Re: [-empyre-] multi-perspectival / cultural hegemony of space

Linda Wallace wrote:
> far from finding this ongoing dialogue tedious, when I distilled what I was
> really interested in, I found these gems from simon biggs (answering john
> klima) allow a way into thinking about how space itself has been commodified
> by the empire of homogeneity we find ourselves in today

lets not forget that space (ie real estate) has always been commodified,
its not just a contemporary state. that notions of ownership and
commodity of "virtual space" (domain name registration for example) have
occured is no big surprise. the homogenity of our virtual spaces has
less to do with them being commodified (i don't see that they are
comodified, or homogenous) and more to do with, as simon mentioned, the
proliferation of off-the-shelf tools functioning under the same
mathematical model (a very useful model in my opinion). 

i'd argue that the spaces we are creating as artists are far from
homogenous, as is evidenced by the diversity of approaches in the
web3d/lab3d show. that the spaces created by the gaming industry seem
homogenous is no big surprise, driven by "market forces," namely teenage
boys. but within that demographic, a great number of very strong
personal preferences exist, some gamers favoring quake over
counterstrike, with a great deal of vehement opinions in support or
against each paradigm.

let us also not forget that the gaming industry, every now and then,
does offer alternatives, at least in terms of paradigms if not
mathematical models. The Sims is a fine example. the success of the sims
i hope will encourage the industry to futher push the paradigm envelop.
the failure of "the sims online" is an unfortunate setback.


> perhaps a way forward is in fact a way back, or sideways, into the world of
> the anachronism -- a person or thing that belongs or seems to belong to
> another time
> linda
> 8/6/03 8:43 AM, "Simon Biggs" <> wrote:
> > On 07.06.03 18:04, "John Klima" <> wrote:
> >
> >> i feel, arguably of course, that the compositional traits of medieval
> >> painting have less to do with cultural signifigance and more to do with
> >> a naivet of spatial understanding (naturally the individual viewer
> >> brings to the apprehension of the work their own bias - you tend to
> >> place more emphasis on the cultural reading of a work, and i the
> >> formal).
> > -----
> > There is nothing naïve in Medieval thinking, least of all about space. They
> > had a very sophisticated take on things with fractional shadings of value
> > that we today, in our blunt and materialist world, find hard to appreciate.
> > It is we that is naïve in believing that an empirically arrived at
> > perception of the world might even begin to approach what it is to be. It is
> > this that so many Islamists, and many others on this planet, find so
> > disturbing about Western culture...and one can only have but a lot of
> > sympathy for them.
> >
> >> if, as you suggest, fundementally hegemonic conventions determine how we
> >> see things, and how we believe things actually are, it would in a rigid
> >> sense, stand to reason that medieval society thought that things things
> >> with signifigance are actually larger. i cant imagine that is what you
> >> are suggesting, as i can't believe that the medieval person thought this
> >> as well.
> > -----
> > I would argue that the manner in which Medieval people represented the world
> > was actually a model of how they "physically" saw it, just as is the case
> > for us today. If you are going to argue that there is such a thing as
> > progress (that is, trot out the Modernist line that we approach truth
> > through an iterative process of improvement) then you will have lost me
> > right from the beginning. I am an arch-relativist. For me there is no
> > "truth", of any kind, nor any progress...just difference of arbitrary value.
> > There is a chasm between our world-views.
> >
> >> cartesian space does not represent an arbitrarily arrived at world view,
> >> determined not by how things are, but by the force of western greed and
> >> self-rightousness (the axe you have the tendency to grind). if that were
> >> so, it would stand to reason that the spatial systems employed in
> >> chinese landscape painting would have worked equally well at putting a
> >> person on the moon. without renaissance perspective, we would still
> >> assume the moon was not terribly far away, made of cheese, or
> >> what-have-you. you know, there prolly actually is this thing called
> >> reality, that actually does play by certain rules, that we are endlessly
> >> in the process of trying to understand, and that though we are all
> >> limited by our cultural background, sometimes we just get it right. i'm
> >> not trying to suggest that cartesian space is the "correct space" i'm
> >> sayiing its a really really really useful space, a close approximation
> >> of our everyday perception, regardless of the culture that produced it.
> > -----
> > One has to ask whether putting somebody on the Moon is necessarily of
> > import. Another West/East example here would be gunpowder. The Chinese
> > invented it and found it was great for parties. The West then appropriated
> > it and found it was really effective at killing people and destroying their
> > property.
> >
> > Your acceptance that there is "prolly" something called reality, to me,
> > tends to suggest an easy going approach to life that will likely keep your
> > blood pressure low but will pay few dividends when it comes to seeking a
> > plurality of perception.
> >
> >
> > best
> >
> > Simon
> >
> >
> > Simon Biggs
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Research Professor
> > Art and Design Research Centre
> > Sheffield Hallam University, UK
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

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