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Artpool's Ray Johnson Web Site

The Ray Johnson Web Site is a work for the internet , developed from the conception of an exhibition by Artpool in February 1997 at the Ernst Múzeum in Budapest. The antecedents and the content are the long time mail-art network activity of György Galántai based on his connection to and correspondence with Ray Johnson. Using the possibilities of the internet, the construction of the website enables the research of correspondence art using the possibilities of internet by combining the sensation of a walk in a museum with leafing through a catalog or studying a book, and with a link-page that facilitates the discovery of all other sites related to Ray Johnson in the world.

The Garden of Correspondence Art

Landscape architecture on the internet: http://www.artpool.hu/RayJohnson.html

The internet work is the representation and demonstration of exchange. Since the Internet work is an open work, it is possible to regard it as a work of art throughout all its phases, from the very appearance of its idea.

Each genuine work can be interpreted on several levels, in fact, this is what ensures its validity over time and amidst changing viewpoints. Each interpretational level constitutes a network on its own, which, in turn, interacts with the other levels, forming complex sets of networks. Each element of such a construction might well be related to another element, and to other constructions as well. Subsequently, the work is but a piece of land to cultivate, e.g. a garden. To preserve the permanence of the work is thus to preserve its alterability.

Thus the task of the future artist is not to create so called works but to construct, and cultivate territories that can relate to one another. Such territories enrich, or can enrich one another. This is at the core of exchange. The network and the exchange supports the presence and functioning of a work created by a single person in a broader field, in other contexts, and in different cultures. The increasing evolution of the electronic network, that is the internet, amazingly promotes the work done before. Exchange on the internet means linking the information (text, or image) contained by a web page to any piece of information, located at any part of the net but relating to it.

Works created by single persons relate to one another and can be exchanged as bits of information. Exchange can also happen outside this network as it did earlier, in the form of printed publications, or museum exhibitions, etc.; the difference is, however that the exchange on the internet is much faster, and information can be continuously updated. This enriches exchange with entirely new dimensions. One can, at the same time, be near or far to the one with which he is exchanging information.

Exchange is that which it has always been but in an extended form – we integrate our work into the culture to which we belong, and by the act of integration we also create this culture.

György Galántai, 1997   [see also - MemoRay Johnson 2008]

The Ray Johnson web site was done by

Júlia Klaniczay (editing), György Galántai (conception and design), László Tölgyes (web technique)


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