Screencapture from an animated GIF on Spirit Surfers.
A professional trend within universities I don’t like: Professors who are given the responsibility of handling New Media departments simply because they have the most advanced Photoshop or Illustrator skills. This isn’t good for anyone. For one, it’s an unnecessary burden on teachers who don’t have the background to teach such courses. Like any other course, simply reading a book on the subject isn’t going to bring one up to date. For another, many art and technology sites don’t make accessing online resources easy. For example: What the hell happened to my two weeks worth of work I did in 2006 reblogging for Eyebeam? As far as I can tell, those archives are either lost or simply unavailable. Given that Eyebeam’s work during the first half of the 2000s is known to be pioneering, particularly in the field of net art, I think the institution has a responsibility to make those archives available. So too does Rhizome.org, a site, that at this point, is easily more relevant than Eyebeam. They are currently working to fix the links that broke during their site relaunch last month.
Having access to these archives and links is particularly important, as the number of students I’ve encountered recently who are deeply invested in net art, yet know nothing about its history. This is very disconcerting. Teachers, institutions, and critics, need to be doing a better job at preserving the net.art history we want.
For this reason I will be running a series of discussions prompted by my recent visit to MICA in Baltimore aimed not just at identifying problems, but working to create executable solutions. Look for this on the blog in the coming weeks. Three years from now, I don’t want to run into yet another super engaged 20-something net-nerd, who’s managed to get all the way through university without learning about what a surf club is.
Forthcoming: Institutional website reviews!