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The Art of Failure

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the for-the-artsy-fartsy-in-you dept.

News 54

H316 writes "On the BBC web site, I saw an article on an art exhibit about the art of failure. The exhibit is entitled "Dot-Gone." Here is a great example of why the net still has so many issues; this is an interesting story, but we get friggin' thumbnail sized pictures of the artworks. And only a couple of them at that. There's some clever stuff there, but a dozen hi-res photos would have made me extremely happy. That said, the story is really bandwagony (its as trendy today to rip on dot coms as it was 1.5 years ago to write about Linux, of course I'm biased ;). I'd actually like to see this show tho, some of the works sound interesting. Woulda been nice if they showed them to us. I guess I could reconstruct the business card one using all the business cards I keep in a fishbowl saved from tradeshows.

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In related news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#285305)

Userlocal.com [userlocal.com] is running a story on how all but the head of the Slackware project has been laid off. Patrick Volkerding is the only one left, due to Wind River aquiring BSDi/Slackware/CDROM.com

All Slackware core team members except Pat V. have been laid off
Posted Monday, April 16, 2001 by keskoy
Chris Lumens (Slackware Linux core team member) explained to me in IRC what happened:

Chris "David, Logan, and I were laid off from BSDi. Slackware will continue to be maintained. Right now, we can't say too much about what's going on due to the usual corporate hejaz, but hopefully we will be able to explain later. For now, keep on supporting Slackware and we'll continue to work on it"

David Cantrell also commented "all four of us are still Slackware core team members"

Show Review of "Dot Gone" (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#285306)

Hello, I stopped in for opening night at the gallery. It was mobbed, but I couldn't tell how many people worked at dot.coms or whether it was just art social event. One wall was covered with business cards that had a hole punched out and attached to the wall with a hook (dot gone, get it? ha ha ha). Many of the business cards where from companies that doing ok (I can only remember Red Herring, but there were others). The graphic design that went into the cards for logos was quite interesting. No commemtary or comments on any of it. There were some silkscreens halftones of supposedly famous dot com CEOs above a water cooler. I didn't recognize any of them and I could find any labels. The other wall had a couple of "cubes" with aeron chairs. The computers had something on them, but it was too crowed to see. It was a small show and I know they were rushed to get the gallery space cleaned up and organized. Hopefully, they'll add more to it since they have a good idea.

Re:I'm in SF but won't go see this (1)

pod (1103) | more than 13 years ago | (#285307)

The only difference is that many more dumb startups got funding

That's not exactly the difference. The difference is many more startups got funding on the public market. As a result average people felt the losses when these companies failed. It's usually venture capitalists and wealthy individuals who take the highest risk, by the time a company got around to an IPO it was fairly stable and at least profitable. Companies used to IPO because they needed cash to expand, not to survive.

NPR Story from a while ago (1)

smoser (4385) | more than 13 years ago | (#285308)

NPR did a story on this in "Morning Edition" from 02-08-01. The link (no way this can be the shortest link) for it is: here [npr.org] .

Theres even a real audio link (although it didn't want to play for me). it also links to wearefamous.com [wearefamous.com] , the artists' site

More details... (2)

elvum (9344) | more than 13 years ago | (#285309)

See the gallery [lairoftheminotaur.org] and the (bay area) artists [wearefamous.com] themselves. ('ware Flash!)

Actually, this was all in The Standard [thestandard.com] a couple of months ago...

I'm cheering (3)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#285310)

The more dot-coms that go under, and the more people cast aside, the better the future will be. All those people need to do something, because they gotta eat. Probably quite a number of them will try their own businesses, and some of those might very well be the next big thing. It's similar to what happens when a big employer leaves town. Here in Austin TX, Texas Instruments left town years ago leaving a lot of really smart people without jobs. It's not a coincidence that a lot of those people started their own companies soon after that, contributing to the tech boom in this town.

Re:I'm cheering (5)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#285311)

You're right about that. I moved here in July 1999, and it took me 20 minutes to find a job (not exagerating).

