[-empyre-] Week 3:Welcome back Melinda Rackham.

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Fri Feb 27 14:45:51 AEDT 2015

Thanks so much Melinda, Ben, Tracey and so many of you for posting this
past week.  I know that Melinda is off traveling soon so I want to address
just a couple of comments she made. I am quickly responding after a
grueling day of teaching and admissions meetings so though I apologize for
this fleeting email I did want to get it out.

The aliases on empyre have always fascinated me.  I know that Christina
McPhee has one.  There may be others out there now but my hunch is that
most empyreans are using their own names and oftentimes their professional
emails as subscriber addresses.  We recently had a group of people who
wanted to potentially discuss the GAMERGATE issue on -empyre- but decided
to opt out for many reasons but mainly that the issue was so hot that
their own identities might be jeopardized.  So yes all these issues
including vulnerability and safety are key concerns for all of us.  As
moderators though I feel it is our  job to make our guests feel welcomed
and safe.  The entire list is moderated and posts are read first before
they are sent to our  general subscriber list.  Melinda you set that
system up. There have been numerous times when our moderating team has not
posted an entry because it was off-topic or inflammatory.

The issue of archiving is one that both Tim Murray and myself are deeply
invested in.  In fact Tim will be our guest on empyre to close out the
month.  Yes the University of South Wales archives all of our discussions
Cornell houses our website http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
I am aware that Rhizome.org also archives the site but I am not sure if
that is select months or every month.  Maybe Tim knows that one.

Yes you may be correct in assuming that when the print versions of the
online journal may have incited a move to become a bit more pedantic.  I
came in on the moderating team at the time when Christina McPhee
represented us at documenta.  There are others In that list that I was not
aware of Melinda so thanks so much for the list. I would be interested to
hear more about what happened with the Art Gallery of Knoxville
publication in 2005 and if you were ever able to find out later about its

This past month has been a banner one for me.  To see so both Melinda and
Tracey and other former regulars come back to us has been nostalgic and
memorable.  Hope you will be able to make one more post Melinda before you
head out.  Thank you.  Renate

On 2/26/15, 11:00 AM, "Melinda Rackham" <melinda at subtle.net> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>Kath - yes propose a month on something networked you want to talk about!!
>I wanted to pull out some texts on vulnerability and giddiness
>>>  The hope for a space that can and will work out new
>>> potentials is a utopia but I think most of us do not want to let go of
>>> that ideal. Our own list-serve acknowledges that the tension between
>>> writing as a performative gesture and one that is conversational,
>>> vulnerable or giddy provides an interesting interstitial space. A space
>>> that can be informative but also one that is inquisitive and
>and Ben.. 
>>> In the spirit of vulnerability I admit I've been quite intimidated by
>>>the list, largely
>>> because of the academic language and references I have not read. I was
>>> at ISEA 2011 but did not have the guts to come out to the empire
>>> get-together in person. I can't quite explain my recent and consistent
>>> burst of activity on here, perhaps my own language has changed and I've
>>> become that which had intimated me so. This certainly involves an
>>> interesting question of access, not just in terms of tools and
>>> requirements, but also in terms of knowledge and language.
>In the early days of -empyre- I  created two subscribers who were aliases
>for me to use to guide the conversations and to create that soft space.
>They spoke in plain language, they asked for clarification, questions
>that I believe others were afraid to ask.., they were giddy, they were
>excited, they were vulnerable. I really enjoyed creating them, their
>unique writing and spelling style - and trying to keep them congruent
>over time. As you say Renate -empyre- is a LOT of work to manage, and
>eventually the community itself took over as the holder of the common
>space and my virtual colleagues retired.  I'm sure that this
>intervention, manipulation even, accelerated the terraforming of -empyre-
>into an environment were poets, performers, technicians, scholars and
>just plain interested people could feel safe to venture without fear of
>not speaking the right language, then having it appear in a search engine
>But -empyre- was always archived - centrally at UNSW where I did my Phd
>and I also kept an offline archive plus off site back up. Later it was
>archived extensively by Cornell.  But perhaps it was when we started
>print publishing outcomes from the online discussions that the community
>became more self conscious in what they posted. The first was the Lab3D
>and Web3D Art Reader produced in conjunction with Kathy Rae Huffman @
>Cornerhouse in Manchester which I co-edited with Taylor Nuttall in 2003.
>Then especially the three moderated conversations on the three documenta
>12 leitmotifs for the documenta 12 Magazine Project, superbly edited by
>long term -empyre -facilitator Christina McPhee in 2006 - 2007, and
>printed and presented by documenta at Kassel. Links to those publications
>in .pdf format : http://www.subtle.net/empyre.html
>In late 2005 three hefty 3cm books with no title or author arrived in my
>post office box.  I was bit shocked when I opened the first page and saw
>my intro post to the -empyre- February 2005 discussion I had facilitated,
>titled "To Save or not to Save". The book was a word for word reprint of
>the whole months conversation, including every quote and requote in the
>plain text email format. I had no prior knowledge of the project which
>originated from an archiving exhibition at the Art Gallery of Knoxville
>in November 2005. Theres great circularity there and its pretty funny.
>It became obvious that -empyre- was an exploratory forum, but articles,
>Phds and entire books were also being researched and published from here.
>It wasn't a casual neighbourhood conversation anymore. -empyre- had
>evolved into a differently effective tool for the artist, philosopher,
>scholar, curator, creative technologist and cultural producer.
>Renate I have no idea about the longevity of list serves - Charlotte
>Frost probably knows about that if she is reading..?
>Also I wanted to say something about generalism, but it fell out of the
>conversational flow.
>maybe tomorrow
>> On 26 Feb 2015, at 10:03 am, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu>
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Kath Melinda was the innovator of our present day -empyre-soft-skinned
>> space.  We welcome ³less academic² topics at any time by any person
>> interested in organizing a topic around networked culture.  Sure hope
>> will consider hosting one soon on a topic of your choice. Renate
>> Renate Ferro
>> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art,Cornell University
>> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office:  306
>> Ithaca, NY  14853
>> Email:   <rferro at cornell.edu <mailto:rtf9 at cornell.edu>>
>> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net <http://www.renateferro.net/>
>>      http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
>> <http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net/>
>> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net <http://www.tinkerfactory.net/>
>> Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
>> On 2/25/15, 5:39 PM, "Kath O'Donnell" <aliak77 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

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