Let's debate?

My opinion: (SEND ME YOURS! [to arteonline@arteonline.arq.br ] )

In fact the category "Net Art"- "Web Art" already occupied extensive
territory within the frontiers of art. However there are many people
questioning if this category will survive. On the one side, the issue is
commercial, I thought; it is about a relatively new art form, that until now
had little or no market value. Current society is ruled by the media and by
the market. On the other side the problem is the very fast obsolence of the
softwares and equipments where we can watch and interact with Net.Art -

Well, for me, both issues are complementary, who will pay for a kind of Art
which has not any guarantee of duration and that one can not really hold in
his / her hands? But, there are other kinds of art which are ephemeral by
nature: Performances and Installations. Artists interested in these
communication forms do not stop working with them, even knowing that they
are ephemeral and that they will not receive payment for them. So it is not
only net.art which is not appropriate for selling. (The question of
preservation also is the same to them: Performances, Installations and
Net.Art can not be preserved as they appear at the moment of the

As a net.artist, I think that the absence of sale was really what has
attracted me to Net.Art. I love the idea of exchange from the first Internet
days, the idea that everyone seems to be interested in an alternatively
shared and solitary project; in accumulated and redistributed knowledge; in
the mutual respect and reciprocal generosity taught by good breeding. That
was / that is for me the Internet's best characteristic . However I am
conscious that this beauty is dying. Day after day the Internet becomes
more and more commercial!

However I am one that prefers believe in a beautiful metaphor: the Internet
is only one text / hypertext being written by infinite hands. So, how to
sell what belongs to everybody? Perhaps I am just one of the last romantics.

Regina Célia Pinto


Dear Regina,

Thanks for your opinion.
Below some considerations.


After reading your text I found a number of similarities with a statement I
wrote in order to explain why I decided to place some of my creations under a copyleft license and to create a dedicated website. (See below an excerpt of my text)

The philosophy you're developing and practicing is quite close to the ideas
of "creative commons" or "copyleft": to share culture and knowledge.

Not for sale is one of the most valuable part of internet: the collaborative
works that it allows. A precious opportunity to meet people who are living on different countries/continents and to develop frriendly exchanges.

Isabel Saij

Excerpt (*)

Now we have to consider the digital practice in art with a special emphasis
on the creation in a broad sens (literature, new media theory, music,
activism, netart, webart, blogs, software art...) which is made for and
published in internet.

What represents this form of digital art today (july 2004):

-economically: nothing (there is no market for that creation)
-politically: something dangerous

The first point is clear: digital art is not exposed in museums, galleries
or art fairs. The artists are unknown. It's an exception when they get some money for a work (or a very small amount!).
The reasons often given for this situation: it's ephemeral, difficult to exhibit, impossible to sale...

Well, just look at so many installations in museums or galleries (many of
these installations are more than questionable): in that case there is no
question: exhibitions and sales are possible!

Conclusion: digital practice (as here defined) is excluded from the field of
contemoprary art.

The question is: why?

I see here 2 reasons which are for me "political" and linked to a kind of

-as previously described the system for art and culture is now only based on
a commercial mode. The small group of people managing this system doesn't
want to see any change. It's true that the situation is confortable for
them: they have the power (in fact through the discourse on art) and money.
Digital art is for them a "terra incognita" (unknown field). They have no
idea about what is technically possible with a computer and they don’t
master the theory (once again discourse) on the subject.
In one word: they don't want to promote a digital art which means the end of
their leading positions.

-digital artists are dangerous. They are aware of what is happening in the
world, they are dealing with the last technologies, they are critical about their
environment, about the political/economical world, they are organizing
exhibitions, conferences,... and they have developped theoritical writings,
they have their own magazines, mailing lists and blogs to discuss art and
politic...A series of examples to underline this idea.

-the legal action engaged by the American Governement against the artist
Steve Kurtz (Critical Art Ensemble). The first charge of bioterrorism has
been abandoned, but Steve Kurtz and Robert Ferrell are now charged for a
minor offence (mail fraud) and they still risk going to jail

-a new french law (voted in 2004) explain that emails are not a private
correspondence. Official explanation: to get rid of spams! It’s impossible to believe in
that goal: the servers of the spammer are neither in France nor in the USA. What other reasons there if not to spy?
-the large manufacturers of hardwares and softwares are not sponsoring
digital art (once againin relation with the definition given above). Artists are critic, they are not welcomed.
-public fundings in culture is always the first to be cut by governement
when time to save money has come. The austrian governement is of course following this precept. The funding for „basis wien“ will not be renewed. Activity of „basis wien“: digital archiving of contemporary art!

