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

Dear Kathy, Robbin and all,

I also went to the 'snap to grid' archive of the Thing, and like Kathy,
found the 'posturing' of the three males quite revealing too.

I suppose it depends upon what kind of network/list/world we want.  As I
seem to remember Geert saying in his 'State of Networking' post on nettime
earlier this year, - networking in itself isn't radical.

If networking in itself isn't radical then the question of what we desire in
our lives, our world, and how we think networks/lists can contribute to
these changes becomes central.  As list members (not just of empyre, but
more broadly), our political and ethical differences and commonalities then,
become more significant than at present.

If networking is the emerging form of organisation of our time (Lovink &
Schneider State of Networking nettime post supported by Galloway and Thacker
response) then it makes sense to me to try and understand aspects of my own
artistic activity in relation to the uses capitalism is making of these new
forms of organisation.  The emergence of an explicit commodification of
creative processes (e.g. emotional labour) in addition to the
commodification of creative output (e.g. art objects) seems to me a good
example of this.  

So for me, networking is of equal interest to the markets as it is to
artists and activists (forgive the clumsy abstractions).  Therefore, what we
want to change is important, and the ways in which we use networks/lists to
help achieve those changes is important.

The conceptual/theoretical/aesthetic/technological tools used by those
engaging in the 'snap to grid' discussion, for example, are perhaps
different to those that I would choose to use.

For me, (with reference to the phenomenal work of psychoanalyst, theorist
and artist Bracha Ettinger) I see networking/lists as a potential space
within which an understanding of self in relation to (often) unknown others
can begin to co-emerge.  This kind of space can't emerge, I believe, if we
are still using the old tools.  We will only manage to re create new
versions of the old.  I  think we need new tools that contain as part of
what they are a version of what we want to bring into being.

I'm still trying to find ways of contributing to this kind of space coming
in to being, as I don't feel that it exists yet, but it is probably a very
very different kind of space to that phallic/binary 'snap to grid' space and
more likely to be called something much more matrixial like 'womb-like


8/24/04 21:22kathy rae

> 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.
> Kathy
> 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.
>> Best,
>> Robbin Murphy
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum

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