A Discussion on Art History After the Internet

8023519079_bb4ee532d1To co-incide with MediaArtHistories in Riga, I will be hosting October’s New-Media-Curating list discussion on the topic of ‘art history online’:

Discussion points will include:

              • What types of art historical, critical and contextual modes does the internet support?
              • How have discussion lists changed the way we generate art knowledge?
              • How far have we come since the early lists in truly democratizing art discussion and creating alternate contextual practices?
              • What are some of the valuable new experiments being staged in the critical exploration of the arts?
              • What impact does all this have on the future of the art history book?

Each week I will begin discussing a new issue drawn from my research on post-internet art history and I will publicly invite responses from the list and beyond (I am also going to be approaching people privately and off-list, using email and other social media, in order to gather more opinions to feed these back into the list-based discussion). My plan is to rigorously test out ideas about the evolution of art contextual activities on the very pioneers who shaped these spaces and systems. I also want to preview sections from my forthcoming book, Art History Online, invite people to directly criticize my work and/or corroborate the facts. In doing this I aim to:

  1. Work in a manner (publicly and online) that is more closely aligned with the practices and platforms the book will explicate.
  2. Coordinate the creation of a robust online archive on the history of online art discussion. For example I want to revisit the history of lists, on a list, and make sure many of the key discussions and actions that have shaped its history are identified, linked to and discussed. This will generate a sort of live art history book on discussion lists and the archive will exist as a permanent counterpoint to the eventual print-published text of Art History Online.

In the first week I shall begin with the origins of discussion lists. Who started which list, where and why and what were some of the posts that established the list’s reputation? I will draw out some of the history that isn’t already described online and give list originators the opportunity to reflect, some years later, on what happened during these times. Then I will go on to ask people how they might theorize art discussion lists: as artistic or political statements in themselves? As living documents or performance spaces? As ways of hacking the systems of art making and contextualization?

Participants include:

Nettitudes author Josephine Bosma

Internet artist Vuk Cosic

Art historian/historiographer James Elkins

Furtherfield co-founder Marc Garrett

Nettime co-founder Pit Schultz

OBN co-founder Cornelia Solfrank

‘60 wrd/min art critic’ Lori Waxman

…and many more!

This month-long discussion is conducted in association with CRUMB and Arts Future Book, an experimental academic book series investigating the future of the arts book.

To take part, sign up for the New-Media-Curating list, follow me on Twitter or run your own con-current discussion and share it with us.

2 Responses to “A Discussion on Art History After the Internet

  • R T R
    8 years ago

    Looking forward to reading more about this project!

  • Interesting initiative. Good luck!
    I am interested in the quantitative approach to art history. The advent of Internet allows for much larger compilations than ever before. To my knowledge, few blogs about art history are discussing this approach. For instance, there are numerous on-line resources for art historical research in every country, but up-to-date comprehensive reviews are apparently missing. Every researcher has to do it by him/herself again and again. What a loss of time! I created a map for ‘Art in Britain’ and I got some positive respons about its usefulness, but I have not heard about similar maps for other countries.

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