Károly Tóth on Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:43:47 +0100

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Syndicate: zeroglab rotterdam: L.M. -Digital Constru...rary Style

name: Károly Tóth
address: Gedempte Zalmhaven 923, 3011 BT Rotterdam NL
tel: +31 (0)10 2400390 or 2400391
e-mail: zeroglab@freemail.c3.hu
if you do not get answer within a few days,
please write to this address: terra@tip.nl
webpage: http://www.tip.nl/users/terra
THE NEGATIVE RIVER project/workshop @DEAF98 Rotterdam NL
my email and homepage addresses has been changed recently.
the old homepage address was: http://users.bart.nl/~terra
this homepage still seems to work,
but I do not have access to it anymore.
the old e-mail address was : terra@bart.nl

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.