[-empyre-] 'real' networked art

Kazys Varnelis kazys at varnelis.net
Fri Oct 16 13:21:09 EST 2009

Hi Anna,

I don't think I've shifted in this, sorry if it wasn't clear.

Both High-low/internal vs. Cool/Uncool/transdisciplinarity are  
reflections of the same transition to network culture.



On Oct 15, 2009, at 9:14 PM, Anna Munster wrote:

> Hi Kazys,
> I see that you have shifted a little in your 'categories' from your  
> chapter (where you move from high-low to cool not cool via Liu), to  
> the idea of internal vs external genealogies of networked art and  
> culture. I think this is potentially a very rich shift. But I also  
> wonder if we aren't actually fragmenting into more and more  
> 'internal' networked scenes both culturally and artistically. So,  
> for example, the aesthetics and textuality of YouTube is very  
> different from Twitter and the cultural scenes there quite diverse.  
> hence we have potential internal network genealogies everywhere. The  
> Web 2.0 moniker may turn out ot be quite useless...however, a key  
> unifier across these and other contemporary online environments is  
> their performativity/celebrity. Would this be a distinguishing  
> factor between web 1.0 and web 2.0 and beyond for you?
> best
> Anna
> A/Prof. Anna Munster
> Director of Postgraduate Research (Acting)
> Deputy Director Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics
> School of Art History and Art Education
> College of Fine Arts
> P.O. Box 259
> Paddington
> NSW 2021
> 612 9385 0741 (tel)
> 612 9385 0615(fax)
> a.munster at unsw.edu.au
> ________________________________________
> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre- 
> bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Kazys Varnelis  
> [kazys at varnelis.net]
> Sent: Friday, 16 October 2009 1:44 AM
> To: soft_skinned_space
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] 'real' networked art
> Hi Simon,
> Thanks for the comments. I wanted to make a couple of points of  
> clarification, since it seems like you misunderstood what I was after.
> First, when I write about early work in new media experiencing  
> "marginalization by established art institutions," such  
> marginalization works both ways.
> Many of the early practitioners felt marginalized or excluded by a  
> hierarchical and incestuous world of art in the academy and the  
> market from day one. So yes, as you write, many of the artists  
> sought alternate places to operate from as an alternative to the  
> artworld, not just in pursuit of new media. But looking at the early  
> history of networked art wasn't my goal, so I condensed.
> A sociological history examining this phenomenon would be  
> interesting for someone to take on, especially if it was compared to  
> the condition in architecture. During the 1990s, due to its early  
> embrace by leaders in the academy, digital architecture became  
> precisely what many new media artists would have fled from, a  
> playland for the élite. In my case, the result was that I stayed  
> away from writing about architecture and digital media for a good  
> decade out of dismay at what had happened to it. Critical or  
> progressive practices in that field have only developed in the last  
> decade, often drawing on the work being done in the art world more  
> than on architecture.
> Now, apart from my argument about immediated reality, my fundamental  
> point in this essay is that we need to think hard about what writing  
> about "networked" art or "new media" art means today and how useful  
> such distinctions are anymore. Genealogies that look inward, are no  
> longer adequate to explain contemporary work. Hayles's "Born  
> Digital" needs to be revised for the present day. The current  
> generation hardly knows a world that wasn't digital and work that is  
> intentionally limited to digital media is often as backwards looking  
> as work that is limited to traditional media. Take Hayles's writing  
> about hypertext fiction. Ok, hypertext fiction is great, it's  
> revolutionary. But how many works of hypertext fiction have you read  
> lately? I'd venture that few of us have read any in the last decade.  
> But how many works of fiction in the last decade have been written  
> on networked computers? Is the latter simply inconsequential? Or is  
> the latter evidence of a deeper form of being "born digital," that  
> no longer thinks of the digital as somehow different or autonomous?
> This is what I'm calling for when I suggest that we need to look at  
> network culture in the broadest sense, as a cultural moment, not as  
> a product of technology, but rather as the product of a host of  
> social, economic, and cultural changes. Of course you can't get much  
> more establishment in the UK than winning Turner Prize and that  
> Leckey presented a video lecture on his work on the Tate site  
> informed simultaneously by music videos and YouTube webcam videos is  
> precisely why we need to expand the way we look at this material,  
> rather than producing more internalized genealogies, which is what I  
> you seem to be calling for.
> Best,
> Kazys
> Kazys Varnelis
> kv2157 at columbia.edu<mailto:kv2157 at columbia.edu>
> Director, Network Architecture Lab
> http://networkarchitecturelab.org
> http://varnelis.net
> Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
> Columbia University
> Studio-X Research Facility
> 180 Varick St
> Suite 1610
> New York, NY 10014
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: https://mail.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20091015/4d3d39ed/attachment.html 

More information about the empyre mailing list