I switched jobs in February and it took a whole 2 days to find a job. That's absolutely outrageous, and is a sign of how terribly rough things are right now.

Re:I'm in SF but won't go see this (me neither) (2)

NatePuri (9870) | more than 13 years ago | (#285312)

I'm in SF too. I'll tell ya...

I moved here in August 2000 to take on a sys admin job. It was still pretty bustling then.

Every where I looked I thought I was looking at Armani models and shit. Stupid me, I'm from out of town, my gear was shitty, and everyone thought I was in some low position because I wasn't "director of pig fuck".

8 mos. later, and director of pig fuck has his $500 for 500 business cards pressed on your typical whiny San Francisco "I'm intellectual b/c I'm from San Francisco" pseudo-art exhibit where where the funny hair dyes stand out b/c the pussies are too scared to get tatoos, piercings and look really counter-culture.

8 mos. later, and I have a job. I didn't know sys admins had it so good. We're the first ones hired (me) and the the last ones fired (also will be me). So all you marketing, purchaser, HR, bla bla blas from Berkeley, Stanford, and *worse* you blue blood immigrants from Boston, you'll see me on my beat down motorcycle with messenger bag, a laptop, conspicuous tatoos, piercings and no degree, and I'll be seeing y'all at the unemployment line. Wave when you see me!

*I'm bitter because these cheesy posers wanted to be rock stars by starting an internet version of an ice cream truck, and they really thought they were rock stars*

"failed utterly"? (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#285313)

Like a promise that was held out to a new generation of people coming from college and it failed utterly. It's really hit a nerve all over town."

I wouldn't call it a total failure - as in all spheres of life, the things that people really care about on the Internet will remain, and all else will pass away. ebusiness (I feel dirty just typing it) is here to stay, no matter how many individual companies went belly-up.

The best analysis I've seen so far (further up the page by now) is that there were no risks in failing since you're using somebody else's money, so everybody went for it even if they didn't have a good plan. Ultimately this just managed to blow off a lot of investors' cash on some very fancy marketing and perks. It was fun while it lasted, and it proves once and for all that you can't trust Wall Street to be "rational investors" all the time.

Re:"failed utterly"? (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#285314)

Completely understandable, it's too bad if the article misrepresented things somewhat. I'm just a little defensive about the current media perception that the dot-com era was a total failure - sometimes I wonder if it was technology correspondents who lost the most when the bubble burst, and so now they're bitter about everything online. I think the general population uses the 'net for things that work for them (email, web, and IM mostly), and so the failure of things that don't work for them (boo.com) shouldn't count against the overall increase in 'net usage and importance in our lives.

Good luck with your show, sorry I'm from out of town and won't get a chance to see it.

Re:The sad fate of images... (1)

Kaa (21510) | more than 13 years ago | (#285315)

nowadays, it's almost impossible to have a really nice gallery of images

Yes, but not for the reasons that you think.

If we are talking utilitarian images (e.g. the picture of the toaster that the guys want to sell you), then a high-res 1800x1600 image *is* overkill. Even leaving aside the poor modem users, not many people like to scroll around to see the complete image and I doubt that there are ten people in the world who are buying toasters from a machine with a better-than-1800x1600 desktop resolution.

If we are talking art (including photos, etc.) then the major problem is color rendition on the user's monitor (mostly a gamma problem, but more than that). The rude reality is that you cannot put an image on the web and make sure it appears on the people's monitors the way you want it to. Talk to professional photographers who use digital, e.g. to submit proofs to clients. They've been banging their head on this particular wall for some time now.

I guess, as usual, the intended use should determine the quality/size of the image.

Kaa

Blame the media, I do (1)

mako (30489) | more than 13 years ago | (#285316)

The dot com hysteria was accompanied and spurred by the media showering us with images of 25 year old High School drop outs becoming paper millionaires in 48 hours. Las Vegas could use that kind of advertising.

The "high tech life style" portrayed in popular culture has become something to strive for. The reality is that it does not exist. It is the analogue of young girls depressed and sullen that what they see in the mirror does not match the airbrushed cover of Vogue.

