Benjamin Heidersberger, D
Without God man builds his paradise in the internet
Since about the mid-eighties it is becoming evident that with the help of technology, which has been informing the socio-economic development of the late 20th century, many activities where freed of the strains and pressures entailed by industrialisation.
Together with this development we experience a transformation of our understanding of work as something fixed in space and time, something which needs to be worked-off as a continuous effort to make a living, a definition which had come up and grown during the age of industrialisation. Work is falling apart into many different segments; the lines between work and leisure, residence and office, learning and working, work and retirement, dependent and free-lance work, producers and consumers, as well as the different branches of business are becoming fuzzy.
Wherever these basic categories of working-time, -space, -place and -achievement are dissolving, we can also see a crumbling of the fundamental agreements, our normative building, our rules and laws, organisations, structures and institutions, which influence our behavior and values to a much greater degree than we are aware of.
Ulrich Klotz 1
Without God, man builds his paradise, the internet. The conquest of space and time, of effort and work, is his goal. Machines herald the end of work, the beginning of everlasting leisure. Everything becomes easy and effortless. The burden of millions of years of evolution is taken from our collective shoulders, the resources in this other world beyond are inexhaustible.
The real and material world is etherealized and eternalised by depicting itself in the internet. The net enlarges the individual, the sum of single individuals is not to be counted. Only the kingdom come can still promise enough (plenty) for all. How much information can all the atoms of the world store? Weve never been this close to paradise.
The image of the world outlives death. Of the individual, and of the world. Chiseled in bits and bytes, one or the other copy will survive the end of the world, at least my end.
This era of transformation offers unique opportunities. The first will be the greatest. During any transformation, new laws are in effect, the chrystalline structures of the here and now usher the spirit along to new frontiers.
The immaterial image of the world in the net is the second Big Bang, the connection of all knowledge ends an existence fragmented by spatial limitations, amends the eviction from paradise and creates a new universal spirit.
Everything is now accessible. I am everywhere. I have no more boundaries. I will live forever.
The mobile phone is telepathy for idiots. I dont need to develop in order to meet the world, the world develops in order to meet me. I open my mouth and let the fruits of the earth drop into it.
The fruit from the tree of knowledge is spotless, a bite to be taken without remorse.
The internet is the turbo-driven expression of the information and communication age. Worldwide connections create a joint pool of information. New possibilities in communication render production more effective. Work is becoming scarce. Globalisation. The Industrial Age is coming to its end, and with it goes work as we know it. More and more can be produced by fewer and fewer people. The question arises if it is possible to create sufficient jobs during this transformation, so that a division into those who have and those who dont doesnt split the society in two.
The End of Work (Jeremy Rifkin) demands a transformed way of thinking on the private sector (market) and the public sector (government) as well, the development of a civil sector (non-profit organisations). Governments will need to create the supportive frame-work for this. A distribution of income independent of the standard definition of work seems to be necessary.
In The Age of Access, Rifkin goes even further. The work-ethos dissolves in the play-ethos where the commodity work is displaced by the commodity play. Cultural production replaces industrial production, the access to information replaces the possession of material goods. In the end, control of this access is the profit-generating factor.
For the humans of the Antique, work in itself held no value - it was done by slaves. Calvin and Luther raised work to the level of a measure for self-education, service to the community and maintenance of a divine order. As Max Weber observed at the beginning of the 20th Century, the protestant work-ethics greatly influenced the economic set of virtues and the development of Capitalism. Believe it or not with or without religious conviction work has become a precondition to a meaningful life. To be on the dole is not just an economic problem, but also psychological: The loss of work is also the loss of the right to exist.
In the region of Saxony-Anhalt, particularly in the Landkreis Schönebeck, the site of the Werkleitz Biennale, this topic is eminently significant: for several years past, the rate of unemployment here has surpassed 20 %, and tops the list in all of Germany. The sudden loss of traditional resources of employment was caused by the closing of many East German industrial plants following down-sizing or western take-overs.
This exhibition has two objectives: to show how the internet changes the definition of work, and to support people in developing initiative, in creating new, enlarged definitions of work in order to arrive at a larger definition of self.
In connecting the exhibit with work, it is at the same time a reality check. Where does the internet enhance life? Can it take on a positive role in transforming this society, or will it be a blessing to a few, and a curse to the others?
Since the beginning of January 2000, under http://www.kulturserver.de/home/netart, I put out the invitation, and a description of the procedure, to hand in net art projects dealing with the topic of real(work), until April 15th 2000. The internet itself was used for this tender, all work contributed is accessible and the process is transparent. Only projects submitted in this way are part of the selective process. With this procedure a different choice of net art is encouraged.
Collaborators and myself distributed the URL of the invitation to 360 addresses and mailing lists, reaching approximately 10 000 addressees, of which 1000 have so far visited our page and 64 have contributed projects. Communicating with the artists, I have received 180 mails (and answered 60).
In the end, I have chosen 5 net art projects, which deal with the topic, and which I found intrigueing. Some other projects, dealing with the re-definition of work exemplify specific aspects within this process. The reference to the topic real[work] is the decisive factor in the decision for any project. The more precise the question, the more concise the answer.
