|This problem became particularly clear with my contribution to EXTENSION. I simulated more than 200 international female net artists. Their names were assigned to 7 different nations. Not only did they have complete addresses with phone numbers, but also working e-mail accounts on a number of different servers. I registered these "artists" for the competition and got a password for each of them. The art museum was happy about the large number of contributions, and issued a first press release on July 3rd, 1997: "280 applications - Two thirds are women". A number of print media published this news tidbit, and disseminated the surprise and the joy about the high number of women.
I proceed to produce net art in an appropriate quantity. Using a computer program that collected HTML-material with search engines on the World Wide Web and recombined this data automatically, the net art projects were generated. These projects were uploaded with the names of the "artists" onto the server of the museum. Again the museum expressed great satisfaction in their press release: "On the closing date on June 30th, 120 MegaByte of net art had been submitted. 96 of the artists were from Germany, 81 from the Netherlands, 28 from the US, 27 from Slovenia, 26 from Austria and the rest from GB."
Apart from the higher probability to win a prize with this intervention, I also took "Internet as material and object", the theme of the competition, particularly seriously.
|Unfortunately, my attempts were not met by success. I did not get a prize for this automatically generated net art. Even though two thirds of the participants were women, the three money prizes went to male artists.
The jury that consisted of the art historians Prof. Dr. Uwe M. Schneede and Prof.Dr. Dieter Daniels, the artists Dellbrügge & deMoll and Prof. Valie Export, as well as Spiegel editor Rainer Wörtmann had faced a difficult task. They were surprised by the apparently meaningless flood of data and didn't get the idea behind it. On the day the winners were announced, I issued a press release that revealed my contribution. Nobody had discovered my intervention until then.
I could have never realized FEMALE EXTENSION on my own. Therefore I would like to thank the network that helped me: Konrad Becker und Herbert Gnauer (t0.netbase, Wien), Wolfgang Staehle und Gisela Ehrenfried-Staehle (The Thing, New York), Heath Bunting, Rachel Baker und Steve Mynott (irational.org, London), Luka Frelih (ljudmila.org, Ljubljana), Neil de Hoog und Andreas Broeckmann (V2, Rotterdam), Geert Lovink (Digitale Staad Amsterdam), Michael van Eeden (Society for Old and New Media, Amsterdam), Rob Bank und Walter van der Cruijsen (desk, Amsterdam), Barbara Aselmeier (Internationale Stadt Berlin), Tilman Baumgärtel, Karl Heinz Jeron (sero.org, Berlin), Knut Johannsen (surver.net, Hamburg).