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November 14, 2006

Collecting New Media Art


Open Systems

"...Open Systems: One of the constant refrains about the promise of new media art is that it allows the viewer to become a participant and even, for many works, a producer. The artist is creating the context, the platform, the set of rules by which the "viewer" participates and produces. With a work such as Apartment (2001) by Marek Walczak and Martin Wattenberg, for example, users enter a string of words in order to create the floorplan of an associated apartment. The truth is, some users are better than others at generating results that are of interest to other viewers. How are we to judge works where the input is the user's?

For Kynaston McShine's acclaimed Information exhibition (1970), Dennis Oppenheim created a system for visitors to write a secret on a notecard and put it in a slot. In return, they received someone else's secret. After the exhibition all 2000+ of the secrets were published, without editing. One would be hard-pressed, however, to argue that the quality of this essentially conceptual work was dependent on what people wrote.

Many new media artworks are inherently performative. It is important to judge them on the basis of the performance that is possible, not on every person's rendition of Moonlight Piano Sonata (1801), so to speak..." From Collecting New Media Art: Just Like Anything Else, Only Different by Steve Dietz, NeMe.

Posted by jo at November 14, 2006 11:00 AM