Author: Thomas Dreher  
Posted: 06.12.2002; 03:06:11
Topic: Question 6
Msg #: 620 (in response to 428)
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Reads: 96888

To Mel and his answer 6/14:

1. The "pandemonium":
You don´t use the term "pandemonium" for situations which conceptual frameworks have to accept as pretheoretical `given´ entities. You use "pandemonium" for non-directional processes which change in the state of a network with new contributions because the possible relations between the parts change. In the case of "Blurting In A & L" the meanings of a complex of "blurts"/Annotations change for the observer/reader with each new "blurt"/"annotation" which he reads when he follows the links in the "-->" and "&" sections. In the process of the writing in 1973 every contributor could react with new "blurts"/Annotations to the present state of possible relations between blurts (the links came later). In contemporary collaborative projects (f. e. nic-las, , described in the difference between the writer and the reader vanishes and the "wreader" is able to produce new Annotations and new links.
2. "hypertext":
"Blurting In A & L" is constructed as "associative indexing" (Vanevar Bush: As We My Think, via "labeled links" ("typisierte Verknüpfungen", Rainer Kuhlen: Kuhlen, Rainer: Hypertext Ein nicht-lineares Medium zwischen Buch und Wissensbank. Berlin/Heidelberg u. a. 1991, S.34,106,111,118,246,339) and provokes reading procedures which follow associations. The Annotations were written in a dehierarchised process of "advanced footnoting" (Jürgen Fauth: Poles in Your Face, It is dehierarchised because no primary text for a secondary level of comments or footnotes exists. The footnotes or Annotations constitute the text via "labeled links" or via pathways which are chosen by the reader. This is a short reconceptualization of "Blurting In A & L online" with terms of the discourse on hypertext (for a wider discussion: T.D.: Art & Language & Hpertext, other times allow other readings...
3. "networks" and "systems":
I hesitate to use the concepts of systems of "radical constructivism" for net projects. The characteristics of self organizations of closed systems are not helpful here or lead to very artificial adaptations of systems theory to net conditions. Networks resist reconstructions as systems whose criteria of closedness are the principles for adaptability in changing contexts. The openness via the self organized closedness of systems don´t define relevant net conditions of wreaders.
The software conditions of networks follow criteria of closed systems: Networks combined with telecommunication are possible because different systems constitute different levels of a new system of functions. Functions and their use for the presentation of signs constitute networks: A social context constituted by net conditions.
I can´t (re)conceptualize these networks without recursions to systems: The software functions of collaborating systems constitute the open interactive possibilites of net projects. Back to Art & Language and the indexing projects of 1972/73: Filing systems (compare Krajewski, Markus: Zettelwirtschaft. Die Geburt der Kartei aus dem Geiste der Bibliothek. Berlin 2002) and printed matter are used for the organisation of information as systems and networks. Only the last one opens the index systems or databases to procedures of writing. Meanwhile the systems Index 01 and Index 02 constitute cards with texts, indices as a reference system and value systems with formal rules, the network "Blurting in A & L" offers Annotations as "nodes" of "links": your "pandemonium"? "Browsing" (like cows on a pasture) between Annotations provokes associations which may lead creative readers to the development of new systems but the relations between associations are only collected in two types of links as nets with closer or looser relations. These nets are not systematized by rules of formal logic meanwhile the value system of the first two index systems follow such rules.
4. "From Conceptual Art to":
The term Conceptual Art is repeated several times in discussions on but the usual misunderstandings are repeated, too. I have no indications which could proof that Net artists know the projects of Art & Language which could be useful for their own concepts. Net projects of artists and programmers (with artistic or non-artistic intentions) changes my view of early Conceptual Art in a way that I have to notice differences between my point of view and the contemporary practice of some Conceptual Artists in the exhibition context. I have the same problems from my point of view (looking from net projects back to Conceptual projects) when you remember me, that I should not exclude "material conditions" and "taste". Digital conditions provoke other reconceptualizations of relations between material and digital procedures than the seventies. Some works of the seventies win (Blurting In A & L) meanwhile other new works confuse me especially when I have to compare material with digital fakes & plagiarisms (I prefer net plagiarism as a digital consequence of the production of neoist manifestoes via plagiaristic procedures. I prefer the plagiarism of discussed it in
And net conditions offer new possibilities for activism (activism/hacktivism/artivism). The writing practice in "The Fox", "Artists Meeting for Cultural Change" and the political context of the seventies constitute a relevant background in a time with changed global conditions. The actual retreat of Art & Language from a criticism of the digital conditions of globalization and their ignorance of net plagiarism can´t help here. Your contemporary practice (material fakes and - until now - too simple conceptualizations) makes it more difficult to find readers of relevant Conceptual projects. To find readers for Conceptual projects is today as difficult as it ever was.
And today it is difficult to motivate former and contemporary members of A & L to collaborate in net discussions about their own projects! And their non-collaboration makes it much more difficult to find (w)readers. That is the real and disturbing situation!!! Thomas Dreher (


Last update: Sunday, December 15, 2002 at 4:29:12 AM.