Interview: FilH

Agricola de Cologne (AdC) interviews —> Filh (F)

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Filh
[aka Frédéric Goudal]

artist biography

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Interview: 10 questions—>

AdC:
You belong to an art scene using new technologies, you are an active representative of a genre dealing with Internet based art, called “netart”.
When those artists started who are active since a longer time, the education in New Media was not yet such advanced like nowadays, often they came form different disciplines and had an interdisciplinary approach, those young artists who start now have partially this more advanced education, but rather not much experience in other disciplines.

1.
AdC:
Tell me something about your educational background and what is influencing your work?
F:
I have a PhD in computer science. I have seen the first Mozilla on a silicon computer. I have very quiclky built internet sites. On the other hand I have always been intersted with photo. I began photographying serioulsy to make web site.

2.
AdC:
The term “netart” is widely used for anything posted on the net, there are dozens of definitions which mostly are even contradictory.
How do you define “netart” or if you like the description “Internet based art” better, do you think your work belongs to this specific genre, do you think “netart” is art, at all, if yes, what are the criteria?
Are there any aesthetic criteria for an Internet based artwork?
F:
Netart is something that uses some internet specific technology to make art. My own work belongs to that definition as it often uses the browers technologies (javascript, dhtml). Netart is a part of art. About aesthetic it seems that they are trends but they are just trend, not criteria.

3.
AdC:
What kind of meaning have the new technologies and the Internet to you, are they just tools for expressing your artistic intentions, or have they rather an ideological character, as it can be found with many “netartists”, or what else do they mean to you?
F:
They mainly means that I have a near total freedom to do what I want without the advide of anybody else.

4.
AdC:
Many “Internet based artists” work on “engaged” themes and subjects, for instance, in social, political, cultural etc concern.
Which contents are you particularly interested in, what are the subjects you are working on and what is your artistic message(s), if you have any, and what are your personal artistic visions for future artworking (if you have any).
F:
I’m not an actively engaged artist. I just try to expand the aesthetic possibilities.It is somewhere driven by some political vision, but it happens that what comes is not directly a politic expression.

5.
AdC:“Art on the net” has the advantage and the disadvantage to be located on the virtual space in Internet which defines also its right to exist.
 Do you think, that “art based on the Internet”, can be called still like that, even if it is just used offline?
F:
I think it’s not really important.

6.
AdC:
Dealing with this new, and interactive type of art demands an active viewer or user.
and needs the audience much more and in different ways than any other art discipline before. How do you stimulate the user to dive into this new world of art?
F:
I do not stimulate the user.
AdC:
What do you think, represents an appropriate environment to present net based art to an audience, is it the context of the lonesome user sitting in front of his personal computer, is it any public context, or is it rather the context of art in general or media art in particular, or anything else.?
F:
I think it’s rather the user in front of the computer.
AdC:
If you would be in the position to create an environment for presenting this type of art in physical space, how would you do it?
F:
I think I would completely transform the work so it can happens in the physical space.I don’t think that putting a computer in a room would be really intersting.
But if somebody really wants to present web sites, why not.

7.
AdC:
As Internet based art, as well as other art forms using new technologies are (globally seen) still not widely accepted, yet, as serious art forms, what do you think could be an appropriate solution to change this situation?
F:
No ideas.

8.
AdC:
The Internet is called a kind of “democratic” environment, but the conventional art practice is anything else than that, but selective by using filters of different kind.
The audience is mostly only able to make up its mind on second hand. Art on the net might potentially be different. Do you think the current practice of dealing with Internet based art
is such different or rather the described conventional way through (also curatorial) filtering?
F:
I think that everything is changing really fast. When I began in 1995 you could be sure that your site was seen by near everybody and you did not need any selection, anybody to select works. Now there are somany things to see that it is really hard to travel on the webart. Subnetworks are built by the link games, some collaborative place arrise, places like Flickr or Deviant allows to have an easy interface to deal with simple works.
AdC:
Do you think, that speaking in the terms of Joseph Beuys, anybody who publishes anything on the net would be also an artist?
F:
No.

9.
AdC:
Do you think, the curators dealing with net based art should have any technological knowledge in order to understand such an art work from its roots?
F:
I think they should be more « internet spirit ». It seems to me that no curator do the job to search the internet for unknown people. They just reproduce the old game of displaying what they know, and what has been seen else where. They don’t try to discover things (as the result, you always see the same names and their friends, not because of friendship but just because they don’t look outside the little circle of the known world).

10.
AdC:
It is planned, to re-launch
JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
www.javamuseum.org in 2007 in a new context, very likely even in physical space.
What would be your personal wishes and expectations connected to this re-launch ?
F:
Being a star !

AdC:
Thanks for taking your time.