Q. Who is responsible for the site
A. The site was a collaboration between Arthur X Doyle and Conor McGarrigle
Q Why did you do it
A. There were many reasons but the principle ones are:
The project was started in the midst of a scandal involving the cosy cartel of artocrats who run IMMA which resulted in an outrageous squandering of scarce art resources and was intended as an artistic comment on these events.
Even though Ireland is one of the most wired countries in Europe and has a vibrant digital arts scene the museum had ignored the digital arts. Rather then just gripe about this and as we believe that art is not a top down process we decided to take positive action to remedy this.
The IMMA site at modernart.ie was, and unfortunately still is, quite frankly embarrassing for a museum of visual art and reflects badly on irish art and artists. Our version was far more appropriate, was easier to find in search engines and contained mostly the same information. As Irish artists we felt happier that our re-imagining of the IMMA site would be the internet face of Irish art.
Our curated shows were a serious effort to explore new means of curating net art in an institutional setting.
Last but probably not least - because we could and everyone loves a spoof site.
Q. When you made the call for the Net Art Open weren't you taking advantage artists who participated because they thought it was a museum show.
A. Interventions like this have a long history in net art and the site contained may clues to it's real intent and didn't really hold up to any scrutiny. That fact that it was a hoax was also discussed on new media lists like Rhizome.org and online magazines like Arts Electric. I don't think we fooled any artists. From feedback we believe the fact that it was not 100% legit substantially increased the number of participants.
Q. I participated in the Net Art Open and now it turns out it's not real can I still use in on my CV?
A. Why not artists exagarate stuff on their CVs all the time and, after all, what is real? Also if you say you participated in the Irish Museum of Modern Art Net Art Open rather then The Irish Museum of Modern Art Net Art Open I think you'll be fine.
Q Will there be a Net Art Open 2004?
Q. Is this not disrespectful to the real IMMA
A. As Irish artists we believe we are stakeholders in the national museum of modern art and as such we have a right and even a duty to make art about museum policies or lack of them. Artists have always claimed the right to make art on any subject they find meaningful, any attempt to restrict this right is artistic censorship.
Q. What did they think of the site?
A.There was never any attempt to contact us so we don't really know but we're sure they loved it, after all museum curators are known for their sense of humour
Q. Did the fake site get more hits then the real one?
A. According to our insider sources we got twice as many hits as the real site largely because the site was designed to be Google friendly.
Q. Why the annoying side scrolling and the huge flash splash page?
A. For this project to succeed it was important that on first impression it looked like the real thing so in keeping with what seems to be standard practise with museum websites we broke as many useability rules as we could. The flash animation also contained a subtle clue ( use of the white stripes song ' all you kids you think you know where it's at, I think I smell a rat' ) as to the real intent of the site.
Q. Do you consider the project a success
A Yes and no
We are very proud of both net art open exhibitions, while we realise that not every exhibition of net art can be curated in this fashion we do feel they added to the ongoing debate about net art curation, contained a huge amount of fantastic work and provided a unique snapshot of the state of the art at that particular time.
We are, however, somewhat disappointed that after two years of activity IMMA still has no policy toward digital art and they still retain what is probably the worst website of any museum of modern art in the world.
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