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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Discussion: Will The Internet Destroy Art?

John Perreault’s Artopia Group on Facebook

May 17 – June 28, 2010

Participants (in order of first appearance):

Richard Minsky

Matthew Rose

Steven Siegel

Taro Suzuki

Gary Reams

Jim Van Kirk

Alexandra Anderson-Spivy

Carolyn Maria Jacobs

David Richardson

Regina Hackett

Linda DiGusta

Anita Arliss

Grace Graupe Pillard

Jean Panyard

Tim Tate

Jon Matturri

Lawrence Charles Miller

Suzanne Fredricq

Carolyn Marks Blackwood

Vi Bl

Joan Coderre

George Blaha

Luca Del Baldo

Robert Zakanitch

John Perreault As an inspiration, please read Yves Klein the MoMA Syndrome, posted May 18, 2010..

Richard Minsky hmmm.... for background research on this topic I googled "the end of art".
1,690,000 results.

Matthew Rose If anything the Internet facilitates production and distribution of art, as well as opening up a staggering number of people to participate in exhibitions. As a platform, the Internet provides the market with easy access to not only blue chip works, but also lesser known artworks. I don't think there's a person on the planet who would complain about the impact the Internet has had on art – creation, production, exhibition, sales and greater art consciousness.

As an example, we launched the global project, A BOOK ABOUT DEATH on the Internet in March 2009 using every net tool we found: flickr, facebook, twitter, blogger, wordpress, e mail, skype, YouTube, vimeo, googlepages and even some older tools like the postal service, FedEx, DHL as well as online print services such as See:

By the time the exhibition opened in September 2009 at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery in NYC, more than 600 artists participated directly or indirectly in the exhibition, with 500 artists contributing 500 cards/works each. The exhibition's opening and performances were broadcast live on the Internet so that contributors in countries as far away as Germany, Brazil and Japan could watch. And they did. Since that time – and largely because of the Internet – A Book About Death has been restaged in varying permutations at a dozen galleries and museums, mostly recently at MuBE in São Paulo, Brazil and MoMA Wales UK. Other artists catching the viral whirr of the show have proposed exhibitions in Montreal, Beijing, Omaha and Milan for 2010. The Internet facilitates artists, brings them together and serves as a platform for the mesh of creation.

While I mostly make hand-made, hand cut collage works (, I can certainly appreciate the way my own work has traveled across the globe thanks to the net. I sell online prints at and communicate regularly with the more than 1400 members on the FB A Book About Death group, sending out news of different shows and calls for artworks in a flash.

No, it hasn't destroyed art, the Internet has launched it. People still paint and draw and sculpt and create in their studios or their heads. Now they can simply upload it all to a deliriously starved audience of millions using their iPhone. Did photography destroy painting? Same thing, different era.

Steven Siegel No, of course the internet has not destroyed art, just as photography never destroyed painting. But just as the purpose, audience and owners of painting were changed by photography, the definitions of art are being changed by all things digital. I remember years ago having the privilege of visiting the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, where I was able to stand transfixed, glued to the floor, in front of the great Matisse paintings that so many of us first saw in projections during art history seminars. Mesmerizing, fantastic, important and far better than the slides. At least to me. The bulk of the visitors were in a bit more of a hurry, and in fact, several were content to capture them on their video cameras ( this was pre- cell phone camera), and move on to the Rembrandts. In fact, I watched one man - a tourist presumably - literally enter the gallery with the camera glued to his eye, scan the Red Studio and Dance and Musicians, and leave through the exit without ever removing the machine from his face. Most likely his experience of Matisse now resides on a computer screen somewhere, if anywhere at all. So we know what we are losing; the ability, and the desire to actually experience these works with the eye, in real time.
Sad, in my view.

The happy part is that we - our culture - are gaining something, and it is not just quantity of dissemination, the one obvious benefit.. The problem for me personally is that I don't know exactly what it is that we are gaining and I probably never will. I have faith that art will continue as our senses decline, our bodies atrophy and our minds become more and more detached from "actual things". But it is art that won't be for me.

One other point. When I give digital presentations of my own work I am saddened by how pathetic the images look compared to the way they did just 10 years ago with a slide projector. And as much as digital projectors don't do the job, even slides were a compromise of the real thing, especially if it was three dimensional. The saddest part, is that people who never saw the real thing, or even the slide, are even aware of this. It is fair to say that the internet age has broadened communication enormously,, while at the same time diminishing the quality of it.

