Reading Response 3

Quaranta mentions the idea of ‘pure media hacking’, offering the motto: “No ethics. No message. No content.” In this distilled manifesto, Quaranta seems to propose that a radical awakening about representation in the media may have little to do with abiding by a code of ethics. What are your own thoughts on this matter? Would you forgo ethics in making an online artwork or design project you see as powerful and necessary?

Absolutely not. I believe that credit should be given where credit is due. Far too often I hear of people posting their work online, only how have it picked up by a large corporation to use as a part of a product. The artist is almost never informed of this because the corporation thinks, “What are they going to do about it? They’re not famous, so we can easily get away with this.” Whereas they may have been able to make a name for themselves if they had respected the creators work. I can remember a few years ago, I read about a woman, Katie Woodger, who made a lovely painting of Alice in Wonderland. A while after she shared this beautiful painting on the Internet, she found a makeup bag on the Disney store website that copied her piece completely, as well as a shirt that resembled the composition of it.




Although this IS a painting that was inspired by the Disney movie, there was absolutely no credit given to the artist as far as I know, and she was not informed of its use. I feel that even if they are not going to be paid for the usage of the work, credit should still be given in some way. However I feel this is more an issue of plagiarism than inspiration in this instance of the makeup bag.


As far as online art is concerned, as in pieces of work designed purely to be viewed on the Internet, I don’t think it is as simple to answer. While I still believe that credit should be given whenever possible, if you are merely pulling out code from one site to use in your own, I don’t think this would be considered the same thing, seeing as they would have been able to do this on their own anyway. This may be my opinion based on the fact that I actually don’t know much about coding websites. I may be uninformed of certain methods used to design websites. But as far as I know, it sounded like Quaranta was talking about an instance where someone saved the code and republished it exactly. In this instance I would say credit should still be given in some way, shape, or form.


How can a website function as an installation? How does this concept of websites satisfy both Groy’s and Quaranta’s arguments for the “here and now” of an artwork?

I think a website is definitely an installation. It is an accessible, yet intangible installation that occupies the space of the browser. In class we have learned that certain things can be viewed different in certain browsers. Similarly, installations are displayed differently depending on the location. Tangible materials over time can degrade in durability, just as software may change and render an old website unable to view, as seen in jQuery with new versions coming out quite often, forcing the sites to be updated manually.


Groys speaks often about these invisible files on a computer having an aura. He states that its aura is most present when the files or documents or sites are in their invisible state, making the existence of it more influential than the actual thing itself. The Internet has become something of a safety net over the years. There isn’t much you would need to know that you can’t find out online. “Here and now” and the idea of an aura combine here to blanket users in the comfort of accessible knowledge. Knowing you can access the phone number to a business can be the aura of its invisibility, and “here and now” is actually getting it.


When it comes to art, the Internet has been both a helpful tool as well as a destructive crutch. The way Groys speaks about it, he makes it sound like a website is a work of art in itself. A website can satisfy both Groys and Quaranta’s opinions because it can be there one second, and gone another, but it still exists, its aura is still present, and the content of the website, whether it’s text, images, or video. These elements of the website can still disappear similarly to how Groys and Quaranta talk about digital files, but they will always be accessible. This is even better than tangible objects like DVDs and statues, because anyone can access them form anywhere. They don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy a work of art.

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