[thingist] proposed text for THE THING wikipedia page

Joseph Nechvatal joseph_nechvatal at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 21 14:32:51 UTC 2010

OK. I take it Jerome is offline. So I did an edit on what he had below. Check it out everyone before I paste it into http://en.wikipedia.org (or stop me if you hate this idea).
I will need a sub-description (it will be hidden for the most part) to seperate The Thing out from the film and everything else Thingy. Is this OK? (Net Art Project)
So please quickly read this and make any cuts or changes. Of course I or anyone can change the page after I create it - but the scrutiny will be very strict. Not that it won't be right away. BTW, what are the page #'s on TT in the Dieter Daniels, Gunther Reisinger (Eds.) “Net Pioneers 1.0: Contextualizing Early Net-Based Art”, Sternberg. 2010?
cheersJoseph Nechvatal   

THE THING (Net Art Project)


'''THE THING ''' is a pioneering international net-community of
artists and art-related projects that was started in 1991 by [[Wolfgang
Staehle]]. THE THING was launched as a mailbox system accessible over the
telephone network in New York feeding a [[Bulletin Board System]] (BBS), a form
of online community dialogue used before the advent of the [[World Wide Web]].
By the late 90s, THE THING grew into a diverse online community made up of
dozens of members' Web sites, mailing lists, a successful Web hosting service,
a community studio in Chelsea (NYC), and the first Web site devoted to [[Net
Art]]: bbs.thing.net.  



==History of THE THING ==

== THE THING BBS (1991) ==

In 1991, THE THING began as a [[Bulletin Board System]] focusing
on contemporary art and cultural theory. <ref>Dieter Daniels, Gunther
Reisinger (Eds.) “Net Pioneers 1.0: Contextualizing Early Net-Based Art”,
Sternberg. 2010. </ref> In 1990, the writer and critic Blackhawk (having
recently produced the film “[[Cyberpunk]]”) taught Wolfgang Staehle many of the
abilities he needed to start the original Thing BBS - basic pc skills of how to
use what then passed as a communication suite (they initially used [[ProCom]],
cutting and pasting as needed). Blackhawk was the first person Staehle turned
to after conceiving of the idea for an electronic culture resource based on the
model of [[Joseph Beuys]]'s "social sculpture". Blackhawk and
Wolfgang jointly set up the editorial structure of the original BBS and planned
for many of the then experimental activities that took place. Other people who
helped shape the content of the early BBS included [[Josefina Ayerza]], [[Dike
Blair]], Jordan Crandall, Josh Decter, [[Rainer Ganahl]], [[Julia Scher]],
Barry Schwabsky, Franz von Staufenberg and Benjamin Weil.


== THE THING WWW (1995) ==

THE THING changed its form when a Web interface was created for
its presentation at the 1994 [[Ars Electronica]]. This phase was co-founded
with Benjamin Weil, [[Julia Scher]], and Gisela Ehrenfried. Credits on 1995
website also name Nicky Chaikin, John Simon, [[Wolfgang Staehle]], Rob Keenan,
Darryl Erentzen and John Rabasa. <ref> http://old.thing.net/</ref>


In 1998, Max Kossatz designed "The Thing Communicator"
which gave THE THING its present form and shape. <ref> [[Christiane Paul
(curator)|Christiane Paul]], ''Digital Art'', Thames & Hudson Ltd., p. 111


Since 1995, THE THING set up an independent art network with
hardware of its own that offered arts communities ways to establish themselves,
to send information to one another and also to conceive of new artistic
practices deriving from [[conceptual art]] and from [[performance art]].
Working with the Net was a way to operate around the institutions of the art
distribution system.  


== THE THING Net Communities ==

THE THING has enabled a diverse group of artists, critics,
curators, and activists situated in the Internet climate. At its core, THE
THING is a social network, made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds with
a wide range of expert knowledge. From this social hub, THE THING has built an
exceptional array of programs and initiatives, in both technological and
cultural networks. During its first five years, became widely recognized as one
of the founding and leading online centers for [[new media]] culture. Its
activities include hosting artists' projects and mailing lists as well as
publishing cultural criticism.


