Interviews

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Interview with Jonas Lund - I was never digital to begin with

published: 
November, 2016

 The Swedish artist Jonas Lund combines media art deconstruction strategies with contemporary art practices. This results in works that are often participatory, conceptual, or performance-based. In his work Lund easily moves between online and offline systems, and between technological and socio-cultural constructs, all the while working the analogies that bind them. He first got international recognition in 2013 with his first solo exhibition the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), at the Rotterdam art initiative MAMA. For this show Lund created an elaborate analytical software system that told him how to construct each piece in the exhibition, with title and all, based on work by the top-selling artists of the time.

                                  

                                   Jonas Lund - Selfportrait

Software and network are basic properties of Jonas Lund’s praxis, both materially and conceptually. Some examples: in 2011 Lund made Blue Crush, a typical net art work in which blue pop up windows take over and crash the browser, and In Search of Lost Time, a Twitter version of the book by Proust, in which the book is broken down in 140 character sections tweeted over the course of 6,5 years. In 2012 he made The Paintshop.biz, a combination of interactive website, paintshop and website, in which people could design, print and sell their own paintings. The same year Lund also wrote an algorithm for a performance on Facebook called 1,164,041 Or How I Failed In Getting The Guinness World Book Of Record Of Most Comments On A Facebook Post. In the pivotal year 2013 Lund went from creating works like Paint Your Own Pizza (for Eyebeam), a work that was very similar to The Paintshop.biz, to almost completely dedicating himself to handling the art world as a system after his graduation. Lund commented on the art market already in 2011 with the spam inspired work Collection Enlargement and with several other works since. With his first solo show Jonas Lund however moved from the commentator position to that of the hacker, engineer, or systems architect.

Interview with Cary Peppermint

published: 
April, 2001

 

This short interview is part of a small set of interviews I did for a semi-ironic text about net art in the home called 'The Interior of Net Art,' which is also on this site. The goal of the interview is to find out how artists working with the Internet think their work could be exhibited in physical space, and also whether they think it could be sold. These questions have been hovering around net art from the mid-nineties. The artists and art examples in 'The Interior of Net Art' show a great variety of apporaches and opinions.

The grammar and spelling errors in this interview are not accidental, but part of Peppermint's writing style at the time.

 

 

Short interview with Peter Luining

published: 
May, 2000

Peter Luining lives and works in Amsterdam. His net art is rather 'stylish', in the sense that compared to most net art it does not that clearly reflect on net culture and information. His work is more easthetic. A few years ago [1998] he was called 'the next generation Superbad', because of his particular use of imagery in combination with sound. Peter Luining was asked to curate an exhibition for a Dutch gallery called Planet Art, on the alternative artfair Kunstvlaai. He has gathered an interesting collection there. This interview concentrates mostly on his own work though.

Interview with Mez

published: 
May, 2000

 


Mary-Anne Breeze, better known as Mez, lives and works in Australia. She first got into a larger net.art picture in 1997, via the net.art mailinglist 7-11. Her work is highly 'textual', but expands to for instance sound as well. Considering the relationship between concrete poetry and music or sound this probably should come as no surprise. She likes to change her name a lot (mz post modemism, mezchine, ms Tech.no.whore, flesque, e-mauler, and mezflesque.exe), and maybe because of this, plus the nature of her work, she has a less clearly demarcated position then some other net.artists. This relative 'instability', compared to some highly compact web artworks, is one of the attractive sides of her work for me.

Interview with Ron Kuivila

published: 
March, 2000

 

[Kuivila in 1991, courtesy soundartarchive.net]

Sound artist Ron Kuivila was in a panel at V2 during the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2000, the other speakers being David Blair (Wax Web) and Martin Berghammer (specialist in games). He had the idea to have a net arts notation festival, and would very much like to see it realised. Somehow in the edit he himself made of the interview (I let people do it together with me usually) an interesting aspect of this was lost, namely that it would be very good to also look at which notations would/do -not- get realised and why. Notation/realisation has a long history in performance and music, and a slightly younger one in the visual arts.

 

Interview with Frederic Madre

published: 
November, 2000

Meeting Frederic Madre was a pleasant surprise. Madre had made himself notorious in a very short time by inventing something called a 'spam engine', to create spam art. These days spam (unsolicited advertising in emails) is annoying. In the nineties, when spam was much less pervasive, it was considered not only rude, but also damaging to the Internet. It takes up massive amounts of bandwidth, disrupting the flow of Internet traffic and increasing costs for providers and users.The controversy around spam was easily abused however, by people who wanted to eradicate voices and expression they did not approve of on online platforms. On the mailing list nettime for example it was used in a disagreement between artists and activist and academic users, about what could and could not be posted.

In the interview Madre explains how he uses spam art as a means to criticize the urge to oversanitize the Internet. Frederic Madre's spam engine and mailing list Palais Tokyo (for which it was most used) are some of the most interesting projects in French net art. Yet Madre also talks about his first years online, between 1992 and 1995, and his stories give another interesting view of how early net culture developed. Today Frederic Madre runs an indie record company, 'Bruit Direct'.  The photo below shows Madre with his youngest son.

