[thingist] What about a subjective, evolving, archive?

Jerome Joy joy at thing.net
Mon Jul 19 17:10:23 UTC 2010

Dear all

Sorry I didn't read all your messages since one week, because of  
hectic days and a lot of current work, but while reading the subject  
and topic, maybe you could be interest in this :

just an introduction :

I wrote this brief history after Summer'07 until Jan'08 because I  
pointed out we missed a "history" of The Thing, specially in France.  
I began some short investigations by probing my own archives but this  
requires now a serious exploration and edition. I stopped this  
article because of time's lack, but I began some online interviews  
with Wolfgang, Gh, Blackhawk... and asked for corrections.

The wiki thing.nujus.net is a basic one but sufficient for sharing  
edition. My idea is to propose you to share this publication and to  
add articles concerning The Thing. The process can be simple: only  
one psw for all thingists....
I can update the wiki system in order to have more features such as  
comments on articles, etc. It's hosted on nujus.net maintained by Gh  
and Peter Sinclair, and I guess Gh can do a nujus.net presentation  
(http://nujus.net/) on this list.

My two cents, briefly, concerning past, present, future TT :

- to publish online archives of The Thing (the main website -  
articles, forums, etc.), and all the projects hosted on the servers)  
is more a work for archivists and specialists of net-art  
conservation. I guess that, after Summer'07, most of TT artists  
continued online works and had found another hosting server (that was  
my case). I know that some organizations are very interested in net- 
art archive, in a scientific framework (such as for instance,  
Fondation Langlois and DOCAM in Montreal, etc. Wolfgang has got  
contacts with some of them in Germany and Austria).

- the public access to TT archives is very important for art fields,  
practices and research. We can't work without memory, even if the  
used medium is electronic and networked. The TT period ('91 to '07)  
corresponded mainly to static edition (websites, forums), and the  
current evolution goes since '00 to realtime activities and practices  
(but remember the Empire webcam by WS). For instance, my research and  
art domain concerns streaming, flux and Internet auditoriums (see  
Locus Sonus, http://locusonus.org/ and other projects I initiated :  
Collective JukeBox, nocinema.org, sobralasolas.org, picnic, etc.).  
The question of archive (or of recording/documentation) is at the  
core (even if we decide to avoid the question, it's still these),  
because we join also other art questions present for instance in the  
beginning of the XXth century (performances, radio, etc.), or in the  
60s (live processes, etc.), or finally in the 80s/90s (live  
programming, intermedia, etc.). The Internet is a very nascent  
medium, and it's not disconnected from art history.

- Concerning the now, the questions about critical spaces, online  
spaces for experimentation, etc. have moved since the TT period. The  
context is not the same. But these questions remain with little  
shifts because current techniques permit more appropriation and  
"tuning" than ten or twenty years ago. But the development of  
critical spaces is still required, maybe more today than yesterday.

- The question of future TT is based, on my viewpoint, on questions  
concerning collective dynamics. TT was based on the practice of a  
community, even if this one wasn't orthodox. Does this (these)  
practice(s) is(are) today alive and pertinent ? What new collective  
forms and protocols can be common today ? A server ? a very large  
bandwith ? an activity map ? a common tag thru web 2.0, 3.0, etc. ? ...

So here are so brief notes, written on-the-fly
but I promise, I'll read and post some feedbacks in reaction to your  
maybe I'll be able to develop in a next post, some ideas and  
sentences I swiftly wrote into this message...

And sorry for poor english...



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