Re: [-empyre-] residing in cyberspace

thanks to everyone for getting the conversation rolling, it's been really interesting so far, and i've been excited to find links i didn't know about. being in the grips of a two-week gardening binge has left me thinking a lot about activities that are irreducible, and about place, like, for instance your back yard...

Aotearoa Digital Arts (ADA - ) waikato. came about during a residency i did at the university of waikato - something sean cubitt helped set up. the great thing about living in a little country (globally speaking) is that individuals can have a visible effect, and sean has been great in bringing his UK (and many other) experiences to his role at Waikato. We agreed that something like ADA was necessary - i had tried to bring lev manovich over on the Artspace ( visitors programme a couple of years previous, and i had learned from that there was no good way to get in touch with the people who might have been interested.

My sense was that new zealanders often have good international links, but not necessarily local ones - it's easy to engage with people on the other side of the ocean, or the world, without knowing what's going on down the road. having run the George Fraser (which i no longer do, i must emphasise) and being involved with Artspace, i had a pretty good email list to start getting in touch with. and lots of people have wanted to be involved. Danny's Taiwan paper talks a little about this. ADA is still pretty informal, and growing organically. and i have made various ADA-related new years resolutions, so, i hope to keep things trucking this year.

In some ways, i think it is pretty late for an organisation like this to be set up (when i make comparisons with Australia, for instance), but the recent governmental plug-pulling in Aust. has made me if slowness is any advantage - maybe that a gradual consensus that this is something useful, distinct, and fundable, could be more robust. I really don't know enough about the Australian situation to know if this is a nutty idea or not.

maybe thinking about sites of residence also leads us to discussions of networks. I have a feeling that the networks that operate within nz are very strong and perhaps unique - helen (who was once my landlady!)'s aunt's sister might be able to get me a gig somewhere... but also our formalised networks, like the beginning points of ADA (stella do you want to talk about this here?), are not geographical, but are based on the local. Nz has strong social and real spaces, but I do not think networks operate in here, rather the networks I am thinking about are movements, between things, (us/people), rather than being things (subjects) in themselves. I think I owe something to Bruno Latour here. But what networks do, and perhaps this helps with the idea of place or residence, is that they stabilise relationships for just a short period of time, they generate meaningful systems of exchange, and i think both kiwis and cyberspace are good at this.

empyre forum

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