Károly Tóth on Wed, 16 Dec 1998 19:00:47 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> zeroglab rotterdam: L.M. -Digital Constru...rary Style

from Karoly Toth zeroglab rotterdam to Lev Manovitch.

Some remarks related to the design monolog of Lev Manovitch' latest
correction of his views. I want to focus on the last 2 paragraphs of
L.M.'s publication (Syndicate: Digital Constructivism: HCI and
Contemporary Style ). 

Partly to what Lev says, and partly about some tendencies in the so called
media hype which i am personally sick of. (subjective, but quite
phisycal). I am talking from the position of the practicing artist. (not
web artist, not media artist, because I see these terms as not relevant,
text based, and highly discriminative, and it is used to split off new art
activities from the mainstream (art m.) which is not streaming at this
moment, isolate it and neutralize as not relevant art form. In the so
called art world i see tendencies of a very much simplification of the
whole, wich is I belive more complex. )

First I want to use some of the Hype_textural techn. and quote Lovink

'There is a huge gap between these two views. "Only Proust can save us
from the internet"--that's the dominant view within Western elites. But
instead of a real fight between these schools, I see a lot of ignorance,
arrogance, confusion, and misunderstanding. Aren't you a bit to optimistic
about the synthesis of the artist-engineer-intellectual (and worker, one
could add...).' (L.M.-G.L. Dig....isme....on Nettime)

K.T.: Thanks for Manovitch 4 the charming 'ignorance, arrogance,
confusion, and misunderstanding' (G. Lovink) , not even mentioning my IK
Engem, Nekem Enyem, ME Karoly, (european artist, quite typical attitude I
experience many times when I meet people from the u.s.  ) contribution to
the discourse. My "Tarzanizing" can be seen as a critical method
(european!!!!!) ( just want to help 2 L.M. because I think, the critical
meth. used by academics is 2 academics. :)). I think Lev Manovitch LOOKS
very scientific, but I think, he is NOT. The methods he is using is very
exclusive, and the people he focusing on is also exlusive and exclusive. I
wondering, what Lev Manovitch want to say 2 us. 

K.T.: Who is Proust? 

K.T.: A dead one webmaster. (>cookies). Text based! 

K.T. A question to Lev Manovitch: Who is Proust? Why is Proust is Proust?
Please Lev Manovitch answer. (through open channels please!)

L.M. : How would "no-design," anti-subjectified interface look like? Like
Shulgin's and Jodi's pages? Yet, Jodi interface pretty quickly became a
label, now to be found on Web art sites everywhere. Shulgin almost became
a label with Form Art, but then he wisely escaped from net.art into music. 

K.T. A question 2 Lev Manovitch-usa from Karoly Toth-europe.  What do you
mean if you write this: "anti-subjectified". Please answer. (through open
channels please!)

K.T.: Who is "Versage"? Is IT a designer who was shot by a hitmen? Is IT
dead? Is IT, you say popular in Russia? Or is IT different? Please anwer! 

Stage 4 [Prothesis]

L.M.: "How would ... design ... look like?  .....Shulgin ....Jodi ......
writes L.M. 

K.T.: ME personally, ME ARTIST (tarzanizing), I make art, based on partly
subjectivity (which is also a critical method), and based on MY research
work. Not to forget, art IS science, called art. It means whe deal with
knowledge. I ME ARTIST create FACTS. Artifacts. Called: artifacts.
Subjectivity is a critical method to deal with reality, of which I am a
part of. This critical method is based on that I recognize that ---let's
use the car-driver metaphore----, that I am also the PART OF the
trafic-jam, and not an outsider. I am also the couse of the

You Lev Manovitch, you use past and ongoing (open) events (Hystorizing
them) , draw paralelles, to justify your academical point of view. Taking
the easier position of an outsider, or the traffic police. (Which is ( MY
experience from MY research work), the traffic police, for example IS very
corrupt in Hungary and Czhe Republic., and sometimes it IS causing traffic
jam. Or let's talk about some war-lords in the Yugoslav war, where guys
(kind of freedom fighters) had put traffic boards along the road, (this is
what I have heard (not guess, 2.nd hand info!) on the board: 10km. Which
is, I think (i have no car), i think this speed is almost impossible to
keep with a car. If you did not do so, the traffic police fines you. 

They fine you anyway, whatever you do. I experienced the same in the Czeh
Republic too sometimes + Hungary. But this was only a metaphor. An
interface to reality. There are many jokes in east-europe, all based on
this reality, and they are totally unknown or misunderstood in "the
westblock". So I stopped to tell east european jokes to my friens in
Holland years ago. The last joke dive i did was with a guy from Jerusalem,
(with his reality, of course) >>> see Shulgin's web-things, they are very

.....so.... i want to go on with this question of Manovitch's: "How would
... design ... look like?  .....Shulgin ....Jodi ...... " 

Let me tell an experiece i was a part of (traffic-jam). I have been
working as artist in residence in Finland last year (1997). This is a

I made a lecture about my work (and not only mine, about activities
related to cyber-whatever space research and spatiality, which I also miss
in Manovitch's version of the story about design) to the students of the
Fine Art academy in Helsinki at MUU-mediabase. This is a fact. 

It was the part of a session of lectures about web related art, organized
by a Helsinki based artist Terhi Penttila. She is maybe known by the SAUNA
project at Ars Electronica. My knowledge of the Finish language is very
limited (iso olut + pieni olut) but I have seen the flyer of the lecture.
There where the words: web art (written). I have asked Terhi about what
the hack is this web-art thing. It came out that there is a kind of 'isme
going on (actually i think, it appeared AFTER the last DocumentaX, as an
art form, which is funny). Terhi showed me some of these web-art works.
Which was also funny, the works where funny, and the fact, (this is a
fact) that I appeared to be a web artist, according to Terhi, when I told
her that I made this kind of artifacts before the fenomenon of web-art
even appeard, she told me to present these works as web art. Which i did
not do. 

(i have works made with some historical (DOS) MM authoring prog's. Which
looked like the web art today, but at that time there was the web, but
there was no web browser invented yet. (it happened acually around that
time (1992), and when it was there i have already stopped to make this
kind of artifacts.) There was one of these works on the old Digital City
site (cca1993 see my cv. at www.tip.nl/users/terra ), one of the first web
museums, the Temporary Museum of Walter vd. Cruijsen. (under the name
Sandor Toth :) The title was: West Block. Then the T.M. moved to
www.desk.nl and the T.M. disappeared (after several mails to the host of
T.M to correct my name (answers=none). This is a fact. 

And this fact has happended in, Europe, Holland , and not in Amsterdam,
but in The Hague. There was ONE of the first art gorup (UBUQUE) in europe
(cca. 1990) which made research on these fenomenons, (NOT TEXT BASED!). 

I just want to help Lev Manovitch with his scientific research on web
design, providing facts, to help to solve HIS problem. Apparently he has

K.T.: A question to Lev Manovitch: Is this fact I have described above,
means that: if this new art form in and around digital space IS
AVANTGARDE, as Lev Manovich and Geert Lovink suggests (I do not think they
are competent to decide this). Does this mean, that: then I am de Marcel
Duchamp of the WebArt? Please answer. (through open channels please!)



with tarzanizing regards

Karoly Toth visual artist (appeard to be an architect) zerog art research
lab rotterdam. 

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