THE THING has also organized many events and symposia on such
topics as the state of new media arts, the preservation of online privacy,
artistic innovations in [[robotics]], and the possibilities of community
empowerment through wireless technologies.


THE THING as an Internet Presence Provider for activist and arts
organizations (primarily in the New York City area) has hosted arts and
activist groups and publications including [[P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center]],
[[Artforum]]; [[Mabou Mines]]; [[Willoughby Sharp]] Gallery; [[Zingmagazine]];
Journal of Contemporary Art; [[Nettime]]; and

Among many others, artists and projects associated with thing.net
have included [[Sawad Brooks]], [[Heath Bunting]], Cercle Ramo Nash, [[Vuk
Cosic]], [[etoy]], [[GH Hovagimyan]], [[John Klima]], Jenny Marketou, [[Mariko
Mori]], Prema Murty, [[Mark Napier]], [[Joseph Nechvatal]], [[Phil Niblock]],
Daniel Pflumm, [[Francesca da Rimini]], [[Beat Streuli]] and Beth Stryker.  


THE THING has been generously supported by the Nathan Cummings
Foundation, the [[Rockefeller Foundation]], the [[National Endowment for the
Arts]], and thing.net communications.


==THE THING Globalized ==

A second node, THE THING Cologne, was added in 1992, followed by
THE THING Vienna in November of the next year. Nodes in Berlin and elsewhere
were soon to follow. 

The most (inter)active, and therefore most important, area of THE
THING consisted of various message boards offering forums for art theory
debate, news and gossip, ongoing dialogue and an open-access flow of
information, as well as several online versions of art journals. 


Alongside discussion forums, THE THING offered artworks in the
form of graphics downloadable to the home PC for example by [[Peter


Since taking to the World Wide Web with a new user interface in
1995, THE THING has continued to function as a production and presentation
platform for art and art-related discourse.


*THE THING Basel was founded by Barbara Strebel and Rik Gelles

*THE THING Berlin was founded Ulf Schleth

*THE THING Cologne was founded by Michael Krome

*THE THING Dûsseldorf was founded by Jôrg Sasse

*THE THING Frankfurt was founded by Andreas Kallfelz

*THE THING Hamburg was founded by Hans-Joachim Lenger

*THE THING London was founded by Andreas Ruethi

*THE THING New York was founded by Wolfgang Staehle

*THE THING Stockholm was founded by Magnus Borg

*THE THING Vienna was founded by Helmut Mark and Max Kossatz

*THE THING Roma was founded by Marco Deseriis and Giuseppe Marano




(NYC, older url bbs.thing.net)


*http://www.ecn.org/thingnet/frameset.html (Roma)






(Basel, closed)



*Dieter Daniels, Gunther Reisinger (Eds.) “Net Pioneers 1.0:
Contextualizing Early Net-Based Art”, Sternberg. 2010.

*[[Christiane Paul (curator)|Christiane Paul]], ''Digital Art'',
Thames & Hudson Ltd., p. 111


===Foot notes===



== External links ==










{{DEFAULTSORT: THE THING (Net Art Project)}}

[[Category:Contemporary art]]

[[Category:Conceptual art]]

[[Category:Postmodern art]]

[[Category:Digital artists]]

[[Category:Media theorists]]

[[Category:Artist groups and collectives]]

[[Category:American artist groups and collectives]]

[[Category:Conceptual artists]]

[[Category:Postmodern artists]]

[[Category:Artists from New York]]


> From: joy at thing.net
> Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 19:10:23 +0200
> To: thingist at mailman.thing.net
> Subject: Re: [thingist] What about a subjective, evolving, archive?
> 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 :
> http://thing.nujus.net/
> 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  
> messages....
> 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...
> best
> Jerome
> :
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