JIP - JavaMuseum Interview Project

Interview: Avi Rosen

Agricola de Cologne (AdC) interviews –>Avi Rosen (AR)
Avi Rosen
is a New Media artist from Haifa/Israel.
artist biography

Interview: 10 questions—->

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.

Tell me something about your educational background and what is influencing your work?
I have an interdisciplinary educational background: 2001 PhD candidate, Faculty of the Arts, the Art History department, Tel Aviv University. Thesis subject” Time & Space in cyberspace art.
1999 M.Sc. Industrial Design, Technion I.I.T. Thesis subject: ‘Art Internet Interaction’.
1984 B.F.A. “Bezalel” Art Academy, Jerusalem.
1976 Practical Engineer in Electronics at the “Junior Technical Collage”, Haifa.
1987- Working at the Signal Processing Lab. Department of ElectricalEngineering Haifa Technion I.I.T.
1997- Lecturer of “New Media Art” at Art Department of Haifa University, Art Institute of ‘Oranim’ the ‘Kibutzim’ seminary, Tivon. “Basic Design” the architecture and town planning faculty Technion I.I.T.
For about 25 years I create in the art echnology environment.

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?
I used the term art net, for my Technion local art network project -Art-Net (1992), an art database, utilizing a Novell net of hundreds of computers at the Technion Electrical Engineering Faculty, Haifa, Israel. The art was made available like other on-line features used on a daily basis at the faculty. The artistic project reduced to a minimum the distance between centre-and-periphery and that of the artist-and-art-consumer, and made free and instant art consumption possible. In fact, some of the students downloaded images and printed them on their shirts. The only criteria for net art are, if it’s useful and available, its aesthetic is digital media inherent.

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?
The internet accelerated the art creation process to the speed of light, and led to a dramatic turning point of the disappearing of the traditional artist, art object and art consumer, and the birth of the new Super- artist – art consumer. This unification creates a paradigmatic shift from dualistic, Aristotelian object-subject thought, to the holistic thought of being, realized in the singularity of consciousness and connecting real space, the spiritual and cyberspace.

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 art working (if you have any).
The “internet based artist”, becomes super reader-author, whereas the electrons that make up the cyber data become the consciousness and its body, in superposition state, until the critical moment when the MIND of the surfer (art consumer) interferes and creates a central meaning (the wave function colapses to a single meaning) in reading the artistic data.

“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?
Offline art is the same artwork, experienced now in extreme conditions (on-line) of high velocity and mass, travelling through digital media space. It’s a different phase of the same artistic matter.

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?
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.?
An artist who creates with the data glove or any other electronic interface, unites with the object he creates. Artist’s act of observation determines the subject’s finale state . The transition to seeing and acting at the speed of light, demands delay interface, to slow the speed of happening to that which our regular senses can cope with. Art that exists in cyberspace is the interface by means of which we cope with visualization of the time-space distortion in cyberspace that converts distorted time-space near the singularity into the shapes of traditional, linear perception that we are used to outside of cyberspace.
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?
There is no appropriate way presenting “fast” digital art in a “slow” physical space.

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?
This is an evolutional process, we are facing the threshold where, the Internet based art will became the only acceptable form of art. The various assigned tools such as computer terminals, cameras, television, microphones, telephones and other sensors that convert the real world into digital information. The silicon chip generates teleportation of traditional linear slow time-space art into electronic information that travels at the speed of light in the compressed cyberspace.

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?
Do you think, that speaking in the terms of Joseph Beuys, anybody who publishes anything on the net would be also an artist?
Joseph Beuy was right! Anybody who publishes or reading anything on the net is an artist. Cyberspace has become one united art (hypertext), that allows any artist to add to it, and any art consumer (submitting a query) to read the content. Tolls like the ‘Google’ are a new “super-reader” of the global public environmental art , making use of the crawler and mining devices that code, map and grade the tens of billions of pages on the net. As a result, the search engine has become a conscious entity to every data in WWW. Joining us all to cyberspace has of necessity become part of this consciousness. Searching for, and finding any art is carried out in fractions of seconds, or in other words, the art is located at a distance from our bodies the same as the reaction time of the human nervous system, and are therefore part of our bodies. The existence of the united artist-art consumer in cyberspace creates a paradigmatic shift from dualistic, Aristotelian object-subject thought, to the holistic thought of being, realized in the singularity of consciousness and connecting real space, the spiritual and cyberspace.

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?
I don’t think there should be any curators at all!

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 ?
If it has the right qualities it will flourish according to the evolution laws, if not…
The concept of this idea can be found in my paper “The return of the author” –
and “Art at the event horizon” –

Thanks for taking your time!