It is time to upgrade your browser! This site looks and acts much better in a newer browser. Go TO THIS PAGE to find LINKS to all the major NEW BROWSERS. The links are at the bottom of the page under "What can I do?"

Or, you may keep reading this ugly page.


[splash image]

MTAA-RR » news » twhid » theyearntobeappreciated:

Feb 09, 2003

The yearn to be appreciated long after you’re dead

posted at 16:45 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

[orginally posted to the rhizome raw list on 10/8/99]

recently reading an editorial by philippe de montebello, the director of the met [museum] in nyc, i was troubled by his idea that superior aesthetic form is the primary criteria for a lasting artwork. he stated that though daumier merely made political cartoons, we appreciate his work over his contemporary Gavarni because "he was only a journeyman artist..".

what’s troubling to me isn’t the overly conservative tone of the piece, or the obviously out-dated modernist view of form being the single most important attribute art holds, or the assumption that the artists he derides in the article care about the staying power of their work. (most artists don’t care, only the museums and collectors who need to protect their investments.) no, what troubled me was that young artists who do have a romantic notion of being appreciated and famous long after they are dead have gotten very bad advice. net artists especially have gotten very bad advice from that editorial. the aesthetic superiority of the formal qualities of your work won’t ensure lasting appreciation, pr will.

its simple to have good pr while you’re alive and kicking. you do it yourself. you create networks of like-minded individuals who all promote one another. you issue press releases. you can hire someone to do it, if you have the loot. but after you are dead, the pr machine may quiet down quite a bit. you are no longer controlling it, if you’re lucky you’ll have endowed an institution to keep your name in the public eye. or the museum curators and the collectors will keep you in the press as a way of boosting their collections value. but as a net artist, who are we kidding? no one will have you in their collections, you’ll never have enough money to endow an institution. sure you have the power of the internet in your grasp, so in your time you can easily be known worldwide, but what happens after you’re not updating that website once a month?

i believe i have an answer: confusion!

that’s right, while you are alive, create lots of confusion about who you are and what you do. and leave lots of cryptic clues on email lists and bbs’s all over the internet. the historians love a mystery, and the future net art historians are going to have a gold mine of information, but only if we do our parts to help them now!

1. ensure that any email you send does not have your actual name on it.

2. if at all possible find a few alias’s to identify yourself, not just one: m.river, mark river, mike river, mike sarrf, is a good example. you could even pretend you are 2 or more different people.

3. create different and fanciful resumes, narratives, bios, statements to include in any and all shows you are affiliated with and on your websites.

4. the future net art historians may begin to become discouraged by all the confliciting data, so you need to sow the “truth” throught the data stream in a way that will be challenging to the historian, but not impossible for her to create a final story. to insure a place in the net art pantheon, sow 2-4 different “truths” through your data stream, this will promote healthy, attention getting debate amongst the future most ambitious net art historians.

5. create networks with other net artists to help bolster these different “truths” through your data stream.

i encourage anyone with any other ideas on how best to spin one’s future narrative to post it to this forum, i encourage mark tribe to, after a period of discussion on this topic, destroy this email and all threads relating to it so as we’re not found out!

remember, its always nice to be “rediscovered”. permanent link to this post

MTAA-RR » news » twhid » theyearntobeappreciated

1997 - 2006 M.River & T.Whid Art Associates. Some Rights Reserved. is licensed under a Creative Commons License with the exception of Website Unseen titles which are covered by agreements with individual collectors and otherwise where noted.