Wikipedia Art Lasts All Day!

by Art Fag City on February 16, 2009 · 74 comments Events

Wikipedia Art, logo, Art Fag City, Nathaniel Stern, Scott Kidall

Wikipedia Art Logo.  Via: Wikipedia Art

That was quick.  Wikipedia Art, a conceptual project conceiving Wikipedia as a medium in the same way artists use land in Land Art, lasted all of a day before the wikisoldiers took it down.  It would seem the paradox of an art project birthed in Wikipedia, and requiring referenced material to stay (some of which it achieved), failed to warrant enough merits in the eyes of Wikipedia’s administrators to save its fate.  But the project, originally conceived by Nathaniel Stern and Scott Kildall, was challenged from the outset.  After all, work that consists solely of an idea promising to develop into an undefined product tends to present more problems than that with which a typical Wikipedian will want to deal.   Not that they didn’t give the piece due consideration; rather, seemingly endless debate on the subject took place on the entry before the article finally got the axe.

I’m not sure what is to be made of all this, except perhaps that academic art discourse has a life on the Internet despite what anyone might say otherwise. Even the original entry itself reads as though it came straight out of the professorial classroom:

Wikipedia Art is a conceptual art work composed on Wikipedia, and is thus art that anyone can edit. It manifests as a standard page on Wikipedia – entitled Wikipedia Art. Like all Wikipedia entries, anyone can alter this page as long as their alterations meet Wikipedia’s standards of quality and verifiability.[1] As a consequence of such collaborative and consensus-driven edits to the page, Wikipedia Art, itself, changes over time.

Admittedly, the ensuing debate holds some interest, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the Wikipedia administrators who likely didn’t anticipate having to engage in the type of philosophical debate not in keeping with the practicalities of managing a database.   A few relevant excerpts from the conversation below:

Delete: It is an article about itself. It is intrinsically unencyclopaedic. I don’t think it was necessarily created in bad faith but it is an abuse of Wikipedia to seek to use it as an art platform and it undermines Wikipedia as an encyclopaedia. – Daniel Rigal

Delete: Please note that, transgressive though they were, the Surrealists played “exquisite corpses” using their own notepaper. They did not try to scrawl it the margins of a library book. This is the problem. Nobody objects to a Wiki based artwork. The problem is that it can’t be inserted into Wikipedia because Wikipedia is not just a Wiki. It is an encyclopedia. It is no more appropriate to add non-encyclopaedic content here than it is to write stuff in library books. – Daniel Rigal

Delete: This could never be properly sourced, as it could only exist here first before it could ever be written about in order for it to be notable enough to be mentioned here. Yes, an interesting paradox, but that’s not our problem. We can only go by Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and it’s pretty clear that this needs to be deleted. But here’s an idea: the fact that this was attempted and subsequently deleted could possibly generate enough third-party coverage to make the initial project notable enough to be included (at least as part of the artists’ articles). But until then, it cannot stay. It’s not encyclopedic as an entirely self-referential article. – freshacconci

Keep: The Wikipedia Art page is something that explains art, explores art, and is art all at the same time. Deleting this page would be a statement that the exegesis of conceptual art and/or new media art has no place in Wikipedia, except on the tired, lifeless, and opaque conceptual art and new media art pages. Why shouldn’t a tiny corner of Wikipedia-brand collective epistemology be preserved for an instructive, self-referential, and ever-changing living example of what an art object can be in the 21st Century? Should this page be judged invalid only because it refers to itself? The Wikipedia Art page is a self-aware example of Wikipedia’s mission of collective epistemology. It enacts and exposes Wikipedia’s own strengths, weaknesses, potential, and limits as a system of understanding and as a contemplative object of beauty. The page is also a self-aware example of the strengths, weaknesses, potential, and limits of new media art as a an object of contemplation. New media art has demonstrated that the boundaries between art and every other discipline from epistemology to microbiology have disintegrated (see interdisciplinarity) in the 21st Century. This page shows how a Wikipedia page can go beyond simply existing as a Wikipedia page, while retaining its basic utilitarian Wikipedia function. Those who care most about Wikipedia’s mission would probably agree that Wikipedia already is a collaborative art form. If you feel that Wikipedia is a beautiful thing, then at some level (whether or not you admit it) you consider Wikipedia an art form, with its own codes and conventions. This artwork can only exist as a Wikipedia page that refers to itself. Therefore, deleting would not only send the message “this is not Wikipedia”; it would also be saying “this is not art.” – Shane Mecklenburger

Delete: I disagree. The only thing at stake is Wikipedia’s integrity as an encyclopaedia. The rest is stuff that we simply take no view on. If something is deleted it is because it is inappropriate to Wikipedia. It is not a comment on its wider worth. Nothing will be lost if the article is deleted. The authors can request a copy to be emailed to them and they can put it up again on another site. This is not censorship. This is not against art. It is just housekeeping. – Daniel Rigal

Keep: Let’s not make it wikipedia editors jobs to determine what is art. The 3 authors are established artists and they have said it is art – that’s really the end of the story. However, after that it is up to the rest of us to determine if it is good and/or worthwhile art. For that, let’s use the 5 pillars of wikipedia. Notability – has been established. It’s been written about in several places, there is a RL lecture discussing it, a curator has vouched for it. Compared with many other wikipedia articles which have no question of notability (for example, minor fictional characters from television shows, decade old chipsets, and manufacturers of Dungeons and Dragons miniature figurines) I’d say this met the established standard easily. Verifiability – the page exists and we’ve all seen it. No one has questioned whether or not it is being discussed on other sites or at academic lectures. Reliable sources – The authors created the page. The content of the page is the work of art itself, and it describes itself. Again, this doesn’t appear to be an issue because Verifiablity isn’t in question. No original research – none is necessary. We know all we need to know. Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point – this may be the closest call. While I understand why this is an issue, I don’t think the artists are disrupting wikipedia to create a point. Their purpose is to create an artwork. The point it makes is secondary and the disruption is a side effect. Again, there’s plenty of room on wikipedia for this. It’s of interest. The more you make a stink about it, the stronger the case becomes. Let it go. DanielRigal – I think you feel too strongly about this and should cool off. With all due respect, Daniel, you may be projecting here. Please take your own advice. There is a very rational and relevant discussion happening here, and you appear to be trying to fast-track it into a deletion, perhaps out of unwillingness to consider differing points of view. Again, no offense, but you have been quite dismissive of the excellent points being raised here. – Shmeck

Comment: What exactly distinguishes a collaborative art project from a collaborative article?

