[-empyre-] 'knowledge production - Oppression

steve guynup exposedfield at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 16 04:27:29 EST 2009

There are a few issues here that resonant with me.

>regarding art as
>> research in the university context and how this relates to the idea
>> of research as knowledge production.

My use of art as research tool has been met with:
"Are you on drugs?" SIGGRAPH Moderator in front of 2,000 people
"He's here to tell us about making our work pretty" Host introducing me at an ACM event
"You can lick a monkey's balls but you can't call your work VR, I like it, but I'm afraid SGI would pull my funding" (future) SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Chair
"Get a Hair Cut" SIGGRAPH audience (US Navy)

video of some of this is available.

> neoliberal walls
"Do what you're told" - one of my liberal arts professors.
"I don't believe in hierarchies" - a professor who disliked the structure of my virtual work and who would later screw me by being hierarchical 
"That's not a good subject for a paper" - A professor on a paper I would later give as a plenary at a Museums on the Web Conference.

(both lists are substantially longer)

and also I suppose some neoliberal members of this list will discount the events of my life as well... 

As for my work/approach, the old timers may recall I was one of the first people interviewed on the list. (Part of the VR / web3D group). My use of art as research tool is a bit to simple. If you understand that storytelling and narrative drive virtual design. That storytelling and narrative are forces more real than gravity and physics in a virtual world. Then to uncover new interactive possibilities and innovative potential within the virtual we should explore unconventional narratives and look for patterns and useful interactions.  And by unconventional narratives I include poetry.

Needless to say, poetry at tool causes the conceptual wheels in the minds of most computer engineers/programmers to grind to a halt...

My problems with the art community are a bit different - by caring about the process of sharing/interacting with information in virtual worlds, I'm separate from the goals of most artists and institutions which emphasize artistic statements (rather than useful processes) 

While you can disagree, I'll borrow from Lev Mavonich on my virtual media.
"there is no understanding of virtual space, only a loose collection of articles related to realism in rendering or behavior". 



Improvement makes straight roads, 
but the crooked roads, without Improvement, 
are roads of Genius.” 

- William Blake


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