Disappeared Too Much

From Paddy Johnson's notes on the Net Aesthetics 2.0 panel at the New Museum:

Group surf clubs are discussed at length – communication about what’s art and what’s not on these sites isn’t deemed to be an issue for the artists though Tom Moody admits the issue is confusing. Surf clubs demonstrate that artists use their “art head” when surfing. Moody asks, How do you stand out? Do I care? Do I stop people from putting it into contexts I didn’t intend?

Something I posted two days before the panel:

Some 20th Century writers complained that reality (in a hypercharged mediated environment) was outstripping their ability to spin fiction.

Artists, too, have to compete with real world content far more captivating than anything they could come up with, which the Internet effectively gathers all in one place (sneezing Pandas, etc). Two possible responses are (1) to continually rise above it through aesthetic and conceptual framing and posturing or (2) to disappear into it and trust the viewer to ultimately sort out what's going on. The Web is a consumer's medium, not a producer's, so the artist is inexorably led to consumption as a "practice." The degree of criticality can only be inferred, not implied.

At the end of the panel Q&A, an art dealer who specializes in computer-based and new media art, who was sitting in the audience, made this comment to the "surf club" artists who had been showing our work for the preceding hour or so:

"I haven't seen anything new here--it's just things we already know like the 'the found object' and 'the collage.'"

So much for inferred criticality. We are off to a bad start here.