picturing the net artist's studio

In response to this, from the previous post:

"The studio--artist sitting in a Starbucks, a cubicle, or his mom's basement surrounded by empty Cheetoh bags--will not be seen or become part of the mythology of the work."

JS emailed:

I am actually very interested in the mythology of an artist sitting in dumb places while making profound work online. This contextual information actually interests me more for someone with a virtual practice than it would for someone who makes work offline, especially given the cryptic styles preferred by many net artists for their online portfolios. But maybe this just belies my bias towards Keeping It Real.

Some non-virtual artists actually do have fascinating studios; it's not fair to them that I'm complaining about MOMA recreating Pollock's Long Island barn inside a 53rd Street office tower. Visiting those locales and listening to the artists talk about their work can and does add to their mystique, or, if you don't believe in mystique, "a depth of understanding of their work that can be conveyed anecdotally."

My bias is towards invisible artists: one of the great things about the techno music underground of the late '80s/early '90s was the "faceless dj/producer" who created a vibe by means of vinyl record sleeves, posters, and aliases, as opposed to the "cock rock" strutting stage personality under the spotlight. Most attempts by net artists to break the fourth wall and reveal their studio environment are as banal as those environments: webcam feeds, grinning avatars, etc.

I am also an ancient blogger who still remembers the early days of the medium, when critics assumed all blogs were personal diaries full of inconsequential details about feeding pets, quitting smoking, etc. I went overboard to "professionalize" and probably still do--no pictures of me at my laptop cropping a photo of a cardboard box in Photoshop, just the box. (If that can be called professional.)