[-empyre-] question about online writing
md1445 at nyu.edu
Sat Oct 31 14:38:12 EST 2009
> But what Marco has also pointed to is somewhat different and I guess is also something Adam you are suggesting comes up around specific community produced FLOSS books, and that is the 'shared project'. Brian Holmes wrote about this in relation to the differences between networks, swarms and the creation of 'micro' worlds. (http://multitudes.samizdat.net/Network-swarm-microstructure). he argues that a shared ethico-aesthetic horizon must be present to go beyond 'network' or 'swarm' and to actually give coherence to self-organised groupings together of people via distributed networks. For me this is what differentiates and makes something collective.
> This incidentally is what I as also trying to talk about when I spoke about the cosmological or 'world-making' dimensions of such projects as ShiftSpace and the whole shift to using Firefox plugins among artists/designers/developers that we see going on with much networked art and design right now in my chapter. Perhaps Marco this is also what you meant by networking also involving a community of practice?
Anna, thank you for posting this link to Brian's brilliant article,
which I haven't read before, and seems to share some of my interest in a
non-formalist network theory. Following Guattari, Holmes writes that
trying to understand networks in ecological terms, rather than
describing them from an external and totalizing perspective (as in the
case of the static 'network map' or even the dynamic 'swarm') enables
one to reinsert (collective) processes of subjectivation into the
picture. I think it is worth quoting this passage from Brian's article:
'I am beginning to think that there are two fundamental factors that
help to explain the consistency of self-organized human activity. The
first is the existence of a shared horizon - aesthetic, ethical,
philosophical, and/or metaphysical - which is patiently and deliberately
built up over time, and which gives the members of a group the capacity
to recognize each other as existing within the same referential
universe, even when they are dispersed and mobile. You can think of this
as "making worlds." The second is the capacity for temporal coordination
at a distance : the exchange among a dispersed group of information, but
also of affect, about unique events that are continuously unfolding in
specific locations. This exchange of information and affect then becomes
a set of constantly changing, constantly reinterpreted clues about how
to act in the shared world. The flow aspect of the exchange means that
the group is constantly evolving, and it is in this sense that it is an
"ecology," a set of complex and changing inter-relations ; but this
dynamic ecology has consistency and durability, it becomes recognizable
and distinctive within the larger environment of the earth and its
populations, because of the shared horizon that links the participants
together in what appears as a world (or indeed as a cosmos, when
metaphysical or religious beliefs are at work).'
Guattari's ethico-aesthetic paradigm was ultimately aimed at decoupling
the humanities and the social sciences from the hard sciences by looking
at different methods of investigation--chiefly the psychoanalytic and
the structuralist/semiotic--not as scientific models, but as simple
cartographies for modelizing subjectivity, maps that produce a certain
model of the human psyche.
I guess that my attempt to describe networked art as a narrative machine
is in line with this approach, in that it tries to make of this "shared
horizon" a key element for understanding not only the self-organized
nature of networks but also their ability (or lack thereof) to endure.
In this respect I see the ability to interact at a distance (the second
factor described by Holmes) as still subordinated to the first one. We
could say that while sharing "the same referential universe" is a
strategic factor, remote coordination is still tactical. For me remote
coordination becomes relevant and transformative only when the
components of a network are aware of their position within a dynamic
ecology as something that truly matters to them. It is at this point
that sharing a set of rules, or even some kind of ritual, becomes
critical, not as a merely utilitarian bargain, but as something that
sets the ground for the network's "consistency and durability."
> 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 adam hyde [adam at xs4all.nl]
> Sent: Friday, 30 October 2009 1:40 AM
> To: Marco Deseriis
> Cc: soft_skinned_space
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] question about online writing
> On Wed, 2009-10-28 at 21:56 -0400, Marco Deseriis wrote:
>> Hi Adam, :-)
> Hey Marco :)
>> 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
> Many thanks for the points and the question. I think you are asking me a
> question that is beyond my experience to answer. I actually dont know
> much about the demographic of the project beyond those individuals that
> make themselves known to me or to the community. There are many
> contributors, and some quite regular, that I have never met and I don't
> know what their background is. I obviously can't speak then about the
> motivations of the majority of contributors because of this. From the
> small subset I do know, there are many artists involved, designers,
> educators, radio enthusiasts, free content evangelists etc. The
> motivations vary, as they would for any open & free content project. The
> most interesting motivations to me are those that sign in under a
> pseudonym - there is no hope in identifying them although they might
> make large contributions. What motivates them? I would love to know.
> To bring the focus back to the networkedbook - I find it very
> interesting that projects in FLOSS Manuals that are born by a community
> have a broader contribution base. There are a number of books in FLOSS
> Manuals that are 'born' by an individual. They are excellent books, but
> we have more that are of the same quality whose genesis lies in 'the
> community' or a small niche orientated group (we have more community
> written books largely because it takes a single author 5 months - 2
> years to produce a book that the FM community can produce in 2-5 days).
> Those books that are instigated by an individual, and who could be
> identified as having 'an author', have _far_ less contributions than
> those that are created by community (this is my observation by anecdote,
> no metrics I'm afraid).
> It seems very true to me that if content wants to flourish in the bazaar
> it must be native to the bazaar. I believe this has a lot to do with
> mandate. Those that wish to contribute will feel more likely to have the
> mandate to do so if the book was created by community. Those coming from
> the Cathedral will be largely ignored because no one knows how to
> interact with them (this is an over simplification of course). This is
> why I find the NetworkedBook project problematic. It seems to be
> attempting to enter into bazaar space, but with Cathedral attitudes.
> Hence the form will be 'commented on' but not collaborated on. I
> personally think there is _much_ more to be gained by exploring
> collaborative content production than by exploring 'author - commentary'
> dynamics. However, I understand there are many shades and each to their
> own, of course.
>> 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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