Taro Suzuki We haven't even scratched the surface of the internet's potential for artmaking.
Once you get over the idea that art has to inhabit the actual space that one occupies, the possibilities of virtuality seem infinite. Change art? Yes, but Art (capital A) cannot be destroyed.

John Perreault Richard : Only 1,690,000 End-of-Art Google responses?
Matthew: Thanks for info on Book of Death. I guess this means that the internet is great for spreading the word. Information, distribution...sounds good to me.
Steven: Maybe I agree; I don't think images (2D and probably 3D ugh) can substitute for sculpture. But my guess is that we may see more art designed for the internet, whether we like it or not. It will not be sculpture the way we know

it. Taro: Right on.

Note: so far, so good. This is working out real well. Serious. I am not sure I should comment on each post or how much. Will discussants comment on each other's posts?
It is also ironic, I suppose, that we will be using the internet to talk about art on the internet...John P.

Gary Reams It depends on what you call "Art". My definition of art is very narrow and limited. There's "art" and then there's design and things that are artful. Much of so called art is just design or wall decor. Or political or sociological statements or entertainment.

Steven Siegel Ok, I can comment on some posts. John, I do agree that more and more art will be and already has been designed for the internet. All you have to do is visit a couple of graduate art departments to know that. And if they like it, and it does its job - reflecting the time, or an individual's take on the times, on what is the current notion of truth, etc.. - then we can rest assured that art is still art. But it is highly unlikely that THIS artist/person/citizen is going to ever prefer a 17 inch screen to anything that engages the senses. A garden, a mountain, a city, a painting.

Taro - The possibilities of virtuality ARE infinite. So are the possibilities of boring, shallow, insipid virtuality. Same with painting and poetry. I see no inherent value to unlimited possibility, nor would I use that as a criteria for assessing anything. There are virtually unlimited stars in the universe and words written every day. But we still have to know how to decide which ones to look at. If someone has just invented the piano and now has to decide which notes to play in which sequence and at what tempo and with which fingers and in which combinations, they too have unlimited possibilities. Big deal. Most of the sounds will be awful. We must not be seduced just because something is unlimited. The "quality" question does arise, whether or not it is PC.

It is ironic of course, that we are having this discussion via internet. Some of us should probably be in our studios, whatever they consist of, rather than doing this. But I value it enormously (Thank you John) because I am a thinker, a citizen, a somewhat socially aware person, curious, and I TOO need community! This discussion provides a lot. But this little screen will never provide for me what the studio wall does.

Taro Suzuki Of course there is, and always will be a lot of shit out there Steven. Let me propose that the criteria for quality changes when you have real time global interactivity. There is the capacity here for making the planetary subconscious resonate all at once like plucking a string-with words, with images, with sound.
We have not yet realized a fraction of the potential here........

Steven Siegel Well, I can agree with most of that. The criteria is always hard to define. So maybe we can agree that we have simply built the piano and now have to figure out what to do with it? I don't know. Maybe the music is already there but I'm just not hearing it.

Jim VanKirk There is a television commercial for Ladders .com that is pretty close to how I feel about your question. It shows a tennis match that deteriorates once everyone is allowed to play. It seems that the triumph of democracy is the demise of the special. Make that a yes for me.

Alexandra Anderson-Spivy The internet as a vehicle for information can lead more people to the art in museums and galleries (but no telling what they do after they get there--that's their problem!) It can deliver oceans of information that either inform or overwhelm, depending on the recipient. The internet globalizes images even as it detaches them from the contexts that remain essential for understanding them.
Writing about art on the internet creates an immediacy that magazines cannot deliver as well as a somewhat more responsive audience--if that audience can find you!
Last week I did go to a particularly jejune AICA panel about "On-Line" art (from what I could gather, this means art that is created for and published in the digital medium. It was impossibly boring, opaque and in the end, boring, as it avoided all issues of quality and clarity! So I am not holding out a lot of hope for the importance or success of "online art," even though I think the Internet's amazing capacity for information dispersal will help more people appreciate the visual art that is best seen in the real world.

Gary Reams I think it still takes a long time to separate the wheat from the chaff in art.

I personally have my doubts about the longevity, merit and value of the work of Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Julian Schnabel for example.

