Re: [-empyre-] From lurking, to confession, to devil's advocate .....

OK, time for me too to come out of my hidey-hole. I've been on the
Singaporean artscommunity list for four years, it used to be very
lively, one of the only avenues for self-expression there, but it seems
to have died now. Anyway, I've been lurking on empyre since May, when I
signed up and became simultaneously fascinated (and exasperated) by the
style and content produced by the panelists (criticalartaware). I
decided then and there that I would use empyre for my research, as an example of
how the field of new media / digital art (or whatever - please, let's skip the
definition riff) constitutes itself, its stakes, its orthodoxy and
heterodoxy. Hence when I presented a public lecture on the radical
political potentialities of NMA two weeks ago I quoted a few
participants (criticalartware on how their network becomes an
autonomous author, julian oliver from escape from woomera on the purpose of
their game). I explored the dominant paradigms of the field such as remixing, networking,
interactivity and gaming, as well as some contradictions within the
free software movement. Finally I touched on the effects of the
technologisation of the avant-garde. I then quoted Melinda Rackham

"(While) current practice is undeniably embracing distributed,
experiential, gaming and networked works: works which span invisible
spectrums like Zina Kayes; works which span time zones, space,
location, and virtualised bodies like Adam Nashes scorched happiness,
and qnoors: inbox; works which span art categorization like nat&ali,
works which span screen and delivery modes -which people carry with
them and interact with, like Chris Caines. As our communications modes,
lifestyles and therefore art practices change, the museum which doesn’t
facilitate these forms becomes just an archive of the past art practice
rather than situating itself in the present." (Melinda Rackam,

I ventured that this statement, which to my eyes exemplifies the
integration of contemporary artistic and technological discourses,
occludes (like much of the discussions on Empyre) the social relations
which produce / are produced by technology as well as the technical
system in which these relations operate. This is why I found the
discussions on game culture so interesting, as they seemed to me to
come closest to expressing some thoughts on the socio-political
dimensions of NMA. I say all this to present as clear a picture as
possible of how I silently "used" Empyre. I did not participate until
now because a) I am not a maker of networks, games, mods etc but a remixer
and researcher or b) I felt like I'd be raining on the parade or c) I did not want to
compromise a promising treasure trove of primary material or d) all of the above.

In any case, when the conversation turned to self-reflexivity and
lists I thought it was time for me to contribute something, so I did. If anyone's
interested, the summary of the lecture and a bibliography can be found



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