Delete: I think it should be obvious that an article is an attempt to objectively capture the facts about a subject and that art is a subjective attempt to say something original about something. Given that Wikipedia is for objectivity and against original research it really is an incredibility inappropriate place to seek to make art. I see the attraction of the Wiki engine for collaborative art, but they can (and indeed already have) start their own Wiki for that. – Daniel Rigal

For the record,  I’m not a fan of “the discussion is my art” genre of art making when it makes the lives of people trying to maintain a massive public online resource difficult.   Some of the resulting conversation holds interest, but as a larger art making concern,  it’s hard not to question the value of projects in which no outcome will result in failure.  The project stays in Wikipedia; it’s art!  The project gets deleted, the conversation is art!   I don’t want to be a party pooper, but art making scenerios in which everybody wins are almost inherently boring. UPDATE: Twhid cites John Cage’s 4:33 as an art making scenario in which the win-win scenerio isn’t boring.  He’s probably right.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hear, hear, well said, thanks!

    It reminds me of Kristin Lucas’ project where she went to court to change her name to Kristin Lucas as a means of “refreshing” herself in the cyber-sense, engaging some poor, overworked county court judge in a drawn out philosophical discussion over what art is and whether it’s legally cognizable.

    Not everyone has the time or inclination to “get” art. Most people hate it. Projects that tax “public sphere” resources to make a point don’t help.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hear, hear, well said, thanks!

    It reminds me of Kristin Lucas’ project where she went to court to change her name to Kristin Lucas as a means of “refreshing” herself in the cyber-sense, engaging some poor, overworked county court judge in a drawn out philosophical discussion over what art is and whether it’s legally cognizable.

    Not everyone has the time or inclination to “get” art. Most people hate it. Projects that tax “public sphere” resources to make a point don’t help.

  • Rob Myers

    I’m glad to see the deletionists having to think about their epistemology for once.

    Somebody should go through the discussion and add [citation needed] tags to it. ;-)

  • Rob Myers

    I’m glad to see the deletionists having to think about their epistemology for once.

    Somebody should go through the discussion and add [citation needed] tags to it. ;-)

  • http://fhwang.net/ Francis Hwang

    I think I agree with you, Paddy and Tom. Maybe a useful analogy is with graffiti: Part of the point of graffiti is to transgress, but most well-done graffiti is also beautiful in its own way, which I suppose makes the argument for the transgression. It’s not the law-breaking by itself that’s the point. Bad graffiti is just a waste of paint and of a piece of wall.

    So, yeah, sure, go ahead and tweak Wikipedia for aesthetic purposes if you can think of something sufficiently aesthetic. Personally, I don’t think a severely dry, self-referential concept qualifies.

  • http://fhwang.net/ Francis Hwang

    I think I agree with you, Paddy and Tom. Maybe a useful analogy is with graffiti: Part of the point of graffiti is to transgress, but most well-done graffiti is also beautiful in its own way, which I suppose makes the argument for the transgression. It’s not the law-breaking by itself that’s the point. Bad graffiti is just a waste of paint and of a piece of wall.

    So, yeah, sure, go ahead and tweak Wikipedia for aesthetic purposes if you can think of something sufficiently aesthetic. Personally, I don’t think a severely dry, self-referential concept qualifies.

  • http://www.justinmata.com Justin

    Seems like the debate would probably be far more interesting than the art piece (for better or worse).

    Were the piece to have actually run for a significant amount of time, it would be interesting to see how they decided when and who might be accepted as qualified contributors. Would anyone be considered a “reliable source?”

  • http://www.justinmata.com Justin

    Seems like the debate would probably be far more interesting than the art piece (for better or worse).

    Were the piece to have actually run for a significant amount of time, it would be interesting to see how they decided when and who might be accepted as qualified contributors. Would anyone be considered a “reliable source?”

  • http://peterandjoan.wmblogs.net Peter Zimmerman

    In many ways this reminds me of the whole set of problems surrounding Conceptualism– but perhaps more than anything I am drawn to the example of Sol LeWitt.

    In an essay written for Artforum, LeWitt claims, “When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” (1967) For LeWitt, the idea is the central location of significance in a work of art. This, however, does not mean that the art is implicitly theoretical; rather, intuition is the machine that processes ideas and forms them into meaningful arrangements. Regardless of the finished product, the genesis of art is the crux, after which everything else is variable.

    The Wikipedia Art concept seems at first to be in the same vein as that of Conceptualism; however, I do not see the same sorts of connections. In the case of Sol LeWitt, his Wall Drawings exist only in written form– they are ideas translated linguistically and then sold as words, not drawings. While this may have radically shaken the foundations of the art market hierarchies between High art and low art and thus exchange value(s), the fact remains that LeWitt’s work is still available. There is still an object to hold onto– something that remains in circulation and without censor.

