Hi and thanks for the list - some comments interspersed - Alan

A few comments -

On Thu, 15 Apr 2010, Rob Myers wrote:

> 43 Dodgy Statements on Computer Art ? Brian Reffin Smith
> 1. The sadness of most art is that it does not know its future. The
> sadness of computer art is that it does not know its past.
Sadness for whom? And why should one know the past - unless art is 
necessarily based on irreproducible 'progress.'

> 3. If it looks just like, you know, ?art??it probably isn't.
Why? - unless art is necessarily definition-based.

> 4. Using state-of-the-art technology merely produces
> state-of-the-technology art.
This is just silly, unless the art is making a statement about the 
state-of-the-art of a bit of technology.

> 5. Those who use computers to make art need to understand art as well as
> computers.

NO! They don't need to understand anything.
All these "need"s.

> 6. Most participative art is deeply authoritarian.

Why? That hasn't been my experience at all.

> 7. The computer is best characterised not as an information processor but
> as a general-purpose representation processor.
Literally, it's best not to characterize the computer.

> 8. Marshall McLuhan, at least as filtered through his sound-bites, was
> often wrong. The medium is not the message, which is more often determined
> socially and psychologically by the recipient.

Yes, I think he was aware of that; it's not what was meant by the 
statement - it wasn't reduction, it was about the phenomenology of 
communications and its shaping by communications channels.

> 11. Are you pushing the frontiers of computational representation, or of
> contemporary art? Confusion rarely leads to success.
Why should you push anything when you make art?

> 14. Post Modernism has never said that everything is of equal value, just
> that the contexts in which we identify or attribute value should be open to
> analysis.
Yes - and this is an error a lot of paper make, also in relation to decon.

> 15. You know your amazing new computer art, rich in metaphors and
> analogies? It's been done. Years ago. Without a computer.
But so what? Why this constant emphasis on 'progress'?

> 16. We lose dimensions and scale. The computer in art is immediate and
> almost always, however "global", local. Just as no well-found art school
> would be complete without computers, so every such institution should have
> a telescope and a microscope, connected to the computer or not.
As well as basic courses in physics and cosmology.

> 17. Making computer art too dangerous to sponsor would be a good way to
> go.

For whom?

> 18. Just as everyone has a novel inside them, many believe they have an
> artwork. The purpose of a good art school is to seek out these people and
> stop them.
This might be seen as a bit elitist; NSCAD had the opposite philosophy and 
the results were amazing.

> 19. Using a computer merely to access the web is like using a Bugatti
> Veyron to deliver the papers.

No, it just means someone's using a computer to access the web.

> 20. Many people think that graphic design is art. Art is undertaken for
> art-like reasons, graphic design for graphic design-like reasons. There may
> of course be overlap. There should never be confusion.
Personally, the confusion doesn't bother me - there are too many 'shoulds' 
and 'needs' in the list.

> 21. Making the (arts) information revolution consists not only in enabling
> the control of the means of computer art production by art workers, but
> also in being kind, non-gouging and relatively honest. Without the latter,
> one may doubt commitment to the former.
Some of the best or worst art (by whose judgment?) might well be utterly 

> 22. The best interactive art always makes you look at the participants.

There goes tetris!

> 23. There is only one thing worse than studying art for the budding
> computer artist, and that is to study computers. Or vice versa.
I have no idea why - in fact we held a conference in West Virginia 
precisely on the mix and how to do the opposite.

> 24. Art is not craft.

Another stricture. Of course it can be.
> 25. What would be pretentious or nonsensical if one said it oneself does
> not become more worthy when spoken by a computer-generated avatar.
Totally agree here!

> 28. There is no "normal" computer art, in the Kuhnian sense. It is in
> constant revolution, hence constantly evading scrutiny.
It seems overly scrutinized to me, and in the list here, overly 

> 29. When the first solitary Metro station was built in Paris, where could
> people travel to? They just admired the station.

Is this true? Were there tracks?

> 30. Bugs are good; as with fireflies, the fertile ones shed light.
Yes. (Fireflies aren't bugs btw.)

> 34. When art processes happen near-instantaneously, doing art becomes
> synonymous with correction and selection, later with celebration; rarely
> with creativity.
This leaves out every musical improvisation in the world.

> 38. The purpose of the computer in art is to render it difficult and
> problematic, not easy.
There is no purpose at all; again, it depends on what you want to do.

> 41. Of course computers and other devices will never fully understand
> flowing, allusive conversation. But they won't care.

> 42. Many of the ?objects? of computer art are instances, illustrations, of
> some less tangible, invisible process. But it may be that the waveform
> should remain uncollapsed, the artwork staying undecideable, problematic,
> unobjectified. Lucy R. Lippard described the ?dematerialization of the art
> object? nearly 40 years ago.
Not to mention the generation/completion of deities in Tibetan tantrism.

- Alan
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