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26th Apr 2013

Discussion: Unpacking The Shortest Video Art Ever Sold

image

HYPERJUNK: UNPACKING THE
SHORTEST VIDEO ART EVER SOLD

Facebook Thread:

Anthony Antonellis
why doesnt the site have comments?

Ian Aleksander Adams
this is tight

Ian Aleksander Adams
well some of it is tight and some of it is not and i enjoyed reading it and what does tight mean anyway and yeah where are comments?

Ian Aleksander Adams
(also what does point of origin mean?)

Ian Aleksander Adams
i think the point of origin box on this article is interesting http://badatsports.com/2011/catch-nicholas-obrien-at-the-nightingale-theater-tonight/

Ian Aleksander Adams
since this has been sitting around for 15 hours and only anthony has commented, i’m just gonna leave this and assume no one else is gonna say anything for a while - this (possibly misquote) is really interesting ““Are we really talking about Tumblr Art, or merely talking about art on Tumblr?” ” because of the ‘merely’ i think more than the other thing. though if that question was posed directly via panel or given beforehand to talk about that would have been nice i think. still, plenty of time to ask people who do things in various mediums directly what they think, yah? i’m probably not going to be that helpful there because i have no idea what art is.

Ian Aleksander Adams
ok one more, allow me (maybe just for you anthony my love):

"When an artist makes work specifically for the context of any given social platform – whether by choice or by invitation – the work unintentionally becomes a supporter of that brand. Perhaps the most troubling thing is the willingness on the part of the artist or curator to submit themselves to the whim of a more dominant cultural identity like Facebook."

"When an artist makes work specifically for the context of any given social group – whether by choice or by invitation – the work unintentionally becomes a supporter of that lifestyle. Perhaps the most troubling thing is the willingness on the part of the artist or curator to submit themselves to the whim of a more dominant cultural identity like 319 Scholes."

Ian Aleksander Adams
Are things being ‘troubling’ an issue of scale, stated purpose, familiarity, profitability, physical existence… or? is the important part ‘cultural identity like facebook’ or ‘submit themselves to the whim of a more dominant cultural identity’?

Anthony Antonellis
to me that statement was undone by having christiane paul’s comment just a paragraph below

Ian Aleksander Adams
her comment, while flippant, is a reasonable question, I think

Ian Aleksander Adams
that paragraph above seems vague

Ian Aleksander Adams
i feel like people throw out words like ‘troubling’ an awful lot when an article/etc has anything to do with technology

Ian Aleksander Adams
i mean, i have an awful lot of conversations about whether something is medium, platform, distribution, etc, and where the lines get blurred. i wasted most of my time trying to describe what i actually did instead of explaining what i think interests people around those lines with my stuff, but it’s a fun discussion to have. like, cloque and hypergeography are great but not really tied to tumblr i think - might even function better off tumblr. jogging is really tied, i feel, because it’s about releasing things into the wild and encouraging submissions and then other stuff that’s more programmatic (in actual code or in how humans work systematically). i feel like people who say ‘break tumblr and then it’s a medium (intense paraphrase)’ are making some interesting things happen in their mind because people don’t generally require you to ‘break paint’ before you can ‘paint.’ the confusion there is probably based on the word ‘medium’ itself and we’re getting into a ‘draw with pencil’ vs ‘carve with pencil’ thing that i honestly don’t find too interesting. it’s like a game of ‘point and name’ where a kid is being asked to correctly identify animals.’

ff i think intrigues people because it messes with the idea of the medium, makes it hard to identify, messes with the idea of platforms in general by blurring boundaries between specific ones and disorienting, but it really functions like a fairly standard tumblr (queued images) so while i think it’s very pretty and i’m glad people like it enough to show it (and is probably a fair example of playing with the ‘idea’ of tumblr ‘as medium’, i think it’s a lot less like tumblr as medium than spamtumblerphotos, etc.) but i’m very process/action based for creating things and the interesting stuff for me is in the actual interactions and how the information is traveling, so the iididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididea o (wow my wireless keyboard just did that, cool, right) idea of medium is kind of foreign. i think about things i like when asked i end up thinking about things people describe as ‘conceptual’ or ‘performance’ and what’s left behind as record. many of the projects shown are very well planned out aesthetically, i don’t really do that with ff or tt. process. i feel like for ‘art on tumblr’ the word platform works pretty fine (and maybe that’s jogging) but if you are seeking a word that describes how people actually investigate tumblr you may want to use ‘process’ instead of ‘medium’.

i also like the word ‘process’ because it feels more techy and i like techy things. i wore a fedora a few times when i was 14. fun fact!

anyway, that’s a note for christine paul, hope she’s happy.