    The Wikipedia Art movement seems to be a bit too mired in its own self-congratulation. While using the language of Performance art/Postmodernism (“performative utterances”), it seems to me to be a built-in theatrical piece that attempts to destabilize power structures of art, dominant ideologies and the processes of canonization. While the motion is certainly viable, and definitely even worthwhile (as has been seen for centuries), there seems to be something missing– something that would make a movement like this indelible.

    When Barbara Kruger shouted “Your comfort is my silence” via photo/text collage in 1981, she was attacking the hegemonic patriarchal machine, that while invisible was still determining the course of Art. While that image may now seem outdated or simply indicative of first-wave feminism, there is still the art– it exists to be seen. In this case, the only thing that really firmly establishes the WikiArt movement is the digital index provided through its website. The “performative utterances” seem merely to be attempts at showing how we are indoctrinated in the omniscience of Wikipedia– as if it exists, in a way, BEYOND the users who contribute to its being– that there is a metaphysical process going on behind and beyond the scenes. OK– so WikiArt then makes us realize that we buy into a lot of what wiki articles say. OK, so what? What else is there to do– to say– to destabilize?

    Maybe I’m cynical, but I just can’t help but think that it’s a half-baked idea wrapped in the language of Conceptualism/Performance and using big words to make it seem significant, and because it’s on the internet it opens up a novel debate on what our relationship is with art via objecthood. I just don’t really think it’s that innovative.

  • http://peterandjoan.wmblogs.net Peter Zimmerman

    In many ways this reminds me of the whole set of problems surrounding Conceptualism– but perhaps more than anything I am drawn to the example of Sol LeWitt.

    In an essay written for Artforum, LeWitt claims, “When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” (1967) For LeWitt, the idea is the central location of significance in a work of art. This, however, does not mean that the art is implicitly theoretical; rather, intuition is the machine that processes ideas and forms them into meaningful arrangements. Regardless of the finished product, the genesis of art is the crux, after which everything else is variable.

    The Wikipedia Art concept seems at first to be in the same vein as that of Conceptualism; however, I do not see the same sorts of connections. In the case of Sol LeWitt, his Wall Drawings exist only in written form– they are ideas translated linguistically and then sold as words, not drawings. While this may have radically shaken the foundations of the art market hierarchies between High art and low art and thus exchange value(s), the fact remains that LeWitt’s work is still available. There is still an object to hold onto– something that remains in circulation and without censor.

    The Wikipedia Art movement seems to be a bit too mired in its own self-congratulation. While using the language of Performance art/Postmodernism (“performative utterances”), it seems to me to be a built-in theatrical piece that attempts to destabilize power structures of art, dominant ideologies and the processes of canonization. While the motion is certainly viable, and definitely even worthwhile (as has been seen for centuries), there seems to be something missing– something that would make a movement like this indelible.

    When Barbara Kruger shouted “Your comfort is my silence” via photo/text collage in 1981, she was attacking the hegemonic patriarchal machine, that while invisible was still determining the course of Art. While that image may now seem outdated or simply indicative of first-wave feminism, there is still the art– it exists to be seen. In this case, the only thing that really firmly establishes the WikiArt movement is the digital index provided through its website. The “performative utterances” seem merely to be attempts at showing how we are indoctrinated in the omniscience of Wikipedia– as if it exists, in a way, BEYOND the users who contribute to its being– that there is a metaphysical process going on behind and beyond the scenes. OK– so WikiArt then makes us realize that we buy into a lot of what wiki articles say. OK, so what? What else is there to do– to say– to destabilize?

    Maybe I’m cynical, but I just can’t help but think that it’s a half-baked idea wrapped in the language of Conceptualism/Performance and using big words to make it seem significant, and because it’s on the internet it opens up a novel debate on what our relationship is with art via objecthood. I just don’t really think it’s that innovative.

  • ak

    Regarding Peter Zimmerman’s comment:

    Certainly it’s useful, always, to look to art historical precedents to help along an interpretation of what’s going on now, but I think Peter’s stretching this a bit and trying too hard to force one work/project (Wikipedia Art) into an ex post facto framework (does/did there exist conceptual art/artists that didn’t agree with Sol LeWitt or care what he was doing or saying, I think so).

    It seems like this is one work, an interesting one, and now it’s ‘finished.’ I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think the artists (Stern and Kildall) were looking to create “a built-in theatrical piece that attempts to destabilize power structures of art, dominant ideologies and the processes of canonization” or an “indelible movement.”

    I think you’re reading too much into it. It seems a much humbler work.

  • ak

    Regarding Peter Zimmerman’s comment:

    Certainly it’s useful, always, to look to art historical precedents to help along an interpretation of what’s going on now, but I think Peter’s stretching this a bit and trying too hard to force one work/project (Wikipedia Art) into an ex post facto framework (does/did there exist conceptual art/artists that didn’t agree with Sol LeWitt or care what he was doing or saying, I think so).

    It seems like this is one work, an interesting one, and now it’s ‘finished.’ I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think the artists (Stern and Kildall) were looking to create “a built-in theatrical piece that attempts to destabilize power structures of art, dominant ideologies and the processes of canonization” or an “indelible movement.”

    I think you’re reading too much into it. It seems a much humbler work.

  • http://peterandjoan.wmblogs.net Peter Zimmerman

    AK– good point about the differences among Conceptualism. There were definitely plenty who disagreed with LeWitt, and it’s certainly justified to look into those differences, as Stern/Kildall situate this work in the conceptual realm (though perhaps not the Conceptual– point taken).

