art.net.dortmund.de

Daniel G. Andújar

New possibilities create new unknowns.
New unknowns create new possibilities.

Generally speaking, the debate about the new technologies, and particularly as they bear on art, continue to cover a wide spectrum, from blindness and the most absolute rejection, to the most stupidly servile acceptance and total affirmation. To me it seems obvious that the practise of art will be changed by the impact of new technologies, as will every other aspect of society, although it is possible that some values will remain substantially unchanged. The spectator, the audience for which a work is intended, is today more accustomed than ever before to highly sophisticated representational techniques as used in advertising and by television, but above all by the transformation of media consumption habits arising from the spread of the internet and the systematic introduction of computers into the private sphere. No one can now escape from the profound changes being wrought by the so-called new technologies and the parallel impact being produced by globalisation on our societies, economies, cultures, and perceptions of our surroundings.
Even so, I think that we have made rather a fetish of these new technologies, and I believe that -without taking apocalyptic positions of complete rejection-we must keep cool heads and pragmatic functionality when considering what is in store for us, and our scope for action and response to it all. Our attention to what we call new technologies should not be focused so much on the possibility of marvellous technological flights, but rather the battlefronts that are beginning to emerge in a society now immersed in a process of violent and fundamental change.
Work itself no longer represents a practise that is especially separate and that structures itself in accordance with different criteria and procedure pertaining to the spheres of politics or art. Work no longer produces only merchandise and objects, but now it also produces social relations, ways of living, and new ways of subjectivisation of which we should be aware.
I hope this phenomenon changes the manner in which the work of the artist is viewed and his her relations with the rest of the society.
We believed (few years ago) that in the new global world there is a certain equality of opportunity for all who use the technology, and new tools are available to people of whatever stripe or aim that want to use them. Here also there is a globalising effect, and while it may have some perverse aspects. One of them, however, is plain: The free, independent, unregulated and uncontrolled use of independent and personal art servers will very soon become seriously limited by different circumstances. What we cannot do is to expect that the hopes raise by globalisation will limit our capacity to create and communicate openly.
I think now is the time where institution and the administration should set up some sort of financial support to developed net projects, may be without expecting to much immediate results comparing with traditional art.
In the culture field the identity of cultural institutions and their initiatives cannot be defined by their rentability, but instead by their careful selection, critical aspects, definition, identity, meaning and context.I believe that a major feature of the information revolution has been the spectacular increase in the number of net-based organised groups, most of them with a supranational scope. The phenomenon obviously extends to all sort of groups, including civil organisations and NGO’s, but it also changes the manner in which the work of the artist is viewed, and his or her relations with the rest of society. We find it a good context for developing, promoting, and –above all—for discussing artistic work. We must certainly benefit from technology to strengthen our structures and attain a scope and projection that would be very difficult to achieve without these tools.

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art.net..de concept is based in a relatively simple technical architecture with three topics/zones planed like a flexible, multi-functional working environment with a graphical allusion to the local context:

peripheria
concrete
workbox

After this very simple mental structure the project still, on the whole, open as far as possible.
I would like to list some questions and references around these topics/zones:

art.net.dortmund.de
-technical infrastructure (NT versus linux, streaming video, radio, open source resources…)
-financial resources
-distribution media
-invitation network versus personal project

peripheria
-about the context
-a public square
-input
-electronic meeting point for locals/newsletter
-a collection/database of critical texts about digital culture which is open to translations, researchers, curators, artists and other users/contributors in order to add new materials and contribute to the architecture and content of the platform
-database as a tool for living culture an contemporary cultural production
-a collaboration network with other similar projects
-link to other spaces

concrete
-gallery
-output
-working place
-invitation-network
-specific art projects by curators platform
-specific art projects by artist platform
-presentation platform
-access and connected platform for locals
-novel users contributions
-access space
There is a crucial question about the presentation and collection of network art. Of course we are not going to just collect and make a list of links to selected websites from the ‘classics of net-art list’ like everybody is doing. We are more for the idea to produce new works and create a really live platform with a close relationship between the artists/curators and the audience by doing their own projects and shows.
About the idea to archive and preserve Internet art projects. The specifics of the medium Internet will be lost, and than many of the projects won’t work or will be perceive in the same sense like we already know anymore. Some works are produced for a specific software or hardware standard that can be obsolete very soon. Internet art should be collected and saved for posterity. We should preserve it. It is culture, so every cultural institution should have an obligation to keep it. Some web site will be abandoned or lost, may be we should acquire it for preservation, before the whole site goes off-line.
But, what should be archived and preserved?
the works as a whole
the description of it
a technical copy as an accurate simulation
the work itself with the viewing software and hardware

workbox
-technical information
-free tools
-open source
-technical infrastructure
-custom configuration
-learning centre
-technical support
-about free software
-knowledge platform: linux, perl, pgp, xml, etc
-Do we really need flash?

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