SMAK.ORG short manifesto

SMAK.ORG is a virtual museum squat. Like "real life" squatters, we want to draw necessary attention to a situation of neglection in the public sphere - attention to interesting, rather marginal but publicly available online artwork and other relevant networked and digital projects that are not or insufficiently noticed and documented by the regular media and art world. So, we are doing the homework the 'real' S.M.A.K. has forgotten or neglected - not only the S.M.A.K., but also other 'technophobic' art institutions, and even those digital art venues and events that propagate a specific, mainstream-elitist, uncritical, politically correct and/or rather corporate technohype agenda.

SMAK.ORG wants to pursue an active policy of creating an open, bottom-up and sometimes (un)didactic platform for showcasing creative digital initiatives to an interested, uninitiated, unsuspecting or even unwilling audience. We are looking for suggestions, ideas and collaborations of any kind.

SMAK.ORG favors living work over the conservation of obsolete classics; and prefers freely available small scale projects to hyped pay-per-view or prestigious funded artworks.

SMAK.ORG is also trying to raise a debate about the role of media, museums and the art world in a networked society. We are worried about the fact that very few people, for example, seem to be questioning the media hype surrounding this new generation of contemporary art museums - it seems politically correct to applaud any effort to propagate historically grown and established 20th century artwork, and mainstream media are very eager to contribute to this politically correct image - but it might be a good idea to analyze and question these mechanisms, and to develop a more complex viewpoint on the construction of these specific (art) histories, events, personalities and institutions - often enough the results of political, corporate or nationalist agendas. We are not anti-art, but we like to ask questions and want to present alternative views.

SMAK.ORG is created by a very small group of volunteers ('You Can Do This Too'! ;), and as a no-budget project it is a cheerful tribute to those other 'heroic' small scale initiatives maintaining their own optimistic policy of self-sustainability, modesty and independence.