Re: [-empyre-] residing in cyberspace
Are we building a new country, we bridge-dwellers? It's an interesting
question to explore.
Insofar as my studies and experience goes, I feel that through our place
(physicial, even cultural) and space (social), most individuals bring their
identities (their biases, etc ...) with them to cybercountry. Thus, a bigot
in physical location (a downtown coffee shop, for instance) is a bigot in
Yet, the anonymity that our cyberworld offers also provides for individuals
to explore other identities, to become the other of which they dream but
never "do" because of concerns of how they would appear in their real, that
is physical, social and cultural, location.
I am hoping that people, men and women, who are marginalized in their own
culture, can use this cyberworld to explore those identities and dreams and
I am hoping that new media storytellers and artists are able to show them
the way through our work.
As for home instincts, most of my art work and my studies relate
specifically to physical, social and cultural place/space, which is why I
make the aforementioned assertions.One of the most interesting things for me
is watching people of my homeland (the hard coal region of Northeast
Pennsylvania) realize that there is a world of similiarity -- INDEED THAT
THERE IS A WORLD AT ALL -- beyond this place I call home. I come from a
long and apathetic line of coalcrackers who seem to pass apathy from
generation to generation. Cybercountry seems to be instrumental in reducing
this negative geographical trait.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Helen Varley Jamieson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "soft_skinned_space" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 5:20 PM
Subject: [-empyre-] residing in cyberspace
for me, cyberspace is a kind of a country, yet quite different to the
concept of a "country". it's more like a really excellent airport
terminal. i reside, travel & exist in cyberspace, & often the people i'm
communicating with have no idea where i am physically. cyberspace is an
environment i can take with me or find almost anywhere. but i have a
strong homing instinct that keeps bringing me back to aotearoa/nz, & when
i'm travelling (in the physical world or cyberspace) i have a strong
awareness of my kiwi identity & how that sets me apart very distinctly,
particularly from north americans & western europeans.
i agree with danny's vision of aotearoa "as kind of a bridge state between
the concerns of
Euro-America and the Asia Pacific" & cyberspace is also a kind of bridge.
being bridge-dwellers in one context might make us adaptable
bridge-dwellers in another context.
h : )
contempory interest for digital culture seems to me to be world wide (even
from outside the so-called technological bubble). the story behind the
australian experience seems related somehow to concept of noise. having
left australia in 1996 i have watched from afar as it attempts to assert
itself as a regional power. drawing in and appropriating talent from the
region and then presenting it to the world as "Australian". exceptions to
this weight of cultural hegemony are to be found but they, like all the
most interesting art, exist on the fringes, the (e)peripheries or (at risk
of historical complicity) the Frontier. here comes the noise. the
relegation of material as noise or content is dependant on the degree to
which a 'centre' is able to assert itself. the australian body politic has
pretensions to that power at the moment. under the radar of this is
perhaps some of the most interesting work emerging from .nz (and .au) as
those artists who remain demagnetized to a centre and pursue their own
agendas (as much as that is possible in a multimedia connected world). the
improvised-psych-folk music scene in .nz is one such example i can think
of that has managed to reach me here in the far north of scandinavia.
however looking back over my links it seems most cyber art spills over
geopolitical boundaries, but perhaps not economic ones and also moves to
resist noise as classification. i think specifically of Avatar Body
Collision (I am a fan) who include cyberspace as a residency as well as
Aotearoa/New Zealand and elsewhere. Are we building a new country? Or is
it outside the boundaries of that term?
helen varley jamieson: creative catalyst
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