(*)The statement is available at the following adress:

Isabel Saiji



Dear Regina Célia Pinto,

As the developer of a collaborative convergent form-C-M.TV- iTV Network, I think this discussion is a very important one. My `BIZ plan' is a flexible, organically growing, uncommentary style of multimedia forms, curated independently from a variety of sources from all over the world. The practical and essential support mechanisms come from a variety of source: Grants, subscription, donation, patronage-corporate and university sponsorship. Working as a collective, the data archive itself becomes a potent form of value. Individual forms and working selectively on desktop equipment most people can buy now for the price of a used car and certainly costing less than studio rentals and expenses related to meatspace-gallery shows creates an interesting shift- a New Avant Garde, concerned with ecology and culture, that you alluded to, not dependent on demographics, politics that the individual has little control over and connections that are class controlled. This is a moment in history ready for a complete shift in exchange value, similar to the visual esperanto of the Renaissance we can expect a kind of freedom of expression and unique transparency of lifestyle from architecturally embedded
info-structures to nomadically mobile communications-wearables and temp-studio output. The media model of pay per view, mediated imaging editions, film video on demand, magazine TV shows and other forms of dissemination to the mass audience as well as the new audience, will be the short term shift. The idea is to get your work seen by as many people scaling to broadband as you can for as small a price as you can. Retain your control over your IP and copyright, so that you benefit from any form of trade.


Producer/CFO C-M.TV



Here is a link to Edward Picot's article on the subject "Payments for


Here you will find some oppinions that Picot asked for writing his article?


Regina Célia Pinto

I read Edward Picot's trAce article on payment for web.art (in which he
seems to endorse payment, but hopes that perhaps voluntary payments would
work) and I agree in a way that there is nothing immoral about an artist
asking to be paid for their work. It is true, after all, that the artist
has to eat while she is producing the work and that there are costs
associated with making it. But I personally find it rather distasteful to
sell my work, to the point that the few times I have made work for sale (a
small self-produced illustrated chapbook, a CD of my web.art, cartoon cards,
etc.) I have been almost embarrassed to promote it, and thus have had few
sales. Indeed, the only time that I sold a lot of pieces (and "a lot" may
be an exaggeration, but at least I made a profit) was from a craft show
where the show organizers ran the sales table and the artists didn't even
have to attend the show. I had to be insulated from the actual sordid
details of sale and promotion in order to be moderately successful. I am
not only inept at selling my own work, I feel positively ashamed whenever I
try to do so, like I have committed a dirty act of prostitution.

I am not quite sure why I am so disgusted by the process of selling my
art. After all, I have no objection to paying for a book at a bookstore (it
would never occur to me to think that writers should give away their texts),
and I have myself been paid to do writing. I have usually felt proud to
sell a piece of writing, and yet I feel dirty and compromised if I try to
sell "art." I think this is partly because I was raised to be a writer, by
a mother who has written for publication, and from my earliest youth I
started to submit writing for publication. It seems natural to me, because I
have been working towards selling my writing since I was six years old and
won a bottle of Champagne for getting a piece published in the New York
Times, that publication sometimes involves payment. "Art" on the other
hand, is something I became involved in as an adult quite recently, and I
see myself as an amateur who has been lucky enough to be well-published, not
as a professional who has a right to charge for services. I have
experienced a fair amount of success in web art, but that has come as a
great surprise to me, and deep down, I know that I am not a "real" artist.
I don't feel that my works are valuable enough that someone should have to
pay for them.

