Two Essays
Ansgard Thompson

Carnival" by Warren Furman

Cyberspace Relationships in 1999

What are Cyberspace Relationships and why do they become meaningful or meaningless?

The unexpected encounter with a stranger can have a very strong impact on our mind and develop into a meaningful relationship when we discover the full meaning of such a relationship.

Most people will be delighted to find a contact that 'clicks' the first time a stranger's letter arrives. The spontaneous surprise resembles 'love at first sight' or 'love at first click'. (The mind boggles over why one person's letter has more effect than another and often so much to the point, when one meets personally at a later date.) As a conclusion we have to believe the machine has not taken away all our affects and something is transmitted we do not have any control over, but are able to perceive in the subconscious mind.

To become meaningful the mind will have to be free to express all feelings.

The conventional physical 'non presence' invites this freedom of expression and it is therefore most satisfying for the mind of a person.

We might get romantically involved with the persons and go through many stages of development in imagining and wishing for a physical contact to confirm our instinct of understanding. All sort of feelings we might have never been able to experience in a purely physical encounter where the senses play the major roles and where the personal natural comfort zone are the barriers in communication.

These emotional movements in our soul may be very productive stimulants in our making of art and inspire us to transfer our feelings to our work.

In meeting the person physically will confirm our instinct of having found a person we feel very close to and we wish to stay in touch. We may call it love of a person because we care about the feelings of that person.

As artists we have far greater needs for this form of relationships, because almost all art is a product of the mind and soul. The falling in love is part of an artist's life and not limited to the person but rather the art of the person, that touches our soul and mind. Deeply understanding an artwork is about the greatest satisfaction for an artist to encounter in another artist. This form of relationship cannot be faked for any length of time. If the feeling is not mutual and one is only looking for an ego trip with another person, we can drop into the 'black hole' when it is no longer important to keep on communicating. (Cyberspace convenience)

Most people do avoid any form of closer relationships with another person in Cyberspace for fear to be dropped and misunderstood or by protecting their privacy, which might be objected to by any of their personal relationships, affected by another person's contact in Cyberspace.

In this case considered a real threat to our private life's security, we tend to overreact to our own feelings of being supersensitive to the slightest neglect by another person in Cyberspace and our presence in that space in time becomes meaningless with time, if this was our main objective to go on the Internet in the first place to find a soul mate.

Maybe it is because we are always searching for the all understanding soul, most people find in 'God', that we expect more from a cyberspace relationship then any regular relationship.

That the contact is enriching all our relationships is only very few peoples true understanding of cyberspace were people reach out to the world to feel the warmth of humanity and also give some meaning to their personal presence in a true community of people in this new environment we call Cyberspace.

Next in line of thinking is, would cyberspace prepare us to communicate to a similar human species living on another planet?
The first sounds and images might be the tools of communication to make the contact with such a world.

What language will the people still speak and understand?

Will it be meaningful then: what I am saying here about electronic communication?

What will art be like 50 000 years from now?

Will it have any meanings?

What will they think about us?


Submitted to KEO project on June 23.1999
Ansgard Thomson

Digital Art


The use of digital media is of immense concern and fascination to artists and collectors, and has inspired more anxiety than either censorship or the shameful lack of funding for the arts in America. The biggest, burning question everyone is asking, is, 'How can we really know if a digital image is 'original?'

I have read almost all responses to your questions.
Your last one is the most interesting.
How can we really know if a digital image is original ?

I am a computer artist since 1993. First playing around with the windows paint program to ~: orientate myself with the use of computer color and shapes drawing and painting to get some dexterity with the mouse. I found this in itself interesting enough ,because I always been a colorist from the time I started painting. I used to order the American Artist Magazine to pick up some painting technique hints I liked to try out.

I live in a very isolated area of Canada with very little contact for information and I taught myself the use of the computer and decided in order to be ìoriginal ì in my computer art ,was to apply the same principal as a professional artist with the same ethics not to copy other artists works.

When I finally was able to get to the Internet from my isolated area I discovert that all paint programs had clipart one could use for all sort of decorations for a website. Some were amusing ,but non of them had anything to do with what I considered art ,but many if not all were probably made by designers for money.

The very first program I downloaded free was fractint.

Even today I consider the program in its original form the most liberating program to get away from the traditional way to do any drawing or painting . One image given from the programmers could be changed in so many different ways ,that even the programmer might not recognize his very own formula he used. I also realized that any original art work scanned into the computer could be changed in so many ways that the original output (Print on Paper or Canvas) should be the only one that has a ì permanent formî as a reproduction of a work on the screen or on the hard drive in the protected high resolution form , all other works were changeable . I do consider this fact the most important difference from any art done before the computer age. Any image digitalised is no longer permanent in digitalised form copyrighting does not make any difference. Maybe the programmers will find a way to have an image permanently frozen.

So far I have not heard about such a possibility.

The very fact that very few well known digital artists print their own digital works today and have them reproduced by professional printers non of their prints are any ìoriginalsî by the artist and should never be signed by the artist as such.

Printing is an art in itself and this has become true also for computer artists ,who prints in his own studio archival art prints in limited editions from the original work done without any use of a scanner, is original computer art.

Digitalized art , as computer aided art ,what it is called , is not original art made with the computer when other images are used to produce the final image it should have the information on the file ,that it was done from an image either taken with the digital Camera or any other image scanned.

Any artist ,who likes to be called professional should be aware of the fact that his or her work would not qualify as original computer art without this information.
The true ìoriginal high resolution , if protected as artist final proof ì not to be changed , is still only on the hard drive. What we show on our web sites is low resolution copy for showing and will rarely produce a good reproduction.

Response to Daniel Grant (Contributing Editor, American Artist magazine)
Ansgard Thomson