Now that there has been a bust in the industry one can almost feel the sigh of relief from those who chose to persue an education, or a career as opposed to pie in the sky greed.

mm.m. can you taste the pretention? (1)

ebbv (34786) | more than 13 years ago | (#285317)


i can!

tastes like .... spago!
...dave

demotivator (1)

seanw (45548) | more than 13 years ago | (#285318)

as the fine demotivator goes:
"Failure--when your best just isn't good enough"

Contrast this with... (1)

mike_the_kid (58164) | more than 13 years ago | (#285319)

Art taken from around the turn of the century, such as Sinclair's the Jungle (different medium). Or, if your locale used to be an industrial area, take a look at what that was like back in the day. All of a sudden, the whole dot-bomb/gone thing is a little bit overexposed. At least the people who got laid off had been making living wages, had a little more control of their destiney. I don't want to sound like a troll, I feel for the people who lost their jobs. Take a look at the art, empathize with the people on the bottom, and be glad for what you have.

Oops! I thought... (2)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 13 years ago | (#285320)

...they where talking about this [thinkgeek.com] ...which I thought was pretty good art.

Re:Why I still love the internet (1)

shazam* (83121) | more than 13 years ago | (#285321)

why do you think michigan?
poster is canadian.

I did something like that once... (1)

knodi (93913) | more than 13 years ago | (#285322)

I once made a series of posters like what this is discussing. Trademarked images from dead companies, thrown together in as morbid a way as possible....
Not an original idea, but definitely one with a rich pool to draw from right now.
I wish I'd started a failed dot.com, just so I'd have something to contribute when the conversation started turning inevitably towards the topic.

Not always... -Flint, MI (3)

Dman33 (110217) | more than 13 years ago | (#285323)

It's similar to what happens when a big employer leaves town.

Although there is some truth to that statement; sometimes the loss of a big employer kills the town too. When the Big 3 and AC Delco closed plants in Flint, MI the city went into a downward spiral of which it has not recovered. Many other factors play a role in the analogy that you are making. I just hope you are right that this will lead to bigger and better things!

Don't discriminate against failed dotcoms (3)

bonzoesc (155812) | more than 13 years ago | (#285324)

Their lack of business is in no way caused by their incompetence, their frivolousness, their greed, and their failure to plan.

Oh wait - it is.

Tell me what makes you so afraid
Of all those people you say you hate

VERY INTERESTING (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 13 years ago | (#285325)

Copyright (C) 2000 Richard Stallman Verbatim copying and distribution of the entire contents of this page contents are permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved. from this URL: http://www.stallman.org/jokes.html I thought richard stallman was against copyright? a little offtopic, but I would really like to get some responses to this. (Your beloved copyleftist has shown his colors) This is not a troll BTW.

Re:VERY INTERESTING (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 13 years ago | (#285326)

yes i have read his views already, I also see that views like RMS's are altered for "the good of the people". Sounds like a bunch of BULLSHIT.

so, in essence, here is what he believes: copyrights are bad, but not for him or his cause. If you beleve something is wrong, like copyrights, utilizing them is a bit hypocritical.

Sounds familiar...like what the RIAA is doing, but most people are to "wowed" by his involvement in the FSF movement.

Hall o' Shame (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#285327)

is here [fuckedcompany.com]

I'm in SF but won't go see this (5)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#285328)

I saw the writeup in the Chronicle [sfgate.com] . But even though I work in the old dot-com district (South of Market) and am in the tech business (for an established company), I don't think I'll bother with this show.

Why? Businesses come and go all the time. Most startups fail. It has always been this way. The only difference is that many [marchfirst.com] more [alladvantage.com] dumb [kozmo.com] startups [pets.com] got funding [idealab.com] (and huge PR) in 1999-2000, and now more of them are toast [fuckedcompany.com] now.

Here in SF everyone wants to dump on the dot-coms, because they brought too many of the "wrong" (smart, educated, young) people into a city that the locals think is exclusively theirs. Certainly many of the stupid startups were a waste of time, money, and office space. But you have to put up with a lot of failures to get the diamonds in the rough.

