25 December 2005

7 idea

Re-naming “the artist”!
Why do digital artists still call themselves artists? Why is the name “artist” linked to the practice of being an artist in the information age? Why does "the digital experience" still need to pass through the concept of art to express itself? Perhaps we feel we need to remain tied to a historical, political, social and ethical context; we need to feel that digital art is included in an already existing system in order to believe in ourselves. Why does digital art still need to express itself through the concept of narration? The “digital experience” manifests itself through an electronic medium that is not independent by its own nature; therefore, how much of it is innovative? It seems that sometimes innovation resides mainly in the choice of the medium. Could digital art be considered innovative just because it passes through the medium? Let’s redefine the name "artist" and the concept of “artwork,” updating them to the actual meaning and context. Free the digital artist!

Some innovative and interesting full examples of net artworks-anti art


Anonymous said...

what about this ghost post? I read it on december 26 and then it disappeared...now is out again...

benjamin said...

lol. it was initial stage idea.
It occured to me that digital must truly be the home of the avant-garde in art today, that of interventionism although neither are especially new.
If the digital was taken to be an avant-garde, the for-front of art: avant-garde is a derivative of the french term which was used in the days of walled fortresses and wooden villages with their spiky fences. the avant-garde was what lay beyond the protection of "civilized" clusters, beyond the walls or perifary. that which was untaimed, potentialy dangerous, but also which the village would expand into as it grew and developed. an exciting place through which anything could wander or be brought back from. imagine the kind of explorer or traveller who would brave such areas for the sakes of social advancement.
So if digital was to be the avant- garde, the place into which art is moving and expanding then what are engineers, programmers and micro/nano-digi-scientists [or whatever the hell you call them these days]? If a digital artist is descovering new spaces, which is true as art seems to find and play with the errors in programming etc... but the spaces have already been constructed, have already been explored. What would the parralell equivalent be for other avant-garde movements i wonder?

carlos katastrofsky said...

it's somehow a strange thing. this name- debate happens in various locations (on- and offline) from time to time but up to now no steps in any direction have been made.

on one hand it's good to say "art" to this kind of work or "artist" to the people who are involved in setting up the whole thing. good for the artis because it's such a shiny word and the connotations to it have a nice amount of symbolic capital in contrast to the monetary benefits of such work. and even good as a description: "art" is a very broad term.

on the other hand- if you want to go deeper into the meaning of the word artist it's not correct. "artist" is strongly linked to "l'art pour l'art" and in internet art (as well as in most of todays fine arts) this isn't correct anymore. think of the many relations and layers of works - at least a personal layer is existing in most of them. it's not art for art's sake anymore.

to me a term like "cultural.net.worker" sometimes sounds like a solution for this. but maybe this is too broad. it would even include e.g. people who are making websites for their pets.

an austrian arthistorian (hilde zaloscer) once suggested the german term "ideograph" (its not the same as the english ideograph) for artworks since the end of the 19th century. i can't recall anymore the correct definition but it somehow deals with the fact that artworks have, again, relations deliberately constructed by the artist.
so, why not ideographer?

i think the reason is that most people are fine with "art" and "artist" and just too lazy for a new term. and i think it somehow fits for "normal" circumstances. but in the other ones - i don't know. imo it has to be a strong, short term. maybe a new one that doesn't exist at the moment. the positive thing is that it could reckless be filled with meaning.

and the avant- garde thing: i recently read a good article concerning this. it's in the book "diy survival" by c6. you can download it here for free: http://c6.org/soldout/C6_DiY_Survival.pdf
the article is on p.12 ff

ideasonair said...

Carlos, me and a friend of mine are proposing these terms:
Digitosofi: could are several thinkers studying deeply all the meanings and theories about the digital phenomena. ( critics, theorists )
Filodigiti: could are people that fill themselves very close to the “digital practice”, for ideological, historical, ethical, social and cultural proposes. They also, can use the practice. ( artists )
Digitisti: could are just “lovers of the trade” ( spectators, consumers, art collectors )

benjamin said...

-------in reflection of the words of carlos-------------------

just as there is high art there must also be high culture. as culture is largely manufactured in our civilized worlds... as photography has clear destinctions, perhaps that of phone photos from a bar in the evening in comparison to cartier bresson.
also how could a definition be made between objects of interior design, objects formed simply for the adornment of a place and canvas paintings which have no message or contrived firural content...
i dont think that the phrase ditital.net/cultralography would be to broad as the acconnotated works would prove their own merrit.
In considering a project run by one of the two largest media companies in the U.K. through which successfull artists [emmin, hurst and the likes] were
asked to contribute to an exhibition of mobile phone photographs. I am reminded firstly of cunning marketing [which has in turn developed a culture, so pehaps could be considered as art] and secondly of the new york greenwich happening - that of the artists moving into squats and warehouse spaces which they transformed with their artistery into interesting homes.. the spaces became popular and were then produced and sold to the yuppi crowd, and rich play-darlings.

i find the term ideaography quite exciting as an artist.. i myself have never subjected my practist to any specific field as i believe that art should best portray the idea behind it rather than utilising an idea for further expression within some particular field. As such i find the term Artist most disabilitating. Artist is a dirty word in england. People here do not consider artists to be capable of any kind of serious work.. only outlandish quirky usless work! this quite evidently is not true, but the stigma remains!

Anonymous said...