Anthony Antonellis
I just see a lot of statements that rub me the wrong way. I don’t see most artists making works ‘for the context’ of a social network as much as presenting on the social network, if anything - usually those works that might be the closest to works ‘for the context’ are actually ones which subvert those systems, thinking of artists like Glitchr. I don’t see producing work for (or presenting work on) social networks as putting an artist in a vulnerable position.

Jennifer Chan
very enjoyable to read as usual nicholas, but i have a few thoughts/feelz…
1. buying art to support artists you like is such a pure and well-intentioned act. i feel that kind of patronage should be encouraged?
2. i don’t believe many artists deliberately subjugate themselves to profile-as-art but have chose it as one of many distribution avenues. identity is fragmented online and i have yet to read criticism addressing an artist as a “facebook-based” artist. furthermore this gallery-or-social media route feels like a false dichotomy (thinking of brad troemel’s imagined audiences for web-based works). i recall when jeremy bailey had a livestream show in a toilet as part of a central new york festival, caves and laptops, early speed shows… were all good attempts but usually overlooked by the art criticism community. i have a feeling it may be beneficial to fb-befriend gallerists and other artists around the world, but perhaps more often artists are approached by institutions that have little knowledge of new media or “postnet” and want some sort of frivolous net art to be included to demonstrate an awareness of emergent practices.
2.5 art about the formal qualities of technology (i.e. that shows you how it works) is often not very interesting. it’s not 1996; a lot of post 2.0 work is indeed not about the platform but is “aware” of the subjectivity and aesthetics reinforced by their usage.
this is a lot to unload at once, and not meant to come off as aggressive but a few notes? probably better in a comment section haha

Anthony Antonellis
I also don’t see where this dichotomy exists where artists are choosing either social media or galleries, there seems to be a lot of fluidity to where everyone is showing.

Anthony Antonellis
Also I think if anything, having that ‘institutional safeguards’ be absent is very interesting, and where is criticism not welcome?

Ian Aleksander Adams
yah anthony, that feels weird. i feel like these articles are somewhat combative, even i feel the need to be combative to maybe defend my ‘native existence’? i really like the idea of vulnerability in general. i feel that vulnerability, for me, is very productive for me to learn from.

Ian Aleksander Adams
i think that most of the things i’m interested in involve some use of platform in a non-standard way, often leaving the user in a very vulnerable or exposed state. William Sneddon and i were just talking about this, actually

Anthony Antonellis
Ian (replying to your big paragraphs) Yes, I do see that divide, where the jooging is tied more to the format, and the reception of the work on that format, where cloaque is more significant when not viewed from a tumblr dashboard. But concerning audiences, I don’t think achieving huge numbers of views is significant unless those views come with context, the jogging has some awareness of the context being the lack of context.

Ian Aleksander Adams
many of these people could be described as non-neurotypical and it’s interesting that for me, tumblr tuesday and ff basically started mirroring an extreme breakdown i’d once had online, and a lot of people basically just journal their personal lives to an overwhelming degree in similar situations.

i feel pressed to call ff an art project, and in a lot of ways i find it aesthetically enjoyable and it’s definitely not accurate to call it ‘therapy’ or just a journal, but when asked to explain why it’s in some way ‘elevating’ or ‘transgressive’ of how tumblr works, i get pretty uncomfortable - it really feels like i made a fun theme that represents me and what i’m nostalgic about and then post pictures i find funny to share with my friends. this is exactly what tumblr is designed to do and exactly what most tumblr users do. yes, a lot more of my pictures are ‘new’ content, but they’re basically reblogs or ‘stolen’ in that they’re mostly screenshots. so it might be accurate to call me a ‘superuser’ or over the top or manic, but it’s hard for me to look at that project and feel like it’s something that is ‘breaking’ anything. but a lot of other people feel something completely different form it - that’s interesting to me, because from a technical perspective it feels like a very very normal tumblr.

