MALE AUDIENCE: [Inaudible question]

    Julia Scher: That's a good point. The other side of that is, and the contradiction to that is at MIT media lab they're working on virtual reality interrogation booths. So you just get a disk and you upload an interrogation scenario. How do you address that when that goes out on the web? Where do you have your paradigm shift? It's interesting to learn the dynamic of force and power and, in fact, how do you switch from a teaching position to a learning position about all this stuff that's happening? How do you create and be able to use knowledge about these systems whether or not they're mediated by an individual or a group or a server network? That is, there's great dangers out there which are actually very exciting to artists. I mean they're exciting to me that this stuff is unleashed on their own in a little room. It doesn't need a server. It doesn't need an access controller because they have their own. I mean you could do a contradictory piece to that.

MALE AUDIENCE: This whole idea of mediation is like some sort of control over the type of content on display. And guidelines to how one should be looking at things. It makes me think of the Catholic Church, where in the priest guides you to understand your relationship to God, you spiritual beliefs are regulated.

    Benjamin Weil: There's one thing that I wanted to respond to you actually, and I think that is going to maybe answer partly your question. I think that this whole idea of mediation that for me is something that's sort of necessary in a way. I mean it doesn't need to be priesthood by any means. It's not preaching. It's really not about that. It's more about trying to create an environment in which people can express a certain number of things. It doesn't preclude the existence of other structures. It doesn't -- so I'm sort of like a little confused by this -- this whole idea of like -- there is definitely a situation wherein nobody really knows what they're actually doing at this point, and if anyone claims that they know I think that either they're fooled themselves or they're like not aware of the fact that -- it's a complete changing environment. There's absolutely no way that anyone can even start to define what's going on. So far it's really about practice. It's not really about anything else, but experimentation. It's a big lab basically.

    Julia Scher: It's a lab, that's a part of the job of someone who maybe used to be called curator, but on the web it's increasingly about access, not exploiting access or limiting access, but creating new questions about access itself either controlling it or opening it up. I think the new languages that are coming up in terms of this new kind of space are the kinds of words that we have to be careful at and really consider strongly because they do inflect on all the activity around the access. Production as well.

FEMALE AUDIENCE: How about intellectual theft? Is there a way to enforce copyrights?

    Julia Scher: People who copyright the material show usually on any of the sites it comes up at the beginning. At the end in big usually red letters copyright by cannot be used without the permission of, so people are trying to protect themselves that way.

FEMALE AUDIENCE: [inaudible]

    Julia Scher: Okay. Well, there's a big jumbo question. You're talking about reproduction. In this world no matter where you go in it, the reproductive quality can be totally out of your control. That is, the design of one program, the agenda might be fitted only to one computer, and when you download it in another system what you had intended does not show up at all. I mean the potential for that --

MALE AUDIENCE: [Inaudible question]

    Benjamin Weil: I think that -- I think that Julia answered partly your question. I mean given the possibilities that are existing now, given what's available and what's really can be shared by the most -- the largest number of people accessing the Internet because it's not completely compatible from one machine to the next because the colors are different, because the fonts are different, because the speed of access is different. You can't really do a project that's finished, and then on top of it I think that's the nature of the medium calls for really not thinking about something as being closed. There's no real start. There's no real finish. It's morphing and it's really what's interesting to me. That's what I -- I think that's what the process is. The process is it's constantly being made. It's constantly being re-engineered.

    Julia Scher: I already have a lot of dead things out there. What is any artist who you just might call a social sniffer? Plunder what seems interesting or exciting at the moment and what you can unlock or re-present? What do your resources have do do with making it available to have happen.

MALE AUDIENCE: Don't you feel limited by the kinf of software available on the market? How do you solve the question of tecnology? Do you think making art on the web can only be accessible to artists who are techies?

    Julia Scher: Yes, like why use Java? Why don't you just make up your own? I mean I think that is a new way that people are going to be thinking about in terms of an ideological notion around the capture and display which artists have been dealing with for eons. But also it is a big issue on the web philosophically to consider the fact that a design may not fit or dovetail into your agenda as an artist, in which case unwrap the package, throw out the box, make your own Photoshop: if it doesn't work, pitch it. If your computer doesn't work, modify it. If the server doesn't suit you, turn it off.

MALE AUDIENCE: [Inaudible question]

    Julia Scher: Right. It's an extension of an economy.

MALE AUDIENCE: [Inaudible question]

    Julia Scher: No. I'm only extending the myth of an economic system which is hierarchical by design, and not implying at all that it would be a democratic or even egalitarian mine field.

MALE AUDIENCE: [Inaudible question]

    Julia Scher: I don't know about artists, but it's an interesting idea. I mean I think it's an interesting way to go, actually. It's one way to go.

MALE AUDIENCE: I've noticed there is advertising on your site. What type of relationship do you maintain with the corporate world? Don't you think you have to sacrifice a certain freedom to be able to get that money?

    Benjamin Weil: First of all, today, apart from advertising, I don't know of any other means of income. I don't know -- I mean, except for either being not-for-profit, which means grant writing, which maybe not being as free as might eventually be always talked about. The NEA, for instance, is obviously not the best example for being able to get money without having to comply to a certain type of aesthetics or rules. So advertising is probably not worse than any other form of support. Because the web is still is in the making, I think that nobody has really found the exact economic definition, and obviously, as pointed out before I think that when you walk into a completely new realm you have a tendency to bring old models because you don't really know how to develop new models without having a certain history.