[-empyre-] networked_art

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sat Oct 3 06:19:52 EST 2009

dear all:

happy October to all.

Am i understanding your invitation to mean, Anna & Helen, that we are asked to read http://networkedbook.org/   .............alongside and with the empyre debate here?  
how many networked books/writings about networked_art  are there now, five, eight?  
 and i see the blogs.....Anna's "Data Undermining" is 34 pages long ("pages" once you copy and paste the blogessay into something that can be printed out).  This promises to be a heavy month, and is there s u c h much  time to read and read-write?

and speaking of much time, or time to be had to think, after experiencing one's artistic or other work , and others' artistic and other work,  i tend to believe that media theory cannot be written today and tomorrow and for the next week.

If you suggest, Anna, that >>This is very interesting because it suggests that networked scholarly or perhaps theoretical writing about contemporary media and media arts has the potential to perform a transformative role in media history *canons*>>, you may be onto something (but transformational is a religious concept of course and I am a non believer)
that has become live, lively, for example also in the debates (on CRUMB) regarding curating the time-based arts or digital arts, or in educational or political debates about the need for art or funding or venues, and then there are many more debates,  but one perhaps cannot confuse the liveliness with the reflective and critical process of writing histories or media histories.......i do hope the books on Now don't appear now or  tomorrow, but in a while, so one can look back further as well.

I am not sure i say what i mean. 
But i wonder whether websites and blogs, blog comments and postings/repostings, YouTubes and other new networked/distributed disseminations,  or so-called collaborative editings, -- "Schnipsel" in german (fragmented bits) ---   amount to an embodied pedagogy or studio practice (not to speak at all here of physical traditions)  that relates to what you call the canon  (our cultural, literary and artistic traditons or cultural knowledges?) and if they do, how to create formation, or influence the museum and the institutions of HE? --  the professor as the contemporary knowledge dj, re-mixing tapes for the next student blog?    I have to read Gregory Ulmer's Learning Screen/Electracry, cannot comment on it yet. 

small example --  I went to Alan Sondheim's website (http://www.alansondheim.org/)n  recently, to see whether there might be text that could be used to reflect on dance and Second Life, something my students or dancers could grapple with.  I found this data site, and had no real time to start the data undermining
so Sondheim will not quite collaborate on canon formation for me. 


I did show "Aletsch" (a film he made) in the studio today, a formidable, gripping work.  It's not available online, and is not coeditable. 
ah, there is a bit (extraction):
what you get online, is a Schnipsel   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhS08Kro70I&NR=1
Since it has religious connotations and antedates Chris Crocker ("Leave Britney Alone"), it is worth stuudying perhaps.

with many regards
Johannes Birringer

-----Original Message-----
From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Anna Munster
Sent: Fri 10/2/2009 9:37 AM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] networked_art

Thanks for that insight into your own motivations Helen, I look forward to also hearing from Jo about where she was coming from in terms of initiating the project.
But I wanted to pick up on a couple of things in your post:

You said:
<But, as Mizuko Ito says in her excellent introduction to "Networked Publics", the problem, for those of us struggling to understand the transformations taking place, is that they -- the transformations -- are impossible to understand at the time they take place.>

and then:

< the need for "other" histories. The ones familiar to us were written yesterday....Today there are more media theorists; they understand more; we need their perspectives; we need new histories, multiple interpretations. And we need them - not a year from now when today's views might appear in hard cover already well worn, but online, where every interested person can see and respond to them today.> 

This is very interesting because it suggests that networked scholarly or perhaps theoretical writing about contemporary media and media arts has the potential to perform a transformative role in media history *canons*. You also referred later in your post to Stein's idea about the shifting role of the 'prof' from traditional transmitter of knowledge to a facilitator - almost like a networked platform itself, which disperses, aggregates, queries and distributes ideas. 

In keeping with some of those ideas, would you think of a project like Networked as a new kind of *text_book*, one which doesn't distill, summarise and codify the cannon but rather one aimed at generating a critical thinking with (rather than about) networks?


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