How many hot, expensively priced artists of today will be worth a whit several or 20, 50 or 100 years from now? Not that it matters to some people.

Carolyn Maria Jacobs I love that I can reference an artist or work of art to a student, and within seconds, either one of us can pull up the information. While the internet has certainly made art more accessible, I also find that many students are content to view it second-hand. The intimate connection that makes the "art experience" is rather lacking in this video gaming generation. So, this is simply becoming part of the language/tools of making art---but not like a simple paintbrush, or stick of charcoal. The act of an artist drawing a line on a piece of paper, a viewer standing before it, taking in the nuance of the artist's hand is being replaced by a digital image and many viewers with exactly the same view, and no connection to time, place or experience except through the distillation of a computer screen...I hope I will be surprised by how it plays out. If not, I will be in the corner, reading those dusty old books I refuse to discard.

Taro Suzuki Steven, I don't think anyone's figured it out yet.

Gary Reams " a particularly jejune AICA panel ",....Oh Ally, I like you already.

George Rodart The term "destroy" is too apocalyptic to be applied here. I do think that art is experiencing a more radical evolution than anytime in the past millennium. The biggest single factor is probably the fourfold increase in population over the last century, followed by the internet.

Culture as the new nature and nature is information.

Over the last century art has increasingly embraced culture as a way of finding new structures. The acceptance of collage elements into cubist painting is a little less surprising once one has seen photos of the sign plastered avenues of Paris at that time. The incongruity of this melding of culture with (urban) nature sets up surrealist associations, dadaist disjunctions and eventually Pop Art.

Artists ask the viewer to accept the reality presented by an artwork, in the past this may have been nothing more than an accurate likeness or an accepted symbol. By the end of the 20th century we experience an urban environment laced with both the natural and the cultural which is presented as information, including the cultural simulation of the natural, the reproductions of and artifices utilizing the natural.

The internet is an interface to information which the artist can access and use to give form to the structures of our world reality.

As an information interface it presents the illusion of access when in fact one million replies to a query is as useful as none. The results returned may be more ambiguous or obliquely different than we initially expected, or they may be entangled with the lowest common denominator of cultural choices.

In addition to a growing catalog of existing information, the internet provides new kind of knowledge and experience, one which places a new emphasis on contextual relationships which redefines the ways we may assign meaning. Apparently random results are ordered by a subterranean logic which is modified by the historical moment.

The internet stirs up the mud in the cultural ecosystem, artists who may be forgotten, out of favor, or otherwise obscure are now accessible and available for misunderstanding and inspiration.

The source renews itself periodically and the internet is providing a stage for interaction at a distance between those of a like mind. In the plebeian sense it reveals aspects of the zeitgeist which were hidden in private conversations. The sheer craziness of humankind is revealed

Wikis are a form of collective consciousness which provide access to introductory knowledge which the inquisitive can follow to whatever depths they choose. Or, they may just access the surface information which can provide another subconscious veneer of structure to their thoughts or artworks.

If one considers how much time is spent on the internet it can be considered as a new aspect of the world reality. What we have, the internet, is unbelievably crude, slow, poorly managed and directed but in its totality it reveals the world to us.

Taro Suzuki Very well put George!

David Richardson I think it's way to early to tell how we will use the internet - I seriously doubt it will destroy art. What I mean is, we don't fully know how our brains and bodies will adapt to the internet art experience. Everyone thinks we are so immediately adaptive to the internet, but I have a feeling that we are just sorting it out, as in a child's brain that is just starting to wire itself. It isn't about age, but one needs a flexibility of mind to adapt. I see it presently as a instigator- like an aide de memoir, but lacking the haptic, spatial, physical qualities we expect from art. And the social networking aspect is very important because of the tribal nature of art activity.

Regina Hackett Of course the Internet destroys art, just as the printing press destroyed the written word and images on coffee mugs destroyed Monet. Another thing that destroys art: art history classes, what Chuck Close calls art in the dark. All those students taking notes are never moved by the reproduced image to seek out the real thing. What the Internet might destroy are art magazines whose publications schedules make their reviews either three months late or previews impersonating reviews.

John Perreault At this point I am not even going to try to make a summary of the discussion so far. The internet and how we think about it and use it is full of contradictions, so I suppose there will be contradictory views. I myself am trying to figure out if the internet is just a distribution system for information about art and/or for images of art in the way art magazines were or if it is something else --- like video (?). Or perhaps it is a message rather than a medium.