So while I think it's fun to make fun of the bad ideas, we shouldn't forget the good stuff. Think of the auto industry: 100s (maybe 1000s) of companies have failed between the invention of the auto and today, but autos got vastly more reliable by 1950 than they were in the 1920s - in no small part because of this innovation.

Tech is no different.

What were those people thinking? (5)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#285329)

I think they were mainly thinking: "Hey, there's VC out there, let's get some!" Since the downside wasn't perceived as very high (so what if you fail?) and the upside appeared huge (remember Amazon at $400?) otherwise rational people went and did it.

I think Warren Buffett said it best in his annual report: [berkshirehathaway.com]

The fact is that a bubble market has allowed the creation of bubble companies, entities designed more with an eye to making money off investors rather than for them.

And people bought into this. So fools and their money were, in the classic style, parted.

Re:Not always... -Flint, MI (1)

villy (199943) | more than 13 years ago | (#285330)

"...leaving a lot of really smart people without jobs. It's not a coincidence that a lot of those people started their own companies soon after that"

Based upon the original quote, I think this addresses the different outcome in the two scenarios. This would most likely be attributable to the industries, though. It's one thing to do a SW start-up... I'm assuming it takes a lot more effort to do an auto (or auto-related) start-up.

Failure Is good (2)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 13 years ago | (#285331)

Maybe not in the sense of these particular companies, most of whom didn't know how to run a profitable business- but consider this, the mantra of Ideolab and DEKA research, two of the quickest, most innovative development shops:

"Fail faster to succeed sooner."

Screwing up is inevitable, but the sooner you do it, the faster you know which paths are unsuccessful. For example, Thomas Edison knew over 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb.

just a thought.

American ingenuity (1)

T1girl (213375) | more than 13 years ago | (#285332)

You can get a Mousepad [cafepress.com] from the Museum of E-Failure [disobey.com] and look all you want.

Re:I'm in SF but won't go see this (1)

ageitgey (216346) | more than 13 years ago | (#285333)

But in most industries a company gets funded because they have something unique - say a cheaper way to build an engine or the backing of a well-known engineer. Most of the .com's had nothing useful to offer. I remember seeing one interview during the 98-99 funding crazy with an author that used to make up .com pitches on the spot whenever she met funding-types during the course of her research. She got offered millions, including $10 mil to start a site to list names of dead pets. This kind of complete disreguard for basic business principles doesn't apply to other industries. So when the wheat is seperated from the chaff... no wheat remains.

Dot.Coms huh? (5)

ageitgey (216346) | more than 13 years ago | (#285334)

Speaking of the so-called .coms, why didn't any of these giantic companies understand that they were spending millions to build the equivalent of a mail order catalog? I think the .com fiasco demonstates just how stupid the average business exec is. Are these people just completely out of touch with reality? The business world must be a lot like Hollywood - the people are clueless and they base their decisions on what the current trend is.

"We will sell 20 pound bags of dog food on the internet. That makes sense."

Now, I'm not some trendy dot-com basher. I've been trying to tell people this for 6 years. I'm sure most of slashdot is in the same boat, because it's obvious to anyone with half a clue. But I just want to know, once and for all, what were these people thinking?

The exhibit itself. (1)

fishfucker (217763) | more than 13 years ago | (#285335)

while it's nice to see some kids from what, er, is the alma mater, succeed, it's somewhat disappointing that, er their "fAME" comes primarily through hype -- the show got write-ups TWO MONTHS before it opened, and not because it was a inherently interesting project, but because it slammed dot-coms at the time when most mainstream media realized what uh, most slashdot readers (yes, obligatory slashdot cocksucking) have realized for quite some time. (IE: snappy one liner art piece + lazy reporters = OH SHIT IT'S AN ART MOVEMENT.) not really. fsifhcuerk. sour grapes? an abundance.

Re:Why I still love the internet (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#285336)

poster is canadian.

Oops, I thought Comandante Taco was from Holland, MI. Well, as far as I was concerned, Michigan was pretty much Canada, anyway, cept for all them rednecks like Ab-Norman Olson and his MM, eh?

