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Re: <nettime> Notes on the Politics of Software Culture
Zeljko Blace on Sat, 6 Sep 2003 06:43:37 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Notes on the Politics of Software Culture


This is great openning for discussion for both N5M and AE
participants who deal with this topic as thay share some
commonalities but tend to take further more political (N5M) or economical
(AE) argumentation.

Additionaly it would be interesting to reflect on the impact of new media
Art/Cultural practices on software industry, media and software
communities (like gloabal free software community or more introvert
ones like demo scene).
Personally I got interested in idea after seeing Linux Journal #107
cover (first art installation on the cover) and than reading inside a
review of FrequencyClock of r a d i o q u a l i a.

Frequency of media/tech art projects getting to the ICT news portals like
Slashdot is still very low (Free Radio Linux, Feral Robotic Dogs,
Blinkenlights, Illegal Art project... any others recently?).
In the same time while Runme.org lists more than 150 projects
(http://runme.org/news/read/+10/) Freshmeat lists 82 projects in Art
category (with 2/3 of it being CSound frontends, midi and fractall
applets http://freshmeat.net/browse/901/?topic_id=901).

Media art festivals/galleries tend to go easy way buy looking for (or
commisioning) work in known outposts like established media-labs (MIT and
V2_lab being the popular choices for AE), art mailing lists and
websites...avoiding to dig deeper into the messy and fuzzy work of geeks
and nerds who lack sence of selfpromotion.

Few projects like CCC´s "Blinkenlights" manage to get the idea of creative
use of IT across, but still somehow miss on being a subject of new media
theorists/critics.

How can this situation be changed or inverted? Can computer/media art
community stop being self-referential and emerge itself in the already
established IT community/media platforms, rather than being ecstatic
(with years of delay) with phenomenas like open source, p2p, wirelles?

CU  {AT}  { AE | N5M }

On Thu, 4 Sep 2003, Andreas Broeckmann wrote:

> [the essay below was written for the upcoming Next5Minutes4 reader;
> as it scans the field that will also be the topic of the ars
> electronica starting on saturday, i thought it might be timely to
> post it here; -ab]
>
>
> Notes on the Politics of Software Culture
>
> Andreas Broeckmann
>
> Software has, over the last few years, increasingly come into view as
> a cultural technique whose social and political impact ought to be
> studied carefully. To the extent that social processes rely on
> software for their execution - from systems of e-government and
> net-based education, online banking and shopping, to the organisation
> of social groups and movements -, it is necessary to understand the
> procedural specificities of the computer programmes employed, and the
> cultural and political 'rules' coded into them. The 'killer apps' of
> tomorrow may, as Howard Rheingold claims, not be 'hardware devices or
> software programs but social practices'. Yet, these social practices
> will increasingly be determined by software configurations of the
> available infrastructure and the degrees and types of latitude that
> they offer.
>
> Aspects of software culture - a terrain that encompasses software
> development as well as the wide and multi-facetted field of software
> application - are being articulated by speculative and artistic
> software projects which this text will try to cover in a necessarily
> cursory, introductory fashion.

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