Catching Up With Internet

by Art Fag City on October 24, 2006 Events

For all the talk about there being no shortage of opinions on the Internet, I never seem to see them where they really matter. I haven't observed any discussion on the recent Cory Arcangel show at Team Gallery (aside from a flimsy ArtForum critic's pick), nor have I noticed anything on the Rhizome reblog that resembles an opinion lately. I'm not sure if this is because there is a less discussion on New Media than there used to be, or if it is simply part of what appears to be scaling back of Rhizome's reblogging activities, but either way, I think it sucks. Of course, as the editor of a blog whose reputation is based on having opinions, I guess I would.

The reason I bring the subject up is because online New Media discourse has been lacking lately, and the growth of Internet publishing — even over the last four months –demands that institutions and bloggers work harder to keep up with the innovation of commercial enterprise. Art professionals, particularly within institutions, will wince at comparisons to market driven endeavors, (the belief being that the development of creative work can be compromised if it has to answer to commercial concerns,) but I haven't noticed that there are many institutionally run websites creating/sponsoring work that holds a candle to what is being made elsewhere. Even artists are losing the battle of innovation on the net as lay people uploading and/or hacking YouTube and MySpace on the whole, are doing much more interesting things with the medium.

Not that this is news to anyone who has been on the Internet over the past couple of years. You can't turn around without hearing some professional complain about how their jobs are no longer stable because lay people doing it for them (a comment generally followed with a negative performance assessment.) Within the world of Internet art professionals this is partially a result of applying the looser publishing standards of 2003 to a 2006 model. If web curation is to continue to have viability as an art form, it can not continue to be seen by institutions, bloggers and artists as a part time endeavor (as 2003 would have allowed.) The medium is maturing rapidly, and the responsibility of art professionals is to keep up with these changes.

Later today: A review of Cory Arcangel's exhibition subtractions, modifications, addenda, and other recent contributions to participatory culture.

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