Although there is no doubt that things written about art in art magazines influenced art and that reproductions were influences too. You know, artists thinking Barnett Newman’s paintings were immaculate because the pictures made them look that way when in reality they weren’t and then going on to make perfect, immaculate surfaces that really had nothing to do with what Newman was doing at all. So I think it is likely that what is written about art on the internet and how art is pictured probably will have unforeseen effects.

The art magazines did not inspire very many artworks using the magazine space per se. Smithson’s Non-Sites article for Artforum and some word-count ads by Dan Graham come to mind, but not much else. Most likely this will be the same for the internet. All talk, no art.

I think what I really meant to get at in my question was my own fear that representation will suffice and we will have the total reign of Warholism. The fact that there is a painting of Jackie Kennedy signed by Andy is more important than the painting itself. You only have to hear about it. Well, even Andy’s publicity-is-art idea is now subsumed. His most commercial efforts --- let’s say the piss paintings (you name your most detestable series) have begun to look like real paintings rather than news.

1. We now pretty much know that the much publicized death of journalism was, shall we say, overstated. Newspapers died, not journalism. Journalism just migrated to another medium: the internet, where, by the way, it is no better or worse than it was in print.

2. Photography did not kill paintings but only representational painting of the personal, commemorative or propagandistic sort --- thus freeing up painting to explore abstraction.

3. Similarly, it may be that the internet will not kill art but liberate it by commandeering communication and thus freeing up art to pursue more spiritual ends.

4. If you do not require objects --- and, let’s face it, the world is already full of objects – there is much to be said for internet distribution and storage of art in digital form. Already we are getting used to e-books. Is e-art such a stretch? Will all art end up in some cloud morgue, accessible to all and eternally preserved?

5. I don’t think the internet is destroying art. But it may be destroying the art object; something even the most diehard conceptualist has been unable to do.

6. I don’t think the internet is destroying art. But it may be destroying the art world.

7. Or here is another scenario: Television was going to kill the cinema. Well, it killed double-features and the junk produced to fill that kind of need for constant entertainment. TV offered constant, free entertainment. TV forced Hollywood to invent movie formats that would not fit on the home screen. And finally to allow adult subjects on the screen again.

Thanks everyone for participating so far. Now I want to see how long this will keep going. Will post another announcement to see if anyone else wants to join the fray.

Linda DiGusta Agree with Matthew Rose (as a participant in the SoHo show!) that digital communications facilitates collaboration and communication, wonderful things happen that were not possible before the info age.

As to too much art getting exposed, look around the many types of galleries in Manhattan alone, there is as much crapola there as online! Only it isn't, some people like it - the fact is there are many niches in the art market and there always have been, so live and let live!

As individual artists, Mark Wiener and I find that digital media streamlines the process of producing prints, catalogs, etc. The main downside I see is the primacy of media-ready art in these modalities - you will see the work that looks good on the computer, like we all see thin, photogenic actors on TV... important point here IMO:

Some subtle work will not translate well via digital photography - you cannot appreciate its essence without seeing it in person. Which means, everyone, if the work is not digitally created, what you get online is only some INFORMATION about the art, you still MUST GO SEE THE ART! Or miss a lot...

David Richardson 1. Good art is often based on a misunderstanding.

2. Don't read e-books at night - the light will keep you from sleeping.

3. Don't text and drive.

4. We might hate Facebook sometimes but it's where the people are at the


Anita Arliss The internet does not destroy art. Artists will continue to use - as well as influence the internet. We are just beginning to take stock of what the internet means to us since it changes the shape of everything.

Richard Minsky John, @2.: Photography at first gave freedom to abstraction, then artists integrated it into methodologies, where became a tool for the photo-realists, portraitists and others. It also became a documentary tool and instructional too, and an art medium. Several interventions above note onscreen access to so much "art", or images of art, which is to photographs of art. So it comes full circle, or maybe it's a Mobius strip.

@4.: Fomenting the deobjectification of art is another step in the Orwellian vision. Onscreen does it all become illustration? Without the active surface of material, it's all image and metaphor. If we are going to compare e-art to e-books, I'd suggest that everyone read through all the discussions we had in 2002 at and perhaps should come to Rochester next month for The Future of Reading Conference .