 

Interview with RTMark

published: 
September, 1997

RTMark was the forerunner of the Yesmen. We met at Ars Electronica in 1997. Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno presented themselves as Ernesto Lucha and Francisco Gerrero, otherwise known as 'Frank and Ernest'. Their main focus was fighting the incredible power of corporations, which have the same rights as citizens in the United States. By removing the unfair protection this gives to corporations RTMark hoped to force them to act more responsibly.

 

Interview with Steve Dietz

published: 
July, 2000

At the time of this interview Steve Dietz was director of new media initiatives at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since then Dietz has curated several exhibitions, lectured around the world, and he is currenty artistic director of ZeroOne, an art festival in San Jose California. 'The Walker', as the Walker Art Center is often called in short, was unique for its depth of commitment to multidisciplinary (not interdisciplinary) programming for a large part thanks to Dietz' creative adaptation of his job title of head of new media.

Interview with Station Rose

published: 
March, 1999

"...the netscene wants to stay ascii..."

Station Rose are Elisa Rose and Gary Danner. They are what could be called a multimedia group, mainly doing live performance online and offline. They have been doing this since 1989. In 1999 it was time to ask them a little bit about their motives and ideas after 10 years of engagement in network culture. .

 

Interview with Kathy Rae Huffman

published: 
September, 1998

I met Kathy Rae Huffman for the first time at the Digital Chaos conference in Bath in 1996. This interview is from about two years later, and it was published on nettime and in 'Netzkunst' edited by Verena Kuni in 1998. It is a very interesting interview in that it covers a very long period of time, from the early work Kathy Rae Huffman did as a curator with Bill Viola, to her work with Van Gogh TV at documenta 92, to her online art project Siberian Deal (with Eva Wohlgemut), and her work with the mailinglist for women in new media 'Faces'.

foto: Jan Sprij for V2

Interview with Jeffrey Shaw

published: 
February, 2000

In this interview Jeffrey Shaw talks, among other things, about the net.art browser he built for the exhibition Net_Condition in 1999.

Interview with Igor Stromajer

published: 
August, 2000

 

   

Igor Stromajer is a Slovenian artist. I interviewed him in Moscow in 2000. Stromajer talks about how he moved from making art purely for the Web to doing net art performances at the end of the nineties, whereby he would sing or dance the HTML code his website was built from. Nowadays Stromajer mostly does online performances uses robots. Interestingly also his work with robots still shows great sensitivity and the robots are easily given human or emotional traits as they dance, battle or fight for survival.

Interview with Prema Murthy

published: 
January, 2001

Prema Murthy is an artist living and working in New York. She is one of the founders of the online performance group Fakeshop. Fakeshop is well known for their performances in which a poetic mix of both on and offline environments created a powerful immersive experience. Other Fakeshop members have been fellow founder Jeff Gompertz, Eugene Thacker and Ricardo Dominguez. The interview concentrates first of all on the effects and experiences of CUseeme performance. After that Prema Murty explains why she left Fakeshop and why she has decided to make a video documentary about women working in computer hardware factories in Asia.

Interview with Atau Tanaka

This short but sweet interview about Tanaka's Global String was never published. In this beautiful installation Atau Tanaka uses the Internet as a musical instrument, in which the connection between two sites serves as a kind of guitar string.

Interview with Eugene Thacker

published: 
March, 2001

Eugene Thacker is a writer, theorist and artist. I know his work mostly through his collaboration with the New York based net performance group Fakeshop, but he has also done solo projects and is mostly a writer and theorist. Eugene Thacker's work centers around bio tech, science fiction, experimental literature, art and science. We talked at DEAF'00, The Dutch Electronic Art Festival organized by V2 in 2000.

Interview with Gerburg Treusch-Dieter: immaculate conceptions

published: 
December, 1999

This is an interview made with Gerburg Treusch-Dieter made at V2 organisation in Rotterdam December 19th 1999. It is only a brief introduction to her work, but Treusch-Dieter is one of few who deal with the tension between biotechnology and feminism. Gerburg Treusch-Dieter is a sociologist, and she works at both the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Vienna. She also teaches genderstudies, plus she has "a history" in the women's movement (as she calls it: the second or 'new' women's movement.) The interview was roughly translated from German.

 

Interview with Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

published: 
September, 1999

This interview was made for a publication of the Walker Art Centre in Mineapolis.

Interview with Mark Bain

published: 
September, 1999

Mark Bain "I guess my Vibronic system attempts to question this architectural authority in presenting art."

 

Interview with Bruno Beusch, TNC network

published: 
July, 1999

Bruno Beusch and Tina Cassani founded TNC network four years before this interview was made. Their work is interesting in that it serves as one of few examples of complex network art, in which audio plays an important part. Here we don't have audio or netradio so much though, but a form of network art that covers many layers of public life (in which media play a basic part) at the same time. Not only media are used as an instrument, but also human participants are carefully chosen for their speciality.

