WORKS SHOWS ABOUT

 

The K Thing (2001)

The Korea Web Art Festival commissioned us a new work. We did a secret performance instead. Nobody, including the curator, knew our plans. The opening night we connected to the exhibition website and switched the names of the artworks with one another. None of the works was modified.

Whoever visited the exhibition, instead of seeing the chosen artwork, would get imperceptibly redirected to a different one. The modified version was visible for few hours.

 

thekthing screenshot

 

We were fascinated by the idea of performing online, but unfortunately the action had catastrophic consequences. The Korean Ministry of Culture took the drastic decision to lay off the curator and cancel the festival, and some of the artists felt deceived. A heated debate erupted, touching on ownership, the potential of online art, censorship and identity.

For what we are concerned, this was our last “pure Net Art” piece. Total failure.

 

thekthing animation

 

 

Some of the emails that circulated:

 

From: <joecow@b…>
Date: Monday, December 03, 2001 7:59 PM
Subject: [webartery] Re: Korea Web Art Festival

not gonna get into this argument except to point out that all this
talk makes me *wish” I could see the deformed work. only I can’t,
since everything has apparently been straightened out already. which
should perhaps mitigate claims of the damage done here??? (except for
the person losing their job — is this really true?)

 

 

 

From: Jennifer Ley <jtley@h…>
Date: Tue Dec 4, 2001 3:23 am
Subject: Re: [webartery] web art and intervention

It’s seem to me that hacking a site in 2001 is pretty old news.

If any web artist and or web entity or network entity wishes to create
commentary about the nature of where net/web.art is headed … that
commentary/intervention needs to be a bit more sophisticated to really capture
our attention.

Rimbaud pissed on a table … and I hear it worked pretty well for Jackson
Pollock … but acts like this merely serve to indicate disgust, at the same
time their symbolic value becomes limited by the lack of maturity shown by the
means of protest.

I think a lot of us realize that it takes a bit more time, effort, forethought
— to craft work which creates meaningful commentary.

Hopefully someone will be able to convince the powers that be in Korea that the
curator should not be held responsible. Hopefully, when they go to Korea, the
members of 01 etc will be willing to take responsibility for their actions, and
perhaps consider that there may be cultural ramifications to their actions
which they did not intend.

For myself, I’m thrilled to remain hopelessly un-hip … a happy fuddy duddy.

best

Jen

 

 

 

From: Florian Cramer <cantsin@z…>
Date: Tue Dec 4, 2001 4:59 pm
Subject: Re: [webartery] found the 0100101110101101.ORG n.terview

> [after a quick read i remembered they also hacked jodi’s site -ooh, how

Actually, they only copied it to their own server.

> _criminal_ of me 2 4get that!;)..they also have a virus piece in this years
> biennial…]..i think they r italian from memory?

From Bologna, yes. A gal and a guy. (Great guys, btw, IMHO.)

> talan, just wanted 2 ask if they actually _hacked_ the main korean web.fest

They permuted/shuffled files between the server directories via FTP on
the web server, but kept a backup of the original site on it. (The admin
just didn’t seem to have clue.)

> i must say, after actually looking at FTPermuations i find the piece
> fine.ly exe.cuted & quite obvious ][iconically][…….

Me, too. I am surprised – actually quite baffled and disappointed – how
anxious/paranoid otherwise smart net artists – especially those whose
aesthetics is willingly close to hacker aesthetics – can get over their
supposed “originals” and “works” (as if they were 19th century
paintings).

Florian

 

 

 

From: “Talan Memmott” <talan@m…>
Date: Tue Dec 4, 2001 5:43 pm
Subject: Re: [webartery] found the 0100101110101101.ORG n.terview

This is fine… But, it reallllllllly misses the point of the
frustration….

Is there anything wrong with wanting my work to be seen as intended…?

 

 

 

From: “Joel Weishaus” <weishaus@p…>
Date: Tue Dec 4, 2001 5:30 pm
Subject: Re: [webartery] Korea Web Art Festival

I agree with all of you. Even Rauchenberg asked permission of De Kooning
before he erased Wilhem’s drawing. But those were more civilized times.