A real book carries different information than an e-book. Every stain and mark is a memory.

Grace Graupe Pillard The Internet has been an amazing resource for artists. Google Search, Yahoo Search, Wikipedia etc. etc. give us access to global imagery that we would have never been able to access before the 1990's. There are a chain of links not only related to information, but imaginative and conceptual links which are the catalyst and spark for fresh and original ways of producing and disseminating our art. There is a populist and dare I say democratic flavor to all this that I embrace.

Regina Hackett If we end up in an e-morgue, we won't be there.

Art doesn't require an object to be art, but the life of the mind needs to connect with the physical realm from time to time, just as a room needs a sofa or at least a chair, and not a photo of a chair or its dictionary definition, both of which, when produced, became physical objects.

I disagree that journalism hasn't suffered in its move online. Journalism is bleeding from every pore, like a saint painted on the wall of a Mexican church. Knowing who is reading what story and how much time each reader spends on each story (all easy to track online) has led to snappy simplicities. Journalism is a dinner guest invited to entertain. Entertain or fail to be fed, and that's for the lucky few who are still on the guest list. Journalism used to be a job. Now it's a hobby. If I win the lottery, I'll be able to continue.

Steven Siegel In an article about the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in this week's New Yorker, Evan Osnos writes: Ai usually spends at least eight hours a day on Twitter, and I asked him how that had affected the time he devotes to he art. "I think my stance and my way of life IS the most important art" he said. "Those other works might be collectible - something you can hang on the wall - but that's just a conventional perspective. We shouldn't do things a certain way just because Rembrandt did it that way. If Shakespeare were alive today, he might be writing on Twitter."

Where to begin? First of all, maybe if I spent eight hours a day on Twitter I would have this guy's kind of success. The meat of the quote is stuff we have all heard since Duchamp. But the Shakespeare thing? Twitter, like so much internet communication is impulsive and non-reflective. It is a fantastic way to build community, and it along with the rest of the internet has enabled us to do lots of good things, like have this conversation. But Shakespeare on Twitter? Let's get a hold of our senses.

John, as to your point about there being plenty of objects, I would add that there are even more words out there than objects, and that words are multiplying at a faster rate than objects, making THEM even harder to cull and find value in. If you still believe in the somewhat romantic notion that each individual does in fact have a unique "fingerprint" (and accept that to some degree individuality is still the cornerstone of all art), then it hardly matters where or how it is placed. But it does matter that we have so much to wade through to find value. I fail to see that the internet is a quality tool for wading. It is a quality tool to create buzz.

Jean Panyard This has been a very interesting discussion. It has addressed the art experience, deterioration of art, and the similarities of the transformation of other media. There are a couple of thoughts that came to mind while reading the various input.

There is an assumption that anyone capable of appreciating art has ready access to national and international galleries. This is not the case, whether it be economic, geographic or physical limitations. I think it is wonderful that the internet has opened the riches of the art world to people who would otherwise never have the opportunity to be exposed to the talents spanning not just eras but centuries.

Also, having been to many galleries and placements, with packed crowds, churning noise, etc., a la Sistine Chapel, it is nice to revisit the art experience in a virtual environment and contemplate on the magnificance of the work in solitude.

Finally, as everyone has acknowledged, things change. Our family opened a movie theater in 1911 and closed it in 1954 due to television. Today, surviving theaters are offering so much in the way of alternative film and screening of films that were produced with the sole intent that it would create a sense of awe. There are very few homes that can project images that would accomplish the same. I think the internet will drive people into galleries, not away.

Art is as personal as the artist, it is then multiplied by each individual's experience of each of the artists unique works. Art is not being destroyed by the internet. The internet is making art infinite.

Regina Hackett What Steven Siegel said. I'm adding my ditto.

George Rodart I don't get it, the internet isn't doing anything to art, people are. I don't see any direct comparison between the internet and photography. Photography offered a new way of creating images, the internet offers a new way of accessing information.

The internet is a network of information, it's a searchable database. What does that mean? It means we have access to content, and yes, since it's produced by individuals it will vary in quality. The content will also vary in technological quality either by active restrictions or by the current technological limitations.

Steven Siegel Well said. If anything, it is digitalization that is mostly affecting art, but ultimately - and contrary to what some believe - in the rather pedestrian, formal sense.

Tim Tate I would like to throw in my 2 cents here.