    However, I just don’t see how it isn’t an indelible movement if they’ve created a whole website for the purpose of spreading the word after the act of Wikipedia Art’s demise. In a way it’s almost a fetishization of the absence of Wikipedia Art from the main Wikipedia site– it’s supposedly “finished,” but is it really? It seems to me that the artists wanted this to continue through a dialectical relationship of publish (utterance) / cite / TRANSFORM– this would speak to me of a movement that is centered on a longer lifespan than a few mere hours.

    Also, I just take issue with the language used on the main site (www.wikipediaart.org) and the accompanying wiki entry (as referenced in this original post). Kildall and Stern claim they want to create work made manifest in a system of certified editors (power structure), reliable external sources (ideology), and “trustworthy” media institutions. This is made explicit through language, and matched with the dialectical attempt seems to me to point to an art motion that works with the system to undermine it. And quite frankly I don’t think theirs is really that interesting.

  • http://peterandjoan.wmblogs.net Peter Zimmerman

    AK– good point about the differences among Conceptualism. There were definitely plenty who disagreed with LeWitt, and it’s certainly justified to look into those differences, as Stern/Kildall situate this work in the conceptual realm (though perhaps not the Conceptual– point taken).

    However, I just don’t see how it isn’t an indelible movement if they’ve created a whole website for the purpose of spreading the word after the act of Wikipedia Art’s demise. In a way it’s almost a fetishization of the absence of Wikipedia Art from the main Wikipedia site– it’s supposedly “finished,” but is it really? It seems to me that the artists wanted this to continue through a dialectical relationship of publish (utterance) / cite / TRANSFORM– this would speak to me of a movement that is centered on a longer lifespan than a few mere hours.

    Also, I just take issue with the language used on the main site (www.wikipediaart.org) and the accompanying wiki entry (as referenced in this original post). Kildall and Stern claim they want to create work made manifest in a system of certified editors (power structure), reliable external sources (ideology), and “trustworthy” media institutions. This is made explicit through language, and matched with the dialectical attempt seems to me to point to an art motion that works with the system to undermine it. And quite frankly I don’t think theirs is really that interesting.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    AFC: I don’t want to be a party pooper, but art making scenerios in which everybody wins are almost inherently boring.

    +++

    Can you explain what that line means? Call me an optimist, but I always thought that most art-making scenarios as a sort of win-win situation.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    AFC: I don’t want to be a party pooper, but art making scenerios in which everybody wins are almost inherently boring.

    +++

    Can you explain what that line means? Call me an optimist, but I always thought that most art-making scenarios as a sort of win-win situation.

  • http://www.mikeplibby.com Mike

    I agree Patty, conversations (or projects) in which art is equally appointed to any and all, are boring, and often the result of people who have desire but no ability, well, maybe some ability to launch a project, but no skill or talent in declaring or concluding.

  • http://www.mikeplibby.com Mike

    I agree Patty, conversations (or projects) in which art is equally appointed to any and all, are boring, and often the result of people who have desire but no ability, well, maybe some ability to launch a project, but no skill or talent in declaring or concluding.

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid. I was using win only in opposition to fail, though you’re right to point out the wording isn’t perfect. I think there’s an implicit tension in work where failure is a possibility (as opposed those made where the result can’t help but be failure or conversely success). I miss that in this work.

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid. I was using win only in opposition to fail, though you’re right to point out the wording isn’t perfect. I think there’s an implicit tension in work where failure is a possibility (as opposed those made where the result can’t help but be failure or conversely success). I miss that in this work.

  • RS

    Maybe flashy icons and digital bling would have made it more interesting?

  • RS

    Maybe flashy icons and digital bling would have made it more interesting?

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  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “I don’t want to be a party pooper, but art making scenarios in which everybody wins are almost inherently boring” is perfectly clear from the context it was yanked from.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “I don’t want to be a party pooper, but art making scenarios in which everybody wins are almost inherently boring” is perfectly clear from the context it was yanked from.

  • http://www.ethanham.com/blog Ethan

    I agree that generating controversy doesn’t equate to worthwhile art… but I don’t see Wikipedia Art as being a win-only proposition. Perhaps I’m easily entertained, but I’m interested to see if Wikipedia Art can generate enough notability to genuinely merit a Wikipedia entry… If so, I’d consider it a successful project. If not, well then I’d have to say it didn’t quite pan out.

  • http://www.ethanham.com/blog Ethan

    I agree that generating controversy doesn’t equate to worthwhile art… but I don’t see Wikipedia Art as being a win-only proposition. Perhaps I’m easily entertained, but I’m interested to see if Wikipedia Art can generate enough notability to genuinely merit a Wikipedia entry… If so, I’d consider it a successful project. If not, well then I’d have to say it didn’t quite pan out.

  • http://www.yannleguennec.com/ y

    it reminds some old online performance on some new media art mailing list, let’s say that people and artists writing about art on the list did not really like it ;-)
    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/29879/#2175

  • http://www.yannleguennec.com/ y

    it reminds some old online performance on some new media art mailing list, let’s say that people and artists writing about art on the list did not really like it ;-)
    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/29879/#2175

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    AFC’s point in the last graph is confused or not well thought out IMHO.

    Artists always have the ability to call whatever they do ‘art.’ For many, that is the definition of art: was it the artist’s intent to make art? If the answer is yes, it’s art. Wins all around. I put paint on the canvas: it’s art! I don’t put paint on the canvas: it’s art! If the artist intends to make art, it’s art. Simple. Whether it’s good or noteworthy art is another story of course.

    If AFC follows this definition of art, then I would ask… Does AFC make a distinction for this particular piece or for process art in general? Is it just a suspicion that the artists didn’t foresee the project going in this direction so it’s invalid for some reason? Or did you mean that when artist’s coop unforeseen turns in their processes that it has the tendency to result in bad art? Something else??

    Just wondering :-)

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    AFC’s point in the last graph is confused or not well thought out IMHO.