But my personal lack of confidence in my work is not the whole story. I
do apply for grants and prizes, and when I do well I am grateful and proud.
I do not feel like a criminal who has cheated the public. Yet directly
selling web art seems like a kind of exploitation of the public. This may
stem from my experience as a consumer of web art. I have very rarely, if
ever, encountered a piece of web art that I would, as a consumer, be willing
to pay for. It is not that I don't find the art to be worthy -- I admire
the works of many web artists and spend a lot of time viewing web art -- but
that I know that if I had to pay, I would probably be willing to do without
it. This partly has to do with the low signal-to-noise ratio on the web:
out of a large number of web sites, most are "noise" (junk) and only a few
are "signal" (the stuff you are looking for and actually want to see). In
other art forms, where there is more external quality control, there is a
higher proportion of good work among the published work. Also, in art forms
where there are gatekeepers such as publishers or galleries or theaters
etc., you can estimate the quality of the artwork by knowing the quality of
the gatekeeper. For example, if I know a publisher has a good reputation
and/or know other books they publish, I can make a good guess that the new
book I am looking at is not total junk. Knowing the gatekeeper doesn't
guarantee that I will like the work of art, but it protects me from paying
from work that has no value at all, because such work isn't
published/promoted/produced by quality gatekeepers. I may not like every
work of music that my local orchestra produces, but if the orchestra is any
good, it won't produce music that is so bad that I will feel _cheated_ by
having paid for a ticket, rather than merely disappointed that the work is
not to my liking.

I am not however a proponent of adding more gatekeepers to the web. I
like it that people can self-publish. I like the democratic ideal that work
only survives if it is chosen by the viewers, but that any work can present
itself to the public for minimal cost. I like Regina Pinto's idea that the
web is a single work in which each individual artist is a collaborator. I
like it that I personally got the opportunity to publish my work (to self
publish on my own site) when I had no credentials which would allow me to
get published by a publisher who would require me to have a good resume and
not just a good individual artwork. As I progressed as a web artist, I
began to seek out publication on selective web sites where my work would be
promoted more vigorously than I could do for work on my own site, and I do
think it is important to get work published by recognized sites and not just
to self-publish, but I still think my own self-published web site is an
important part of my work as a web artist. In many ways, I think of
publication on selective sites as a way to get people to view my site, which
is where I can host my most edgy, uncommercial, personally meaningful work.

I also am not particularly a fan of increasing the importance of
gatekeepers because as a consumer of web art, I often prefer people's
self-published work to work that is published on major web art portal sites.
In particular, I often dislike the web art that is published by
organizations which give out major grants and/or commissions for web art. I
also often dislike web art that is published by mainstream (not primarily
web-based) museums. This of course puts me at a personal disadvantage
when I seek funding -- I can hardly expect to get funding from organizations
who fund work that I do not like -- but I think it is also a symptom of a
greater problem with gatekeepers. These "cultural institutions," especially
the very well-funded ones who have their base outside the web culture, do
not understand the web and the democratic origins of web art. They fund
work which is commercial-like, or work which resembles the trendy work in
other art forms, or work which is accompanied by pretentious artistic
statements that sound like art criticism, rather than work which is simply
good. They shun anything subtle or intellectual. They sometimes do not
have the technical expertise to be able to distinguish between work that is
technically trivial and work that is innovative and difficult to make. I
have seen "art" that is nothing more than very basic applications of
Photoshop filters on banal images that gets published and promoted by
cultural institutions who don't actually have the technical expertise to
judge web art.

This is not to say that a lot of good art does not get funded. One
exception to the trend of gatekeepers to shun challenging web art was the
trAce/AltX prize given to Talan Memmott's Lexia to Perplexia. LtP is a
highly intelligent, very theoretical and difficult work, which richly
deserved the attention it got. This prize was given out by trAce and AltX,
which are both deeply based in the web culture, and are not outsiders from
the scene like so many funding organizations. There are plenty of other
examples of good work that earned prizes or grants. The work which is
funded may not be, on aggregate, the best web art, but it is usually better
than the average web art, despite the occasional funding of really bad art
as I describe above. I think the gatekeepers do a service to web art, by
promoting some excellent work, but I also think it is vital that unfunded
work survives and can sometimes become famous, since possibly the best work
comes from the self-published, unfunded domain.

