a+b=ba? – [art + blog = blogart?]
is the title of the 1st JavaMuseum showcase in the framework of the “2nd phase”.
According to Wikipedia, “blog” is defined like that
[A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting) and are part of a wider network of social media. Micro-blogging is another type of blogging which consists of blogs with very short posts.
As of September 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 106 million blogs.]
Since JavaMuseum started in 2000, the field of Internet based art changed dramatically during the years. Generally in 2004, a kind of burned out syndrom became visible and the quantity and quaility of art created for the net decreased obviously. JavaMuseum recognized already quite early, that a certain phase in the devlopement of art using Internet technology came to an end, and this end represented also the end of the “1st phase” in 2005.
Even if it was continuously repeated art on the net would be dead, this was never really true, since always new generations of young artists rise who react on the given circumstances, in this way there was continuously a certain production of Internet based art, and, what is most important, partially the “traditional” field of activity changed.
“Blog” as a specific form of publishing online primarily text based information started already some years ago, but only these days, it became one of the favourite publishing tools for really many people. Properly used it enables a user to act quite independantly, for instance through premade templates, which does not require a special knowledge of technology.
Differently from other publishing tools or contexts, the “blog” is made rather for creating a social context of users, who interact, particiapte and communicate by reacting on publications through comments and articles.
This “open source” software is currently undergoing a rapid development in producing continuously new components to be incorporated in a blog, like visual components in form of images or videos, automatization of processes and encoding, which allows the user much freedom in developing a completely personalized blog without the need to start developing from point zero.
This dynamic development system ( for instance “WordPress”, which is used by “a+b=ba?” – blog) represents an ideal basis for its artistic use in most different ways.
The show a+b=ba? makes the attempt to present a variety of different aspects of how artists use a “blog” for artistic purposes, and it is up to the user to find out how to estimate it.
It remains an attempt and even rather an experiment, since the purpose of a “blog” as a new form of an artwork is, once initiated, to be ongoing, to be run as an ongoing process, which may be temporarily limited or even have an open undefined end.
Depending on the artistic conception, the artist himself does in many cases not know, where this process is leading to. What is visually perceivable to a user or viewer can be always just the snapshot of the very moment, but it does sometimes not even give an idea of what is happening next. Since a “blog” allows different types of authorships, often the artist remains actually just in the position of initiating a process.
As a collaborative work, a “blog” may even have developments on different levels of time, users and perception, and in this way, as an artistic manifestation it can be also seen as a new form of Internet based art, a consequent further development to an artwork which does not need and is not based on an expressively defined authorship.
For a curator, it represents rather a challenge to organise an exhibition consisting just of blogs,
since the criteria for selecting a work do not refer to the final result of a completed work, but just a snapshot from a process whose end is not known, yet . The curator remains in a insecure position like on very thin ice, and the totality of all becomes a dynamic experimenting.
The blog and its different manifestations as an expression of art has the potential to be much more Internet specific than most other technologies used for artistic creation before, since – in technological concern – the blog is run from the database of an online server, and for working on and interacting via a blog an user needs to be directly online, which potentially may cause a fast staccato of rhythm, further through a conceptionally wanted user involvement and communication it can be also considered to be more “democratic”, much less technological knowledge is needed to run or use a blog. In so far, the doors are open wide for people who do not even need to have any artistic background for realizing ideas which can be considered as art.
That these conditions do not produce necessarly undefinable, desindividualized results, but in contrary, demonstrate the works selected for the show exemplarily, whereby one has to confess that all included authors have a more or less strong affinity to art in general, not necessarily visual art.
The users are invited to take these works as a basis for a discussion within or among themselves or in the context of the respective blog, and the show, which is created in form of a blog, as well, as a forum for articulating not just personal opinion, but contributing to an artistic process and become a part of one or more artworks, or making such works just art, actually.
In this way, it is the user himself/herself who determins the dynamic of the show and/or each of the incorporated blogs.
This show is the invitation to all interested people to get involved!
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
director of JavaMuseum and curator of a+b=ba?