    Artists always have the ability to call whatever they do ‘art.’ For many, that is the definition of art: was it the artist’s intent to make art? If the answer is yes, it’s art. Wins all around. I put paint on the canvas: it’s art! I don’t put paint on the canvas: it’s art! If the artist intends to make art, it’s art. Simple. Whether it’s good or noteworthy art is another story of course.

    If AFC follows this definition of art, then I would ask… Does AFC make a distinction for this particular piece or for process art in general? Is it just a suspicion that the artists didn’t foresee the project going in this direction so it’s invalid for some reason? Or did you mean that when artist’s coop unforeseen turns in their processes that it has the tendency to result in bad art? Something else??

    Just wondering :-)

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid For the purposes of conversation, could you use my name as opposed to the blog? I wrote the piece, not the blog.

    I think what we’re dealing with is a difference of opinion as opposed to an issue of clarity, so I really wish you wouldn’t characterize the issues that way. I never said artists don’t or shouldn’t have the ability to call what they do art. I’ve taken issue with a set framework in which every permutation the piece takes it’s deemed noteworthy. Frankly, I don’t think it is.

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid For the purposes of conversation, could you use my name as opposed to the blog? I wrote the piece, not the blog.

    I think what we’re dealing with is a difference of opinion as opposed to an issue of clarity, so I really wish you wouldn’t characterize the issues that way. I never said artists don’t or shouldn’t have the ability to call what they do art. I’ve taken issue with a set framework in which every permutation the piece takes it’s deemed noteworthy. Frankly, I don’t think it is.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    Howdy Paddy,

    (No offense intended with using AFC instead of Paddy.)

    And not to belabor the point, but your opinion to me was unclear in that last graph so I don’t know how it can be a difference of opinion. Maybe I’m just dense but I didn’t get it. So it goes.

    Your rephrasing in this last comment makes it clearer to me.

    But, you mean this particular piece? Every permutation isn’t noteworthy? Or process-oriented art generally? Because there we would have a difference of opinion… systems-oriented/process/conceptual art by their nature define that all permutations are valid (or as noteworthy as any other). Whether or not the work *itself* becomes noteworthy is another story of course.

    Is that another difference of opinion perhaps? I don’t see any course this project could have taken as improving it beyond the course it is taking… they are all valid. (Note that I’m reserving judgment of the piece, but I don’t think it’s as undeserving of distinction as some commenters do.)

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    Howdy Paddy,

    (No offense intended with using AFC instead of Paddy.)

    And not to belabor the point, but your opinion to me was unclear in that last graph so I don’t know how it can be a difference of opinion. Maybe I’m just dense but I didn’t get it. So it goes.

    Your rephrasing in this last comment makes it clearer to me.

    But, you mean this particular piece? Every permutation isn’t noteworthy? Or process-oriented art generally? Because there we would have a difference of opinion… systems-oriented/process/conceptual art by their nature define that all permutations are valid (or as noteworthy as any other). Whether or not the work *itself* becomes noteworthy is another story of course.

    Is that another difference of opinion perhaps? I don’t see any course this project could have taken as improving it beyond the course it is taking… they are all valid. (Note that I’m reserving judgment of the piece, but I don’t think it’s as undeserving of distinction as some commenters do.)

  • Art Fag City

    I was speaking about that piece specifically up until the last sentence, at which point I made a generalization. Generally speaking art making frameworks in which all scenarios are inevitably deemed noteworthy is boring to me.

  • Art Fag City

    I was speaking about that piece specifically up until the last sentence, at which point I made a generalization. Generally speaking art making frameworks in which all scenarios are inevitably deemed noteworthy is boring to me.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Speaking as blogger who turned off comments–this last round is a classic commenter strategy–the “I don’t understand” ploy–meant to punish the blogger for having a contrary opinion by wasting time asking for infinite clarification. It’s disingenuous as heck.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Speaking as blogger who turned off comments–this last round is a classic commenter strategy–the “I don’t understand” ploy–meant to punish the blogger for having a contrary opinion by wasting time asking for infinite clarification. It’s disingenuous as heck.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    Lucky for us Paddy seems to be able to take the oh so hot heat that I’m pouring on here.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    Lucky for us Paddy seems to be able to take the oh so hot heat that I’m pouring on here.

  • Art Fag City

    This comment by Paul Slocum on the Rhizome thread is a valuable one I think:

    I think I prefer: the time I went to the Leonardo DiCaprio entry and it was just the word “gay” copied 1000 times.

    Here are the two artists contribution pages on Wikipedia:
    Scott Kildall
    Nathaniel Stern

    I looked into this because I was wondering if they had enough experience with Wikipedia to know that there is no way the article would last more than a few days. I only have 6X the contribs of these guys, but I’ve participated in enough deletion discussions to know that Wikipedia nerds ain’t gunna put up with this kind of shit. They’re gunna just delete and direct you to this article, but Supercentral (and probably others) kinda already did that.

    If they knew it was going to be deleted, then I respect their trolling, but thousands of kids with lots of free time have already explored this concept on Wikipedia to my satisfaction. If they thought they could really maybe keep the article on Wikipedia, then personally I think they didn’t learn enough about their medium before they dipped into the “paint”.

  • Art Fag City

    This comment by Paul Slocum on the Rhizome thread is a valuable one I think:

    I think I prefer: the time I went to the Leonardo DiCaprio entry and it was just the word “gay” copied 1000 times.

    Here are the two artists contribution pages on Wikipedia:
    Scott Kildall
    Nathaniel Stern

    I looked into this because I was wondering if they had enough experience with Wikipedia to know that there is no way the article would last more than a few days. I only have 6X the contribs of these guys, but I’ve participated in enough deletion discussions to know that Wikipedia nerds ain’t gunna put up with this kind of shit. They’re gunna just delete and direct you to this article, but Supercentral (and probably others) kinda already did that.

