The Web and Baudrillard's "Conspiracy of Art"

1996 essay is philistine but also largely correct. These poor kids, painters, getting out of Columbia and going straight to Deitch Projects are the proof. That is painting on life support.

"Our admiration for painting results from a long process of adaptation that has taken place over centuries and for reasons that often have nothing to do with art or the mind. Painting created its receiver. It is basically a conventional relationship" (Gombrowitz to Dubuffet). The only question is: How can such a machine continue to operate in the midst of critical disillusion and commercial frenzy? And if it does, how long will this conjuring act last? One hundred, two hundred years? Will art have the right to a second, interminable existence, like the secret services that, as we know, haven't had any secrets to steal or exchange for some time but who still continue to flourish in the utter superstition of their usefulness, perpetuating their own myth[?]

In the web context, compare LM's class notes to Marisa Olson's essay and other attempts to "professionalize" web surfing as art. LM's approach is healthier and more inclusive and fun. She makes no bones about being a participant in what she is writing about, whereas Olson converses casually in the surf clubs but then enters scholarly mode to write the definitive essay canonizing artists she prefers. In the latter role she is like the secret services in Baudrillard's conspiracy, rehashing old tropes of legitimation of art.