Since I often dislike the art that the gatekeepers choose, I do not look
forward to a future in which gatekeepers control most of web art. Indeed, I
fear such a future. But in the absence of gatekeepers, one has no guarantee
that any site one views will actually be good. I certainly would never
personally take the risk of paying to view a link before being able to see
the work, because so often, the unseen work turns out to be bad. Edward's
idea -- not his idea originally, but one he promotes in his article -- that
people could voluntarily "tip" artists's whose work they like through a
system such as BitPass is more appealing, but it sounds idealistic and
unlikely to work in practice. I have trouble imagining that people would
really bother to fill out credit card forms and so forth just to give 25
cents to an artist. I doubt that this kind of fundraising could earn the
artist enough money to fund his actual expenses incurred in making the work.
I honestly think I would be unlikely to tip a work of art in this way, even
if I truly admired it. Maybe I am more selfish (or more impecunious) than
other people, but I think not. It is just too much trouble to expect people
to interrupt their viewing experience to fill out the payment form. I can
imagine a time in the future when everyone would have electronic money with
some magical secure system for managing it, and then we'd be able to pay for
things with a single click, and perhaps in that case people really would
tip, but that time is not now.

I now seem to have painted myself into a corner full of contradictions:
I have said that I am repelled by selling web art, but that I enjoy getting
grants for it. But I have said that the grant givers often fund the wrong
art, so we should hope that self-published work survives. Yet I have said
that I don't expect anyone to pay to view the self-published art. And I
have admitted that artists need to eat, and that the only way for art to be
made is for it to be funded. I am not quite sure how to get out of this
quandary. My only hope is to support the status quo and hope things improve
slowly. In the current system, a great deal of work is originally
self-published democratically, but then some work gets selected out of this
mass of self-published work to be selectively published. (I am dismayed by
the trend for publications to require that submitted works be unpublished,
even on an artist's personal web site, because that requirement means that a
work cannot progress from self-publication to publication, which to me is
the primary path for web art to become successful.) There are some funds
available to web artists, and some good artists get the funds. As I have
said, the funders often make the wrong choices, but it is still valid to say
that a good number of excellent web artists get funding (especially from
arts foundations, including government-funded arts councils). There are a
lot of artists who deserve funding who do not get it, but on the other hand,
the art is basically available for free and people have a free opportunity
to publish their work, which is not the case in genres of art where the
artists are better funded.

It is also important that we maintain our sense of perspective as we
lament the poor opportunities for web artists. In particular, we should
remember that very few artists in any genre make a lot of money. The great
mass of painters, sculptors, installation artists, musicians, writers,
actors, and dancers barely make enough money to survive. I think maybe
being an artist requires being willing not to be rich. In most art forms, a
very few artists get rich, but most do not. Web art is not that different
from the other art forms in this respect.

Millie Niss


I think it is fully appropriate for selective publishers to pay artists,
and I also think it would be fine for these sites (publications) to charge
for their journals, although generally this has not been done. However, I
would hope that they would be charging for the service of extracting the
good art from the mass of not-so-good art, not selling the art itself which
I hope would still be available on the open web. Journals on this model
would be functioning as guide books to the web, not as owners of the work.
People pay for guide books to museums and cities and movies and so forth, so
I think people might be willing to pay for guidebooks to web art. I also
think it would be fine if these guide books had advertising to allow them to
pay artists whose work they choose, although I might personally be put off
by seeing advertising in a good publication. I really am not idealistic
enough to think that this is the answer that will save web art, but it's one
possible model that possibly could benefit the art form.




Dear Regina, Edward and all,

I read Edward's article and the opinions expressed by several artists.
It appears the question of "payments" is in direct correlation with:

1-The kind of digital creation made by artists (literature, music, netart,...)
and the traditional business side of each branch outside internet (books for
literature, cd for music, painting for contemporary art,...)

2-How do I get money?

3-The philosophy. (position of each artist: copyright, open source, copyleft, hacker)

Point 1:

Edward mentioned that:

"it seems wrong to charge for work on the web because, being intangible, it costs next to nothing to produce"

You raised here 2 questions: the virtuality of digital works and the costs of production.

About the latter Alan wrote:
"But online, publishing online, is mostly free,"

I agree if it is text or poetry. But the investment, if you like to put online a 3d interactive animation, is very high: hardware + softwares, learning time, creation itself. At the end a long process in time, correlated with many expenses.
Another aspect is the business structure you're in.
Netart for instance is linked to contemporary art. But netart is not marketed, has no commercial value.
To produce an acrylic painting costs almost nothing and can be sold at a very high price (I mean here for the lucky artists exhibited on international art fair for instance)
Result: How to get money when you are a netartist?

