shoutbacks to the non-social media web

1. Thanks to Daniel DeLuna for the post of some of my works on paper. To clarify somewhat the accompanying quote he uses, my point wasn't that those tech-website commenters were saying that you had to be high tech. It was that they were making a false analogy between "writing your own code" and "grinding your own pigments." The latter has been a dead issue in the art world since before the 1960s. It's OK if you want to be a purist about writing code for digital-based artworks, just don't use that analogy to make the point.

2. On (Anti)Disambiguation, by Mikhel Proulx (which appears to be a pseudonym) in the journal Doubting (2012). Wow, an essay that mentions Internet Surfing Clubs in the context of the Habermasian public sphere that doesn't make you want to pull your hair out. This is a good, detached summation of that scene, and it's mostly still relevant, two years after its publication, to a kind of "authorless" art still happening online. A quick recap of Proulx's thesis: the trend of dominant culture is to "disambiguate" (for example, Wikipedia's lists of different possible meanings for the same word), while artists "anti-disambiguate" through remixes, mashups, crowdsourcing, etc. Finding a place for this to happen has become more of a problem in the last couple of years (since Proulx's article), with social media hosts insisting on a "unitary identity" and killing the remix vibe by continually tinkering with their platforms -- as was seen by the recent artist embrace and rapid disillusionment with Google Plus. Also, at the time of Nasty Nets, et al, artists didn't have to care about whether all their efforts were making David Karp a very rich man and leaving them in the cyber-slums (i.e., mom's basement). Many don't care now -- but they should, maybe.

3. David Szafranski has some articles up that I wrote about his work -- before I moved back to NY in '95, so we were still in the print era. This one from the Dallas Morning News (1990) came at the tail-end of the "NEA flap," also known as the Culture Wars. This was sort of a proto-Boris Groys argument for the need for institutional empowerment -- so we find out what we actually care about. At the time a friend asked me, "what are you actually saying here?" I think it was an art review disguised as a contrarian political argument.

Update: Mikhel Proulx's anti-disambiguation of his name by linking to "Mikhel Proulx" on Google Images (for his byline on the article "(Anti)Disambiguation") was so successful that I couldn't tell if he was a real person. He is, and also wrote this paper further developing themes in the article, including screenshots of a photoshop filter-ish riff Charles Westerman and I did on a stock photo company's aggressively watermarked image of a woman looking at a late Picabia painting at the Tate (on Nasty Nets).