 

interview with N. Katherine Hayles

published: 
December, 1998

This is a very short and simple interview with N. Katherine Hayles, who spoke at the DEAF symposium November 20th. Her lecture was very hard to understand for most of the audience, and left people afterwards asking eachother what she had been talking about. I decided to ask her some questions out of curiosity, as I was one of those that lost track at some point during here speech. She was most patient.

Interview with Graham Harwood

published: 
February, 2002

This interview was made for the newsletter Cream after a symposium on net art criticism in the Balie, Amsterdam. In it Graham Harwood talks about his views on art criticism and specifically about the beauty of systems. 'It is useful for me if people that do net art criticism can write about the context in which the work that I am making appears.'

Interview with Antoni Muntadas

published: 
December, 1999

 

It would be foolish to state there are no developments in net.art. The developments are simply more difficult to follow, as they are squeezed between a relatively rapid expansion of the net.art field (in what some would call a commercial way) and the growth of 'offical' recognition of net.art by 'high art' institutions. At the same time these two things of course also are developments in net.art, or they for sure produce them. We just need to think of Peter Weibel's project 'the net.art museum'. I spoke to a multimedia art veteran, Antoni Muntadas, about art in new media, net.art in particular, and recognition of artists. Muntadas created an early webproject called the Fileroom in 1994.

Interview with Marko Peljhan

This interview was never published because it took a long time before I got to transscribing it. Marko Peljhan thought it was outdated by the time I got to it. It might be interesting nevertheless. Note that the interview was made before the first appearance of Makrolab (at Documenta X) and before Ljudmila Media Lab in Ljubljana got problems that led to its closure.

 

Interview with Helen Thorington

published: 
April, 1998

Helen Thorington is Co-Director of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (aka Ether-Ore), and the founder and producer of New American Radio and Turbulence.

Thorington is an award winning writer, sound composer, and radio producer whose documentary, dramatic, and sound/music compositions have been aired nationally and internationally for the past twenty years. In September 2003, she performed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at The Kitchen, New York. Thorington has also created compositions for film and installation that have been premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, the Whitney Biennial, and in the Whitney Museum of Americna Arts' annual performance series.

Thorington has produced three narrative works for the web including Solitaire, which combines game and storytelling; and she has played a principal artistic role in the cutting-edge net work Adrift most recently presented as a performance and installation at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. She is also a seasoned speaker on radio and net art.

Interview with Vuk Cosic

published: 
September, 1997

This one digs a bit into the history of net.art and it shows net.art did not start as a joke or as a hoax. It's made at the infamous nettime meeting in Ljubljana. After the rumor earlier 1997 that net.art would be declared dead in Linz, net.art gets taken to a higher plan instead.

Q: Did you start off as an artist immediately or was it more media activism?

Interview with Critical Art Ensemble

published: 
November, 1997

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) was interviewed about the text 'As Above, So Below', which they wrote with Faith Wilding. The collective included 5 people at the time: Steve Barnes, Dorian Burr, Steve Kurtz and, (not appearing in Ljubljana) Hope Kurtz and Beverly Schlee.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Olia Lialina

published: 
July, 1997

Olia Lialina is a net.artist. She lives and works in Moscow. She is also a filmcritic and filmcurator. We talked in Ljudmila Media Lab in Ljubljana in May '97, on the first day of the nettime conference, while the conference was in progress with an American history lesson of the Internet in the main room. We were sitting between other escapees that were doing mail or surfing and the friendly kitchen crew. (JB 1997)

 

Interview with Alla Mitrofanova and Olga Suslova

published: 
April, 1997

This interview was made at V2 Rotterdam, April 19th 1997 and published on the Nettime list later that year. It was translated into Serbian and published in 'Cyberfeminizam [ver. 1.0]' by Igor Markovich in 1999. Alla Mitrofanova is an art critic, media-philosopher, and media art curator at Gallery 21, St. Petersburg. Olga Suslova is a philosopher and media theoretician; also she is editor of the Virtual Anatomy journal. We discuss this journal and its recent theme, the body. From this we also talk about cyberfeminism.

Interview with Alexei Shulgin

published: 
July, 1997

This is a short interview made with Alexei Shulgin made in Januari 1997, at the secret conference on net.art in London. We were both tired and distracted by the surroundings, sitting in a corridor of a pub, people passing, talking loud...

JB: What do you do in general?

Interview with Heidi Grundmann

published: 
July, 1997

 

This is an interview with Heidi Grundmann, the woman behind ORF Kunstradio, one of the first main Internet radio experimentators in Europe. The interview was made in Ljubljana, during the nettime meeting 'Beauty and the East'. It also has interesting connections to the net.art discussions. What I particularly like is what Heidi Grundmann says towards the end of this interview, when I ask her how she experienced her transition from visual arts to audio/radio art. The early seventies with its extreme conceptual art, which was so rudely swept aside by early eighties primitivism and expressionism, with its dematerialised art seems to have connected more smoothly then ever between different media and specificly electronic/invisible media and the arts. There is no real seperate media then of course, but all art(de-)material. But this is my very personally stimulating discovery of missing links, to expand my thoughts.

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