--

Why I still love the internet (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#285337)

I read a post, put up by someone I assume is in Michigan, about an article on the BBC website, which I assume is in the UK, about an exhibit about 50 miles away from where I'm sitting.

Yeah, lots of dot.gones, the commute's not so bad, but might be more related to Spring Break than cuts and closures. Still, the word was 8,500 going from Cisco, yet they still want to build some massive tech campus in Coyote Creek.

Puts me in mind of a spinner we used to have for an NT server for Notes. The server is:

Up | Down | Up | Down | Up | Down ...

Would have been nice if they had given the address, here's a link in The Standard [thestandard.com] along with some other amusing stuff.

Address is: 3316 26th, San Francisco, CA
www.lairoftheminotaur.org [lairoftheminotaur.org]

--

Re:Not always... -Flint, MI (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#285338)

Hey, that's what happens when you get a fat, lazy union that only knows how to do one thing. The Rust Belt industries were all transplanted to cheap labor countries, due to impossibly high labor costs in the USA. You can't make the same analogy with companies failing due to lack of capital or moronic management.

Re:union bashing... (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#285339)

Maybe...decades ago, there was a reason for unions to exist. Nowadays, they're just a big drag. They're corrupt as hell. Your union dues go to whoever the Democratic candidate is in any election. Maybe if unions were just about better working conditions, they'd make more sense, but they're mostly about politics and raw power, because for some strange reason the union people will vote en masse for whichever candidate the union boss chooses. Unions are inefficient, too. An old co-worker once related a story of how things were when he had to go onsite to another location...he couldn't even move a stack of boxes from one side of the room to the other without getting a union guy to do it. He would have gotten in trouble if he moved the boxes himself. It ended up taking three days to get someone to move the boxes for him, and it was all due to union rules. Rah unions.

I don't want someone fighting for my job when labor costs are cheaper in another country. What about the poor Russians who will be enriched by new jobs in their devastated economy? If they want to move development elsewhere, it's not my concern...I'll find another job. Big deal. I'm fully aware I'm expendable...so is my employer, it's a two-way street. I can quit any day I want to and blow a big hole in their plans. Frankly, losing a job is more of an opportunity to get a better job than any kind of negative thing. Is having a job some kind of a right? I don't remember reading anything about it in the Constitution.

Fitting (5)

vodoolady (234335) | more than 13 years ago | (#285340)

To mourn a valueless economy with an artless art project. I dot-commiserate.

Failure has always been en vouge in art (1)

Aztech (240868) | more than 13 years ago | (#285341)

SFGate also has a similar article called 'Digital Debuts' [sfgate.com] :- "
The notion that all things digital are shiny new miracles is quickly becoming a tarnished idea of the past. Certainly this applies to the economic and social ennui generated by each new announcement of a yet another crashed dot-com. With every passing day, the sleek, glowing promise of high-tech is starting to seem like history.
"

Failure is an art now? (1)

Rosonowski (250492) | more than 13 years ago | (#285342)

Seems that If failure is an art now, and they will put it into gallerys, that I need to start collecting royaltys on some of my previous works.

And from this moment on, I hereby copyright all of my failure under the new simplyfyed copyright laws.

So bah.

And should this post be modded down -don't- I copyright that too.

IN FACT, ALL YOUT FAILURE IS BELONG TO ME.

Re:The sad fate of images... (2)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 13 years ago | (#285343)

Well, part of the idea is that nobody does...and nobody should have to. I mean, you go to the Met or the Whitney to look at paintings, right? But you never, ever consider that you'll be able to absorb them all...art is just too real, just too detailed, just too large. Online art needs higher resolution than is currently available to even approach the offline experience...which, luddites aside, is what it should do. Online exhibits are much cheaper to maintain and offer no possibility of ruination for the original work, which makes them a beautiful alternative to expensive print reproductions and art exhibits which have viewing hours and limited space. Besides, two gig goes fast...consider 600 meg of mpeg-1 video clips at 1500 kbit each, another 250 meg of 600 kbit DivX clips and about 50 meg of rm "thumbnails", and hakf of that is gone already. Now combine that with those high res images I mentioned. What you have in your hand is a lot of space, taken up mostly by your higher quality choices -- choice which, as I've mentioned, is necessary to give digitized medium a "real world" feel.

