Money Not Art

We Make Money Not Art: Transmediale awards: booze, trolls and German financial deficit
by Régine Debatty

…Another nominated work i need to mention is Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern’s Wikipedia Art. The conceptual work was launched two years ago on Wikipedia as a conventional Wikipedia page, requiring thus art editors to abide by Wikipedia’s standards of quality and verifiability, Any changes to the art had therefore to be published on, and cited from, ‘credible’ external sources from ‘trustworthy’ media outlets. Wikipedia Art blossomed this as a collaborative performance that kept on transforming itself through its editors discussions.


15 hours after its creation the page was deleted. Jimmy Wales called Kildall a troll. The artists were sued for trademark infringement by the Wikipedia Foundation, when they set up to archive their project.

The art world was not so supercilious. The project was even included in the Internet Pavilion of the Venice Biennale for 2009. In an interview to myartspace the author of the project explained that “one of the problems we discovered is that a huge demographic of very young people (ages 16-23) dominates the Wikipedia culture, ethos and information trade. The result is a bigger emphasis on pop culture and esoteric geek factoids, while topics like art movements and artists get sidelined. Try looking up something like “Warlock (Dungeons & Dragons)” as compared to, say, digital art star Cory Arcangel, who is currently on the cover of Art Forum. The standards for the two are completely opposing! The D&D page only uses online sources far from the mainstream, while the Cory Arcangel page references some of the most important museums in existence today. Despite this, the D&D page actually calls for “expansion,” while the Arcangel page is prefaced with a disclaimer that its citations are insufficient.”

read full article: Transmediale awards: booze, trolls and German financial

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post: The Truth According to Wikipedia
by Claire Gordon

…A couple years ago, two artist activists, Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern, decided to prod at these quirks through a piece of collaborative art, in the form of a Wikipedia page.

In order for Wikipedia Art to qualify as a Wikipedia entry to begin with, it had to be discussed on some of the sources Wikipedia considers citation worthy. So Wikipedia Art was blogged about. The artists were interviewed. And then, on Valentine’s Day 2009, Kildall and Stern launched the Wikipedia Art page, citing the blogs that had mused on it and the interviews they gave, and inviting edits. In doing so, Kidall and Stern made Wikipedia Art exist.

Wikipedia Art is what J.L. Austin called a “performative utterance” — an expression that is also an action, like saying “I do” at your wedding or a declaration of war. The words transform reality, bringing a thing into existence by saying it.

Kildall and Stern’s “collaborative performance” and “public intervention” was a feedback loop, existing only through its documentation, and so called to attention the cracks and short-circuits in Wikipedia’s totalizing claims to knowledge.

Within 16 hours the page was deleted. A month later the Wikipedia Foundation sued the artists, who had established to archive their project, for trademark infringement.

With their project, Kildall and Stern proved the vulnerability of Wikipedia to the comic or malicious machinations of vandals or fools. But more dangerously, the artists showed how Wikipedia is in the business of truth-making, influencing the reality it tries to record….

read all of The Truth According to Wikipedia

The Sunday Guardian

Sunday Guardian:  Art as Critique: Tackling the bias, flaws in WikipediaThe Sunday Guardian: Art as Critique: Tackling the bias, flaws in Wikipedia
by Shweta Sharma

The growth of Wikipedia as an institution has mirrored, and possibly even propelled, the growth of Web2.0. As the importance of Web2.0 has grown in our lives, Wikipedia has become the world’s go-to encyclopeadia, a veritable treasure trove of information on all sorts of topics. Because Wikipedia is user-generated, relying on its readers to add the information, it manages to cover more topics than any other encyclopedia before it. And with its rise has come about the demise of Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book, those handsomely bound, meticulously edited, multi-volume tracts that were the first source of research for student and teacher alike in the days before the Internet.

But of course, not everything in Wikipedia-land is hunky dory. The first and most important criticism of the encyclopedia is that, by allowing users to generate and edit their own entries, there is no one who is accountable for any errors that creep in – and any expert on a topic will tell you just how many errors creep into almost every Wikipedia article. This was the basis from which digital media artists Nathaniel Stern and Scott Kildall launched Wikipedia Art in February 2009. Their goal is to bring to the public’s attention the most vital failings of Wikipedia as a media source; to inform them that the world should not trust everything they say under the famous W symbol.

“Wikipedia Art arose from our discussions about how important Wikipedia is as a resource of information, but how little people know about its internal mechanisms. Nathaniel and I had tried working as Wikipedia editors to compensate for the absence of contemporary arts coverage in it. We realised that many assume that Wikipedia is the ‘free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit’, while it’s actually quite difficult to make a new page. And there’s a lot of politics and lobbying involved in trying to get across an important information in it,” says Kildall.

continue reading Art as Critique: Tackling the bias, flaws in Wikipedia