One thing I think is important to keep in mind at all times: we are only beginning. net.art is doing what cradle films did at the beginning of the century -- testing the territory as a medium for artists, and helping to establish standards...(actually I think commerce is doing that, but I like to be hopeful) It should not be judged by the same standards as the book, a painting, tv...

The thing that makes it different is that it is (or can be) participatory in a different way. For years I argued that by creating what I called "imaginary geographies" for radio, I was creating spaces in which the imagination of listeners could engage and that this is participatory. Listeners, as I discovered, hear different "stories" listening to my work; none have ever heard the "story" in my mind when I created it. But now, on the net, I can create, or initiate something in which others can act as agents, changing the actual work, leading it in directions I had not anticipated, and making their changes available to others who can similarly act as agents... I would have to tear a book apart to do this, although I suppose we could say that metaphorically at least a book is torn apart everytime an author uses or reuses or reassembles materials from it...

As I have said before, my problem with net.art right now is that not enough artists are attentive to the medium; instead they are making single, self-contained works with predetermined paths; the network brings in the audience, end of use . They are not exploring what it means to work in a networked environment...

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– Helen Thorington