    If they knew it was going to be deleted, then I respect their trolling, but thousands of kids with lots of free time have already explored this concept on Wikipedia to my satisfaction. If they thought they could really maybe keep the article on Wikipedia, then personally I think they didn’t learn enough about their medium before they dipped into the “paint”.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    [1]
    Pat Lichty responds on the same thread…

    Hey, all.
    Good conversation.
    I’m not offended at all at Tom’s mock outrage at my mock outrage, or the other criticisms of the project.
    After the fact, I’m very honest that it was an intervetnion; sometimes I think that Scott and Nathaniel actually thought it might have had some time to survive. I didn’t. Nor did I believe that my protestations and breast thumping give me any more hope. It was texture, as was the demonization of it was here.

    Creating the gesture created the fait accompli that it was an event. It’s a performance, sure – again, was there any real doubt of this? The idea that somehow the Rhizome community demands full disclosure while the fight went on merely said that others were merely taking positions while we were. Not that interesting, and for anyone with any knowledge of Tactical Media, pretty predictable, and near machinic. Anyone with a little experience could see the conversation unfolding like a script. Mock outrage, indeed…

    I think what was most interesting were the dramatis personae on the Wikipedia side, and the arcane bylaws that we saw while going through the event,, like the “Snowball” and “Don’t Feed the Trolls” rules. Crazy stuff. Not to mention the 18 year old, the Deletionists versus the Inclusionists, and so on. It’s nearly Steampunk. It reinforced my belief in disallowing WP as no more than a tertiary source, for sure.

    I also think that the “gestures’ being thrown around (here and there) were largely cynical ones, until we got to the underbelly of the beast. When the honest reactions started happening, I think that’s where the real art happened.

    Interesting. Really interesting.

    +++

    [2]
    A suggestion: it might benefit both AFC and Rhiz to pursue some sort of comment cross-posting partnership. It might help these conversations flow easier from site to site.

    +++

    [3]
    I submit Cage’s venerable 4’33″ as an example (and perhaps the first) of the so-called ‘win-win’ framework of art making that you find boring.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    [1]
    Pat Lichty responds on the same thread…

    Hey, all.
    Good conversation.
    I’m not offended at all at Tom’s mock outrage at my mock outrage, or the other criticisms of the project.
    After the fact, I’m very honest that it was an intervetnion; sometimes I think that Scott and Nathaniel actually thought it might have had some time to survive. I didn’t. Nor did I believe that my protestations and breast thumping give me any more hope. It was texture, as was the demonization of it was here.

    Creating the gesture created the fait accompli that it was an event. It’s a performance, sure – again, was there any real doubt of this? The idea that somehow the Rhizome community demands full disclosure while the fight went on merely said that others were merely taking positions while we were. Not that interesting, and for anyone with any knowledge of Tactical Media, pretty predictable, and near machinic. Anyone with a little experience could see the conversation unfolding like a script. Mock outrage, indeed…

    I think what was most interesting were the dramatis personae on the Wikipedia side, and the arcane bylaws that we saw while going through the event,, like the “Snowball” and “Don’t Feed the Trolls” rules. Crazy stuff. Not to mention the 18 year old, the Deletionists versus the Inclusionists, and so on. It’s nearly Steampunk. It reinforced my belief in disallowing WP as no more than a tertiary source, for sure.

    I also think that the “gestures’ being thrown around (here and there) were largely cynical ones, until we got to the underbelly of the beast. When the honest reactions started happening, I think that’s where the real art happened.

    Interesting. Really interesting.

    +++

    [2]
    A suggestion: it might benefit both AFC and Rhiz to pursue some sort of comment cross-posting partnership. It might help these conversations flow easier from site to site.

    +++

    [3]
    I submit Cage’s venerable 4’33″ as an example (and perhaps the first) of the so-called ‘win-win’ framework of art making that you find boring.

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid. Thanks for the reposting of Lichty’s comment here. It’s completely relevant to the conversation. Also, I think your suggestion of a comment cross-posting partnership is an excellent one. Finally, thanks for the Cage example. I’ll update the post.

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid. Thanks for the reposting of Lichty’s comment here. It’s completely relevant to the conversation. Also, I think your suggestion of a comment cross-posting partnership is an excellent one. Finally, thanks for the Cage example. I’ll update the post.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    My outrage wasn’t mock and Lichty’s wasn’t outrage. He repeatedly cited his own academic credentials to justify the project. Now that it’s failed he claims to be blase about it. Either way, he played the Wikipedia editors for suckers–kind of icky.

    As for the Cage, how many days did it take to come up with that? Everyone who undertakes a project like this thinks they’re Cage or Duchamp. What if they’re not?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    My outrage wasn’t mock and Lichty’s wasn’t outrage. He repeatedly cited his own academic credentials to justify the project. Now that it’s failed he claims to be blase about it. Either way, he played the Wikipedia editors for suckers–kind of icky.

    As for the Cage, how many days did it take to come up with that? Everyone who undertakes a project like this thinks they’re Cage or Duchamp. What if they’re not?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Also, as for cross-posting, I think it would really benefit Rhizome to see what a moderated conversation looks like.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Also, as for cross-posting, I think it would really benefit Rhizome to see what a moderated conversation looks like.

  • sally

    One thing I want to mention is that I don’t think the comparison to Kristin Lucas’ Refresh project holds up. At no point was the name change presented to the court as an art project, and at no point was there any discussion about art whatsoever. Also, it’s clear from the transcript that Lucas was able to successfully communicate to the judge that she respected the court’s time and that she was not there to abuse the system. It’s her sincerity in desiring the ‘refresh’ that makes the project interesting, very different from the stagey pretense that we see here.