I believe that the internet is crucial to an emerging or mid-career artist today. The reason is access. In the past, the only way to get into a particular gallery or museum was to go through the "gate-keepers". Those people who held the power to reach the decision makers on what would be showed to the public.

Museum curators, gallery owners, art critics, publications all have the ability now to source imagery, video, objects....all from their own home. No one has to suggest an one has to allow the initiation of the conversation.

Kerry Brougher, chief curator of the Hirshhorn Museum told me he finds videos on youtube. He is not alone.

On facebook one day, I posted a video of Nora the Cat playing the piano (innocuous at best)...just for fun. A friend of a friend who commented said, "Wow.....that's really cute...I should get them here at my museum". "Museum!?", I said, What museum?? You should have my work there!".

That man was David McFadden, Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle in Manhattan.......and 24 hours later I had a show there. I am showing in the current show called "Dead or Alive" featuring such artists as Xu Bing, Tim Wilkinson, Damien Hirst, Nick Cave, etc.

None of this would have been possible without the internet. In the old days I would have had to hope that a select number of "gatekeepers" would have noticed my work and brought it to the attention of the curator.

I am also showing at Scope during Art Basel, Switzerland in June. This is because my studio mate was facebook buddies with a gallery owner in San Francisco and she saw my work on Facebook.

Mine are but isolated incidents, but multiply that by the number of artist in the world and you see what is happening in the world of art.

The internet is not destroying art, it is allowing all emerging and mid-career artists unprecedented access to the people who can help get their work the credibility they have always hoped for.

Steven Siegel Now I have to tear myself from this addictive EASY machine and go to my studio to actually make something. Which is hard.

George Rodart I also think we need to be aware that some of the disjunctions the internet may be causing are only temporary. The print media suffers from a physical production and distribution cost problem. This is temporary, (think back to the days of hand set type and mechanical paste-up) The current problem for journalistic news is that there is not a good electronic distribution device.

This is changing with Kindle and the iPad but both are still crude. Never the less, once we get through this transitional stage, the 'print' media will have a new format which is cheaper to produce allowing them to pay writers for better content, which we will pay for.

eBooks are superior in all cases where the book isn't also claiming a special objecthood.

John Matturri A question is whether the internet itself can be used as a medium for art rather than just a means of presenting art (including merely presenting digital images). Thinking of work that makes use of connectivity and linkages of the internet. I've thought of a work that is scattered around the internet, pieces of which are found come across semi-randomly as one the viewer moves through the space of the net (can think of ways of using Facebook friend networks as hosts for accomplishing this) Another possibility I've considered would involve setting up a large field of images and texts (or sounds) and establishing various classification schemes, entry points, and trajectories through it, perhaps allowing others to also explore the elements of the field also. You could use the entire internet as such a field I guess but I'm thinking of something that would have a more coherent body of elements.

Not sure to what extent these types of possibilities have been explored, or of course whether they would work out in practice. But the example of book art shows that you can shift from merely being a means of presentation to work that makes use of the particular form of the medium.

Lawrence Charles Miller The Internet is not destroying art. I spent many hours in libraries looking for information. I still visit the library for in depth information (if it's available), but now I get much more data from the Internet very quickly. Plus the Internet reflects how my mind works - it has flux - and I can communicate with other people - in my case artists and art professionals. It's a salon. Ideas flow. It will have an effect on art, but not destroy it. Cannot destroy art. I started working with electronic media in 1980's. Took to the Internet early. Within the past three years I have returned to oil painting and drawing with renewed intensity. This was done intuitively - because of a need for immediacy in putting down signs and symbols as I experience reality. The Internet, like the library, and much else is a part of that reality. Yes it can display work. I'm not a computer romantic and therefore give it credit as a tool. It will effect our collective thinking more along the lines of the automobile - our minds can move to the country.

George Rodart Information. There are internet sites which have reproductions of the entire body of work for Van Gogh and Picasso. Typically we appreciate other artists based upon a very limited set of archetypical images and have little exposure to the rest of their body of work. This is the cultural prejudice towards stereotyping artists which the internet will eventually dissolve.

Jim VanKirk I'd like to respond to a couple of things. First of all is the idea of image as metaphor. In 1788 the Geo Scientist James Hutton published a book on the study of the earth that refers to understanding it's history by inferring the past by the present, His work was picked up by Charles Lyell whose student was Charles Darwin. Science in the form of Nuclear and Astro Physics have now moved beyond that view of evolution into areas that are not covered by lived experience...

