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[Rivets + Denizens]
Collaborative Curatorial Models in Theory and Practice
Curated by Ron Goldin
Natalie Bookchin
Heath Bunting
Ron Goldin
Beryl Graham
Patrick Lichty
Lev Manovich
Mark Napier/Liza Sabater
Christiane Paul
Joel Slayton
Benjamin Weil
Alena Williams
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Maze of Mirrors
Selected topics for Heath Bunting
Heath Bunting on Feb 1 2002 rivets and denizens

1. the element of surprise
2. legal and illegal attention
3. ownership of ideas
4. democracy of art


1. the element of surprise.
the element of surprise is something that attracts many people to technology-based art. your took full advantage of that characteristic. Many of your ideas also share a collaborative environment: the audience and the initiators are plural (ex. "communication creates conflict"). is it the involvement of others that allows a work to surprise its author?

Collaboration is nearly everything, the participators should be everyones inspiration all of the time - Lady Lucy (

Yes - because people surprise each other all the time. If we didn't have each other, trying to surprise ourselves would get a bit boring - Kayle
Brandon (

I think that if you consider your medium fully, then you can not deny the involvement of others. To exclude is a good method of seduction, but ultimately good art can succeed without such mechanisms - Heath Bunting (

What do you think Baker ?

2. legal and illegal attention.
pirate radio/commercial airways or street (network)/museum: some communication lines are "free" but unrecognized (or illegal). Is such a dichotomy necessary to give street art, grassroots creation + distribution of art, unregistered airwaves the contextual power that it is has on a public?

I have this idea that everything is the opposite of what it claims to represent. This would suggest that people who claim to be illegal or somehow trangressive are infact very conservative. Do you ever get that feeling about people who try too hard to be cool ? I have this uncomfortable feeling that society within which we live is actually deeply anarchic. Most people hold strong classic anarchist beliefs, but have been successfully persuaded that either they dont or if that they do they are somehow in a minority and therefore should remain mute. A separate class of "anarchists" that behave differently and remotely, support the agenda of the ruling elite to confuse the majority.

This class of "anarchists" spend most of their time conforming to a bewildering array of behavour-correct and suffering from the conflicts that arise from fundamentalist ideals.

It has always been my secret agenda to challenge authority by becoming bored by it. Its the same method by which sex and violence is neutralised in our societies, by repetition and over-exposion in every media. So by the same technique I like to immerse myself and others in repressive apparatus so that it eventually becomes banal and eventually insignificant.

Did I answer the question - I dont think I did - I think Natalie could add to this.

3. ownership of ideas.
both the biotechnology and the art that deals with the repercussions of > those forces are products of a science whose byproduct are those
technological innovations. technology clearly has discrete authors. does science have discrete authors or owners? is there an innocent science? and for that matter, is there innocent art?

People that claim not to be political can do so by being part of the majority, which by definition is the most prevalent politic, thus making them and their ideas most powerful.

In the same way, things can only be seen to be innocent if they are in fact the most corrupted. So innocent art and science can exist, but only within the walls of the elite, which has recently been universities.

Perhaps this is how Americans can see themselves as innocent victims of global terrorism.

One question I would like to ask you is how can we walk down the street and see the opposite.

4. democracy of art.
in your global graffiti project, aka Presence, you've mentioned elsewhere that you didn't really know why you started it. After the spark of action, others caught on to the public displays and made sense of it in their own way. A community curated the artwork together-- it became about what everyone wanted it to be about. should art be self-evident to a public? is art democratic? what is the artist's responsibility for the work once its out in public?

The Presence project (project x) was designed to gaged the public's interest in the internet and therefore would reflect the interest of the viewers. I always thought that a good piece of art should infact be invisible, but immediateley incorporated and quickly taken for granted. So not self evident, but democratic by constant use.

The artists first responsibilty is to be invisible and irrelevant. That is why the attention grabbing wanna-be art stars are infact degraded artists. The work should be hungrily consumed without hickup.

Of course we all get a little lost in the maze of mirrors from time to time. Perhaps by the time you have finished writing this you will be able to ask something useful. Thanks for your time.

Heath Clifford Bunting

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:: Maze of Mirrors - Feb 1 2002


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