Interview: Peter Lind

Agricola de Cologne (AdC) interviews Peter Lind (PL)
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Peter Lind,
Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • artist biography
  • —>
    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?
    PL:
    I studied cinematography at film-school in the early 80s , and got involved with the video-art scene in the 80s when this media got accessible.
    Cinema is multimedia, typical it has two media images + sound, sometimes graphic : 1 media + 1 media + 1 media = multimedia.
    In the 80s there was the same hype about video-art as there was about netart in the 90s, the god thing about hype is it creates possibilities and fundings for artists, the bad thing is hype dosen´t last very long, and are offend followed by a decline, an after-party hangover.

    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..
    PL:
    I don´t have a very dogmatic view on definitions.
    and I been producing works that fit all this definitions.
    AdC:
    ..do you think “netart” is art, at all, if yes, what are the criteria?
    PL:
    If people claim it´s art, yes, it has to be view as art,
    just like Joseph Beuys is quoted for later in the interview. Some artworks are better than others, this is a more interesting criteria or discussion.
    AdC:
    Are there any aesthetic criteria for an Internet based artwork?
    PL:
    If the work is produced for the internet and it only exists there,
    but…… (read more in next answers).

    3.
    AdC:
    What kind of meaning have the new technologies and the Internet to you,
    are they just tools for expressing your artistic intentions,..
    PL:
    Yes
    AdC:
    …or have they rather an ideological character, as it can be found with many “netartists”, or what else do they mean to you?
    PL:
    I don´t see ideology as a contradiction to a personal art praxis.

    4.
    AdC:
    Many “Internet based artists” work on “engaged” themes and subjects, for instance, in social, political, cultural etc concern.
    PL:
    I try to think “BigArt”, not being limited with a single theme , as opposed to journalism and certain disciplines of science , the justification of any art expression is the ability to be completely cross thematic on all levels, this dosen´t mean turning your back to reality or politics for that matter.
    Another word for fiction is : lying .
    To get to the truth sometimes art has to lie, a journalistic or scientific treatment of a subject should stay away from lying.
    AdC:
    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).
    PL:
    I don´t have a written manifesto, it been under development during all my praxis, everything about my personal artistic visions for future artworking is marked with red below.

    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?
    PL:
    No, it would be misleading. They will have to come up with another name, be a little innovative : kiosk-art, art-unplug (MTV´sh ),
    net-unplug, talking-ring …

    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?
    PL:
    Art is an offer, you can join it or explore it, but you don´t have to.
    I wish I could seduce the audience like TV, maybe a future project ?
    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.?
    PL:
    One thing I been trying to explore in netart is person to person per-to-per communication, PC-to-PC (PC = personal computer).
    Over the years I been working on developing projects with a community based experience, but I haven´t had the possibility to shoot these project of yet.
    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? But, I don´t think here is the time and place to go into detail.
    PL:
    Next week I setting up an internet project in a physical space :
    http://emergencyrooms.blogspot.com/
    Feel free to follow, it will be ongoing for 2 month.
    I did another thing last december/january.

    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?
    PL:
    As long as you can´t price netart, and most netart you can explore for free, it dosen´t have any value in the capitalist sense and little acceptance.
    It´s collectors and museums that drives the art prices, and it´s in there nature to collect the past, when it´s all over and gone, dead, the internet as we know it today, netart will be an object for collection.

    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?
    PL:
    Sad sad.. like the economic mechanism described above, the other hieratic structures in the art world, the only thing to say is : artist has to keep challenge them.
    AdC:
    Do you think, that speaking in the terms of Joseph Beuys, anybody who publishes anything on the net would be also an artist?
    PL:
    See top of interview

    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?
    PL:
    It would be nice if they could read their e-mail, I think all that a god curator needs is an open mind.

    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 ?
    PL:
    I just wish you all the best.

    AdC:
    Thanks for taking your time.