[-empyre-] networked art & the Netopticon

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Jan 23 03:24:02 EST 2011

Hi Jon & alison,

Just some thoughts responding to your last post...

 >If we think of yet another essay by Foucault, What is an
 >Author (http://www.scribd.com/doc/10268982/Foucault-What-is-an-Author)
 >and his ideas of an author being more like a conduit than originator
 >then, perhaps manipulation and origination become less distinguishable?

Combining this notion, or rather very real example of artists exploring 
their own contemporary presences and networked explorations as 
'conduits'. These re-assemblers of information whatever that content may 
be, are constantly manipulating and recontextualizing what is put out 
there in the world digitally.

I know that you probably would agree with this, bit I think it is 
important to re-emphasize how empowering this aspect of re-assembling 
networked, distributed content is for artists, as well as activists. 
This is a useful process and metaphor in how this kind of reclaiming 
territory or rehacking in all its variants and imaginative terms, can be 
re-introduced into every day life as well as on the Internet.

 >Yes Cooley, in many respects asks the question we are
 >trying to ask with the work itself and we try and make
 >that evident through promoting a kind of artificial
 >self-consciousness in the work through the double screen,
 >where the same information is simultaneously displayed
 >as a text log and a cinematic assemblage.

I would like to add that your use of the term 'cinematic assemblage' is 
significant, because the process of how the work is made is different 
from creating more traditional video or film, its content is from the 
Internet, and its content reflects Internet information which was 
already out there. Even though some may consider the final work as 
'object', this would be too simplistic a conception, and lacks an 
understanding of how linked it is to Internet relate practices such as 
net art.

 >we keep re-materialising the netopticon reminding us all
 >that we act in public there and secondly when needed, our
 >small gestures as artworks might in their own modest way
 >help to illuminate some of the absurdities of surveillance
 >and self-surveillance in society and culture and the
 >conceits upon which they rely.

So, would you say that you are 'consciously' engaged in holding out a 
mirror image of the netopticon?

Wishing you well.


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