Re: [-empyre-] Panic

Thanks, Brooke, for your provocative introduction. I'm hoping we might pursue a bit your distancing from the popularity of locative media (which we've previously discussed in -empyre-) because of your sense that it collapses terror technologies into infotainment objects. Something that Renate and I noticed at this summer's ISEA, for instance, was a celebration of locative media projects but a decrease in particularly political installations and projects, particularly those critical of the military-industrial nexus sustaining new media. Even the project by Muntadas that situated the locative in the cartographic context of the global military-industrial complex was installed far off track in a convention room hall, between hotels (something our 16 year-old reminded us just the other day--the apparent politics of its placement even caught his attention).

The most striking exception were bio projects by Natalie Jeremijenko, your collaborator Beatriz da Costa, and Paul Vanouse who will join us next week whose overall impact was to challenge the infotainment that seemed to us to prevail in the main exhibits. Of course, we share your concern that this isn't limited to the specific configuration of last year's ISEA.

When you joined us at Cornell last fall for the workshop, "Thinking the Surface," we engaged in somewhat of a similar debate with extremely smart and influential architects who seemed to be enchanted by the patterns and surfaces of technodesign. One rising architect even presented his slick and stylistic surveillance environment through which stylish amoeba shaped cameras would track every move in an airport, with the emphasis on architectural pattern minus any critique of the underlying TechnoPanic of this project.

So your emphasis on this disparity strikes me as particularly important in these days of heightened emphasis on the technology of design.



> In the last several years I have seen the rise of work termed "Locative
 Media" and my own work is sometimes grouped in that category. I usually
 ignore labels but this one is particularly bothersome to me because there
 a trend here to collapse this ever-growing field of terror technologies
 infotainment objects. This gets to the issue of what Tim calls the
 "ambivalent attraction to technologies of terror" and, as Horit questions,
 "what is the relationship between the production of art by means of
> digital
 technologies and the production of terror by the same?" Locative Media (as
 with the term Web 2.0) is deceptive in its appearance of being simply
 fun and new. Yet, do we question computer art for its use of the digital
 computer, originally designed to quickly crunch numbers to project
 more accurately -- wherein lies the difference? Is it only distance from
> inception?



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