Ian Aleksander Adams
'the context being the lack of context' i hecka tight and pretty close to my duel mottos (cream - 'context rules everything around me' and 'context out of context') I'm super obsessed with those two things, i spend a lot of time playing with the idea of UI without something for the interface to actually interact with. interface and feeds breaking down are pretty represented in ff a fair amount.

abt vine tho, or instagram, or something like that (trying to tie it back in a bit), those feel closer to the idea of ‘medium’ to me because they feel like tools when i use them? I know they come with feeds and that feed could be considered a ‘thing’, but i’m not sure many people are using them that way?

Anthony Antonellis
Something i mentioned to Jennifer in chat: a lot of this is about institutions and somehow a lack of respect being payed to existing formats (that quite frankly don’t exist or don’t apply to much digitally produced artwork)

Anthony Antonellis
And I just think it gives way too much importance and respect to the institutions which arent interested or supporting netart in the first place.

Anthony Antonellis
But I think the criticisms comes with entering the market’s turf, monetizing, somehow being equated with a ‘new seriousness’

Ian Aleksander Adams
it’s very hard for me to wrap my mind around how [what i think you’re referring to as institutions] function in relation to this stuff. i feel like it’s understood that really embracing what’s going on has to do with a dispersal of authority and these entities are not organized in ways that deal well with that.

Jennifer Chan
tis the hour for a fine cup of kimmo modig; we’re just part of the grey matter, you hear that ? https://vimeo.com/52881122



Ian Aleksander Adams
maybe that’s inaccurate, new ‘authorities’ have risen with each successive medium or wave or aesthetic or whatever. there are definitely people who have consumed and discussed these pieces and ideas in more detail than others.

Ian Aleksander Adams
maybe it’s a speed issue. i feel like photography in museums is crazy out of date with what photography does in ‘the world’ - is it reasonable to expect a representation of human creation in the various internet related areas?

Ian Aleksander Adams
i guess i also don’t really understand if museums, galleries, etc, are supposed to be showing and talking about ‘what’s really interesting’ or ‘what’s really interesting and able to be confirmed as produced with intentionality that makes it valid for us to be talking about it as institutions that deal with this kind of intentionality’

Ian Aleksander Adams
if that makes any sense?

Anthony Antonellis
I think they are picking up on these conversations, I see more and more digital art entering into gallery settings, it just tends to be outside the art market, and I regard the art market and art world as very separate albeit related. There are certainly eyes watching how everything is unfolding, just most the discussions is happening outside the white walls

Ian Aleksander Adams
to put it another way, relating to that brad article, Ryder’s response, the afc thing, etc - if part of what makes something interesting is the mystery or discovery felt along with initial encounter or continued existence, is that why people are upset when they ‘find out’ that it was intended ‘as art’? because it’s like spoiling a joke? so maybe part of what’s so hard about putting ‘net art’ in an institutionalized space is that unless the joke is specifically, on some level, about the institutionalized space, it spoils the joke?

feel like this is easy pickings for the seminal ‘art schooled’ tumblr quote: “Critics can basically say anything, even if it has been said 1000 times before—and better—but just not about internet art, and they are considered an authority. It’s like in 2007-8 when anyone who could successfully create a Twitter account called themselves a social media consultant.”“

Anthony Antonellis
I dont know, are people really upset? Sometimes I see viral ads that are funny when I thought they were real, and then I find out they aren’t and I still find them funny.

