[-empyre-] question about online writing
md1445 at nyu.edu
Thu Oct 29 12:56:35 EST 2009
Hi Adam, :-)
I agree with you, the Networked Book is suspended between the Cathedral
and the Bazaar. It does take place in a networked environment, and
allows for different levels of feedback (a Wiki is obviously more open
than a Wordpress blog), but software is not sufficient in determining
whether a project is going to spark a truly collective effort.
As I said in a previous post, a low-fi approach with a minimum amount of
input and a clearly defined set of rules ("Here's three chords, now form
a band!") would have probably generated a great deal of participation.
As Shirky puts it, once you have a plausible promise, a tool, and a
clearly defined "bargain," which defines the expectations within the
community, the sky is the limit! I have to say that when I posted my
chapter I did not really think about these larger implications. I just
had a text ready that seemed to fit the call, so I submitted it, without
considering that a piece of writing which is so long and dense can only
receive feedback, in the best case scenario.
But I also have to say that writing a collective book is not like
writing an encyclopedia, because you are dealing here with issues of
interpretation. As it should be clear from my previous post the very
notion of "networked art" can be read in so many ways... So either you
are able to create a collective of writers, or at least a space-time for
a group of writers to engage on such critical issues on a regular basis,
or I doubt that anything meaningful can come out when you simply try to
"crowdsource" net art criticism.
I was talking about a related issue with Mushon Zer-Aviv recently. In a
recent talk he gave at The New School Mushon asked whether "design by
committee" is possible. My reply was that a piece of software, and even
a clearly defined set of rules, are unlikely to spark an open source
movement of designers, unless the participants to a collective share
(the beginning of) a common aesthetic project. Because at the end of the
day, designers do have different aesthetic sensibilities, which will
necessarily collide unless a long preparatory work is set in place
whereby these differences can be composed. Think of Dogme 95, Lars von
Trier and Thomas Vinterberg's manifesto, which gained Danish cinema a
short-lived moment of celebrity. The 10 rules compiled by the two
filmmakers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogme_95) were in the service
of a precise low-fi aesthetics and were also understood as a political
response to high-budget Hollywood productions. The rules and the tools
were in the service of a shared aesthetico-political project, not the
other way around.
So I want to ask you a question. In your experience with the Floss
Manuals Foundation, how many times have you noticed that the workshops
you run are actually driven by a shared project? In other words, do you
think that the "HowTos" can create communities *beyond* the hackers and
the technologists (who, by definition, are interested in rules and
practices of manipulation) or do you think that in the case of art,
activism, design, architecture, and even the hard sciences the sparking
motivation has to be external to an interest in
adam hyde wrote:
> i have a very basic question to the turbulence crew. I must first say,
> I'm not an academic so I would really appreciate a plain text answer and
> not have to use the postmodern dictionary to parse....
> ...what part of the Networked Book project is not replicating the
> politics and top-down processes of the established publishing industry?
> I see the mechanics as (slightly) different from what most 'publishers'
> use these days. But the fact that you 'use a wiki' or a blog to create a
> collection of long from texts does not seem to me to be tackling
> anything interesting. Comment Press I like, but this is interesting an
> out-of-the box plugin for wordpress. What are you adding to this?
> When it comes down to it, I think that the process inherent in your
> model is more conservative than most wikis since you have very clearly
> named authorial hierarchy such as "Lichty › Art in the Age of DataFlow".
> There still seems to be a very standard authorship model in place and
> you have not investigated how the networked environment can really break
> established modes of textual production.
> >From the long view, it seems you have a mistake of not knowing if you
> are in the Cathedral or the Bazaar. Which is it?
> On Wed, 2009-10-28 at 12:49 +1100, Anna Munster wrote:
>> I don't want to sound like a fascist here...but as moderator I am supposed to keep people on topic on the empyre list as it is a list devoted to particular topics by the month.
>> The question has been raised about whether networks involve a sustainable form of future energy. This is tangentially related to the topic at hand insofar as reading/writing/making online does involve consuming energy.
>> However, I'd rather not have an explosion of comments about networks and energy use etc in a topic where we are looking primarily at networked writing/reading UNLESS there are salient points to be made about the relation of each to the other.
>> Just a general note about the fact that I will moderate an onslaught of off-topic posts IF they come!
>> 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
>> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Julian Oliver [julian at julianoliver.com]
>> Sent: Wednesday, 28 October 2009 10:37 AM
>> To: soft_skinned_space
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] a Question
>> ..on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 10:20:19PM +0000, sdv at krokodile.co.uk wrote:
>>> I may have missed this during the past month but has anyone here
>>> actually talked about the cost of networks and whether the network forms
>>> are sustainable ?
>> If there's something I don't grokk here it's the strangely time-less,
>> willy-nilly projection of the term 'sustainable'. From when to when and what to
>> what is sustainable?
>> 'Sustainability' is a concept that refers to a temporary control over energetic
>> decay that favours one or more (inter)dependent organisms.
>> We live on a sphere in a void and we're breeding like rabbits. Let's talk about
>> minimising inevitable harm (a 'sensible harm'?) rather than invoking the myth of
>> 'sustainability' no?
>> My 2 watts,
>> P.S For all the hair-dryers, needles, routers, castles, deep-sea probes, Zaha
>> Hadids, Ikea bookshelves and false teeth made, it's my suspicion that the Earth
>> has not grown any heavier and nor has it grown any lighter.
>> Julian Oliver
>> home: New Zealand
>> based: Berlin, Germany
>> currently: Berlin, Germany
>> about: http://julianoliver.com
>>> Anna Munster wrote:
>>>> I'd now like to bring Anna Gibbs and Maria Angel into the discussion, perhaps as 'other voices' and I've intro'd them below. They aren't authorial contributors to Networked but hopefully they might become contributors anyway!
>>>> I'm wondering if either of you might comment upon the question of reading new media/networked writing. We've had a lot of discussion the difficulty of reading dense theoretical writing in online environments and hence of people participating in the Networked project. Do either of you have any comments about the screen (broadly speaking) as a reading interface and/or the role and place of the reader in collaborative and participatory writing?
>>>> best Anna
>>>> Anna Gibbs is Associate Professor in the Writing and Society Research Group at the University of Western Sydney. A specialist in affect theory, she works across the fields of cultural, textual and media studies and her most recent publications are in Cultural Studies Review, Interrogating the War on Terror (ed Deborah Staines) and forthcoming in The Affect Reader (eds Greg Seigworth and Melissa Gregg). A writer of experimental fiction, she also collaborates with visual artists and has recently curated an exhibition on Art, Writing and the Book. She is currently working on a project about Writing in the Media Culture with Maria Angel, and together they have published essays in Literature and Sensation (ed Anthony Uhlman and Helen Groth) and forthcoming in Beyond the Screen (eds Joergen Schafer and Peter Gendolla).
>>>> Maria Angel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Current research interests include the transformation of literary genres in new media contexts, theories of writing, memory, and corporeality. She has published essays in the areas of literary aesthetics and visual rhetoric. More recently she has worked on the convergence of theories of affect with writing and new media. Her current collaboration with Anna Gibbs theorises the emergent field of literary writing in digital media and they are currently completing a manuscript At the Interface: Writing, Memory, and Motion.
>>>> 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
>>>> empyre forum
>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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