the art of our times.
are today's most radical and important art objects.
Because Internet is not
just another "media", as the Old media advertises, but it is a space,similar
to the American Continent immediately after it has been discovered,
anything that can be found on the web, has a physical presence:
it occupies real estate. To encounter a logo, a picture or an animation
in the Internet, is a totally different experience than to find
the same stuff between the pages of a magazine or on television.
"Things" in the Internet,
exist in a specific location. While in magazines and TV, contents
are bullets of information, online they constitute a body : they
are parts of a new type of entities. Such entities, may include
humans or being entirely robotic: made by software, like Google,
which is a search engine. Web entities, usually get in touch , they
advertise their existence to each other. As any human entities would
do, they evaluate , criticize, even "link" to each other and they
ultimately develop a "taste".
Bob Dobbs ( a friend of
Mc Luhan) said that "advertising is communication between machines"
. He also suggested, that machines came alive in 1967 and that "now
they are in an angelic state".
According to him, "advertising
is communication between angels".
It is not strange then,
that we start encounter "art" which is not made by human artists,
but it originates from the attempts of these entities - or "angels"-
to communicate in a pretty way.
Therefore, to paint the
portrait of a Google logo, is more similar to the making of a portrait
of Christopher Columbus, or to the composition of a historical event
such as the French Revolution was for J.L David, than to a pop depiction
of a Coca Cola bottle.
Taking snapshots of webpages
is observing how those entities behave and it is also searching
for a new kind of beauty. Nobody knows how the next page will look
like, simply because it is not yet registered ! There is no tradition,
no academy, it doesn't even exist any real Internet society yet:
just lonely pairs of fingers and eyeballs which are looking, while
others pairs are showing them whatever happens to land over their
The Art World instead,
is the opposite.
It is collected around
a few cities, such as New York and London, it uses powerful tools
such as the Art Magazines, to impose centralization, it respects
timed reoccurring events - the large international exhibitions and
the artfairs, it has a bureaucracy -the Museums - and a theology
- the wonder of the human genius.
While there are still a
few interesting artists who operate outside of the Internet, it
is impossible for them to make something really different happen
there, because the "real" artworld is such a stabilized and saturated
Outside of the Internet,
there's no glory.
Non-Internet artists, are
just some freelance employees of other employees (the curators of
the exhibitions). To work for somebody else, is not necessarily
a problem, that's after all how, different beautiful "Jesus and
Madonna" pictures have been produced in the past. The problem starts
instead , when your commissioner doesn't have a clue of what he/she
wants from you.
Art curators and people
that commission art today, usually don't ask for anything specific
from the artists that they choose, other than to prove for one more
time, what they, (the artists), are already known for.
Because institutions bestows
these curators with confidence and power, they are chasing the opportunity
of creating the art by themselves, by putting the artists together.
They are not looking for unseen objects but for some evidence of
human expression, which they will bring back to their commissioners
as a well trained dog would do with its ball.
They are just sampling
No wonder then, that any
top level art exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial, the Documenta
in Kassel the Manifesta and the Venice Biennial, all look like the
graduation day for students of anthropology. In these exhibitions,
any realistic representation could as well be used as an illustration
for the National Geographic while any abstract piece becomes mere
The art of the past century
was based mostly on "the following principle: ""if you put something
in an empty room, it seems strange and significant ".
A variation of that, was
"" if you take something out of its context, it seems strange and
and another "" if you change
the scale of something, it will seem strange and significant ""
and a last one : "" if
you multiply something it also becomes strange and significant "".
But after 80 years of different
combinations, for any kind of objects inside the hopelessly empty
spaces of our art institutions, nothing seems interesting.
Unfortunately, we can now
see clearly, that the supposed "art" is simply a bunch of trash
or just some products bought in a mall or a photo illustration.
They are usually ugly artifacts.
We immediately recognize
them as contemporary art ( but only when we find them in the right
place ). Art public is open to anything, because it knows that nothing
peculiar will ever happen. Even if we will leave the gallery empty,
the public will search for the label with the name of the artist
who did the "work" and it will be satisfied one way or another.
Real Space, has lost its
But in the Internet, where
the space is created by software and random imagination, an empty
webpage is really empty.
People, can still produce
unpredictable objects to put there.
" Telic and Neen
Telic, is a word produced
by a branding company . ( Lexicon, the creators of terms such as
"powerbook" and "pentium".
It stands for anything
related with computer technology , from Wired Magazine type of ideas
and lifestyle to art generated with computers and theory about machines,
software and robots.
Telic is super creative,
sometimes in a paranoid way : its more creative than what it worths
to be, because it is using creativity as a power engine to examine
Telic is serious . It will
explain every little detail. It will submit lots of footnotes and
references. It will be "open form" and it will accept updates from
Telic is never snob and
it is indifferent to style or it will overdo with it similar to
a New Jersey boy who comes in Manhattan on Friday nights. San Francisco,
is in this sense, the Telic capital of the World.
Telic authors and artists,
usually teach in Universities . They survive thanks to the grants
that other Telic people are managing and they avoid the artworld,
which in return, also ignores them.
But Telic shapes the World.
As J.G Ballard wrote " Science and technology, multiply around us.
To an increasing extend they dictate the languages in which we speak
and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute".
Telic is making sense from
these languages, but then, do we really want to make sense ? Why
shall we be so domesticated and so productive ? Why our "design"
becomes sometimes so irrelevant that even the most boring companies
are comfortable to sponsor it and use it as their banner? Here it
where Neen comes in, another name invented by Lexicon.
