Re: [-empyre-] upgrading downtime?

On 19-Nov-05, at 6:59 PM, elizabeth day wrote:

Working on related security issues about doing a work where it cant be seen
by my peers... Liz

Thanks Liz, this just tweaked my own experience so directly! The issues you describe, falling, if I understand correctly, out of the need for security in a prison context are alive and unwell in the everyday world of the technopoly:

I worked for two "interesting" years in the computer game industry in the late '90s. On the first day of work myself and several other new workers were required to sit down with a company lawyer to discuss and sign-off on the company's intellectual property rights. Beyond the usual non-disclosure agreements that most high-tech companies constrain their employees with we were informed that pretty much anything we did on our free time, that the company might find useful in their pursuit of profit, would be considered company property. This only strengthened my resolve to make my tenure there a temporary one for personal research and development purposes.

But the NDA issue has continued to bother me given the overlap in my own personal practice in software as art medium with some of the work I developed at the game company, particularly given that my practice preceded my relationship with the company and, of course, has continued after. As a teacher in the university for the past five or six years I've often felt conflicted around sharing my own work with students and research peers due to that corporate commodification of my own practice. This has also come up for some of our graduate students who come from professional careers in that industry who want to move into a more creative relationship with media practice. Given that they are, for all intents and purposes, owned by the company they work for, their ability to conduct research is severely compromised by the fact that their core knowledge base is inaccessible to not only their peers but themselves as researchers.

What a strange and unhealthy world is this corporate one!


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