refer to the current state of net art. But before I completely give in, I need to put up a bit of a fight.

The main problem with using a software versioning paradigm to distinguish art periods is the implied progression. When a developer delivers new versions of their software new features are added or enhanced, bugs are fixed, new problems are identified and addressed, formats are upgraded and interfaces are streamlined.

Some will say that the progression, though implied, isn’t what people mean when they use the term “Net Art 2.0.” But, when O’Reilly versioned the web with their Web 2.0 conference in 2004 (would there be a Net Art 2.0 without Web 2.0?) it was done specifically to denote that an improvement was happening in regards to business practices on the web. “The pretenders are given the bum’s rush, the real success stories show their strength, and there begins to be an understanding of what separates one from the other” (What is Web 2.0?). So when we describe the current state of net art as Net Art 2.0, the idea that it’s somehow an improvement to artistic or aesthetic practices on the net follows.

But, is so-called Net Art 2.0 a progressive upgrade? Does it add any new features? Does it solve problems that previous net artists ignored? Are there hidden regressions? Is it correct to even think of art history in terms of progression?

If we really want to give net art a number, just call it Net Art 2 — as in the sequel. Otherwise, M.River and I are going to launch Net Art 2.5 in a private beta, and you’ll need to email us for an invite.

update: AFC linked this up, so if you feel like commenting, you can do it there.

update 2: I posted it to Rhizome, you can also comment there.

(One day we’ll have comments back here I promise!) permanent link to this post

Jun 03, 2008

Net Aesthetics 2.0

posted at 12:03 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

T.Whid (Tim Whidden) of MTAA is on this panel Friday.
The upcoming program in Rhizome’s New Silent Series at the New Museum, Net Aesthetics 2.0, will examine the state of contemporary art engaged with internet art. Convening leading artists, critics and curators, this panel will explore salient topics such as the relationship of artists emerging now to the first generation of internet art, the correspondence between online art and offline exhibition (as well as the phenomenon of “internet aware” art), the current role of the artist on the internet, the position of explicit political content in internet art (and the question of whether internet art practice is undergoing a more “formalist” phase), among other directions and challenges faced by this expansive field.

This talk will be the second in a series of Net Aesthetics 2.0 events. Panelists include artists Petra Cortright, Jennifer and Kevin Mccoy, Tom Moody, Tim Whidden and Damon Zucconi and will be moderated by curator, critic and Rhizome staff writer Ed Halter. Tickets available here.

Friday June 6th, 7:30pm
the New Museum, New York, NY
$8 general public, $6 Members (Rhizome and New Museum)
Presented in conjunction with Internet Week
http://www.newmuseum.org/events/190
permanent link to this post

Jun 02, 2008

Heeeeeeeeey Bo Diddley

posted at 17:13 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

You’re dead at 79.

:( permanent link to this post

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