[-empyre-] Refiguring the Future: Week 2

Sarah Watson sarahawatson at gmail.com
Tue Mar 26 03:47:29 AEDT 2019

I wanted to pick up on this thread with Emily, Renate, and Anneli,
thinking about Renate's question: "What platforms work best or are
most efficient to reach a global audience?  Is the listserv meeting
the needs of a broad community?  Would a blog be better?  What else
could be imagined?" as well as Anneli's response, a small excerpt
quoted here: "We cannot rely on outside companies to control the way
we communicate. We cannot rely on these companies to maintain our
archive. When a certain platform is popular, it seems permanent, but
time and time again we see their immortality. At moments like this I
think it’s important to visualize the reality of the Internet: many
cables connected underground and underwater, our files stored on many
computers all over the world."

These two posts came to mind this weekend, while Lola and I were
talking about our relationships to email and how those relationships
have shifted over the last 5 years, maybe 10 years. We both agreed
that we find it increasingly hard to concentrate and spend time
emailing for personal, social, and intellectually pursuits. Email
allows us to constantly work and it is easy to be connected and
laboring at all hours. In our current moment as we spend so much work
time, and often an increasing number of work hours on email and
looking at screens, how do we engage actively and fully with listservs
like –empyre– and with other online communities. How do others feel
about this? Have folks found ways to combat this fatigue? Can we
imagine a platform that could provide the community and connection,
without feeling tethered to the same type of production as our the
day-today email labor required of many of our jobs?


On Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 1:45 PM Renate Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear all Refiguring the Future:
> ~Anneli wrote:
> “Hearing about what Zach Blas and Micha Cardenas have proposed is the type of network I am contemplating. Of
> course, as Renate brought up, democratizing Internet platforms, or
> maintaining community run platforms requires an enormous amount of labor
> and energy. Once we leave the reliance on corporations, there is a price to
> pay. Perhaps the answer has to do with a move away from for-profit systems
> and frameworks... At moments like this I think it’s important
> to visualize the reality of the Internet: many cables connected underground
> and underwater, our files stored on many computers all over the world.”
> You have caught me at home today working in my studio and trying to organize next month’s discussion on –empyre- and an ode to three artists we lost these past few weeks:
> Grace Quantanilla (MX), Barbara Hammer (US), and Carolee Schneemann (US).
> I do have to qualify that both Zach and Micha never did follow through with Q or perhaps maybe one or two issues as I recall.  The work behind this forum, the listserv, is inordinately labor intensive.  It is so different than the blog in that participants need to be nurtured, enticed, and allowed to chime in at their own pace.  That is often in resistance to real life/work demands that these days are incredibly stressful for most of us who are artists, curators, technicians, writers and so much more. There are also back-channel tinkerings that keep our listserv going. There are times that it is populated with many posts and other times that the pace is slow or non-existent.
> The corporate response whether the web, or Facebook, or Instagram certainly does not nurture individuals at all, or perhaps  does that through algorithms.  I am not sure if you saw this this interview of Tim Berners-Lee who was lamenting the state or his internet in 2019.
> https://livestream.com/internetsociety/web30/videos/188647858
> Looking forward to hearing from you more about your work in this area. Can you tell us about your own design/coding work?  Best.  Renate
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Associate Professor
> Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Department of Art
> Tjaden Hall 306
> rferro at cornell.edu
> On 3/20/19, 12:44 PM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Anneli Anne Goeller" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of agoeller at saic.edu> wrote:
>     ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

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