  • sally

    One thing I want to mention is that I don’t think the comparison to Kristin Lucas’ Refresh project holds up. At no point was the name change presented to the court as an art project, and at no point was there any discussion about art whatsoever. Also, it’s clear from the transcript that Lucas was able to successfully communicate to the judge that she respected the court’s time and that she was not there to abuse the system. It’s her sincerity in desiring the ‘refresh’ that makes the project interesting, very different from the stagey pretense that we see here.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Discussing the Lucas project may seem off topic but I don’t think so. It has to do with the genre of artists mucking about in the system with the time of overworked or volunteer functionaries.

    It’s true the word “art” wasn’t used in the court proceedings, that’s my faulty memory, but Lucas *is* a performance artist and described her proposed name change to the court thusly:

    “I consider this act to be poetic gesture and a birthday gift. An intervention into my life. I am here to be born again as myself, or at least the most current version of myself (etc)”

    The judge said the court is “not in the business of humor” so he clearly recognized this as a stunt of some kind. Like the Wikipedia editor, he gave it more than patient consideration. Just because you say that you respect the system and are not there to abuse it doesn’t make it true.

    I am a fan of Lucas’s work, as you know, but not that project; the transcript read like “cringe comedy,” emphasis on the cringing.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Discussing the Lucas project may seem off topic but I don’t think so. It has to do with the genre of artists mucking about in the system with the time of overworked or volunteer functionaries.

    It’s true the word “art” wasn’t used in the court proceedings, that’s my faulty memory, but Lucas *is* a performance artist and described her proposed name change to the court thusly:

    “I consider this act to be poetic gesture and a birthday gift. An intervention into my life. I am here to be born again as myself, or at least the most current version of myself (etc)”

    The judge said the court is “not in the business of humor” so he clearly recognized this as a stunt of some kind. Like the Wikipedia editor, he gave it more than patient consideration. Just because you say that you respect the system and are not there to abuse it doesn’t make it true.

    I am a fan of Lucas’s work, as you know, but not that project; the transcript read like “cringe comedy,” emphasis on the cringing.

  • sally

    I choose to take the piece at face value, as the judge did. I think it is more interesting that way, and in the context of Lucas’ career I think it’s more likely her intent.

  • sally

    I choose to take the piece at face value, as the judge did. I think it is more interesting that way, and in the context of Lucas’ career I think it’s more likely her intent.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    @the mood

    As for the Cage, how many days did it take to come up with that?

    Are you naturally offensive or do you try?

    Everyone who undertakes a project like this thinks they’re Cage or Duchamp. What if they’re not?

    Once again, you miss the point entirely. It has nothing to do with what the artists thought or didn’t think. Paddy called the form ‘almost inherently boring’ so I suggested a specific example of the form to refute that assertion.

    I would be curious for Paddy to give some examples of the boring work she is thinking about other than this particular piece.

    IMHO, no form or subject is ‘inherently’ boring.

  • http://mtaa.net twhid

    @the mood

    As for the Cage, how many days did it take to come up with that?

    Are you naturally offensive or do you try?

    Everyone who undertakes a project like this thinks they’re Cage or Duchamp. What if they’re not?

    Once again, you miss the point entirely. It has nothing to do with what the artists thought or didn’t think. Paddy called the form ‘almost inherently boring’ so I suggested a specific example of the form to refute that assertion.

    I would be curious for Paddy to give some examples of the boring work she is thinking about other than this particular piece.

    IMHO, no form or subject is ‘inherently’ boring.

  • Art Fag City

    @tommoody Twhid is right. That comment is uncalled for. Let’s try and keep this conversation from turning into an exchange of insults.

  • Art Fag City

    @tommoody Twhid is right. That comment is uncalled for. Let’s try and keep this conversation from turning into an exchange of insults.

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid. A fair sizable portion of the work in the Guggenheim’s anyspacewhatever this Fall. Also, any number of the relational aesthetics gone wrong projects at last year’s Whitney Biennial. The dance party? The dinner party? I’m just not interested.

    Just to be clear, “inherently boring” was qualified with “almost”.

  • Art Fag City

    @twhid. A fair sizable portion of the work in the Guggenheim’s anyspacewhatever this Fall. Also, any number of the relational aesthetics gone wrong projects at last year’s Whitney Biennial. The dance party? The dinner party? I’m just not interested.

    Just to be clear, “inherently boring” was qualified with “almost”.

  • Patrick Lichty

    Regarding Tom’s commentary on my Rhizome posting.
    I’m not blase, maybe a little jaded, maybe a touch clinical, as little about WPA was that surprising UNTIL they got into the inner community. Sure, WPA was a very tight little system. Arguing about that is moot.

    As for my putting my own credentials behind it, it’s not icky – it’s sticky. That actually had a little risk to it, and almost has to do with things like Second Front, the Mattes, etc. Who should care about virtual performance art? But in all honesty, compared to the tactical media projects I’ve been involved in, art in general is a microcosm. Tempests in teapots, until you become someone like Steve Kurtz…

    That’s not blase; that’s just speaking the facts.

    The fact that (for some strange reason) we care about art is not blase, either – although the larger society may consider us academic in our own right. Again, in many cases, the arguing is people fighting over scraps of credibility when there are so many better things to do.

    0: I actually was not a progenitor of th eproject, but I thought it was “interesting” to see what they would do. Using my creds was probably necessary; although it probably didn’t help me that much. Took one for the team if it lessened my cred any, but you have to take risks once in a while.

