FEMALE AUDIENCE: And what happens if someone from outside of the country violates the US law?
Julia Scher: It's already been done. In the case of the Argentinian hacker who hacked into the governmental database -- does everybody know about this? No. Because we don't have an exchange policy with Argentina we won't -- what's it called?
Benjamin Weil: Extradition.
Julia Scher: We don't have extradition treaty with Argentina. The young person, the young male is free in Argentina, but he hacked in through Boston, through MIT or Harvard hacked into the governmental database and would have been arrested, and Noth American Agencies got permits to go in and follow his phone line. So it's already happening. But generally the rules have not yet been written. Government cannot keep up with the kinds of situations and license that people are taking yet on the web. So it's actually still very a free period, and we're just on the beginning, this kind of thing.
MALE AUDIENCE: [Inaudible question]
Julia Scher: The model new tech exhibition ? I'm kind of old and I was around when the beginning of when everybody started doing video and picking up on video, and the model that was used for the presentation of early video works, and my hope is that as soon as enough artists and image makers and servers and networks are making like cool ways to present ideas and stuff that the museums will find their way to see those too. But using a -- I mean isn't that a cool museum thing to do, that you can actually depend on them to have a model that you can kind of understand when you go in. Sometimes I think that works really well. I mean that there's a model that you already understand.
MALE AUDIENCE: Are there many museums who have already started operating on the web? What type of activity do they have?
Benjamin Weil: For the moment most museum web sites only have to go present the activities of their galleries. Very few have really seriously engaged into extending the curatorial practice they have within the institutional walls to the web. The Dia Center is one. I think it's because there are very few curators who have the knowledge or maybe the interest. So it's difficult also because they have to address the museum walls first and foremost. That's their mission. I tend to think that as the web develops there's probably going to be a whole curatorial team within each institution that will address the web as a space.
Julia Scher: The cool thing about working in virtual space is -- well, if you look at it commercially you can't track it and hold onto it in the same way you might have to do with like a jumbo painting. So it offers a lot of still unexplored possibilities. So you wouldn't have to use museumification as a justification of presenting it, whatever it might be.
FEMALE AUDIENCE: Could you say more about the function of curator on the web, and how you think your site may respond to a specific need from the arts community?
Benjamin Weil: I think that -- I mean then you could say that there's no need for curators at all, but I think there's always a need for mediation. If I take the experience that I've had so far, I think that what I have done as a curator is that I have helped mediate between the artists and the team of technicians and designers and engineers that we're working with, and I think that's what's been my function. Also maybe, as I mentioned it before, I think that creating a context is something that is quite necessary particularly in the light of how fast the number of pages are growing. If there's a place that people know they will be able to see interesting projects. They will have a tendency to come back. Maybe also expect from that site to guide them towards pages that are unmediated for that matter.
FEMALE AUDIENCE: [Inaudible question]
Julia Scher: Yes, all that stuff is happening and more. My students say go to Securityland and they think oh, yeah, it's cool because you bounced out and you don't know where the hell -- heck you are. You get lost, and it says "system failure," and then you're bumped out and lost and left all alone in kind of a maze. But then they go to Megadeath, which I actually think is a really cool site. So there's a moment that, like an oil filter. The oil is bypassing the filter and there's this incredible wash right now. So I think all these things are -- all these things that have the potential of being happening, who knows what will last. My feeling is that when there's an engagement of hierarchy and control all these dangers and all these pre-existing formalized forms that exist and have a history can contaminate anything which is new. However, that's been our history to try and deal with that, and undo it if possible in some level and to move on.
MALE AUDIENCE: Julia, why did you think it was important for you to insert your project in äda 'web?
Julia Scher: Well, yes, this question about scene that I breezed over earlier I think is really important. I'm also on some unconnected web sites and some student sites and one that is a popular culture site where it's just text, which is coming up. So I think it's possible to live with the contradiction in the work because it is true those contradictions actually do exist, and they're very real.
Benjamin Weil: I also think that when you jump from one economic model to another model that is not defined yet, you have to find somehow basic structures to be able to operate. Then you could eventually break out of them. But for the moment it's really very difficult to operate without any sort of frames within this very large context. It doesn't mean that you have to sort of treat the frame as it was treated or has been treated so far in the art world, but I think that it's important, sort of define somehow that new territory. Then it can break loose once it's not necessary any more.
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