Tuesday 18 November 2008


An interview regarding the Folded-in project to Franz Thalmair for cont3xt.net, Vienna.

1. In how far, do you think, that the technologies summarised as Web 2.0 are related to war. Does war - also - happen on the Internet today?

There is no neutral technology. Neither as form nor as use. It is well known that technology arises at the battlefield. Nevertheless that doesn’t mean necessarily that its use is absolutely defined as a war instrument.
People have always had the possibility to divert the use of technology and turn it into more productive and creative means. As it happened in the past with cinema it is now happening again with the www.
What is more however, is that the global networks engaged in exercising power today present a new de-centralized form of consistency which can be clearly seen in the web 2.0 . The popular idea about the ''Internet wars'' although it usually reflects the spectacular hacker's attacks, in reality in the era of the social networks it expresses multiples war forms that are encrypted and hard to decode .

2. In Folded-In content and form generated from and by YouTube determine each other immediately. Do you think that it is still necessary for Internet-based form of art to reflect their own mechanisms?

In Folded –in, content is generated by the users / consumers and by some artists. What is reflected inside the game are those elements that constitute the mechanisms of control and profit ''with a human face'' which is pre-established by YouTube . However, what is at stake for some part of the media arts nowadays is a process of a language formation that will allow artists in the future to articulate more demanding and even more -aesthetically- differentiated art works. For the moment, the reflection of the mechanisms partially is necessary in order to provide the audience a kind of ''material awareness '' with respect to the hidden infrastructures that compose the plateau of media arts and consequently of social life itself.

3. Do you think projects like Folded-In can be exhibited appropriately in a gallery or museum space without loosing its main characteristics? Is it necessary to show it in the field of art or is there a "better" place to be re-presented?

Online projects are ''exhibited'' on line. Fortunately, they are accessible from the audience in completely different settings than those needed for contemporary object oriented artworks. One could claim, that they are more cultural ''objects'' than art pieces. For several reasons media arts and artists do not sell easily (if not at all) their works, and Internet is a world not a gallery or a museum that assures - for the moment- the surviving of such experimental works. It is true that media arts lack a specific environment of physical exposure but this is not necessarily bad. As we said before the creation of the language of media arts is happening now and as in poetry one first needs the language in order to write the poem, In addition what we experience today in a large scale, is a total demystification of technology and the appearance of new forms of intimacy between the users and their devices. We are not in the 90's by any sense. The bet as Lovink says “is to navigate between empowerment and control as new media facilitate both” . The immaterial and material parts of technology are more and more in fusion. It is not that easy to determine the media art works as immaterial works anymore.
In the case of Folded in the presentations physically, up to now take a form of an announcement. But we are working on that...

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