-.Joel

 

 

 

From: komninos zervos <k.zervos@m…>
Date: Tue Dec 4, 2001 9:10 pm
Subject: Re: [webartery] web art and intervention – cutUp

seems this work is state of the art, addressing the greatest issues
of our art and time, issues discussed regularly on this list, testing
all the theories expressed on ownership, this medium and its
capabilities, high art/popular art, censorship, identity, code art,
hack art, drag and drop art.

just my opinion.
komninos
ps haven’t visited the site now or during its auto-re-configuring state.

komninos

 

 

 

From: Florian Cramer <cantsin@zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 12:01:47 +0100
Subject: Re: [webartery] web art and intervention – cutUp

The same kind of modification as if a traditional artist, who is part of
a group exhibition, would shuffle all the name/title tags beneath the
paintings.

I am still baffled that you insist on artistic autonomy and intellectual
property in such a way.

Since (a) there was a backup directory and (b) all artists had access
to the server, they could have easily fixed it.

Besides: What is net art about if not playing with each others data?
Of course this involves issues of censorship/filtering etc., and I would
find it petty if artists wouldn’t explore them in a way that puts them
up front (and is not always nice and friendly, although the Zero Ones
have been really destructive here).

Would you have reacted differently before Sept.11? Is this some
collective trauma? At least it strikes me that it is only US-Americans
on this list who are so infuriated about the 01 intervention.

Florian

 

 

 

 

The code of the performance:

 

220 kiri1 Microsoft FTP Service (Version 5.0).
USER 0100101110101101org
331 Password required for 0100101110101101org.
PASS ******
230-hi thank you !!
230-
230-If You want to see uploaded files in the browser ,
230-type this way…
230-
230-http://www.koreawebart.org
230-/artist/(yourid)/(filename)
230-
230-ex ) myid – sson and upload file – default.html
230-http://www.koreawebart.org
230-/artist/sson/default.html
230-
230 User 0100101110101101org logged in.
SITE DIRSTYLE
200 MSDOS-like directory output is off
SITE DIRSTYLE
200 MSDOS-like directory output is on
CWD /artist/
250 CWD command successful.
PORT 172,26,0,2,59,137
200 PORT command successful.
TYPE A
200 Type set to A.
LIST
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for /bin/ls.
12-02-01 02:35AM <DIR> 0100101110101101org
12-01-01 07:31AM <DIR> beth
11-09-01 05:23PM <DIR> Candy_Factory
11-29-01 06:30AM <DIR> Critical_Art_Ensemble
11-28-01 01:39AM <DIR> Entropy8Zuper!
11-08-01 07:53PM <DIR> Lisa_Jevbratt
11-11-01 02:38PM <DIR> Mark_Amerika
11-13-01 02:33PM <DIR> Motomichi_Nakamura
11-20-01 07:27AM <DIR> Sean_Kerr
11-27-01 05:26AM <DIR> Superbad
11-16-01 11:24AM <DIR> Talan_Memmott
11-23-01 12:55PM <DIR> YOUNG-HAE_CHANG_HEAVY_INDUSTRIES
226 Transfer complete.
PWD
257 “/artist” is current directory.
NOOP
200 NOOP command successful.
RNFR Motomichi_Nakamura
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Motomichi_Nakamura-
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR 0100101110101101org
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Motomichi_Nakamura
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Candy_Factory
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Candy_Factory-
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR beth
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Candy_Factory
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR YOUNG-HAE_CHANG_HEAVY_INDUSTRIES
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO YOUNG-HAE_CHANG_HEAVY_INDUSTRIES–
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Candy_Factory-
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO YOUNG-HAE_CHANG_HEAVY_INDUSTRIES
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Superbad
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Superbad-
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Critical_Art_Ensemble
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Superbad
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Entropy8Zuper!
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO 0100101110101101org
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Lisa_Jevbratt
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO beth
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Talan_Memmott
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Talan_Memmott-
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Mark_Amerika
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Talan_Memmott
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Motomichi_Nakamura-
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Lisa_Jevbratt
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Sean_Kerr
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Critical_Art_Ensemble
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Superbad-
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Entropy8Zuper!
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR Talan_Memmott-
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Sean_Kerr
250 RNTO command successful.
RNFR YOUNG-HAE_CHANG_HEAVY_INDUSTRIES–
350 File exists, ready for destination name
RNTO Mark_Amerika
250 RNTO command successful.
quit
221 bye