Em 1999 Steve Dietz escreveu sobre os paradoxos da Net Art. Este excelente artigo tenta colocar a Net Art no contexto da arte como nova mídia e traça paralelos com um artigo de Linda Nochlin "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" escrito nos anos 60 sobre mulheres e arte cujo objetivo era responder, através da pergunta aparentemente boba do título, não sobre a qualidade da arte feita por mulheres mas sobre a noção da arte dentro do sistema patriarcal da arte. Dietz tenta fazer a mesma com a pergunta "Why Have There Been No Great Net Artists?"
Just as in the 80s it was nearly impossible not to quote Walter Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," at the turn of the millennium, it is nearly impossible not to mention the millennium--or Marshall McLuhan's dictat that we always understand new media via old media: the horseless carriage, moving images, broadband or interactive TV.
For many of us, our formative education, our environment, the fishtank we unknowingly swam in, was television, photography, video, conceptual art, music, performance, even computers. Without wanting to claim that the only net artists who are under thirty have with the mojo to be great, it is not hard to imagine that someone who has been programming, whether it is levels of Doom or starlogo, since she was five; who has to go to a museum to know what a dial telephone is; who doesn't automatically equate a keyboard with clerical work; who thinks that chatting online is as real as chatting on the phone; it is not hard to imagine that such a person has had a different education, a different upbringing than those who currently manage the art world apparatus. It is not hard to imagine that she might do something different; something that may have a relation to old media, but which is not necessarily trying to make broadband TV or interactive video or digital photography or electronic music or computer art. It is hard to imagine what this will be; what it will look like; how it will act.
It is just possible that the failure is in our ability to imagine great net art, not in net art's ability to be imagined.
The "problem"... problem
The problem with net art is that it is so opaque.
The problem with net art is that it is so obvious.
The problem with net art is that not everyone can see it.
The problem with net art is that it takes too long.
The problem with net art is that it's ephemeral.
The problem with net art is that it's too expensive.
The problem with net art is that anyone can make it.
The problem with net art is no one supports it.
The problem with net art is that it is being usurped.
The problem with net art is that it's boring.
The problem with net art is that it's too challenging.
The problem with net art is all those plug-ins.
The problem with net art is that it is so reliant on industry standards.
The problem with net art is that it's old hat.
The problem with net art is that it's too new.
The problem is that there is no great net art.
Imagino o que ele diria sobre Net Art em 2005...