Lev Manovich on Thu, 17 Dec 1998 19:38:22 +0100 (CET)

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

Dear Karoly Toth:

I am glad my little remark provoked such a detailed response...and
emotions! Not quite sure what part of it to respond to. However: 

1. By "anti-subjectified" I mean the style or attitude which refuses
defining identity through consumer syles, labels or products. So wearing
no-label cloves or using no-lable, industrial products would qualify. 

2. >then I am de Marcel Duchamp of the WebArt? 

Probably not. With the proliferation of digital media and Web art, an
avant-garde artists today should stay of the Web altogether. 

3. >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

Easy does it! Have you been to the boarding school? The only PROBLEM I
have is trying to make the sense of times we live in. This includes HCI
and the Web. So, I am back to my "ivory tower." 

Cheers from la-la land,


>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 first.
>'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 jammed-traffic.
>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 east-european.
>.....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 fact.
>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.

Dr. Lev Manovich / http://jupiter.ucsd.edu/~manovich
Visual Arts Department, 0327, University of California -- San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0327 U.S.A. /
phone: 619-822-1012  / fax: 619-534-8651

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