Benjamin, in Italy too the word "artist" is connected to a very heavy meaning of the term. To be an "artist" and to do "art", is not considering just a work! But, for example, the designers or the musicians are considering artists... because they link their ideas to the real world. People using objects or dancing music know that "art" is a practice. Our society, need always an “objective” and many "apologies" to spend money. "Art" will be always for exclusive peoples..."art" can't be utilized from people, and so doesn't serving nothing in our society, it's just an unpromising business…

benjamin said...

yes. all i want is enough money and connections to be able to produce things which change the way people think and act.

carlos katastrofsky said...

hey, sorry for not having said anything for so long...

i agree in what you said about the term "artist" - it's a dirty word here in austria too. but on the other hand so many people especially in the media/net/software - area (and the related ones) call themself artists not to say something about their work but to say something about their state of mind ("i'm not like you - i'm an artist"). so i think the term "art" is something "bad" for most of the people but in the same moment it's something very special what's "not for everybody" (you have to be a kind of artistic genius in the way e.g. michelangelo to be a "real artist" and all that elevated "talent" shit).
[hope this writing makes sense to you]

digitosofi etc.: cool ideas but why is the word "digital" always in it? if i'm doing analogue work, experimenting e.g. with theremins and space- sound relations there's nothing digital in it but it should be - in my opinion - treated the same way like e.g. a puredata installation that does some similar data in - sound out thing. and does it really matter that the work is "digital"? is not the process or the concept the point of most of the works in that field - even if they have an aesthetic output (graphix, sound, etc.)?

by the way: recently i discovered NEEN ( http://www.neen.org ) by miltos manetas ( http://www.manetas.com/ ). the project deals with the same problem we are discussing here. he solved the problem by engaging a branding- agency to find a funky fresh new term: NEEN

benjamin said...

its re asuring carlos, that other people have to deal with the same frustrations.


ideasonair said...

Digitosofi etc.: cool ideas:

Hey guys…

The word “digital” doesn't mean “art,” or “artist”, so why not use it? Ok, digital is a process and it is the way today how we exchange many information: communication, art, etc...
In the above post, I'm proposing those terms (Digitosofi, Filodigiti and Digitisti ) because I’d link the practice to be and make art to the actual context. May could be changed the word from digital to electronic, and remixing it with Latin language? I understand those two terms “digital” and “Electronic” sound like a too much abstract and wide process strongly linked to a machine. Carlos, may you consider fresh the term “Neen”, ‘cause is just a neologism also Dadaists tried to done the same…
I’m according with you that the term “artist” could be something very special what's "not for everybody”…but in the past. Do digital artists want to be like Michelangelo in the actual context? Perhaps artists feel and need to remain tied to a historical, political, social and ethical context; they need to feel that digital art is included in an already existing system in order to believe in themselves.
Oh no, doesn’t matter that the artwork is "digital", anyway, if you are an artist you must respond for your work. But, as we speaking about “digital art”, it seems to me that today, sometimes the artistic innovation resides mainly in the choice of the medium; therefore, could “digital art” be considering innovative just because it passes through the medium?

carlos katastrofsky said...

in my last posting i tried to be (a kind of) ironic. but it seems due to
my bad knowledge of english that didn't come through... sorry for that.

ok, what i tried to say is
a) the term neen is as funky and fresh as the words funky and fresh (all
of them say really nothing)... you're definitely right when you say it's
just a neologism, but what else could be the result of such a job for a
branding- agency? it's just the idea to engage an agency that interests me.
b)the michelangelo - sentence was not meant in this way. to me it's
exactly what you said about it in your reply.

mmm... and your last sentence leaves some questions open for me:
does art have to be innovative?
is digitla art per se innovative?
is it innovative because it's digital?
is innovation art?
is art innovation?
is innovation a parameter for quality (especially in art)?

imho there are a lot of questions like that when you talk about
"innovation". it's the old avant- garde discussion i guess...

ideasonair said...

mmm... and your last sentence leaves some questions open for me:

does art have to be innovative?
In fact, let's disprove this myth!

is digital art per se innovative?

is it innovative because it's digital?

is innovation art?
It depend, but doesn't needs

is art innovation?
Doesn't needs

is innovation a parameter for quality (especially in art)?
No, i don't believe in existing parameter in art...exist the art system that decide for "ART".

benjamin said...

the word funk often provides me ammusement as it's true definition is "to avoid something due to fear". whats that funky smell.. or he looks funky [pimp daddy nooo stay away!].

carlos. have you seen a creative community?
I origionaly began the formation of the community as a result to talks held in the U.K. unknown over the nature of Art and Sociaty today. What i wanted to do was to provide a platfor through which people which creative tallents could combine their efforts and pool their resources with the aim to produce some kind of creative buisiness. The sole purpose of which would be to enable creative individuals to realize their potential whilst making a considerable income.
If you have any ideas please feel free to write me.
the community's web base can be found through the following link:


and the private or formulative pages:


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mark edwrd grimm said...

my friend teaches timber frame building at corrnell
univerity to architecture students. its amazing that
they sit in a classroom all day and work on theroy and
drawings without any practical knowledge of actaully
"how to" do something. i went yesterday to cheeck out
his class and they said there is very little
opporrtunity for them to actually 'interact' with the
actuall materials.

a lot of art, at least too me, falls victim to this.
art as theroy over shawdows art as making...!!??
sometimes this is true...

i think artists need a way to get a grip on
technologies maybee? i like working with the computer
and audio hardware because im programming and putting
somethign together - some type of tech that help to
generate and art work... but at the same time im
learning about the technolgoy that other fields and
disciplines use. like using biosensors in a way i
become an amateur biologist. OR ecosensors i become an
amateur ecologist.

I like that about art... that is can work and learn
from any field or discipline..

has everyone read Deleuze on 'amateurism'..?

ideasonair said...

craftsman, amateaur or artist? people need to feel less fear of the society...

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