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 16:31:27 +0900
From: Francesca da Rimini <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: missed deadline?
dear benjamin heidersberger
a colleague just mentioned the werkleitz biennale to me (i have been offline in the Australian desert until yesterday).
is it too late to submit an internet art piece .. it was only finished today!
francesca da rimini
sorry the deadline cannot be extended. How was the desert?
thanks 4 getting back 2 me so quickly bummer!
desert was/is extraordinarily beautiful, majestic, awe inspiring in all ways, an experience
Appendix: submitted entries see page 127/128
1. Igor Stromajer - intima gsm.art
http://kid.kibla.org/~intima/gsmart 5. Communication
2. Igor Stromajer - intima sm.N http://kid.kibla.org/~intima/smn 4. Interaction/Interface
3. Brad Brace
4. Alexander Sokolov
5. Ruine der Kuenste
6. John Klima
7. Bernd Diemer
8. Miklos Legrady
9. Jody Zellen
Interaction or visualisation
10. Igor Ulanovsky Israel
11. Martin Gantman USA
email@example.com To M
12. Nial Connolly
Yantra Images http://www.yantraimages.com
13. netochka nezvanova
14. Dr. Herbert Wetzel
15. Hermann Josef Hack
17. Miklos Legrady
18. Gary Zebington
19. Ricardo Iglesias
20. James Warren-Smith
21. Peter Toy, Australia
22. Tiia Johannson, Estonia, black sun
23. Tiia Johannson, Estonia,
24. Tiia Johannson, Estonia,
25. Tiia Johannson, Estonia, words
26. Tiia Johannson, Estonia,
Pointless Interactiveless Cowmovie
27. Patrick Llichty,
Bitstreaming (generative music/video)
28. Patrick Llichty,
Grasping at Bits
29. melinda rackham
30. Nicole Stenger
31. Joel Slayton,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Category: other.SoftSub
http://www.c5corp.com/walker/gateway.html Stillman Projects
32. ventsislav zankov
34. Young-hae Chang
35. stefan krues kemper_heidi sadlowski | interpool
arbeit über arbeit interpool
36. jennifer and kevin mccoy
37. G.U.N. by O CangaÁo do Santo File
38. Stephan (Spiv) Schröder
39. Mez/Mary-Anne Breeze [The Fleshtronic]
Interaction/Interface or Communication
40. Jorge Castro email@example.com
41. AGRICOLA de Cologne
43. Michiel Knaven
Communication the diarybox of Joseph Kaminsky
Communication April 1999
http://www.xs4all.nl/ ~mknaven/april.htm Communication/sound
44. Tilman Küntzel
45. Shirin Moalie
46. Emilia Telese/Tim Didymus
47. Thomas Born
Virtual Design Communication
48. thomas kemnitz, berlin,
vimudeap - the virtual museum of dead places visualisation
49. Conor McGarrigle Spook...
Communication or Interaction/interface
50. beatrice meyer, büro für nicht wahrnehmbare vorgänge
51. Cornelia Sollfrank
53. Anne Metzen | Christoph Schmuck
Standard Euro - Betriebssystem 1.0
54. My.Art.Net inc.
http://www.stunned.org/myartnet/ Category: Other
55. Collection 1997/2000 waldek pranckiewicz
56. Zelko Wiener + Ursula Hentschläger
57. cym firstname.lastname@example.org
http://cym.net/zvrgoli 1. Visualisation, 4.Interaction/Interface, 8. Other Metelkova Mesto
http://cym.net/metelkova category: 3D
58. Bulot Distance Focale 2
http://x-arn.org/x/btm/boxes/ 4. Interaction/Interface
59. disneyNASAborgdisney borg
(interaction, sound, visualization)
60. Toplesstemps Angie Waller
61. Influx Email Services Jon Cates
Category/ies: 4.Interaction/Interface 5. Communication
62. On Display David and Ellen Levy
63. The Bank of Time Dr. Future
64. Collection 1997/2000
1. G.U.N. by O Cangaço do Santo File (http://www.kulturserver.de/home/canga)
David Casacuberta & Marco Bellonzi, Spain
G.U.N. presents a content network with simple memes. Using known sounds and pictures new and revolutionary slogans about labour are put together. This work of art uses the internet as pure distribution medium. Though there is no co-operation between the different users, G.U.N. provides us with an amusing research into terms that are actually lacking content.
2. fusion (http://fusion.ok-centrum.at)
Alexander Sokolov, Russia, Martina Sparn, Germany & Alexander Panov, Russia
Fusion shows cultural activities in different regions of the world by combining the internet, print media, electronic media, and real editing. Unlike Verybusy.org the interaction by a human editing is demanded. During the festival, an on-site work-in-progress is planned to take place.
3. Verybusy (http://www.verybusy.org)
Stephan (Spiv) Schröder, Germany
Verybusy.org is an open container as software structure which, via the internet, brings together suppliers of netart and those who are interested in it. The contents are not limited by the editors subjectivity. So, this work of art doesnt follow the path of fusion.
4. Netart generators (http://ww.obn.org/generator)
Cornelia Sollfrank, Germany
A smart artist makes the machine do the work.
Netart generator gets into the basic questions of netart. What does it mean if the author (artist) can no longer be determined, if the originator can stay anonymous within the net? Which material does netart use and which new forms are resulting from it? In which context does netart have to take place to be recognized as art? Who has access?
For me, this work is another attempt to focus the idea of netart as creative webdesign to other levels of the net or the imagination. At the same time I try to ironically treat the widespread idea of netart as website art by declaring websites as netart which have been generated at random using online material.
5. TM (http://www.kulturserver.de/home/TM)
Emilia Telese & Tim Didymus, Great Britain
TM's content is intimately related to these media, featuring sound and processes involved in working with them, especially in the case of teleworking, or working from home, a typical source of employment in the recent years.
As it streams generative sound from the Net (with the Koan plugin), everytime TM is played it varies and evolves differently, making it necessary to use the Web as the source of enjoyment of an everchanging piece. We are interested in a non interference of structure in our work, setting up a process and letting it go. (Emilia Telese)