Point 2:


"We who choose to live in the money system need money for the basics. If we don't have an inheritance, win a lottery, rob a bank, or score the dole, we have, it seems to me, two choices:

1. Sell yourself to someone with money, or 2. Sell your own product."


"Firstly, the freedom to create the work that I want to create requires some kind of financial stability; and the best kind of stability would be to be paid for the work that I want to create - I'm sure most artists and writers feel the same?"


"I, like most other 'wee' artists, have to work elsewhere. This slows me and the development of my work and ideas down because I am not able at present to do this stuff full time"

Expressions of a wish (to be a "full time" artist) and the necessity to earn money (obligation to be a "part time" artist)

Point 3:


"But clearly people from the open-source, "hacker", copyleft tradition see the matter from quite another angle."

I've a problem to see "hacker" between open source and copyleft.
Open source and copyleft are legal, hacking not.
Clearly the opposition is between copyright and open source (for softwares).
For artists the alternative to copyright is a copyleft or a creative commons license.
By choosing such a license an artist is sure to get what Alan wrote:
"So I see this, cyberspace so to speak, as open, and would want to keep it that way"

David gave a good instance of what "open" offers:

"People from 120 countries have seen my poems since 2000"

A last consideration: "open" is not equivalent to "free of charge".
Donation is possible in relation with open (see the advertisement in newspaper
for Firefox!). That's why I agree with Andy:

"Widespread adoption of micropayment systems would be a major paradigm shift in the funding of online content"

Isabel Saiji




vender ou nao, eis a questão?
o que a venda trás...satisfaz-a-ação?
dinheiro afirma-a-ação? legitima-a-ação?
para quem vender? para que vender?

dentro de minha tosca visão egoísta
eu quero mais é partilhar
o meu ponto de vista:
minha compensação como artista?

de outro modo, o que seria então
uma não compensação?
a ausência da remuneração
pior que a ausência de outros olhares?
vender para un(s) ou distribuir livremente para
escolher o caminho é decidir
entre flor e/ou espinho, ou não?

para sobreviver:
marque X na opção concreta conforme a questão de vender ou não:
( ) quando nao houver mercado, chore
( ) quando houver mercado, ria

para viver
marque X na opção supérflua:
( ) nenhuma das opções anteriores. há outra que não sei qual é.

( ) importa ir em frente. produzindo. indo. and arte.
segundo as normas manzonicas: "a arte é" e "arte para nada"

outras opções:

Joesér Alvarez


Hi Regina-

I don't know how old this link is, but here goes. I actually make
stuff, out of clay and sell it through a number of ways including the
web. My work is collaborative with the buyer in that they may chose an
almost infinite number of combinations of the work that I then make
myself, creating a kind of mass customization. The work is highly
utilitarian, traversing the idea that all art functions. Daily use
becomes an insinuation from my world to your world. My hand is present
in your kitchen cupboard, by your bedside, on your dining room table.
In addition, I am insisting you participate with me in bringing
consciousness to the act of cooking, eating, celebrating with friends
the ritual of meal time. The participation in this art form has a cost.
The cost of the material, the cost of the labor (mine) the cost of
shipping and the administrative costs of running my studio. There can
also be assessed the cost of my having gotten here and what that is
worth to a willing participant. All of these descriptions are by way of
suggesting that we set aside the whether to sell art or not argument as
moot. Money is a means to account for value. Without it, we can no more
participate in a vast world than if we choose to remain in bed. Numbers
keep track and as such require elemental practice in mathematics. It is
also a way to communicate with other cultures that is potentially
neutral. Our relationship with money is what needs to be examined.

Holding on to ideas through copy-write is a difficult task. Making
objects and selling them has a greater potential for earning a living.
The mass market is poised, ready to rip off artists at every turn. We
are the creators of novelty but also of new thought. Alternative
futures based on Utopian thinking rather than critique.

My argument may seem to allude to a non-ephemeral art form, but I argue
that everything is ephemeral, even high fired fine porcelain. Time is
what creates a faster or slower deterioration. The more potent an idea
or intention the greater its effect, regardless of ephemeral quality or
time it exists. Residue from action and that influence will determine
an artist's ability to impact consciousness.

