Response to Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden (Art & Language):
1. You wrote in "Blurting to Blurting In Wanted": "To be a painting whose raison d’etre is to function as a switch in a CD-rom is to be deflated. To start life as a patch on a screen is to risk no such deflation. The verfremdungs Effekt is still the mother of invention."
And you wrote in answer 6/29: "A 3rd premise for this work was that images of all of its components should work as switches or windows for an index work in the form of a CD-rom."
Now the paintings of "Homes from Homes I and II" contain `hot spots´ in the the CD-ROM and its net version. These digital reproductions of paintings contain switches to more detailed illustrations and informations about the work. You place the reproductions of your paintings within the context of digital conditions. You don´t answer to the problems of copyright and authenticity in answer 6/29. But these are the relevant problems of plagiarisms and travesties in digital conditions.
2. You wrote in answer 6/29: "It’s ongoing work – still. Such a project may be written, painted, drawn, it may use ‘interactive digital media’, it may be sculpted, etc."
Your remarks on net.art are far away from differentiated reflections/conceptualizations (The points 4, 5 and 6 react to some of your trivia). These remarks implicate that you don´t want to project your self conceptualizations on questions of net conditions and net.art. But in other remarks (see the one quoted above) you explain that digital conditions are not out of your map. Are they only relevant as a break (Brechung) within your projection/map of a contemporary framework of painting? If this is the case: Doesn´t your medium for breaks of paintings (The CD and the net version with scanned illustrations of paintings) need a conceptualization which relates digital and analog media conditions (see point 1)? And if you prefer dialectical relations: How do you break and reflect (or negate and mediate) the contemporary digital conditions (with their social consequences) within your paintings?
3. We have different opinions concerning the necessity of activism (compare Michael Corris´ answer 6/33, point 4), especially in relation to net conditions (see answers 6/21 and 6/32).
Your either-or relation (disjunction) between activistic strategies and autonomous works with "internal complexity" depends on elder conceptualizations of complexities, based on closed autopoietic systems: The complexity of internal relations is the precondition for external relations.
Conceptualizations of networks as relations are relevant which don´t fit into the criteria of closedness of systems. Such conceptualizations of networks are necessary for "Blurting in A & L (online)". I think, you can proceed with "theory-trying" in relation to systems and networks only if you reconceptualize the english and the american index projects in a more complex way than a simple preference of the english index-system(s) demonstrates it. The concept "from concept art to net.art" offers a potential for "proceedings" if reconceptualizations of the relations between networks and systems are wanted. But I have to notice your wish to waste this potential, or do I misunderstand you?
4. You wrote in answer 6/29: "We all know that the imperatives of perpetual novelty and manufactured transgression are marketable commodities."
If net.art will be nothing more than a distribution of flash files for paying users than we have nothing more than a replacement of the galleries by e-commerce. But the relevant point in question is the change from commodities to effects in social communication (from "dialogic aura" to social interactions) which is possible now in real time from and for everyone everywhere in the world if s/he has access to the net.
5. You wrote in answer 6/29: "Where this leaves the net artists reprise of older avant gardistic strategies remains to be seen."
"Reprise" is wrong. Lev Manovich marked with the term "new media avant-garde" a difference to the avantgarde of modern art (and film) ("the old media avant-garde"). New media need new competences: skills on the side of producers and abilities to deal with linked informations (and more) on the side of users. The relation between conceptual strategies and innovative forms has to be reconceptualized. We are far away from a return of neo-dadaisms and endless discussions of the end of art (and painting).
6. You wrote in answer 6/29: "We’ll meet somewhere maybe when we find out that the digital conditions of globalisation don’t just mean sorting out your intentions on the software of your computer."
Net Conditions include the technical functions of connectivity ("webness"), juridical conditions, economic conditions and social communication. I problematized net conditions, especially the problematic combination of juridical with economic conditions. If I want to problematize the technical functions of the web, then the software of my computer is not interesting (it includes only standard software): connectivity includes distributed operations of servers.
Only in your head exists a "purism" fixed on the software in a computer. The net is an "impure" combination of computers with telecommunication. Your projection of a "purism" of software in my computer tries to explain the net in a manner which can be compared to a declaration that the voice of a sound speaker originates from a speaker who sits in the radio (or in the sound speaker).
Thomas Dreher (TDreher@onlinehome.de)