Comment by Tetsuo Kogawa, Art on the Net Guest Director
The number of entries of more than 100 artists was the largest ever for this project. It could be because the deadline was set right after the first anniversary of 9/11. Many entries kept coming after September 11 as well. I wonder whether the changes in the judging procedure have also motivated the participation. My main concern was there, as I am seeing, at the root of the September 11 incident, the end result of a never-ending rat race.
Playing sports is often interpreted as a substitute behavior for avoiding wars and appeasing combative instincts. However, such substitution would not completely eliminate our aggressive desire and would not end wars or strife. Rather than going for substitute and evade the problem, can't we relativize such desire and alienate it? This is our attempt to do that, by introducing an epochal method of mutually judging each other's work to Art on the Net, this year and for the future.
There were some entries unrelated to 9/11 or conveniently adapted (recycled), but as long as they followed the guidelines, we included in the entry list to see how the objectives mentioned above are met. Art on the Net 2002 is entering its key stage. I am looking forward to unparalleled creative results.
Comment by You Minowa, Curator of MCMOGATK
I had some concerns when the outline of the project this year was finalized; how artists would receive this theme of heavily social nature - 9/11- and the mutual judging/voting system which is quite rare for events sponsored by art museums.
Fortunately, my concerns were proven wrong very soon. It is, in fact, natural that people get interested in incidents of such magnitude as 9/11, and that individuals express their opinions and discuss them - outside the Art World. However, inside the Art World, it still seems very uncommon even today. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to find that so many artists were willing to take part.
We requested artists to submit their profiles and photographs this time. Whether anonymity is appropriate for addressing social issues as serious as 9/11 is a matter of opinion. We understand, of course, why some artists would prefer withholding their identities - but those courageous artists who responded to our request earnestly urged us not to accept those entries with undisclosed identity. Also the entries obviously not following the contest guidelines were excluded from the list.
With the participation of this many artists, we believe this project has earned some significance - at least in the Art World - and if the latent power of this new system of mutual voting by artists themselves could be drawn out, wouldn't this project have some impact on the world outside the Art World as well?