Joshua Decter didn't so much reply on Rhizome to my post, joshua decter: gallery art critic as new media artist, as attempt to pummel me into submission: his response is more than twice as long as what I originally wrote, and filled with high dudgeon about supposed errors, misrepresentations, and willful misunderstandings. "Doth protest too much" comes to mind. Anyway there was one mistake; here's what I wrote in response:
Mr. Decter points out a factual error in my post -- I wrote that in his "Screen" show he "placed TV cameras in the room to film the works." I updated the post to describe more accurately how video images of the works appeared in the gallery.* Apologies for the error.
Otherwise, I think we mostly have differences of opinion, not fact. Mr. Decter's sense is that virtual curator and virtual artist displays aren't (or weren't) common in museum programming; my sense is that they are (or were). Who did them first doesn't really matter if they are unhelpful, as in overly reductive, ideas. My point in mentioning Google Sketch-Up wasn't to say it was around in 1999. Clearly it wasn't. It was to make a connection between what Mr. Decter was doing with then-current 3D software and what artists are still doing with virtual "white cube"-placed objects ("[reducing the slow] process of artistic thought and individuation of ... physical collections to simplified mix and match objects," I wrote in the post). Yesterday's unfortunate idea is today's unfortunate trend.
I haven't read Mr. Decter's book, the release of which roughly coincided with this Rhizome post. Here's hoping he'll be joining the conversation on the vagaries of post-internet art, or po-net, as some are calling it! These issues are too important to leave to Hollywood collectors.
*Decter explained that he "took photographs of the installation of artworks, digitized these images, and worked with an editor on an AVID system at a professional studio to generate a video catalogue of the exhibition. This video catalogue was distributed as the only catalogue of the show, and was also played on video monitors within the gallery during the run of the show." I saw the show in 1996 and assumed he had cameras in the room -- you would indeed have had to read the press release to learn about this much more cumbersome process.