Re: [-empyre-] Social space, art practice, network structure

Dear Robbin,

I went to the archive of The Thing and read this thread you refer to 'snap to grid'. Yes, it is very much like what is going on in this empyre discussion. It is primarily three males posturing --and a couple of females trying (in vain) to ask what you are talking about, and bringing the topic back into question. It is a perfect example of a group discussion dominated by a couple of personalities. I recommend that others take a look -- it is quite revealing. It is much more like a closed debate. Maybe we need a new category of on-line discussion: this kind of debate, where others can read the discourse, and silently have their own opinion.

So, thanks for this insight, you have a great memory.

You know, I was also reading these lists in 1995+ from an unheated artists space in Vienna. I was very much a newbie, and very impressed with the voracious writing of many (mostly guys but not exclusively) was amazing. So, I am aware of your long history of involvement in the exchange of information on lists and as a net project maker. It is truly impressive.

However, then (as now) it was indeed a bit of a problem to understand what --exactly-- you were all getting at, with circularsions that were far from any topic. I kept reading, though. It ultimately led to the informed creation of the pop~Tarts column for Telepolis (with Margarete Jahrmann) and the Face Settings project (with Eva Wohlgemuth). We were looking for more open structures of communication on-line, where we would have a chance to discuss ideas and pose questions that were not be terribly sophisticated or theoretical.

What we all need to do at this stage of list communication, is to find better ways to be inclusive, to listen to those short, brief notes that someone stresses over, before tentatively posting, and then, when they get slammed for appearing stupid in the eyes of the dominant ones -- well, that just ends it for them right then and there.

I suppose what I'm talking about here is finding some kind of deep kindness, and true interest in what a wider view might be -- rather than focus on private exchange on a very narrow line of concern -- and off topic. That kind of discussion doesn't need a list. And...If you need an audience, albeit silent, do a performance IRL.

There are lists with a topic, and lists without -- just pay attention to the one you are on. These are just a few more of my thoughts on LIST communication.


At 17:39 22/08/2004 -0400, you wrote:

Those interested in researching Lists may want to check out the archives of The Thing BBS, which started in 1991 and had nodes in NYC, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and The Netherlands:

In the Archives you'll find a thread called "Snap to Grid" from 1994 that is very much like the recent subscription thread here. Plus ca change...

Also, a project I was involved with from 1996-97, blast5drama, may be of interest. Lists were integral but also only one part of a larger network structure that included physical space and objects, MOOs, Internet Radio, IRC et al. If you do a google on blast5drama you'll find the remains.

Robbin Murphy

empyre forum

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