    1: Sure, it was strategic. Maybe one could also look at it as a model for critique of the contemporary “strategic” artist. II don’t find this that interesting, because the argument devolves quickly.

    2: It did get interesting when I saw the arcane underbelly of Wikipedia, and I will never let my students cite from it again.

    3: … (to be continued)

    4: As for Tom’s “icky” and other comments during the Surfin Club debacle on Rhizome (another temest/teapot. This pose of the growly troll is old – Josh Zeidner, Kandinskii, Lismore, Antiorp, Brad Brace, nn, integer, have all institutionalized this position as “anti-strategy” that’s just as much of a pose as a strategy.

    4b: As for my veracity, as I told Joseph McElroy – I’m a pretty stright up person, and rarely pose for the camera. I just have a passion for this, and if I lost that, I’d walk. Many of today’s new medi agang are about the PR game, positioning, strategies. I do that a little bit if it fits the concept. Beyond that, while nothing’s pure, my veracity is still pretty much there – you see what you get, and it’s out fo a spirit of support for a love of thsi stufff and support of the community. so for those of you who think otherwise, well, comments from people like the ‘nasty’ Tom Moody are often not worth a lot of my time. Although I’d buy him a couple rounds on the spot were I ever to see him in the flesh.

  • Patrick Lichty

    Regarding Tom’s commentary on my Rhizome posting.
    I’m not blase, maybe a little jaded, maybe a touch clinical, as little about WPA was that surprising UNTIL they got into the inner community. Sure, WPA was a very tight little system. Arguing about that is moot.

    As for my putting my own credentials behind it, it’s not icky – it’s sticky. That actually had a little risk to it, and almost has to do with things like Second Front, the Mattes, etc. Who should care about virtual performance art? But in all honesty, compared to the tactical media projects I’ve been involved in, art in general is a microcosm. Tempests in teapots, until you become someone like Steve Kurtz…

    That’s not blase; that’s just speaking the facts.

    The fact that (for some strange reason) we care about art is not blase, either – although the larger society may consider us academic in our own right. Again, in many cases, the arguing is people fighting over scraps of credibility when there are so many better things to do.

    0: I actually was not a progenitor of th eproject, but I thought it was “interesting” to see what they would do. Using my creds was probably necessary; although it probably didn’t help me that much. Took one for the team if it lessened my cred any, but you have to take risks once in a while.

    1: Sure, it was strategic. Maybe one could also look at it as a model for critique of the contemporary “strategic” artist. II don’t find this that interesting, because the argument devolves quickly.

    2: It did get interesting when I saw the arcane underbelly of Wikipedia, and I will never let my students cite from it again.

    3: … (to be continued)

    4: As for Tom’s “icky” and other comments during the Surfin Club debacle on Rhizome (another temest/teapot. This pose of the growly troll is old – Josh Zeidner, Kandinskii, Lismore, Antiorp, Brad Brace, nn, integer, have all institutionalized this position as “anti-strategy” that’s just as much of a pose as a strategy.

    4b: As for my veracity, as I told Joseph McElroy – I’m a pretty stright up person, and rarely pose for the camera. I just have a passion for this, and if I lost that, I’d walk. Many of today’s new medi agang are about the PR game, positioning, strategies. I do that a little bit if it fits the concept. Beyond that, while nothing’s pure, my veracity is still pretty much there – you see what you get, and it’s out fo a spirit of support for a love of thsi stufff and support of the community. so for those of you who think otherwise, well, comments from people like the ‘nasty’ Tom Moody are often not worth a lot of my time. Although I’d buy him a couple rounds on the spot were I ever to see him in the flesh.

  • http://www.myartspace.com/blog Brian Sherwin @ Myartspace Blo

    Update: Apparently Wikipedia.org has it in for Wikipediaart.org. Should be interesting.

    http://www.myartspace.com/blog/2009/04/art-space-talk-scott-kildall-and.html

  • http://www.myartspace.com/blog Brian Sherwin @ Myartspace Blog

    Update: Apparently Wikipedia.org has it in for Wikipediaart.org. Should be interesting.

    http://www.myartspace.com/blog/2009/04/art-space-talk-scott-kildall-and.html

  • MichaelAngelo

    What if I were to start Wikipedia Music?

  • MichaelAngelo

    What if I were to start Wikipedia Music?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “As for the Cage, how many days did it take to come up with that?” is a biting comment but, Paddy, I respectfully disagree, a year later, that it is uncalled for. The slow response of counterexamples to your “boring win-win scenario” was worth noting and it’s pretty obvious T.Whid was messing with you. “Are you naturally offensive or do you try?” is considerably ruder. As for Patrick Lichty’s “pose of the growly troll,” the Rhizomers can’t seem to make up their minds if I’m a troll or posing as one, ha ha. I am posting now to note that Scott Kildall is still out there on the conference circuit talking about “Wikipedia Art” ( http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/2010/03/26/wikipedia-art-fifteen-hours-of-magic/ ). Perhaps the endless rehashing will make the page notable enough for reinstatement.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “As for the Cage, how many days did it take to come up with that?” is a biting comment but, Paddy, I respectfully disagree, a year later, that it is uncalled for. The slow response of counterexamples to your “boring win-win scenario” was worth noting and it’s pretty obvious T.Whid was messing with you. “Are you naturally offensive or do you try?” is considerably ruder. As for Patrick Lichty’s “pose of the growly troll,” the Rhizomers can’t seem to make up their minds if I’m a troll or posing as one, ha ha. I am posting now to note that Scott Kildall is still out there on the conference circuit talking about “Wikipedia Art” ( http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/2010/03/26/wikipedia-art-fifteen-hours-of-magic/ ). Perhaps the endless rehashing will make the page notable enough for reinstatement.

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