[-empyre-] some questions for Patrick

Anna Munster a.munster at unsw.edu.au
Wed Oct 21 17:06:15 EST 2009

Hi Patrick,
Although you've contributed much already to the discusssion, I was wondering if we could look more specifically at the content (rather than form of your chapter for Networked: 'Art in the Age of DataFlow: Narrative, Authorship, and Indeterminacy' (http://lichty.networkedbook.org/art-in-the-age-of-dataflow-table-of-contents/)

In this chapter you seek to map a journey for networked art from structure to flow where 'the flow' now moves away from  authorship to the reader/audience. But of course the claim of 'e-texts' especially now in the age of the 'social network' and interactivity, is that the audience is not simply a consumer but rather a 'prosumer' both producing and consuming texts at the same time.

I'd like to return to some of the theoretical beginnings of such thinking (which have already been mentioned in the posts so far) but NOT so as to set up a clear genealogy between these earlier thinkers and some natural antecedents they provide. We often find the idea (too easily wrought I would say) that contemporary writing and publishing in the network have their genesis in some of the postmodern texts by authors such as Barthes. Instead I would like to ask you, Patrick, how different you think say Barthes' idea of the reader found in this quote:
'the goal of literary work (of literature as a work) is to make the reader no longer a consumer but a producer of the text' S/Z, 1994p.4)
is from the so-called collapse of authors and audiences is in networked writing? In particular I am wondering how your terminology of vector, flow etc might assist us with navigating through some of these issues? Or perhaps you don't see a difference?


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
NSW 2021
612 9385 0741 (tel)
612 9385 0615(fax)
a.munster at unsw.edu.au

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