I hope this is of some help in this thread....Crossing the digital
divide (a laptop in every hut) may be an enormous step in the
transformation Marcia Lyons sites in her discussion...


Mary Anne Davis
davistudio fine porcelain
486 Pratt Hill Road
Chatham, NY 12037
v 518.392.7308
f 518.392.8018

Dear Regina,

The debate you are holding at http://arteonline.arq.br/newsletter/debate.htm
touches some very emotional strings in me, so I send you this response,
cc-ing it to the Rhizome netartnewslist because something similar seems to
be going on there as well and I think your applaudible initiative deserves
the attention of its members fully.

My position in regard to payment for net artists is the same as my position
regarding selling art in general. So I would agree with most people here who
raise arguments for net art as being specifically suited to be offered free
of charge, but I cannot see it as being fundamentally different for net
artists then for other artists. Let me further this by taking myself as an

I have been a poet since I can remember and I only very recently turned to
publishing on the net in ways that can be considered as net art. Previously
I just used the net to make my texts available to whomever would want to
read them. I preferred that to (trying to) publish them through traditional
channels like poetry magazines or publishers of printed poetry. I preferred
that because I felt that turning my poetry into a product on todays market
would be a kind of betrayal to the work itself.

Now poetry published in printed form may not be a real product in the sense
that it makes money for those who do the publishing bit- in a 'small'
language like Dutch, the chances for a publisher to gain a single cent from
it are less than zero - I felt and still feel that the very act of putting
it out there as a product you can buy, inflicts it with the very virus that
it tries to withstand, just by being poetry.

This feeling I sometimes utter in sentences like: 'society is fundamentally
hostile to art'. It stems from my conviction that the society we live in is
a catastrophical piece of machinery that by its very nature tries to silence
everything that exposes it as such. I fear that even the net is in great
danger of being silenced the same way. I realise those convictions and fears
aren't shared by many, so I point them out as an underlying assumption, so
people can stop reading this here and turn the telly on instead of wasting
their time with my pessimistic mumbling about.

So, to continue, I did welcome the arrival of internet as an escape route
out of the dilemma, because of course, without the internet the poet is very
limited as to the amount of readers she will get. Internet is the perfect
way to ensure that people are able to get at your texts without them having
to be made public in any economical system. The only thing you need is (a
friend who has) a computer with an internet connection. No more need to
inscribe yourself into the established economical order if you did not like
that order, which was perfect for me.

However the publication part is only half of the dilemma. The other being
that you need time to produce art, in my case poetry, and since some months
now, net art. Artistic creation time is like any other time attributed to
individuals: you have to earn it. This is one of the most efficient ways in
which our society is hostile to art. One could argue that artists that are
any good are rewarded by society with prizes, commisions and revenues of
publications, and thus society enables true artists to continue and spent
their time (=money) on producing art, but I would disagree and say that the
economical machine driving us is very selective and very carefull in it's
selection of art. This Deleuzian machine generally only selects to gratify
that art that by the very act of gratifying it, it can turn into harmless
objects. Wild rebellion can take place in harmless objects. Put Sid Vicious
in a box and let him scream all he could, the effect would be very
entertaining indeed. Publication within the machine renders art harmless.
Acknowledgement of an artist of the powerfull media in this world degrades
her and her work to objects of entertainment. It's a very simple process of
encapsulation. You can't escape it. So these are really very interesting
times for an artist to live in: the chinese way, a curse.

But despair or sadness is not an efficient way to tackle any problem, so
let's not indulge in those drab feelings, as Foucault correctly pointed out.

Let's, with a Wittgensteinian twist, see what is the case, and draw our
conclusions. Or, rather, our deliberated and sound advice for non-artists
and artists alike.

NO! It is not too late: we have 24 hours to go.

The following takes place between 0:.00 and 1:00.

The following only applies to real artists. You can tell a real artist from
a fake artist by driving a wooden stake through her heart: if she survives,
it's a true artist all right.

* Persons (individuals living on this planet) are social processes.
Descriptions of social processes are being made available constantly by
persons who call themselves sociologists.

* Artists are dead persons. They have ceased to exist as social
processes and have become artistic processes. Gilles Deleuze once said "we
are all dead". He was referring to himself and other artists.

