A Discussion on Art History After the Internet
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:
- Work in a manner (publicly and online) that is more closely aligned with the practices and platforms the book will explicate.
- 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?
…and many more!