Re: [-empyre-] Why US DAT is Virtual

> Perhaps now is the
> time to generate tools for experiencing something other than a message,
> an argument, or a conceptual provocation? But what?

Thanks for your words, M.

I keep running into this idea too. Which isn't an idea, I guess, but rather
a force. Rather than content, it seems the force has to do with extending
the network itself to all spaces, niches, times.

I tend to think of it in terms of the shift in property battles. Copyright
issues of the '80s and '90s were very much about the content of a sample.
The shift today seems to be toward the distribution of the means to sample:
P2P networks, sample technologies (laptops). The battle is twofold: the
content and the systems of distribution, with the latter eclipsing the
former (downloading, sharing -- ie collectivization and the means of
production in the hands of the 'virtual class'). If the network society
creates their own content, then it will also redefine (unevenly) its notion
of property. It is this redefinition which is being actively fought by
copyright ownerships, for it steals the magic out of their cultural

Focusing on the systems of distribution, however (I am thinking of the
'mobile' and 'locative' art that, at points, seems more about making
something work than the experience of actual work), leads to the quagmire I
am feeling so acutely: that there is little thought toward the result, the
start, the idea, the content. None of which have to be message, argument, or
provocation, but rather just thought-at-all: thought-about-it-all.

What is ironic is the necessity of a content/form distinction when this
_appears_ to have collapsed in contemporary art. Yet what appears to be
hiding is a kind of thought-in-action, a desire, even.

What I like about US-DAT is its thought-action. It has energy, life. I look
forward to seeing where this is going.

Perhaps a question, with due respect, to Randall:

Is US-DAT for use to gain entry to the artworld, or to effect 'political'
change (taking the 'political' as broadly as you wish)?

Is it attempting to play both?

Do you see the issue above as relevant, and if so, is US-DAT thinking of
strategies and tactics to affect and effect? To make dents?

The format of the press release, the remix and the mimed website all come to
mind as tactical media strategies undergone so far: perhaps a speculation on
what could be next?

Does it mean turning away from representation to intervention, such as the
work of social mapping and power cartography (TheyRule, Bureau d'Etudes),

(Of course, the question is a little sharp, so I will understand if an
answer evades somewhat; in the artworld, as the academic world, we don't
want to give away our gem ideas on email lists like these for free, do we?
-- a comment mentioned to me over the past few days in a collaborative,
mobile academic project).



tobias c. van Veen -----------++++ -- --
McGill Communication + Philosophy
--- New School Philosophy --------
ICQ: 18766209 | AIM: thesaibot +++ 

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