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consisted of a specially equipped double bed allowing its occupant(s) to communicate over gestures and movements with the occupant(s) of an identically equipped bed at the remote location. The use of blue box and ISDN video conferencing made it appear as if the actually far-apart participants were lying together in one virtual double bed. The bed metaphor in particular makes this installation the most intimate of Sermon's telematic works.
The artists who began intervening in networks in the late 1970s initially did so in defiance of the art industry. «In our view,» said Hank Bull and Patrick Ready, «it was about art that did not have to go through the art business, but reached the listeners directly from the artists, the producers.» Like the later Net artists of the 1990s, they wanted to occupy and exploit spaces outside institutionalized art discourse. As Roy Ascott wrote in 1984, it was a matter of creating a «planetary discursive community outside, or able to bypass, the institutionalized administration of discourse.» The artistic projects that came into
being in telecommunications networks from the late 1970s onward eluded traditional object-oriented concepts, and adhered more to Joseph Beuys' notion of «social sculpture,» to the non-object nature of concept art, to the event-orientation of performance art, or to the Situationists' notion of the political. In regard to telecommunications projects from the late 1970s onward, Robert Adrian X allocates particular significance to E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) and mail art: «It was mail art, with its notion of a postal space–a flurry of images encompassing, thanks to integrated postal services, the globe–that made it possible in the first place to develop the idea of works of art in the electronic realm.»
Immaterialization, process and participation were the three perhaps most important, and closely related, ideas in the context of electronic art. Robert Adrian X, referring to his telecommunication project «The World In 24 Hours» (1982), which was commissioned for the Ars Electronica festival, emphasized that the artistic dimension consisted precisely in not creating special objects but instead establishing «communicative»