It seems it should be Art's role as well to break with that precedent.

secondly I agree in part with Richards find re Weiwei. Although it's not fashionable or even smart to criticize fellow Artists I must. In the sense that as Artists we provide a model for living (I think that's what Weiwei's quote means) living lives filled with wonder and beauty, spending 8 hours a day on Twitter is not aesthetic but purely social with nothing to be gained except psychic assuaging.

Suzanne Fredericq John, if it weren’t for the internet, we wouldn’t be reading your essays on Art today! So the internet brings your vision of art fully alive.

Suzanne Fredericq I like to use the internet as an expansion of Malraux’s “Imaginary Museum”. By putting together in a file downloaded digital images of our favorite works of art, we can build our own, ever-changing virtual museum. And this dynamic, virtual museum will become very real in our mind.

Carolyn Marks Blackwood The internet will not destroy art! It will bring exposure -of information and images to people who might normally not have access to museums and galleries. It is a great way for an artist to entice people to see their work- Or a great way for a gallery to announce shows- It is a fantastic communication tool. Of course there are always questions of quality and overkill (I am overwhelmed with events in my inbox).I have been having the most wonderful conversations, have met other artists (actually having lunch on Tuesday with 12 women artists I met via facebook) and feel so much less isolated in my studio because of an online life!

David Richardson I agree Carolyn. The major benefit of the internet for artists seems to be to provide the ability to be part of an art world or worlds in a way that wasn't possible before. Nothing compares with living in the middle of a lively scene, but the internet allows for more interaction.

Mark Staff Brandl I agree David --- I think internet blogging is replacing Art MAGS, FB replacing art BARS, internet accessibility is clearly destroying the ease with which art gatekeepers controlled the artworld previously (look at 'em complain, try to "loudly" ignore it etc.), but i don't think it is DESTROYING anything (unfortunately nor even gatekeeper-syndrome, at least yet, just threatening their ease). And it is certainly not destroying art itself, not even the art object --- just expanding certain kinds of democracy and accessibility in the artworld. It will take some time before we see a "new art object" coming out of it (as in the object of aesthetic attention, not necessarily a 3-D "Ding"). E.g.: Film supplied that very quickly. Comics even faster. TV hardly at all yet.

Jim VanKirk I wish this topic had inspired more discussion. It merits it. My events folder on FB is always chock full of Galleries and Artists out and about trying to make their way in the market. What I don't see are the true eccentrics or even innovators. Bette Midler called them "Girl singers and stylists." I'm seeing mostly studio Arts stylists and my enthusiasm is taking a beating. I'm afraid John may be right in his assessment that even though we're no longer excited by new media it is the future of contemporary Art.

John Perreault Actually I think there has been a great response. Subject hit a nerve. And it ain't over yet!

Vi Bl I agree, Jim, we are "no longer EXCITED by the new media." It's Not exciting, it's been consumed, over exposed and has saturated the senses. It's similar to tattoos &/or plastic surgery. Generally speaking, everyone seems to be participating but, they lack substance. I do not believe the internet will destroy art just re define it and take it to the next level.

Joan Coderre The "change" is hitting us all at faster than the speed of Light. I'm too old to appreciate or even comprehend most of what's going on. I would rather go to a museum or attend an art gallery's opening rather than look at art on-line. I need to be present in person, experience the art in person, talk with others, enjoy the refreshments, park in the parking lot, etc. One of my former colleagues, told me that his art students would rather submit to online gallery shows. They don't have the time to go to art openings. .......

John Perreault Refreshments? What museum do YOU go to? In New York openings are made up of out-of-work, Teeny-Bopper stock-brokers, once coveted as museum members, now broke and only there for the drinks. Opening receptions do not offer face time. On the other hand we are still waiting for the internet art explosion, aren't we? By the way, I read somewhere that the biggest age group to use the internet are those over 30. Don't let the admen fool you. We can use the internet for what we want; and if we want art via internet we can make that happen too.

Mark Staff Brandl Yeah!

Joan Coderre The great Museums in Connecticut !!!! The great Galleries in Connecticut. Several of the Art Societies. We have happenings on First Thursday of the Month and First Fridays of the month.
I meet great people --.People I have know for 30 years.