Ian Aleksander Adams
yeah i think it’s probably an exaggeration to say they are upset, but i think that it somehow makes the joke less funny for a lot of people outside ‘the arts’ while the joke may be more funny for people inside ‘the arts’. i feel like the reason it might be more funny reminds me of what ryder was talking about, that the ‘normals’ feel like the joke was on them? does that make sense?

about the gallery discussion, it reminds me of this post about photo:

http://conscientious.tumblr.com/post/45927193498/now-everyones-a-photographer-he-said-its

Anthony Antonellis
Really, its like bottled water, all this water is freely out there, but there is some need to define lines, select a few gallons, isolate them, prop it up, hold it to a higher scrutiny, critique and commodify, blah blah blah. In the end this spring-fed lake of work is ever increasing in size, and its silly to break apart production into these different jugs. Its nearly 3am, I can’t sustain a metaphor at this hour, my thoughts on this are a satellite breaking up on re-entry, oh no now my metaphors are mixing

Anthony Antonellis
But I know what you mean, some of it is art for artists that is built on watching ‘the normals’ consume it, in that way it kind of reminds me of Andy Kaufman.

Ian Aleksander Adams
i like the water metaphor

Ian Aleksander Adams
i like andy kaufman and art for artists too, and i feel like the specific audience is fine. niche audiences are fine and we’re at a place where niche audiences can be sustained forever, i think.

Anthony Antonellis
http://polandspringbornbetter.com

Ian Aleksander Adams
i get very confused when people try to make distinctions between what is commonly thought of as art and what others describe as ‘entertainment’. would you call art entertainment?

Anthony Antonellis
of course it can be, where entertainment serves a purpose, I like to imagine an artwork falling somewhere on a cartesian graph that is roughly defined as successful ↔ unsuccessful, and then a measure purpose-ness, from ordinary to compound. maybe a third dimension could be audience, broad to narrow.

Ian Aleksander Adams
here’s where i like to call the ‘what is art? why is this art? etc etc’ discussion an excellent bar discussion but a pretty terrible critical discussion, cause it’s a fun way to waste time but i feel like it always ends up in a little pit.

1. all entertainment serves purpose
2. all entertainment could fall on a graph like that
3. many people will be quick to say ‘sure, some movies are art’ or even ‘yes, something from any medium could be art’

can you ‘appreciate’ something without being ‘entertained’? Here’s the first sentence from wikipedia:
"Entertainment is something that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight."

i feel like it would be pretty accurate to say that art is niche entertainment.

Ian Aleksander Adams
and how you define art is a matter of defining your niche audience.

Nicholas O’Brien
jhc, feeling inundated by this thread, will attempt thots/responses when i can in the next couple of days(?)

The short answer to anthony’s question is that B@S doesn’t have comments enabled because of a long history of violent threats that existed on the site many years ago. It’s a long story really, but suffice it to say that comment disabling is not my choice, but I understand why it is in place.

I’ll attempt to get back @ other comments as i sift through this thread

Marina Galperina
For the record, I was never approached to talk by the author of the article and alas because I would have said something very profound about art, entertainment, cats and dicks.

Marina Galperina
Mostly dicks.

Nicholas O’Brien
Marina:

I had approached Kyle + Angela to CC you on the email thread, I had thought this was the case, and I can see that Kyle CCed you in his correspondence. I apologize if you think that that wasn’t an approach, and there was plenty of time to comment about dicks in that email thread that I would’ve included in the article, but since you decided not to, I thought I’d just quote Kyle.

Marina Galperina
OH that was an interview? I thought you guys were just discussing stuff. Kyle speaks for SVEAS totally, but what I’m saying is that you’re missing relevant dick jokes.

Nicholas O’Brien
"I’ve spoken to you both separately about wanting to write my next
article for Bad at Sports about the selling of Vine art at the moving
image fair. I’d love to include Marina in this conversation as well if
she’d be interested, I just don’t have her email (so please fwd if you
can, Kyle).” - Direct quote from my first email, I guess that was my way of saying I wanted “an interview.”

Marina Galperina
Ah! Oh. Ok. It felt rather late in the email exchange for me to join in with v serious dick things, but that was rather a fascinating back and forth, <3. I’ll jump on it swifter next time. Thanks!

Nicholas O’Brien
No problem, just wanted to make sure you didn’t feel left out :)

Ok, gotta teach will get back to the other comments in this thread asap

Marina Galperina
http://images.inquisitr.com/wp-content/2010/02/catgif11.gif

image



Marina Galperina
Let me revise myself.