The sad fate of images... (4)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 13 years ago | (#285344)

Somewhere in the last two years' rush to the internet, the concept of the image got lost. It used to be easy to find lots of pictures online -- almost every site was full of high res pictures of products and so forth. Then, around the time Akamai came out, IT people realised something: images robbed bandwidth. After all, did it make sense to have a nice 64k image taking up your server's time that would be better spent rendering a page or handling a credit card transcation? Well, it might -- to those of us still adjusting to the internet-as-money-maker concept, or anybody who really lives for content. But nowadays, it's almost impossible to have a really nice gallery of images. Consider this: one high res 2.3 mpixel (1800x1600) jpeg image with low compression takes upwards of 800k with no compression and 230 with plenty of it. Shrink it down, and you can fit it under the magical 60k mark, but you lose all your res and pick up a lot of block noise. The solution, of course, is the thumbnail -- but it's not complete. Thumbnails take time and a moderate level of knowledge to generate, and they take up space. 10 truly high res graphics of the type i described above, plus their thumbnails, plus an intermediate size for the poor suckers on dailup, and you're looking at 10 meg. Consider also that many servers are still charging webspace at a 1996 rate (at least, I haven't found one yet that would accept my site's 2 gig of mpegs, jpegs and tfifs without charging me at the ultracorporate rate of $500+/month), and it just doesn't make any sense to take your not-for-profit personal page or motion media show-off site and bring it online. If you do bring it online, you're stuck either paying a lot of money (thus forcing you to accept advertisements and bastardize all your hard work or beg for money) or reducing your graphics and media to heavily compressed closed source solutions like asf or rm (notice i didn't say asx or rmi...saving art should be the right of the browser).

Hopefully, somebody out there in the hosting world will realise that the death of the VC funded dot com will require a reduction in hosting costs to survive...or the invention of clever pricing plans to allow us spacehogs that don't push much bandwidth to colocate with bandwidth eaters with no space requirements, e.g. the drudge report.

+2 Sympathetic (2)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#285345)


What I would like to know is, who will be the first to create an online "Hall of Fame(shame)" for the Internet.

Would be nice to reminisce about the failures that plagued the late 90's and early millenium. It could also provide a framework for newcomer businesses to reflect on some of the failures that plagued some of the dead.dot.com's, and how they can avoid going that route.

It's rather sad to see businesses go down, since it shows us that nothing is secure, nothing is given/free, and we shouldn't take anything for granted when dealing with the technology field.

Personally I also think its a huge wake up call to remind many, the Internet is not a neccessity no matter what arguments you care to give, life worked fine without it in the past, and life will continue to work without it, although it has made things better, its still not a fundamental need in life. (not yet at least)

who'd of thought? [antioffline.com]

cranium cracker (2)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#285346)

more dumb startups got funding (and huge PR) in 1999-2000, and now more of them are toast now.
Kozmo wasn't such a dumb idea, I think they went about management the wrong way. Kozmo could have come in handy to many people if you think about it, handicapped, elderly. If they had something like delivery of medicine to those in need, etc. What happened (IMHO) was their management couldn't get the momentum going after the market started getting shaky in March 2000. If you look at Urban Fetch, and Kozmo, when they started thinking properly, by the time they did get the ball rolling, VC's were pissed that so many of their ventures went to the doghouse, so to think that all companies were dumb, stupid, etc., is unfair.

Maybe you may not think the ideas were so great, but others may have seen things from a different perspective (obviously which is why they invested).

Here in SF everyone wants to dump on the dot-coms, because they brought too many of the "wrong" (smart, educated, young) people into a city that the locals think is exclusively theirs.
Dot.com companies weren't limited to just San Fran, in fact many of the realty companies out here in New York City paid companies to leave so they could move in dot.com co's. In fact many districts including the meat market district (very trendy for models and glamourous types) started becoming something of a dot.com have for many companies, and many bitched about it.

