Archive for August, 2009

Studying the History of an Infant Invention
August 31, 2009

"INTERNET" [aka "A Short History of the Internet"]
So I just finished reading "A Short History of the Internet" for my Electronic Media Studio.  And it kinda made me laugh when I learned that the internet almost seemed like a mistake.  At least the internet that I know and love...and sometimes hate.  First off, the whole system began as a way for the government to communicate long distances after a nuclear bomb.  What those scientists didn't expect was an explosion of knowledge, pop culture, gossip, and chatting to occur.  Their invention was made for a specific few.  For those who are meant to read mail with the words "TOP SECRET" stamped across it.  Instead, they created something that almost every person in the world can use.  And not just rocket scientists or government officials use that nifty little invention of theirs.  Any Jo Schmo who can click a mouse can use it.  Kinda funny isn't it?  What was once supposed to be this elitist, secretive network of codes has become the one thing that is common enough to unify the entire world.
"Web Work: A History of Internet Art"
The second reading that I had for my class was called, "Web Work: A History of Internet Art."  So we've gone from studying the internet to studying how it pertains to my major.
The really cool thing about this article is that there are links to all of this internet art mentioned in the writing.  It's actually right there in front of you, just a click away.  You don't have to settle for some pixelated image of a painting housed in a museum 5000 miles away.  You can view the art as it was intended to be viewed.  And you can do it...well...anywhere.  It's like a universal museum.  The only admission fee is whether or not you have internet access.  The walls of this museum span as far as your wifi connection.
The problem that internet artists are now facing is whether or not they should become more institutionalized.  That is, whether or not they should allow their work to be viewed under an establishment.  I mean, the whole point of internet art in the first place, was to go against institutions, to find a new, radical way to create art outside of the confines of traditional society.  But then again, putting internet art into museums, not only justifies the internet as a valuable means for art but also establishes its place in history.
So who gets to decide whether or not to "institutionalize" internet art?  The artist?  The community of net.artists in general?  My guess is that it will take a while for internet art to become more mainstream because the artists are most likely afraid of being viewed as a sell out.  But the question arises, "Are they making the art just to be radical?  Or are they trying to convey a deeper message to the world?"  If there  is really more to this internet art than just the shock factor, then what's the problem with putting it in a museum?  Does it take away from the meaning of the piece?
Just a Few Thoughts From Me.
I just wanna point out how amazing it is to be studying the history of the internet.  This is not something that's decades upon decades old.  When you think about it, it's a fairly new invention.  Yet it has become so vital to our society, so engrained in our everyday lives that there is already TONS of literature on it!  It's pretty incredible.  It's like we're studying the history of an infant.

Just Existing.
August 28, 2009

This weekend will be my first weekend of college.  What will I be doing?  Partying?  No.  Studying?  No.  I’ll just be existing.

For 30 hours, I will place myself in sensory isolation.   This is one of my first assignments for my Concept Studio 1 class:  Be with one’s self through prolonged, sensory deprivation and social isolation.  So that means I can’t talk, hear, see, or interact at all with…well…anyone.  So I’ll be sitting in a room with a blindfold and ear plugs.  I’ll have food and a string leading me to the bathroom.  And I’ll bring my sketchbook.

Is that not the most INTENSE assignment you’ve ever heard?  I’ve told a few people about it already and I’ve gotten 1 of 2 reactions:  “That’s SO COOL!  I wanna do it too!”  Or “What the heck is that supposed to teach you?”  After getting that second reaction, I started asking myself the same question.  Why am I doing this?  Well…the subject of the class is officially called “Concept Studio 1: Self & the Human Being.”  And then a question came to me, “How can I study others if I have never truly studied myself free from outside influences?”  Think about it.  How often do we live without being affected by outside sources?  Unless you live on some deserted island, probably not too often.

So now a whole new slew of questions are littering my mind, “What am I gonna find out about myself?  Will I like the person I find?  And how different is the Sarah everyone knows, versus the Sarah I know, versus the Sarah I will meet in those 30 hours?  And what will I create because of these discoveries?”

Me.  Existing BEFORE isolation.

I’ll let ya know.

The Internet as a Given
August 28, 2009

I can’t remember the very first time I used the almighty internet.  I remember my family getting our first computer.  My dad used computers at work and one day, he decided to buy one for the family.  To a little kid, a computer is a pretty cool thing (It’s still a pretty cool thing as an adult too).  It was this very grown-up, high tech, fantasy toy.  The first thing I did was play Disney video games.  Specifically “Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Computer Game.”  Then my memories of the computer become sorta fuzzy.  That old computer got dozens of viruses and broke more times than I can count cause 10-year-old-Sarah didn’t know it wasn’t OK to click on spam.  I took classes in middle school that taught me how to type and navigate through the internet.  And soon, I used the internet everyday.  Let me say that again.  I use the internet everyday.  I can’t remember the last time I went an entire week without using the internet.  But I still can’t remember the first time I actually used the internet.  For so long, it’s just been a given that I’d have internet access available to me that I didn’t even take the effort to notice my inaugural use of it.  Today in class, my professor said, “Some things are so familiar that people don’t really see them at all.”  The internet is just so familiar to me at this point that I really don’t appreciate what a miraculous thing it is.  So what does that say?  That I’m spoiled?  That my generation is spoiled?  That we’re all so caught up in the instant gratification of the web that we can’t even stop to think and recall what should be a momentous occasion in our life?  I’m not really sure….

Hello world!
August 26, 2009

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