The question of whether someone is a first or second generation "net artist" is causing some anxiety over at Rhizome.org, the New Museum's net internet art affiliate. Matthew Williamson suggested that a quiz might be helpful, so here it is:
1. Do you know who Marcel Duchamp is?*
2. Do you know who Roland Barthes is?
3. Do either of them have any bearing on art practice?
4. Does an artist who uses a computer have to be able to "program" it?
5. Is a blog a multiple choice format?
6. Does a blog limit artistic expression?
7. Is "finding" enough or must one also "make?"
8. Which is more interesting, the network or the content on the network?
9. Is a scan of a photo of a painting on a blog "net art"?
10. Which is better, blog pages that change every day or static, fixed pages?
11. Which is better, pages where new content is at the top or pages where you have to hunt for the content?
12. Is speed a virtue on the Internet or is slowness a valid experience?
13. Broken links: cool or uncool?
14. Which is the best way to communicate--email ListServs or blog comments?
15. Is the design of a page more important or the content on the page?
16. Are default templates unartistic?
17. Are computers good and are they helping us to be a better species?
18. Should every artwork question its own means of implementation?
19. Is an artwork an individual statement in space and time or could it be cumulative?
20. When a group of artists agree on a set of conventions is that significant or insignificant?
*Sorry, there are no answers to the quiz. The purpose is to help us formulate them. The first two questions are especially snotty but it seemed to me that much blog discussion at Rhizome was either oblivious to these two thinkers (who are fairly central to the the gallery art world's "conceptual" practice) or dismissive of them. Duchamp, mother of the readymade or "found object" is an obvious touchstone; Barthes is mentioned for his analysis of wrestling and other lowbrow forms.)
Update: A number of people answered the questions, starting here.