[-empyre-] on "meaningful articulations", Re:whispering in the dark.

Kenneth and the rest of the hidden empyre,


Christina Ulke and I have been collaborating on the framework. We both thought it would be a meaningfull investigation for this board..

The commodification of discourse often is an operative fiction with only some examples in reallity. One of those more real spaces of commodified discourse IS in the global network.

One finds commodified discourse when there is an abundance of language that does not properly describe physical reality.
(IE. tech utopianism that fails to acknowledge the labor issues implicit within technology. EG. un-critical aesthetic investigation done in concert with an exhibition )

It is prevalent in art discourse when the economic structures that either support or spotlight work remain ignored and as such fail to fully describe the work. This ins't about truth in advertising, institutional support can be good and may even add to production- its about acknowledging that institutional and economic elements are a part of any work's architecture or social life.

If a digitally based artwork or cultural product is innately tied to a place then perhaps our ugly little term can be avoided. But anything that promises to "reconstruct space and time" in a purely fictive environment is highly suspect. What's wrong with the space that its reconstructing (besides the obvious poisoned environment, toxic social policy, war racism and sexism, theft, greed...)? And why does something need to be reconstructed (in a controlled environment whose defined parameters within the scope of man that only meets a fantasy need and feeds and houses only the imagination and someone's bank vault)?

And yes, there are "are certainly approaches to using electronic and computationally-based media that suggest the possibility of a reconstruction of space and time into a meaningful articulation of place." A meaningful articulation! I woke up this morning and made five meaningfull articulations before I got into the car. But no one listened to me because I wasn't yet in the office, Or I wasn't in my studio, Or with my activist affinity group who would act on my meaning. Or I wasn't at my pulpit. Or I wasn't ordering my soldiers out of the trench and up to the top of the berm. Or I wasn't connecting two lost friends who had hated eachother for years...

Oh, I made a meaningful articulation the other day. It was so good.... Look, fortunately, meaningful articulations are a dime a dozen. And that is the beauty of being human, that we can articulate meaningful things whenever, where-ever and however we can. But meaning becomes socially constructed and up for criticism when it takes on value... when someone says that this meaning is more worthwhile then others. And here is the point for criticism, why is one meaningful statement considered notable and another one ignored like so many crushed dreams?

The internet and hyperspace are a global pillowcase of immediate dreams and distant products. Occassionaly, these distant products have the marketing arm of the strongest economy and military in the world.

More latter.
It is quite possible that I totally misinterpreted the spirit of what you wrote. If so, let us acknowledge that this is par for the course.

Hi Christina,
Could you clarify your ideas on the "commodifation of discourse"? I'm unclear as to how and where this is occurring. Is it the concentration of discourse within the university/conference system? MIT Press? Siggraph? The abstraction of "place" into decentered space and time?... (but that's a more generic quality of Modernity isn't it?) There are certainly approaches to using electronic and computationally-based media that suggest the possibility of a reconstruction of space and time into a meaningful articulation of place. It's not the global network, or the telematic embrace, but perhaps new approaches to performance and presentation that allow the artwork to respond more directly to its place.

I wonder also if there's a critique per se here of the notion of interactivity itself? It seems to have been effectively appropriated by the world of management science and is couched more in terms of control, efficiency and ease-of-use for the "user". Artists are not users, but rather makers.... what is the nature of the things made? Use-value?... or something else?


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