Re: [-empyre-] Forward from Mariam Ghani: translation + minding the gaps

I was wondering if Danny was going to reply but so far
not yet, and I observe that we should not be
bracketed, but was thinking there was quite a lot to
agree with in what Miriam Ghani had to say.

Email everywhere really should start with the words
'this message was written on a device composed of
processed plastic, diverse materials and electricity,
created by the military-industrial complex in the
second half of the 20th century, planet earth, solar
system, space.' These are the assumptions made just by
participating. The net is an assumption based space,
and probably these same words should be in the footer
of all web pages.

That brings the question to language, and although it
is true that one language is dominating in some
places, at the same time all languages are in flux.
The description of the centricity of English at the
expense of other languages is one picture, and another
picture is that of the additions and alterations to
English as a result.  I?m thinking here of the
Malay-English word ?airflown? as an example. Where did
?dis? come from and what sort of English is txt?

Her next point concerns the politics of exclusion and
here I feel there is a twist in the tale. The politics
of exclusion are based on control and hierarchical
authority. However the internet is predominantly
uncontrolled in so far it is beyond the control of
governing local authorities. What I mean by this is
that most of the traffic on the internet is out of
control of officials. It has been estimated that porn
(the uncontrolled portion) is 65% of internet traffic,
followed by commercial sites (21%), then business to
business (includes government sites) at 12% and the
others at 2%. I suppose the arts are others here. The
internet is both controlled and uncontrolled ? it can
be used to counter authoritarian stances. As a way
around the issue of control, the politics of inclusion
are viable on the web. 

The third point she raises is cash. Cash does
discriminate but at the same time websites are
probably more accessible than many art forms. The web
appears to be partly flat in so far as the internet
address of a government and 'Tattoo, my pet dragon'
differs by only a few characters. But the issue of
cash as she writes, is more about the invisibility of
certain parts of the populace. 

There are cultural hybrids found in liminal,
borderland, boundary and in between places. These
hybrid cultural identities sometimes come without the
usual badges of reference. This runs a range of
identification strategies from absence of national
dance in a nation, to non-patch hybrid gangs where
sneakers might be the basis for defining association.
Mediating spaces for the partly visible and invisible
necessitates alternate strategies to the more standard
approaches to cultural output.

So I would support the notion that the 'idea of
site-specific or community-based practice online is to
engage with the places, communities and histories of
the net itself - or to make a deliberate effort to
discover the gaps in the network - the sites of
absence, where voices are missing or elided, or the
online border zones, places of transition, translation
and in-between, parallel to sites like San
Diego/Tijuana - and use those spaces to launch
mediations between on and offline practice.' 
Hybridity is antagonistic to singularity and more in
tune with multiplicity and diversity. Borders are
crossed, transfigured and transformed ? constructing
an argument for similar occurring in the creative
practice of those recognising the hybrid landscape. 


--- ricardo miranda zuniga <>

> Hello Everyone,
> I'd like to make a delayed response to Mariam's
> question.

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