Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This is interesting: Andy and I never figured out how you made ends meet; you had no job, seldom sold a collage, and appeared to survive on about $3 a week. Your attitude toward galleries and exhibitions was perverse - in spades. You seemed disdainful of affiliating with any actual gallery, yet you enjoyed taking out ads for fictitious shows. One of the most memorable was your Village Voice ad (July 30, 1964) for an "8 man show" by George Brecht, George Herms, and you at the bogus Robin Gallery. From an odd letter sent to Cosmic Ray by Bourdon. The ambivalence towards the art market appears as an unbreakable drive for the artist. The odd thing is that Comic Ray was the founder of the Correspondence school, which could be seen to function, at least conceptually, along the principles that rule much of net art today. Mind you that net art has been recently claimed to be "dead" by a New York Times article. Yes, the Times writes something and there goes everybody spreading the word to all the e-mail lists. Go figure.

But going back to the letter, the Correspondence School could be considered to be part of the vanguard tradition, going against the grain, to provide at least a brief escape in aesthetics. A brief moment, is that the only thing that we have these days to feel the possibilities of... well, let's say the sublime! The doxa is deconstructed, dig the form. Is an obvious statement to follow. Yet, somehow, this is no longer enough, it has never been; yet, that is all artists have always been willing to take, including Cosmic Ray; and now all net artists.


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