Why should anyone bitch about whom moves where, as long as its in a positive effort.
Certainly many of the stupid startups were a waste of time, money, and office space.
Such fickle minded idiots especially when these dot.com companies often paid the most money for their office space, and I'm sure their employees brought a substantial amount of money into the commnity via way of purchasing food for lunhc, gas, etc.

going out of business [antioffline.com]

Re:I'm in SF but won't go see this (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#285347)

Sad, bad, loser art about sad, bad losers.

Let me try to make a list, pickiest first:

What's the point of putting the cards on hooks? Paste those fuckers down. Dead things aren't going anywhere. Put the live ones on hooks, so you can move them to the dead board and paste them down. (Half-wit artists are my pet peeve; talk about people doomed to failure...the only artistic value here is in that irony).

"And of course no office would be complete without a water cooler, which is where everyone gathers to get the latest gossip." Huh? Who the fuck ever "gathers around the water cooler?" These are people who communicated with their peers via online communities. If they gathered around anything it was a foosball table. If they wanted water they dribbled it into their Mentor Graphics mugs from desktop water-crocks, or pushed the button for it on the free-coke machine. "Water cooler" is just a figure of speech, and an inept one at that. Concreting it as art is either lame or ignorant.

"I was laid off from this company which is rapidly downsizing. They are throwing people off the plane like human cargo, so they can stay afloat." Nice mixed metaphor, Zack. Performance art. Display the stupidity that led to the debacle. This part I liked. Too bad it wasn't supposed to be part of the show.

"Rather profound". Anyone who sees any of this saran wrap as "profound" probably thinks omphaloskepsis actually means studying your navel until it reveals the secrets of the universe.

Basically, what the article tells us is that San Francisco is filling up with idiot losers who are shell-shocked by the experience of living a negative possibility they should have considered before gambling their futures on it, and who will react in puerile ways to anyone who is empathizing with them if only by rubbing their faces in their failures. And the wannabe artists and art-crits who love them and don't want to work too hard at it. Sounds like an abusive codependent relationship. I hope they're happy together. I'm gonna go get a burger.

--Blair

Re:Fitting (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#285348)

voodoolady cursed: To mourn a valueless economy with an artless art project.

Ten words. Nailed point.

Foo. And I wasted all my moderator points already this morning. Someone mod that one toward 5 for me.

--Blair

Re:Dot.Coms huh? (1)

3am (314579) | more than 13 years ago | (#285349)

I really have to fundamentally disagree with your point that web sites are equivalent to mail order catalogues...

I agree with the idea that most business people are slightly out of touch with reality. It is there job to be. You are not hired to be the president of a corporation only to pronounce their product as useless and redundant. you say that it is 'revolutionary' and 'fundamentally will change the way business X is run'. they are hired as evangelists.

it is the investors job to evaluate and analyze the pronouncements of business people, and come to their own conclusions about the validity and potential about a company. that is where the failure occurred in the market in '99 (i leave it simplified... i'm not ignorant of the fact this was a complex phenomenon, but there is a time & place...)

...anyway, i do believe that there has been a new business concept that has been created in all of this mess. your analogy of mail order catalogues is good, but flawed in the sense that a company must possess a list of people to send the catalogues to. but i can buy a yahoo storefront, or build my own site, and then let people hear about my site (or _uck_ let marketing get the word out). it is accessible to everyone, without needing to know the customers in advance.

so it has that fundamental advantage, but also - and you may dispute this - a web site can be interactive in a totally different manner than a catalogue, and in ways that are useful. as much as amazon is despise here, they demonstrate this remarkably well with the automated suggestion, wish lists, user 'suggest reading' pages, user reviews, etc...

now, has it been done right? maybe not too often. but the potential is there. maybe a guy driving a porsche boxter, with a $1500 suit, who doesn't even know SQL won't be able to exploit the possibility of online business, but some people willing to work hard will.

just my 2 cents...

