your choice your choice
11-14 may | an open interactive video broadcasting will be organized on the site. Everybody is welcome!
RSHU - House of Russian Government

Josephine Bosma

Josephine Bosma lives and works in Amsterdam. She has worked as a journalist in the field of art, media and media theory since 1993, first on the radio (VPRO, Radio Patapoe), later (since 1996) on the internet and in paper publications (Telepolis magazine, Mute, Ars Electronica catalogue). Her writing now moves from journalism to theory. She organized the net.radioworkshop at V2, Rotterdam, in 1997, with Andreas Broeckman, and she also co-organized the radio section of the next5minutes tactical mediafestival, number 2 and 3. Her work focuses on art, sound and performance on the internet, with sidesteps to cyberfeminism and media politics. She is the mother of an angel called Data.

Beyond Web Art
Cross disciplinary discourse loosing ground to popular representation in the net arts. The early developments of the Internet have shown an interesting mix of discourses. The situation of art therein was not much different from that of other disciplines: its development was more or less entangled with those of technological, political and social structures on the net. Because of this the net arts were pretty much unknown beyond a small group of parishioners, until in 1996 the term was jokingly appropriated by a circle of artists connected to the influential mailinglist for net.cricitism nettime.
The mailinglist nettime was founded by a group of both artists and theorists, and for a while the net arts had an indisputable place in the general net.critical discourse. The cross disciplinary breeding ground for new media theory -and- practice that seemed to evolve this way unfortunately was blocked in its development when the differences in discourses of artists and (academic) theorists clashed. Most artists left the list in 1997.
Since the withdrawal of artists from nettime, and (connected with this) the beginning of moderation of this mailinglist, there has been no other equally influential central platform of cross disciplinary cultural discourse on the net. Discourse around the net arts has moved to specialized platforms, most of which are in the hands of (or are supported by) art organizations. This has brought cross disciplinary discourse further out of sight, and caused net art discourse to be more tied to local, offline, art politics.The influence and structure of the offline artworld is prominently represented by the growing dominance of American net art practice on the entire net art field. This influence is mostly caused by two factors: language and technological dominance on the development of the net. Web design practice slowly starts to inform net art discourse.
Art history can be divided into segments or layers, of which the most commonly used one is popular art history. This is art history as it is represented by mass media and understood by the general public. Popular art history has a very strong connection to the artmarket and the valuation of art as object. Throughout the twentieth century, popular arthistory has increasingly started to replace 'specialized' art history (art history that focuses more deeply on details, motivation and discourse in the arts), to the extent that now net art discourse continuously struggles with the questionable demand for a valuation in the tradition of the popular artmarkets of net arts' intangible 'products'.
The net arts could be seen as a provocation of popular artmarket values and the work of traditional art professionals at the same time. Looking from the perspective of the net arts, it is tempting to take early modern art discourse to its extremes, and to regard more recent art historical developments as crude delusions. The 'simulated' world of postmodernity has now been replaced by an awareness stimulated by direct access to the shaping of a medium, by direct representation of the self and a subjective reality within the media. Instead of regarding the net arts as a result of a presumed linear arthistorical practice primarily rooted in technological developments, one could regard art practice in general as a complex form of communication between artist and audience/ environment.
This apparently subtle change of position can easily be mistaken for a cheer for the conservative thought within traditional art practice that the 'medium does not matter'. All media used within the arts represent and are used to represent specific practices, traditions and environments. The net art discourse takes us closer to a revealing of motives and positions within the arts in general. It does so through its own development and practice, and by its involuntary reflection on art history. Narrowing down the scope of both net art practice and net art theory has consequences for not only the arts, but also for the environment the arts evolve from: the information society.
The lecture at pro@contra will expand more on the above, and will give a short view of net art discourse using examples of events and artistic strategies.

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Editor - Olga Goryunova, Web-Master - Igor Gerasimenko 
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