[-empyre-] Hellos & tonality

>Saul Ostrow
>Director, Center for Visual Art and Culture


So far, I'm heartened by the mix of personalities and the experiences they
bring to the table.  And to see that our esteemed colleague Dr. Ostrow will be
joining us for the discussion is great.  We were on a Michael Rush's panel
together at Parsons School of Design in late November, chatting about whether
the museum can play a humanist role in an era that is seeing a recroachment of
religious fundamentalism in secular society.  

(Unfortunately, Michael discussed the topic with me a few minutes prior to
going on, and I hate to extemporize.  Also, being a posthumanist with roots in
Zen Buddhism, the question itself seemed rather alien, so it was a 'strange'
experience in my estimation, but I digress.  However, I enjoyed Saul's

My salient point here is that the panel consisted entirely of very established
white men of a roughly institutional or academic bent, and from what I knew of
them, of a Judeo-Christian background, including myself. 

The segue to recent posts here at Empyre is that the lists of credentials seem
to be lengthening slowly, and although I have an 18-page CV, my personal
preference is to take a more informal engagement in collegial discussion when
it is not necessary, more in the vein of the coffee house in the East Village
versus a dais at the conference of your choice.  I believe that each of us in
our presence has some interest or credential that has drawn us here or elicited
our invitation. The evolving world of new media, especially that of net art, is
unique in its relative openness and in that much of contemporary practice is
not entirely centered within the traditional centers of power (i.e.
traditionalist institutions such as the museum and academy).  This is
especially true in the major metropolitans areas in the US, such as NYC and San
Francisco.  It is my hope that our discussions will have an open and informal
format to them in order to allow for the widest cultural, intellectual, and
disciplinary diversity (or lack thereof), encompassing traditionalism, pop
culture, street engagements, the emerging new schools of theoretical work and
so on.

However, I understand that there is the other end of the spectrum (namely
intellectual chaos, as seen on other lists as late), and it is also my hope
that our signal to noise ratio will be high and that our conversations will be

Therefore, I hope that I have not been out of line in stating my desires for
the tone of the group as being informal without sacrificing our quality of

If I have overstepped my bounds, I deeply apologize.
Welcome everyone! 


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