Re: [-empyre-] Re: empyre Digest, Vol 29, Issue 9

I have also been lurking and appreciating the discussion this month as my solo+collective work has turned towards examining the new geographies of insecurity in the US. Re: ISEA & locative media, I posted this message to the IDC list after attending ISEA for the first time last summer and being somewhat confounded by the ISEA interpretation of "Interactive City". It sparked some interesting dialogues and conversations thereafter.


On Apr 13, 2007, at 9:36 AM, brooke singer wrote:

My criticism of "locative media" stems from the fact that what I see is a
lot of art work playing up or into the newness of the technologies when in
fact many are not that new at all, just newly available for consumers. I am
responding to the use of GPS/GIS/mobility to celebrate participation,
many-to-many communication, place-ness and the fusing of art into the
everyday -- which, yes!, are things to celebrate. But these are means not
ends -- where is the purpose rather than to demonstration that it can be
done? OK, well maybe the purpose is to have some fun, but for me that is
just not enough when participation and speaking out/across divides LOUDLY is
so, very, very desperately needed--so to see that potential used, or thrown
away rather, is incredibly disappointing and frustrating! Art in my book
should (yes, should) transform/re-imagine/alter my assumptions and when I
don't see that over and over again or -- even worse -- when the end result
of work by artists/designers/architects reinforces the agendas of technology
companies or government surveillance platforms, then I am worried.

On 4/13/07 12:19 AM, "Alan Sondheim" <> wrote:

Dear Alan,

I'm uncertain as to whether or not I entirely followed your meaning
in this statement:

" To use the technology as entertainment doesn't negate the other
uses, or do injustice to their injustices. In other words, does all
art have to reflect its political-sociological- militarist-etc.

Would you mind expanding upon this a bit more - thanks -



This is probably poorly phrased - what I meant was, if one uses the tech
for infotainment, this doesn't mean that a. the militarism goes away or b.
that others might well take a different, politicized stance, towards the
technology. And if someone uses the tech for entertainment, this isn't an
injustice, i.e. necessarily unethical position in relation to the injus-
tice of the originary moment or use. The second sentence questions whether
art must necessarily 'be political' in a conscious sense (obviously all
art embodies politics, etc.) - whether politics must be addressed. And I
think not; I fear any 'should' or 'must' or 'have to' in relation to art,
which is one of the (inauthentically to be sure) 'free' fields that remain
- in the sense that hopefully one does what one wants, with whatever tech
one wants. I remember arguments about Second Life - how can you partici-
pate in such a corporate/controlled environment? - but for me, it's
useful, I'm not naive about the software-economic parameters involved, but
within the 'space' I can do work I literally couldn't do otherwise,
neither in real life nor through video/audio files/documentation.

Again, hope this makes some sort of sense.

- Alan
empyre forum

-- Brooke Singer

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