NetArt: Theory

Thomas Dreher

auf Deutsch

The section "NetArt: Theory" contains contributions and discussion forums concerning problems of NetArt and its wider context, like f. e. media specific, legal, social and political problems.

  • NetArt: Einführung
    "NetArt: Einführung" ("NetArt: Introduction, in German) presents the history of art as a history of media (key term: "media forms"/"Medienformen"). The media history of art after the differentiation of art specific media (painting, sculpture, drawing, artistic print media) leads to its mediation in Intermedia Art. Its previously last evolution are web projects. Types of interactions as well as structures of intertwinedness and structures of stratifications are featured as characteristics of NetArt (November 2000/August 2001).
  • IASL Diskussionsforum online: Netzkommunikation in ihren Folgen
    (IASL discussion forum online: net communication and its consequences, in German. Coordination: Georg Jäger and Roberto Simanowski)
    The contribution Netzkunst (Net Art) in the discussion forum Netzkommunikation in ihren Folgen (net communication and its consequences) includes thesisses and statements about artistic possibilities to create Hyperfiction and Hypermedia. Further statements which broaden the scope: Roberto Simanowski and Christiane Heibach (July 2000).
  • Art & Language & Hypertext: Blurting, Mapping and Browsing (Hypertext 1)
    (in German) "Associative indexing" is the dominant feature of a project of the artists´ group Art & Language. American members of the group compile "Blurting in A & L" in 1973 as a dictionary with explanations of their own theoretical vocabulary. The typical connections between the terms provoke a transcription as Hypertext. Thomas Dreher coordinated the transcription in a dense collaboration with ZKM | Institute for Net Development and in coordination with the artists´ group. Michael Corris, Thomas Wulffen and Thomas Dreher presented the project Blurting in A & L online in 7th July 2002 at ZKM in Karlsruhe. The last one investigated in his lecture "Blurting in A & L" as (Proto-)Hypertext (July 2002) .
  • Mitschreibeprojekt "nic-las": Die Rolle des Teilnehmers in Netzdiskursen (Hypertext 2)
    (Collaborative writing project "nic-las": The role of the participant in net discourses, in German)
    The article presents the different possibilities of users to contribute to the collaborative writing project "nic-las" because the available instructions are written from a software-oriented and not a user-oriented point of view. Differentiations are offered for relations between the rules of Anticopyright in a community of scientific collaborators and the "intertextimplicit author" as a conclusiveness of the research concept which the contributions follow although the contributions are polyphonic and open for cross-references (intertextuality) (October 2002).
  • From "Radical Software" to Net Activism
    On media activism: Performances with integrated film projections and integrated coactors with cameras for film documents thematized the role of cameras and film. New cheap portable video devices (Sony Porta Pak, available in America since 1968) changed that role and allowed the practice of new participatory forms in video art and video activism. The evolution of cheap devices for video production and the expansion of the American cable TV offered new means for the realization of alternative TV programs which integrated viewers as participants. Since the nineties the internet offers video activists new chances for collaborative practices. Activists reacted to the criticism of net conditions and created tools against f. e. data mining and censorship. Different strategies were invented to use video and net tools in actions in the real and digital spaces (January 2004/English translation: June 2004).
  • Conceptual Art and Software Art: Notations, Algorithms and Codes
    Self-replicative and generative codes have been developed in Software Art. Intermedia Art´s relations between notation and realisation are expanded by new mutations in relations between readable code and computer processing: Examples of program codes appear as the next step after formalizations of verbal concepts in Dada, Fluxus and Conceptual Art. And on the other hand: These formalized notations can be presented as precursors of Software Art. Lecture, Literatur und Strom: Code Interface Concept, Literaturhaus Stuttgart, 11/11/2005, with ppt-illustration line [9 MB] (December 2005/English translation: March 2007).
  • Participation with Camera: From the Video Camera to the Camera Phone
    The development of the camera´s technology (video camera, WebCam, camera phone) and its context had and has consequencies for the development of strategies to integrate participative uses of cameras into projects. The article outlines the camera´s use as a subject of change from video and net projects to collaborative mapping with locative media. Lecture, Summer University 2006, Hans-Böckler-Foundation, Goethe-Hall in the Harnack-House, Tagungsstätte of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin, 9/13/2006 (German print version: Sanio, Sabine (ed.): Kunst und Technik in medialen Räumen. Saarbrücken 2010, p.59-84), with ppt-illustration line [6 MB] (September 2006/Englisch translation: February 2007).
  • Pervasive Games: Interfaces, Strategies and Actions
    Pervasive Games are played by participants using technical equipment, mostly portable devices like laptops, PDAs, mobile phones, cameras, GPS receivers or head-mounted displays. Nearly all contributions to the theme borrow the terms "immersion" and "magic circle" from theories on computer games. These transfers caused contradicting arguments concerning the relations between the gamer´s actions and the playground. A model of interfaces is proposed as an alternative to these contradictions. The 'world-interface' constitutes the bodily and cognitive access of the player to the world. The 'game-interface' is constituted by the access of the participant to the elements creating the game´s conditions: the rules of the game and its technical equipment. The 'game-oriented world-interface' replaces the opposition between reality as playground and the game´s system by the participant´s coordinations between the 'world-interface' and the 'game-interface' in strategies (concepts) and actions (realizations). The article offers a theoretical background to the more than 70 examples in "collected tips 2: games in urban spaces" (Sammeltipp 2: Spiele im Stadtraum) (April 2008. English translation: October 2008).
  • Monochromacity as a Reflection of Computing Processes in Internet-based Art
    For Galerija Galzenica (Velika Gorica/Kroatien 2010) Birgit Rinagl and Franz Thalmair selected seven artists for an exhibition with net projects thematising digital monochromy. In their e-Mail dialog with Thomas Dreher they discuss the change from the art-discourse on monochromy as a specific form of abstract painting to net projects and problematise aspects of generative art and software. The dialog supplements and augments the introduction of the curators for the exhibition White, Yellow, Blue, and Black, one Coincidence, and one Object (September 2010).
  • The History of Computer Art
    A large text presents the history of Computer Art. The history of the artistic uses of computers and computing processes is reconstructed from its beginnings in the fifties to its present state. From October 2011 to December 2012 the completed chapters have been published successively in German (The English translation started in August 2013 with the first two chapters. Further chapters followed).


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