“The gate is straight, Deep and wide, Break on through to the other side”
Break on Through - The Doors (1967)
Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s Hole-In-Space project from 1980 marks an early moment in Media
Art Histories (at least from the limited perspective of a United States or Western European lens). Galloway
and Rabinowitz describe their project as a “Public Communication Sculpture” which connected New York
and Los Angeles via a live video stream projected and presented as a slightly larger than life size opening
on the streets of these two American cities. New York and Los Angeles occupy specific mythological
spaces in American imaginations about art. These two cities are often imagined as counterparts across the
nation, anchoring each coast to contemporary art and functioning as centers. A friend of mine, an Media
Artist who was in Los Angeles in 1980 and encountered the Hole-In-Space project, recently suggested to
me that now that we can do open those holes in space-time with our iPhones, the question remains,
why? And what do we do once we have broken through to the other side?

“...don’t you see that net art and net artists changed the landscape of contemporary art? Now, art
institutions have to learn to act as nodes (not as a center). And they do. Those who are really open
become part of complex networking projects.”

Re: <nettime> Re: Re: net art history - Olia Lialina (2001)
When these borders or boundaries are transgressed they open possibilities and potentialities for
reprogramming our expectations and transcoding our cultural experiences. These temporary or
temporally-situated moments also render views into, on and of decentralized networks in the sense that
Lialina suggests. Art worlds intersect and open up into each other, enfolding and unfolding. Hopefully,
becoming networked in these ways begins to expand and extend experimental New Media Art
theory-practices. “Shall we then abandon the museums? My position is that they can be occupied like
any other distribution mechanism within the communication society - and should be occupied, to generate
decisive conflict over the kind of society they help produce.”

Artistic Autonomy - and the communication society - Brian Holmes (2004)
And what does it mean to operate within these contexts and furthermore to create copies of these
operations? The relationship in Digital Art between copies and originals should be reconsidered as being
between instantiations, versions and updates. We are therefore creating instances of options, of
modularities. Holmes, in the quote above and in his research, critically intervenes in the normalized
assumptions which accompany the flows of global capital and asks difficult and important questions of
our selves


and who and what we become in the networked communications society, a Digital Culture that makes a fundamental shift possible.
“First, it’s okay to copy! Believe in the process of copying as much as you can; with all your heart is a good
place to start” – NOTES ON THE AESTHETICS OF ‘copying-an-Image Processor’ – Phil Morton (1973)


Assistant Professor
Film, Video & New Media
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Florian Graf An arche type
Florian Graf
Diagram of concept “An Arche Type? “, 2010 Sketch on paper


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