[-empyre-] Week 3 on the Netopticon

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Mon Jan 24 09:23:59 EST 2011

We would like to thank the past week's discussants, Davin Heckman and Jon
Thomson & Alison Craighead, as well as other contributors to the debate, for
their insightful and incisive contributions to this month's theme. As Jon &
Alison noted at the outset, the Netopticon is an environment "we inhabit and
deal with everyday" and we can never "scrutinise it entirely objectively".
We are the Netopticon and the Netopticon is us. This was what Foucault
asserted - in any conflict we first have to challenge ourselves. Davin
echoed this in his observation that conflict is rarely black and white and
that multiple agendas are in play. We have seen this to be the case in many
recent conflicts, from Vietnam to Afghanistan to the nascent infowar. This
week's discussion has been especially productive and I regret that as I have
been travelling I've only been able to lurk.

We hope that Davin, Jon, Alison and other list members will continue to
contribute to the debate as we enter the second week and welcome three more
discussants, Joseph DeLappe, Patrick Lichty and Heidi May,  Each of these
discussants engage issues concerning representations of power and how power
flows not only through media but functions as social mediality. Their
various positions and practices will offer diverse approaches to this
month's theme as we move to the conclusion of our discussion.

Joseph Delappe (USA) is an artist and Associate Professor at the University
of Nevada, Reno. His recent projects, often inflected with humour and
political import, have included re-enacting Ghandi's 240 mile Salt March in
Second Life and sponsoring the first Second Life avatar to run for the
United States Senate.

Patrick Lichty (USA) is a technologically-based conceptual artist, writer,
independent curator, animator for the activist group The Yes Men and
Executive Editor of Intelligent Agent Magazine. He began showing
technological media art in 1989 and deals with works and writing that
explore the social relations between us and media.  He is also an Assistant
Professor of Interactive Arts & Media at Columbia College, Chicago, and
resides in Baton Rouge.

Heidi May (Can) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in
Vancouver whose work examines how we understand and communicate experiences
with/in digital technology, particularly interpersonal aspects of these
relationships. She is currently undertaking a PhD in the Faculty of
Education at the University of British Columbia, addressing the topic of
networked art, art pedagogy and relational learning. Heidi also teaches at
Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

The January edition of empyre "Contesting the Netopticon" is moderated
by Simon Biggs (UK/Aus), edinburgh college of art.

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk

s.biggs at eca.ac.uk

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201

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