Saturday, April 25, 2009

Luciana Tamas: how do you think the literature and art will look like in the following 30 years ?

LT : I don't say that the Internet would be new or old - I know its history; and I don't talk here about the reason it was built for (anyhow, there are enough examples in the history, in which a certain discovery was used in other purposes than the initial ones; the first people had used the fire to warm themselves and to cook their food - their successors, behold, use the fire to melt the metal to transform it, let's say, in tanks; this would be only one example). I was only suggesting that the Internet's evolution brought us in the situation in which a personality like Paul Virilio warns us that we are the first civilisation which has set to work the absolute speed and that the techniques of instant communication give us the possibility (a less desireble one!) to be able to annihilate ourselves as civilisation. Virilio even speaks about the informational bomb and says that our generation would be "the generation of the informational bomb explosion". You say that the Internet has brought only the speed-element. But the acceleration of the information flow, said again Virilio, brought to an acceleration of forgetfulness ("Industralization of forgetfulness", said the philosopher - I hope I have translated the quotations correctly).So, the projects which lasted years, also lasted years in the memory. The same projects, made in some minutes also last in the memory quite less, and this because during a day we have the possibility to achieve, let's say, five or more projects. And because we aren't all Kim Peek, the risk to forget is quite big. Anyhow, I am interested of the mutations these changes produce in art and literature. These mutations determined me to think an opened movement I called gAsPexT. The artistical movements have their tabus. In gAsPexT there aren't limits and it is an invitation to creativity. But, to return, the mutations I talked about mean that we are dealing with a new specie of poets and artists. I have read somewhere that, from the Japanese scientists' point of view, for the year 2040 there cannot be made any assessments. Yet, because you are a poet, too (and it is known that the poets have a special anticipation power), I invite you to make an assessment: how do you think the literature and art will look like in the following 30 years ?
I would also be interested in the impact you think the apparition of this new "specie" of writers/artists will have on the ones who love literature /art (at such creators, how should the receivers look like ?). And which do you think the role of the specialty critic will be in the new equation ?

RJ : This is a question that probably is interesting for you. The answer is pure speculation since small events in the world can cause large changes. What is the value of a prediction? The art I produce is changing as my life changes. Human Beings like to reproduce what they see. We even think that repetition is what makes the world go on. The small hidden changes are so effective though that in only a few years we see the movement towards a new direction. I like to focus on these essential changes. The factor time is one of them. The Information-bomb you (or rather Paul Virilio) mentioned is not the problem. Computers can store so much information, nowadays more a single person van handle. How does one deal with not knowing all? New generations don't read information, they globally scan information. A new attitude towards information that makes it easier for them to deal with so many sources the Internet offers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Luciana Tamas: The use of Internet.

LT : I see that the avant-garde uses nowadays the Internet, and the Internet means promoting the ideas, sitting with the speed of light. Without it, Mail-Art and the kind of archieving it proposes would be possible only in a Science Fiction vision. You, if I'm not wrong, are one of the first visual artists who use the blog to promote their ideas and work. Please tell us about this aspect.

RJ : Internet is quite old. It only became accessible in the mid nineties for the 'normal people' as a way to communicate. Yes, I was experimenting with electronic communication. Even before it became acessible for normal use. Because of my work and study I am familiar with technical aspects of the Informatics. In the eighties I even had a bulletinboard running that distributed my TAM-bulletin with information about mail-art projects (see:

Internet isn't about promoting ideas. The Internet has only one reason for being build: keeping communication open at all times, even in times of crisis. The concept was build in the second world war when the Americans needed a system that would survive a nucleair atack. The WWW-concept comes from Geneve, where they made a language (hypertext) that would word on any computer platform. This way a new tool for everybody was available: communication in all directions to each computer platform. Mail-Art was already dealing with communication in all directions. In the 80-ies i was in close contact with mail-artists in Eastern-Europe. The artists there were not allowed to publish their work in their own country, but sending it through the mail was still possible. A nice sample: A card I received from Robert Rehfeldt (Eastern-Europe)
So mail-Art did something the Internet is now offering too: worldwide communication. It is only natural that the mail-artists embrace the new ways of communication but still see the difference with the traditioal mail. A piece sent my mail can be touched, smelled, is 3D and has traces of the person who sent it and the way it travelled. An e-mail of digital image is clean and just bit and bytes......