Neen is the crazy little
What it does, may sound
sometimes stupid , but only because its easy and amazing. A Neenster,
is not a wannabe, he/she doesn't suffer of any sense of duty, but
he/she will use culture the same, as an occasion to exercise his/her
The dream of a Neenster,
is to become an icon and usually starts his career by becoming the
icon of his own imagination. Then, he projects it to the outside
as if it were a fact.
Identity, is not a priority
for a Neenster, but one will fetishize oneself anyway and use that
as a style: it's a fast way to produce content. But a Neenster ,
in contrast with contemporary artists, will change identities often,
according to the situations: Neen, is ultimately a state of mind.
People such as Lucio Fontana,
who were doing painting by simply slashing a canvas, were Neen before
A few videogames, the most
untelic ones, such as Animal Leader for Nintendo Cube, is for a
Neenster a good thing to do when he is tired from his usual job,
which is namely doing nothing: not even consuming. Because the Internet
is the best place to exercise your "non activity", Neensters use
to spend a lot of time online. They are Friends of the information
and not Users as the Telic people and because they need something
that simulates social battle they participate actively in the intellectual
property and copyright war.
They watch the data population,
music, images,ideas and texts, while it struggles to get free from
the slavery of the intellectual property and copyright.
Their are spending months
downloading anything that they can find, from songs to porn movies
and books just for the pleasure of copy.
Then, they will put copies
of what they copied online, for others to copy.
Neensters, are also obsessed
with names. They will run a search in the Internet to see if the
domain with a new name they envisioned is available, if it is, they
will register it. Immediately after, they'll do something fresh
and they"ll put it online: it will not be your father's website
with the usual links , info and stuff, it will be something minimal
Neensters, will let the
page to be what it must be : a new art object.
A work of art, comes to
the World, because of its creator, but it survives only because
of the collector who will take care of it. In terms of Neen, a collector,
is even more important than the artist himself, because he "does"
art with less effort.
Collecting, is the power
to decide if a piece should continue exist or not: once you own
it, you can decide if destroy or conserve it.
Never this power has been
more significant, than for a collector of websites: if he will not
pay the hosting fee, the work will disappear. The name of the website
will return to the pool of the available domain names. The whole
piece will expire as it has never existed.
You can burn a painting,
but it's photograph will always permit people to reproduce it. It's
not the same with the website though. A website is the ultimate
property. You don't experience it only with your eyes but also with
your fingers, which are driving your mouse somewhere.
It is a trip to a secret
Villa, you have to open the door and confront yourself with something
that's already there.
If a collector will decide
to keep this experience just to himself, he will put a password
on the page and nobody will be able to access it.
He will lock the Villa,
keep the art a secret.
The collector of a website
has total control, because the art in a website, is not the animation,
or the code, or the picture that the website contain, but the possibility
to experience it in a unique place , under a unique .com , .net
or .org .
No magazine can pass you
the idea, no picture can inform you about the content of that type
of art. You simply have to click on it and the collector is the
one who decides if you can do that. Very few people yet, are cool
enough to collect websites. It is a difficult thing and it requires
intuition and courage. Its similar to the purchase of a nice apartment
in a ghetto area of Harlem.
Anybody instead, can walk
into a Gagosian or Jeffrey Deitch gallery and buy some contemporary
art . It's as easy, as buying designer clothes: the House which
sell the product , guarantee its value and you get what you pay
for : a giant certificate of authenticity with some picture on the
When you buy contemporary
art, you buy a copy of what belongs already in a museum , because
contemporary art museums are made specifically for this type of
art and will eventually host anything produced by the major galleries.
It's an industry of memorabilia.
Collecting in this case is not an adventure, but its like opening
another Savings Account which awards you with its little interest.
Larry Gagosian indeed call his collectors "customers".
A job is :
1. A regular activity
performed in exchange for payment, especially as one's trade, occupation,
2. A position in which
one is employed.
3. a) A task that must
be done: Washing the windows is not my job. b) A specified duty
While contemporary artists
are suffering from a heavy complex, in relationship with the idea
of job, a complex which makes them pretend that they are either
working class proletarians or smart alecs is a permanent vacation,
Telic people accept stoically that they must have a job and even
that they have to finance their research by themselves!
Both, see the art they
produce, as "their art", a personal affair, their "mission" .
Neensters instead, are
against the very concept of job: they are just too shiny themselves
to obey any other's orders , too embarrassed to play the clown that
the contemporary artist's profile requires. Some Neensters doesn't
even want to produce any objects at all, they are the relatives
to the art critics, the curators and the gallerists of the art world.
They will make the ideas
of others possible, pretty much as the art professionals would.
They will write about what
they see around. They will even make business and sell art . But
they will serve nobody.
Their act will seam incoherent
and suspicious. Their taste will not be predictable and the rest
of the traditional art workers will envy them because of their force.
They will sell pieces, but as a favor they do to the people who
buy: to help them get rid of some money , give them a chance of
For these Neen faux- professionals,
money , seam to fall from the sky .
They will always know how
to turn it into clouds and make it fall again like rain , in random
They will also be brilliant
personalities and they will always have a nice name. In fact, in
such an after computer World we live today, words and names seam
to be the karma of everything. It is possible to change your destiny,
by simply renaming it.
Neen professionals, are
doing exactly that for a job.
To be continued