* Although they are dead persons, artists still are productive
processes. But instead of producing social goods, they produce artistic
goods, what is commonly known as Art (for clarity, I will capitalise that
word from now on so as to distinguish Art made by true Artists and art made
by manufacturers of artfull objects, whom I consider in no way to be lesser
persons, on the contrary...)

* Becoming an artistic process is not 'transcending' or 'descending',
it is simply a change of state. Therefor, artists are in no way above or
below live persons. The most accurate position to put them in would be
something like (in the java language)
Integer.parseInt(person)-Integer.parseInt(value_of_live), but I'm afraid
that will not compute.

* Becoming an artistic process is not a volutile act. (Sh)it happens.
Although many artists consider themselves to be artist of their own choice,
there is overwhelming proof to the thesis that declaring onseself an artist,
is an act of consciousness after the event. A correcter timeline would be
that at a given point in time society declares you're dead as a person and
that sometime later you've come to realise that and act accordingly. I could
quote Frank Zappa here, but to avoid confusion, I think I'll leave that and
just hint at how he proclaimed the essential sexlessness of artistic

* Although artists are no longer persons, they still share a lot of
processes with regular persons. Most artists have social security numbers,
drive cars, eat, sleap and have sex. Artists do what persons do, but the
conscious artist knows she's doing it while being dead.

* This can lead to some dramatic situations, one could document the
consequences in highly rated soap series probably. Imagine a newly wed
artist telling her partner she's really dead and that it would be unwise for
her to have children. Or a daddy-artist trying to explain to his teenage
daughter she had better stop seeing that awkard kid or she'll end up dead
like him.

* Financially being dead puts the artist in an awkward position. She
can continue to do what persons do to make a living, but making a living is
just what they by their very nature can't do. So even though some artists
are really very brilliant and capable people, somehow they never quite
succeed in what's easy for far lesser talented persons. They question
themselves while brushing their teeth. They ask themselves why they brush
teeth that belong to a dead person. They should just hurry and brush their
teeth or they'll be late for the meeting, but instead they suddenly start
smacking their faces in the mirror and someone has to call an ambulance.

* It follows that persons caring about Art should support the dead person living as an artist by all means they can imagine. They shouldn't bother trying to keep the artist alive for any other reason that the art she produces because it can't be done. Allways remember that artists are dead persons consuming (a lot of) resources and producing art, nothing much more. If you don't value art, cut on your expences and drop the dead meat. Persons should know that counting on the artist's goodwill to produce something of immediate value to them as a social process will only lead to frustration because :

* artists are very bad at producing such goods because they don't feel
the goods the same way as you do

* artists don't care about your world the same way because they are
being excluded from it

* artists will only produce such goods to keep communicating with you

* Artists are very keen on communicating with live persons. This is understandably so because they remember very well being alive and they keep longing back to that situation. Some artists have made great works of art referring to some Arcadia or Atlantis or some other Aland where things used to be better. They are referring to how things used to be before they ended up dead

* If you're a person and you value Art, do not throw too much money
at artists. Throwing too much money at them risks bringing them back to
live. Good revival therapies do exist for artists, but they are very
expensive, involving swimming pools situated in areas of advantageous
climat, numerous hired persons of exceptional beauty doing everything the
artist wants them to do and a carefull mix of potent drugs and food
substitutes to clear the artists mind of every memory of being dead.

* If you're a person and you value life, do not send your children to
Art schools. This used to be a good way to protect your children from Art,
but things have changed rapidly over the years: because there are so very
few people left who care about Art, nowadays Art schools are crowded with
Artists pretending to be persons. You can make them out by the devastated
look they have on their faces while teaching art. They are thus afflicted
because they feel they are wasting their time and should be making Art
instead, or at least teach Art, not art.

* If you're an artist and you value life, try and convince some
persons to treat you to a decent revival therapy. Or make up a business plan
for your next project and convince major networks you are now ready to sell
out (better ask your partner to do it for you). Or join some self-aid groups
like the characters in the Fighting Club movie to feel sorry for yourself in
an efficient way.

* If you'r an Artist and you value Art: hide. Wait till this blows
over and the next season of 24 is on. My guess is it won't be about Artists.

Hope this helps,


Dirk Vekemans, Central Cathedral Authoring Process
@ the Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends


Dirk Vekemans
Herfstlaan 12,
B-3010 Kessel-lo
++32 16 582880


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