[-empyre-] Tim Murray: Resolution for Digital Futures

Timothy Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Sun Feb 1 17:26:55 EST 2009

As we wrap up this month on -empyre- with Resolutions for the Digital 
Future, I thought I'd close with some  thoughts that dialogue with 
the many posts we've enjoyed over the course of the month.  Renate 
and I want to thank all of you who have taken a moment to commit your 
thoughts to the future, and who have performed through postings the 
global interface that is -empyre- a soft-skinned-space.

  I hope that we at -empyre- can continue to develop our commitment to 
'critical digital practice,' whether in space, on page, in urban 
environments, via gps, or networked practice.

Crucial to the future of -empyre- will the deconstruction of 
'empire' itself, to break down existent  barriers between east and 
west, north and south, artists and writers, curators and professors, 
activists and aestheticians, materialists and theoreticians.  We bear 
the imprint of code together; let's mix it up.

Fundamental to our practice should be the embrace of open software 
and shareware, on-line publishing and multimedia art whose aim of 
fluidity and collaboration remains indifferent to the boundaries of 
capital, property, and protectionism.

Of importance will be our ability to create, think, write, curate, 
and exhibit in the continuum that is time.  Let us no respond to the 
paralysis of the economic moment by acting creatively and politically 
in the now of the continuum in a way that will shift attention from 
the frozen flow of capital to the open event of time, a flow in which 
the fraught affect of retrospection will fuel the creative will of 
the future.  Let us not be merely utopian, but willfully and 
psychically futurist, living energetically in the present as it is 
marked by the past in the pull of the future.

Perhaps we can end this month on -empyre- by committing to renewing 
the folds of the listserv's past, by rereading and reacting to the 
many posts of the month that come from disparate quarters of the 
world, from all generations of all digital orientations.  This is the 
free flow of the soft-skinned space.  This is that moment in 2009 
marked by the collapse of capital, the suffering of the economically 
deprived, the expansion of the digital divide, the derive of digital 
terror with its surveillance and tracking, and the ongoing critical 
intervention of those interpellated by all spectrums.  Let's hope 
that the vibrant creativity of soft-skinned thought marks the pull of 
the digital future.

Given the global economic meltdown, we at -empyre- pledge to lobby 
for non-profit support to maintain our dialogical exchange, while 
recognizing the need to urge governmental and industry sources to 
support and sustain these same non-profits and NGOs at the historical 
moment when their activism and wisdom is most beneficial.  Special 
thanks go to the College of Fine Arts at the University of South 
Wales and to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York,  for their 
institutional contributions to our critical endeavors.


Tim Murray (US) is a moderator of -empyre-, the Curator of the Rose 
Goldsen Archive of New Media Art 
(http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu), the Director of the Society for 
the Humanities (http://www.arts.cornell.edu/sochum/) and a professor 
of Comparative Literature and English at Cornell University, Ithaca, 
New York.  Tim's most recent book is Digital Baroque: New Media Art 
and Cinematic Folds (University of Minnesota Press, 2008).

Renate Ferro and Tim Murray
Co-Moderators, -empyre- a soft-skinned-space
Department of Art/ Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
Cornell University

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