Angela Washko
I think the 200$ ends up being quite funny particularly when it elicits an angry response ie. “she made $200 off of a vine *outrage*”! $200 is obviously not very much when you’re participating in the art market (which an art fair is one of the most obvious venues for) - and this kind of reaction makes it clear that a lot of the writing about this sale is coming from an audience that doesn’t understand or attempt to understand how art economies are working (not that any of us REALLY totally understand) and don’t realize that $200 is symbolic of a sale and certainly not an impressive figure. If anything - it paints an embarrassing picture of how little video is valued when more of the pieces in #SVAES didn’t sell at that (incredibly) low price by a number of artists that are much more established(and much cooler!) than I am within a context (established art fair w/ “reputable” galleries) that is designed for sales. (and also exposes how little $$ I am willing to accept for my cultural production, yoo hooo.)

Marina Galperina
<3 Angela

Lorna Mills
One endearing aspect of this kerfuffle is the speed at which media artists will embrace a new platform, and the speed at which Marina & Kyle made an entrance into a market with it. I thought the project was hilarious.

Marina Galperina
giggity. and <3 u too Lorna

Lorna Mills
Speaking of love, couldn’t love Jennifer Chan’s comment more. As for the subjectivity and aesthetics reinforced by any given platform’s usage, it’s a continuation of site specific installation practice, something as simple as the awareness of the context that an artist’s work is in. (forgive me if I state the obvious)

Lorna Mills
(That might have been incoherent since I paraphrased a line from Jennifer’s comment.)

Lorna Mills
One joke I make constantly about net artists is that we have the attention span of fleas. So by the time vine is available to android users, Marina and Anthony and Rollin will already be tired of it and on to something else. This is not a bad thing in the context of “we are all some big corporate platform’s bitches”, in fact its exuberant and gregarious. (A critic who’s name I can’t remember once described the novel Finnegan’s Wake as the ultimate proof of art’s gregariousness and that assertion about art has always thrilled me.)

Ian Aleksander Adams
yah i think people like us are more like that, and i also think the ‘first’ mentality (we’re talking about commenting ‘first’ here, that’s the joke people) plays heavy into that - so it’s not just a point of pride among the arts, duh…

but i am seriously into people who seem ‘stuck’ in one platform/medium and are using the fuck out of it even after most of us have ‘moved on’. like, isn’t it really striking when you find someone who is heavily using their livejournal or myspace, even if it’s in the same way they were using it in 2002?

William Sneddon
Ian Aleksander Adams $50 for a once-active sixdegrees.com username & password written in smudged mascara on a damp, teary handkerchief, comes with google maps directions to nearest clairvoyant (custom to buyer). paypal ok

Ian Aleksander Adams
http://25.media.tumblr.com/536fe7f4c48d501f345e1a85ccaaed0b/tumblr_mkaz0oWwXZ1rbem0jo1_1280.png

image


William Sneddon
congratulations on your purchase!

Ian Aleksander Adams
ty

Nicholas O’Brien

OK, some initial thoughts/responses (sorry for the delay, teaching and other studio work prevented me from commented on this thread more thoroughly).

First, thanks all for the responses and thoughtfulness, this kind of intense convo is the reason why i do this, and I wish it could happen on B@S, but here will have to work (even tho that’s prolly hypocritical given other statements I’m about to make or have made regarding reliance on social media, etc).

So, I’m not arguing for good or bad, if the sale was good, or if the work is good, or if the booth was good, or any of that, instead, I’m trying to unpack what the implications of this sale means, and how - as an artists, curator, educator, d00d - feel about those implications. I know that I come off as harsh against Vine and i guess I feel it is because I feel like artists could do better, they could use this motif, or use the aesthetic principles of what vine does in ways that don’t rely on actually using the preloaded brand. I want artists to make money off of their efforts, but in my idealistic world (some say naive) I want this money to be generated for the artists to really critically engage in what the tools they are using and how the effects the things they want to say with those tools.

I think angela’s piece (both the Vine version and my understanding of the longer piece) have some interesting things to say, and I’d like to talk about those things, and not Vine. I’m also not really wanting to argue “what is art, and who is it for, and who is my niche audience,” because all of those questions are a precident for making limited work, I want to be asking questions (of myself and peers) of what is the work about, what do I want to say, why am I making instead of consuming, etc. I think vine is a lousy engine to do that, and i feel this way because I think it kind of cheapens (or homogenizes) an aesthetic condition that can be pursues more fluidly outside of vine’s prescriptive format.

