Re: [-empyre-] old discussion, and pieces of history

My apologies as I must be quick here but want to post this response in the
hopes of keeping 
this rather lively discussion going .... as per Christine's request -


What I am beginning to sense from some participating in this on-line
discussion is a subtle 
posture of covert defensiveness in regard to the construction ( if
necessary at all ) of this term:  
New Media.  Maybe its' just me and the fact that it is late here in the
Pacific wetlands of the US.

In direct answer to Nick's ? of Alan - Not at all. 

What it does point to is rather a rehashing of cultural and techno-cultural
histories and 
discourses which have been bandied about since the '60's in a number of
disciplines and communities, ranging from the visual arts, experimental
media, to identity 
politics/representations ( hush that one up, quickly!) and the newly
re-inscribed ( and, of 
course, funded)  science-art collaborative partnerships.

When Murphy mentions ...maybe language is a virus after all ... his
allusion to Laurie 
Anderson's allusion to Wm. Burroughs' strikes me as alluding to practices
far more expansive 
than what is currently being categorized as a good deal of new media

This artificial  and somewhat myopic, insistent bifurcation of art and
technology ( especially in 
the last half of the 20th c and early 21st century)  in the service of
categorization and 
modernist tenents easily lends itself to the machinations of political and
underpinnings ? as well as  to questionable ambitions.  There are some core
power dynamics 
being played out here ... on this list as well as elsewhere in this nascent
field.  I just find it 
fascinating that this discussion is happening right now - almost to the
disregard of the past 30 
years of incisive media, cultural and theoretical histories prevalent in
North America, Western 
Europe and Australia, New Zealand.  I realize that we ( an
intergenerational WE ) must respect 
the delicate ecology of our delusions, but, hey, everything has its' limit,

It is imperative for the field itself ( however defined) to ask what is
really going on here ...I fully 
realize that this is the goal of defining what some refer to as the field
of NEW MEDIA .... my 
question is ...  is this individuated media specificity being discussed is
what really is crucial 
about our work ... or is it simply just another mechanism?  And aren't
these mechanisims 
simply systemic to the institutional frames in which we find ourselves

I'm not at all certain as to why I am bringing this next point  into the
discussion right now 
except to say that the amped-up interest evidenced in this month's
discussion lies in stark 
contrast to the discussion surrounding last month's topic on women, art and 
technology.  Different issues, I know, I know but, then again, are they

have to run - 



Original Message:
From: Nick Montfort
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 23:15:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] old discussion,  and pieces of history


> Just want to add here that all of this discussion of works and histories
> only points to the problematic of new media as a category once again -

Really? Does that fact that people have diverse backgrounds and influences
mean that the field or category of new media doesn't exist?

-Nick Montfort
 My new book, Twisty Little Passages:>
empyre forum


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