[-empyre-] FW: initiating dialogic cultural processes

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Mon Jan 24 09:30:01 EST 2011

Forwarded Message on behalf of Heidi May:

Hi all,

So much to contemplate and comment on, so little time to do
so....however, I do feel it important to draw attention to a couple of
significant points brought up, if only to highlight them once again...

Davin wrote:
> Aside from the practical matter of keeping one's hands busy or putting
> food in one's belly....  a way of thinking needs to accompany these
> practices.  And that, I think, is the greatest obstacle.  We have no
> patience for dialogic cultural processes.  We are in the habit of
> consuming things as they appear and forgetting them when they go away.
> And, while certain models of community necessitate more long term
> thinking, we also need theories that encourage us to think about
> history and the future, to plan, to reflect, to be "human."

Marc, in response:
Yes, this is definitely problematic. And one of the issues around this
is that 'official' media platforms dominate people's own opinions and
decisions in how we deal with events, and in particular, the current
economic crisis and revelations around climate change. Which is why
Wikileaks for many is a breath of fresh air. If we cannot claim more
control over the media we will become victims of it.

Marc wrote:
> Perhaps It would be more appropriate to introduce small, human-scale
> initiatives which include individuals and groups, according to their
> own
> needs and shared resources, and then build from there.

Sometimes we can read/hear the same idea multiple times and then once
it is arranged and communicated a certain way, it hits us more
clearly. For me, both Davin and Marc have touched on key ideas for
navigating and understanding the netopticon that can be extended to
many areas of society. Davin points to a necessary way of thinking
that needs to accompany the practices with/in the netopticon, further
stating that we have no patience for dialogic cultural processes. I
connect this to Marc's appeal for introducing small, human-scale
initiative that function according to their own needs and shared
resources, and then build from there. In my opinion, so much of this
needs to start in educational endeavours - whether through our school
systems or informal projects in which we can insert these approaches.
It is about the "way of thinking" and the encouragement of "dialogic
cultural processes". But, like Marc said, I think it needs to start
within initiatives that people can connect to their personal everyday
lives, because that is the only way this way of thinking can be
learned. Once that can happen, we can then address the larger cultural
concerns. Although the technology will always change, elements of the
networked structures will most likely remain. So perhaps we need to
instigate ways of teaching and learning that incorporate critical
thinking in response to these processes, situations, and relations we
encounter in today's world - in art, yes, but in all forms of education.


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