Re:Not always... -Flint, MI (1)

3am (314579) | more than 13 years ago | (#285350)

big difference in the level of 'arrogant prick'.

yeah, you can code c++, assembly, and script in perl - but you can't fix your carburetor i'm guessing...

i know i'm giving up karma for this, but i don't care. my girlfriend's mother works at delphi, and makes cooling systems for car air conditioners. my girlfriend works in public policy. i code. but at least i know you don't have to be able to program to be smart, motivated, or creative.

shame on you, for being insular and prejudiced against people for the field they work in.

still wrong. (1)

3am (314579) | more than 13 years ago | (#285351)

no, engineers and programmers are more apt to start up their own companies because of this ridiculous VC climate/economy that enabled them to in the past couple of years, coupled with the fact that it is a young industry.

has nothing to do with the quality of the people in the industry, thanks.

and i will guarantee that programmers/sysadmins/etc will be unionizing down the road as the demand for them decreases, pay goes down, and employer demands reach the point where they are unreasonable, as has happened in most skilled labor pools throughout history.

union bashing... (1)

3am (314579) | more than 13 years ago | (#285352)

you know what?

you are expendable, too. the only difference is that you won't have somebody fighting to keep your job when whomever is paying your bills decides to outsource all of their programming to India or Russia.

i can't believe that /.'s fiercely independent political environment can bash unions without recognizing the reason for their existence, which is corporate abuse. Why do corporations want to pay workers less? because the people who run the company own large quantities of stock, which is more valuable if the company is more profitable. do you rely on the charitability of your boss with his own money? of course not.

if corporations treated workers better (ie stock options, better pay relative to management), then the need for and power base of unions would evaporate.

do some unions abuse their power? of course they do. are they harder to work with? yes. would they exist if there was a good relationship with management in all companies? no...

Just Lovely (1)

Jin Wicked (317953) | more than 13 years ago | (#285353)

Here this whole time I've been trying to sell paintings and drawings done the old way, and all I had to do was hang a bunch of multi-coloured business cards on some hooks on the wall. Peachy.

The dot-com world may have been forced to come to its senses, but apparently the modern art world is just as clueless as ever.

The Ard of Failure.. (1)

Liquid-Gecka (319494) | more than 13 years ago | (#285354)

And my mom always said I wasn't a artist =)

Re:Failure Is good (1)

aero6dof (415422) | more than 13 years ago | (#285355)

"Fail[ing] faster to succeed sooner" only works if you bound your search space to a size that you can afford to explore. You also have to be correct that the solution exists within those bounds.

Edison knew that light bulb filaments would work, but was looking for specific characteristics to enhance its economic viability. i.e. brightness, duration, vibration resistance, etc.

Intuitively, Edision bounded his search space in a way that was financially possible for him to explore and where success was reasonably forseeable.

You could say the dot-com's were doing this too, but it was being done on an industry wide scale more than a company scale.

I think successful (and lucky) dot-com companies were able to bound thier search scope, explore it with the finances they had aquired, and were lucky enough to actually find a workable solution.
Amazon is remarkably close to finding a workable solution for their niche, they just need to try 100 more filaments to get the characteristics it needs. ie. ways of attracting customers, ways of shipping products for the least price, etc.

Re:FT (1)

Kike Meister (443880) | more than 13 years ago | (#285356)

Or you'd spend your time uncovering Jewish conspiracies

Re:FT (1)

evil_spork (444038) | more than 13 years ago | (#285357)

If you wanted to be a real troll, you'd spend your time looking at goatse.cx rather than that crap site. You're just a pathetic wannabe like all the other ACs. Grow up and get a UID.

Re:"failed utterly"? (1)

mrobertson (444238) | more than 13 years ago | (#285358)

What you have to say is valid, but oh dear don't put too much stock in that quote-- i just run the gallery and am not one of the contributing artists, as well, i may have had a taste of someone's champagne and am NOT at all used to giving interviews to the BBC. I don't even remember the words 'failed utterly' coming out of my mouth. I'm sure it doesn't matter too much, and I'm sure you will understand. MRobertson, Lair ofthe Minotaur
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