[iDC] Curating New Media Art

John Hopkins jhopkins at commspeed.net
Wed Apr 12 13:53:44 EDT 2006

Hallo Honor

>  >I also pointed to examples of projects where artists don't make
>  >"works" per se, but rather make "frameworks"** for others to
>  >contribute, and I sited examples such as r a d i o q u a l i a 's The

This idea/concept is nothing new, I would remind you...  Countless 
mail-art projects were based on this principle, not to mention Fluxus 
events among others (I'll leave other examples ot the historians...)

>I believe Trebor would refer to this as 'context provision', and 
>suggest that the 'artists' (ie, Marko, Mongrel & r a d i o q u a l i 
>a) are 'context providers' in these situations.

I feel that the term 'context provision' is perhaps a special limited 
case (albeit by the meaning of the words) though.  For example, for 
me it sounds too neutral -- which the process definitely isn't. 
Facilitation is one concept, perhaps -- where the artist is 
facilitating the situation.

I envision this, when teaching, as a situation where I am pushing 
back the dominant social constrictions on relation within a certain 
'defined space' -- this space-creating process, when done properly, 
allows something else to go on within that space which would normally 
not happen.  (and by space, I'm not talking about the material 
Cartesian spaces**, but a psychic space mostly: the energized locus 
of full-spectrum human relation).

How is this done?  The actual process depends on those who have 
chosen to occupy that space with me (and each other) -- it is highly 
reflective of each individual who choses to join in.

I see the process as a facilitation of trust; as a re-formation of 
possible creative channels between participants (as compared to the 
channels that the social system imposes on them); as an explicit or 
implicit critique-through-praxis of that dominant system; uh, what 

Thus, with those comments, I guess I feel that putting a two-word 
description 'context provision' is far to reductive of a highly 
complex process...  Take for example, Mongrel -- although I didn't 
know the crew too well, what I saw of their praxis, it was MUCH more 
than context provision -- it was a life-praxis that the members lived 
through as vital members of a community...

** this is another example where the language of materialism simply 
cannot circumscribe the phenomena of networks and organic 
distriibuted systems.  I would encourage a critical engagement and 
subsequent search for language that transcends materialism.


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