E L E C T R O N I C  S P A C E

     ... products or objects resulting from a telecommunications project are mere documentary relics of an activity that took place in the electronic space of a network. But this kind of problem had already been confronted during the 70's by performance artists who found that their work had been reduced to scrapbook photos, card files and dinner party anecdotes.

     The electronic space in which telecommunications artists - along with transnational corporations, stock markets and the military - operate is a complicated concept made possible by another phenomenon of art in the 1970's ... conceptual art. Conceptual art demands a conceptual space in which to exist and a culture that has grasped that elusive notion will have no trouble at all de-materialising its power structures into something as relatively concrete as the electronic space of international electronic communications networks.

     But, although Performance Art had shown how artworks could be related to duration (time-based) and Conceptual Art had shown how they could be located in conceptual space (dematerialised), it was Mail-Art with its concept of postal space - a blizzard of images circling the globe through the integrated postal services - that made it possible to conceive of artworks in the electronic space of the new networks.


Robert Adrian 1989


       excerpt from "Electronic Space"
       published in "Im Netz der Systeme"
       Kunstforum #103, Cologne, 1989