Chiara Moioli: Miltos Manetas, a painter, yet also a pillar in the development of what will later be dubbed #Postinternet art 🔺️MM: My definition of Neen is something that we agree is Neen when we see it but we can’t explain why. 🔺️ I did not make Neen. I encountered it. 🔺️ What I wanted was to actually see a new landscape and to represent it. 🔺️ “Why don’t we do a new art movement?” The idea for a new art movement was in me since the exhibition Traffic, curated by #NicolasBourriaud, when he coined the term “#RelationalAesthetics,” which I thought did not sound cool but sounded more like a scientists’ thing. 🔺️ I wanted a name that was fresh, like Dada. 🔺️ I was on an airplane reading a magazine, and I saw that there was a company in California called @LexiconBranding that made names 🔺️ Except it cost $100,000 to get a name from them. 🔺️Yvonne Force found the money. We hired Lexicon, organized a meeting 🔺️I had slides with all the Relational aesthetic stuff and contemporary art. I told them, “Look and look and look. I don’t want nothing to do with that at all 🔺️ I showed them [the work of Lucio Fontana and I told them the word “screen” and talked about the landscape of the computer screen. All of this was happening inside a wooden antique luxury boat docked in the waters of Sausalito, California, as the office of this place, Lexicon, was a yacht and their workplace a bar.🔺️Three months later came a fax🔺️@MaiUeda, went, like, “I want to be Neen. I like this Neen, Neen! I want to be a Neenstar.” 🔺️The Americans were embarrassed; they could not even pronounce it 🔺️It sounded as if you were hearing something annoying 🔺️We did this presentation at Gagosian Gallery 🔺️everybody freaked out completely. 🔺️ From there it started a magic where the computers practically took existence between us. Neen came.
🔺️ The presentation started with Pinker saying “This word, which now you will hear about, will never have success. It is a word destined to fail.” 🔺️ the word #NEEN evoked things like nina, nana—all the embarrassing kind of things in English. 🔺️And the projection came out greenish. The whole projection was lime green. All wrong. Everybody was embarrassed. Me? I was incredibly happy. That was Neen. The computer was fucking up something. 🔺️I said to Sushi Matsuda, “Mr. Matsuda, please press the button.” He pressed the button, and a Sony computer said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the new name for contemporary art is Neen, N-E-E-N. I hope that you like it. Have a nice evening.” 🔺️I realized that (NEEN) was not just a landscape, it was like a spirit: a new kind of spirit going around into the world. 🔺️An informatic creature, like we are. 🔺️It would produce little accidents. It would enact things that were not predicted. 🔺️I was not breeding a cultural meme, I was trying to breed an essence of something. So I didn’t care for the success, I cared for existence. It was not memetic. 🔺️People, when they would say “Neen,” would smile. That smile was important because it guaranteed that it would not attract the type of unsmiling people, but it would get only a few selected ones.
🔺️#TheNeenStory, Part- 5 From: "Make a Wilderness", Miltos Manetas interviewed by #ChiaraMoioli for @Moussemagazine _____________________________ 🔺️Then Mike made an animation that was called Strawberries and Pizza...
🔺️ There was #AFTERNEEN, the first Neen exhibition in #CASCO, a place in Holland, where we showed the #NeenWorld by #Angelidakis. The day after the opening, a computerized car that was parking outside broke through the storefront of CASCO and destroyed the computers, everything. The first Neen show disappeared because of a computerized car. Those days, because it was costing a lot to host these Worlds on servers, we decided to host them on the computers, so we lost the whole Neen World. The gallery called me, and I was in heaven: “Yeah, that’s it. That’s Neen. Neen accident, Neen thing.” There was a series of Neen calamities where the computer rebelled as Neen did not want to be captured. This was the first, and for me the last show, even though many other great exhibitions were made; but for me, that was the end of Neen.
🔺️MM: I was immediately accused of being the posh artist who just wanted to profit from computers, and I was completely clueless about what was happening in the Internet art scene. They were absolutely right, these accusations. These net.art people were right: I had no idea what Internet art was. I had seen some Internet art, but it did not attract my interest because it did not look to me like it was glossy, glamorous, sparkling, moving around. CM: None of it was. Early net.art was the opposite of glamour. MM: For those reasons, I have never watched it. Since the beginning of Neen, the spirit of Neen captured me, took me from the inside.