This is to say that I’m not JUST in favor of work that is “deeply investigating the medium’s plasticity” all the time, and for those that I think might argue that other traditional arts, I think they might not be familiar with a discourse that those artists are undergoing (like, making a painting about painting, making a sculpture about form in space, whatever formal substitute can be inserted here). However, I’m arguing for this because (and maybe i really just should’ve said this in the article), I don’t think Angela’s piece is VINE ART, it’s art made ON/WITH Vine, but it’s not really medium specific. It’s video, and it was made with vine. SO! IF we’re talking about VINE ART (or tumblr art, or net art, really) then I think there should be a conversation about vine as a medium and what unique properties that medium has that other mediums do not have. If I’m looking at it this way, then Vine is a weak medium, because it does not inherently contain many particularities that distinguish it from other mediums. This is probably why it’s thought of as merely a “platform” of “engine” or something like that. So, like, I actually want a VINE ART, like a seriously intensive study in breaking open the nuances of that platform in such a way that can embolden it into a medium. I want this for many things online and off, a Tumblr Art, an Instagram Art, a VR Art, w/e but if I’m to think of these things as being art OF that medium, and not art ON that medium, then I think the work should take in the material concerns of that platform. Which i think the curators are actually doing, and thus my identification of that art in the SVAES project.

I could say more, but I think this is a good stopping point. BUT I do want to say the water is a shitty analogy, because when we say “OMG water is everywhere, why do we need to package it?” that’s a bit of an oversight. Yes there is water everywhere, but is there GOOD water everywhere, CLEAN water everywhere, DRINKABLE water everywhere? Far from it. This is not to say I’m pro-bottle water, but you’re not just paying for packaging, you’re paying for the water to be quality and drinkable. So, follow that analogy how you will, but I just wanted to throw that out there, I guess.

ok <3

Marina Galperina
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5r12iv8g51qkhtm5o1_250.gif

image

Ian Aleksander Adams
i feel that this kind of intesne conversation is a great goal and that not enough people actually have them. some people have suggested this is because people are ‘busy’ and i’d like to posit it’s because they believe in a value system that suggests presenting a paper to a group of people in a room is more important to spend time on vs a public facebook thread. i think this is a more accessible space, so i prioritize my intensity in this space.

also, nice cat gif marina v pretty

Alex Ross
Re: Christiane Paul’s “Tumblr Art, or merely talking about art on Tumblr” line of enquiry invoked by Nick…

I just keep thinking back to Peter Geimer’s recent observation in “Thinking through Painting: Reflexivity and Agency Beyond the Canvas” (Sternberg Press, 2012):

"Reflexivity/self-reflexivity has […] become a type of discursive wild card, an aesthetic seal of quality, which can be attribtued to the works of all eras and genres. According to this, complex and reflexive pictures […] show ‘something’ but also thematize the conditions of this showing at the same time. Sub-complex pictures are those that only show ‘something’ and become absorbed in this heteronomous referentiality. In my opinion, this difference seems to be extremely questionable. Here, old hierarchies of ‘high’ and ‘low’ or ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ pictures are repeated—or in terms of the painting of the 19th century, modern and salon painting."

Off to sleep here in London, but Iooking forward to picking this back up in the morning. Nite.

Alex Ross
p.s. this is made all the more urgent by Nick’s avowal that “Vine is a WEAK [emphasis added] medium, because it does not inherently contain many particularities that distinguish it from other mediums.”

Ian Aleksander Adams
alex if it’s so urgent you shouldn’t go to sleep

Myriam Vanneschi
It was clearly the best purchase I ever made.

Ian Aleksander Adams
i don’t even know what the medium of the art i just bought from William is.. sculpture? maybe it’s conceptual though. i feel like i own something but i haven’t seen it.

'drawing'

i still don’t really understand the concept of ‘medium’ maybe

everything is performance to me

William Sneddon
expect a package soon!

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