re: CyberPatrol blocking art sites...

Lile Elam ((no email))
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 17:27:20 -0700 (PDT)

>From: Michael Betancourt <>
>Subject: re: CyberPatrol blocking art sites...
>I'd like to add my vote of agreement here. (look what happens when I don't
>check my email in the morning...)
>Debra's comments strike me as absolutely frightening in their implications
>-- if you're an artist not in a museum, they're not going to call your work

Hi fellow artists and Debra,

I guess Michael's comment really addresses one of my main concerns
about this whole issue.

The web has given artists of our day a major step up in that we are
able to show our work to the masses *ourselves*, not by going through
the art world's burocratic system. Today you can see some of the most
bleeding edge art of our day on the web. We would never see this in a
museum! Galleries will most likely show art that is either by known
artists or works that they feel will sell...

When blocking software blacklists artists' sites and works because
they contain nudity (even though it's art and not porn), unknown
artists are not considered artists unless they are apart of the
art world's burocracy.

So, unknown artists, such as ourselves, have our works go unseen
by people viewing works in say, a library who's local community
has forced into mandating that such blocking software be used.

I am not sure what the solution is to this problem. Prehaps
making sure the software companies that make the blocking software
place a disclaimer or warning on their product that makes people
aware that if they use this product, they are missing alot of art
and other useful/helpful information on the web.

It would also help if the list of blocked sites were posted so that
people could see what they are missing. That the lists are proprietary
and confidential is unfortunate. It's like no one is holding these
companies accountable for what they are blocking. And it's all done
in the name of protecting our children!

Hopefully better technical solutions will evolve that will help
us solve this whole problem. But in the meantime, I think it's
important that artists help make people aware of the issues that
are arising due to the existance of blocking software and methods
of censorship that companies such as CyberPatrol practice.