[-empyre-] Redefining the Cultural Interface

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Aug 4 22:25:29 EST 2008

Hi all,

Firstly, a big thanks to Marcus and the current Empyre crew for inviting 
me to be part of this discussion.

What Ned Rossiter proposes, furtherfield has been doing and advocating 
as part of its practice for years, in parrallel but not influenced by. 
It has always been difficult and hard work, especially if you are not 
following certain routes which make personal gain easier and shared 
social values harder to pursue. Rather than leaving our fates for others 
to manipulate according to their own desires, we have actively engaged 
in taking control of our own culture, changing its interface. The 
cultural interface is our palette and everything fits into that, whether 
it be eco-politics, social freedoms, opensource, art and much more.

Below are a few notes that I put together for this list:

Title: Redefining the Cultural Interface-  An Imaginative Dissension 
using art, technology and a shared ecology of the mind.

If we do not build between us shared and approachable frameworks that 
offer (possible, scale-free) models of working together, which move 
beyond the isolationist functions of limiting, stultifying modernist 
agendas. Then we probably deserve what happens next.

How we engage in curating, writing, creation of New Media Art and 
related cultures, depends on our relationship with it. In a climate 
where social contexts, issues around ecology and our interaction with 
technology frames, much of what and how we perceive information and 
culture to be. It becomes clear that culture is a fluid, complex and 
diverse, ever changing, dynamic interface. How we as practitioners 
become more active agents within this multifarious interface, is the 
key. If we, as active agents have become more closely connected, 
involved in this cultural interface; to change social contexts through 
our creative practices, then we are changing our culture, its interface.

We are now dealing with a proliferating set of possibilities in New 
Media Art and connected endeavors. Especially from those who have come 
from alternative situations, perspectives and grass roots cultures. In 
implementing ideas that reflect an art aesthetic, whilst at the same 
time taking more control and responsibility of our social contexts, 
which involves curating, the making of artwork as well as the 
appropriation of technology, We have hacked into the mainframe. We've 
got this...

We potentially, possess a shared investment with those who have 
traditionally held the keys in controlling our cultures. Now that we are 
here, what are the next steps in expanding and distributing our 
practices into a world that still views traditional frameworks of 'fine 
art' as the main focus around art engagement? How do we integrate and 
share this possibility of scale-free power? How does New Media Art 
maintain its critical voice, independence and cultural diversity whilst 
becoming part of a larger context?

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