When Internet is only used to promote ideas than the visitors often aren't always interested. The freedom in communication is essential. I choose with whom I communicate and what I like to exchange. Communication is always 2-ways. Promoting ideas sometimes is oneway communication.

Internet only brought the speed-element. I can communicate over large distance instantly. Also I can send images quickly without sending out the original. I can even make originals that don't exsist (digital art). I can see what others are sending me (on e.g. a Blog) and anticipate on what I receive before I actually have received it. The time-factor is what makes Internet so fascinating. Projects that would take years suddenly can be done in minutes when one knows the tools and software.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Luciana Tamas: The orientation of mail-art is not commercial?

LT : I have travelled some times in The Netherlands and I visited quite a great number of museums and galleries. The Dutch's love for all what is art and for the collecting of artistical objects is unstoppable (this is absolutely fabulous). You say that mail-art has no commercial orientations. How does this situation conciliate with the general context of the country you develop your activity in ?

RJ : The discovering of Mail-Art brought me in contact with the larger world. I visited a lot of museums too. But the best gallery turned out to be my mail-box. You can't buy the personal energy people send in the form of artworks just for you. Mail-Art is an international art-movement that always tried to stay away from the mail art-galleries and museums. But that doesn't mean they are not interested in this movement. Only through archives that mail-artists have kept over the years, parts of the mail-art get into these museums. The need for collecting things grows inside of mail-art too. You can't buy it though, you will have to invest creative energy in order to get some in return.

Luciana Tamas: Returning to my first question.

LT : Returning to my first question: a bigger and bigger number of people who come from domains which don't traditionally have direct connection with literature (like mathematics, physiks, chemestry, even politics) declare themselves as being poets. On the other hand, the literary men talk about "poetry's death". How do you explain this situation ?

RJ : I can only speak for myself. I had both interests in Science and in Art. My decision to study Physics was combined with the thought that this studie would be the basis for my life and that art would be the form in which I had to make no compromise to what I want to do. My art doesn't have to be sold. I make what I like to make. I send it to who I want it to have. The essence in this idea is I believe that Art and Money are not stimulating each other. Making art to make money makes you depending on the viewer, the buyer, the gallery, the museum. You say that some people declare themselves "poet". Maybe they just mean that they let creativity go its way without following the boarders set by science and rules from others.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Luciana Tamas: isn't there the risk that only a quite elitistic zone to be able to perceive a such message.

I understand the question. You write: "isn't there the danger for that "hybrid" which results from their combination to not be intercepted with enough clarity by those who watch each one of these domains in a traditional way ?
It is obvious that the poetic metaphor can find its correspondent in form, as well as the visual image (even the one generated by computersystems) has, certainly, a metaphoric component, but this implies also a receiver with an extremely well-trained vision. The question is: isn't there the risk that only a quite elitistic zone to be able to perceive a such message".

Who do we make the art for? Is it the public or does the artist just want to present his message in the timeframe and possibilities he is offered? In Mail-Art the art goes originally from artist to artist. No gallery needed. What I send goes direct to the observer and he/she should be able to interpret what I send him. if not, than the message is lost (or maybe archived). The observer doesn't have to be well-trained. I made the piece especially for him/her. Also there is normally no money involved. The artworks are gifts from one artist to another. So the concept we are dealing with in mail-art is completely different from the artworld. It is actually avoiding the official artworld. That sometimes work does end up in museums is just because they catch up and want the new markets too.....

Luciana Tamas: Combining Literature with art?

Your first question: "Because we adress ourselves to a public which is interested, first of all, in literature, please tell us about your activity as a poet and about the way you managed to combine literature with art". is a difficult one to start with. I did once write poetry the traditional way. Words on paper. That was even before I started with my activities in mail-art in 1980. What Mail-Art showed me is that more artforms can be combined and that the thread in it all becomes the communication process. Nowedays Poetry even can be generated from computersystems. When you play them right the results are beautiful. Do you play them 'wrong' the result is boring and computerlike. The creativity is what makes something art. Repetition is something comeletely different.