John Perreault I do not wish to disparage the great museums and the great art galleries of Connecticut, of which I am sure there are many. I myself in the ancient past have actually presented a performance piece at the Wadsworth Athenaeum. But I happen to think that visits to museums are more than social occasions, no matter how much opening receptions and such contribute to group, class, professional and geographical identities. One goes, I hope, to seek aesthetic experiences. Furthermore, just think of the people who have been excluded. Or maybe that is the point.

It might be helpful to remember that you don't have to dress up in any special way to see art on the internet. There are no heads in the way. The internet is open 24/7 And beyond what you normally pay for internet access, there is no cost. I've always thought that the best way to see your friends is lunch or coffee, and you can always throw a party.

George Blaha No, it won't destroy art, it will add to it's richness, as well as provide a new means for many more people to be inspired by it, which at least for myself, is why I do it, and why I look at it.

Lawrence Charles Miller Matthew Rose summed it up well. I am nostalgic for the future, and can't help thinking how old fashioned all of this will be in time, a short time really. Recently, reading Van Gogh's letters I was struck by his insights into the art world. Not so different from today. Paraphrased: "So many have a love of art. What of love itself?" Maybe that is the quality we dare not speak of at this moment. Art will not die as long as the human spirit is alive and impassioned by a few visionaries. Truth and real feeling is always a revolution - transcends style, technique, medium, schools...

Luca Del Baldo
No, I believe that artists have a great opportunity with the Internet, but if we think of Walter Benjamin and the concept of "aura" then it is an additional loss.
I have many syndromes, especially Grunewald's Isenheim altar, probably that of MoMA.
The Internet is a revolution in viewing images, the problem is always of use.

John Perreault Aura is palpable. Aura is supernatural. Can we please forget Benjamin, who is always misinterpreted anyway and who is always contradictory and misleading. An art object may have been subjected to a lot of reverence, relevance, and consequence and still not have aura. Aura, as I now use the term, is mana. Although aura is transphysical, it is probably not binary. The latter may be why it cannot be conveyed by the internet, so far. We'll see. But, as I have written elsewhere, suspect relics and tin saints can have aura. Is it too much of a stretch to envision aura transmitted on an electronic network originally intended for surveillance? Reason has nothing to do with it.

George Blaha And how do you define mana?

John Perreault Wikipedia is a good place to start:

Mana is an indigenous Pacific islander concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects. The word is cognate in many Oceanic languages, including Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian.
In anthropological discourse, mana as a generalized concept has attained a significant amount of interest, often understood as a precursor to formal religion. It has commonly been interpreted as "the stuff of which magic is formed", as well as the substance of which souls are made, etc.

John Perreault In trying to think through why Marina Abramovic's performances are better when she herself performs (as in the recent sitting piece at MoMA) it dawned on me that both charisma and stage-presence are not unrelated to mana/"aura."

George Blaha It's called presence, plain and simple. Now what is presence, is indefinable, because it's a state of being. Being is not a function of conceptual mind. Being also is just a word, like presence, for something felt. Oh, by the way, Marina's performance did not originate with her, it's more of a found spiritual technique brought within the context of the art gallery. Whether the piece is more or less powerful resides as you have guessed with the person sitting across from you.

Robert Zakanitch Art is indestructible. Always was always will be. It is change that is the constant destructible.

Robert Zakanitch Art is indestructible. Always was always will be. It is change that is the constant destructible.

John Perreault Aura is not simply presence. We need not be plain and simple in discussing aura. Presence, I beg to differ, is only a state of being in terms of meditation. I don't think George Blaha means to imply that tacky, old stage presence is a state of being. Disagree with the notion that the power of Marina's piece has much to do with the person sitting across from her. It is all her. This may be the only problem with it....Now in terms of art being indestructible as proposed by painter Robert Zakanitch, I can only say: (1.) I wish it were and (2) I am glad it is not. If art were indestructible, we would not have already lost so much great art; including major monuments of the ancient world. The internet may provide a solution, if and only if, art is its image as well as or instead of its physical existence....If art were indestructible, there would be even more garbage lying around..... Well, onward. Thanks George and Robert, and everyone else who has participated so far...this is getting to be fun. Every time I decide to cut off the discussion someone throws a curve…… is now time to close the discussion....Thank you all......