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Re: <nettime> Your question
Florian Cramer on Fri, 19 Sep 2003 17:37:19 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Your question


Am Donnerstag, 18. September 2003 um 16:06:30 Uhr (+0200) schrieb Are
Flagan:

> Final sentence from: Lev Manovich, Don't Call it Art: Ars Electronica
> 2003
> 
> "Today, when pretty much every artist and cultural producer is widely
> using computers while also typically being motivated by many other
> themes and discourses, is it in fact possible that "digital art"
> happens everywhere else but not within the spaces of Ars Electronica
> festival?"
> 
> Good question. But likewise, today, when pretty much every theorist
> and writer on digital culture is widely quoting the same texts, while
> typically also being motivated by quite transparent, self-serving
> agendas, is it in fact possible that "new media theory" happens
> everywhere else but not within the claustrophobic spaces of events and
> writings thus headlined?

I would like to share your optimism, but at least in the realms of
academia, cultural journalism/criticism and contemporary arts, I don't see
it happen. The cultural ubiquity of computing and the Internet which Lev
writes about in his piece is one thing, computer literacy and awareness of
cultural and political issues of digital technology quite another.

The mainstream of academic cultural studies of the Internet, for example,
is roughly ten years behind what we discuss here and still bragging about
cyber-this, virtual-that, visual-xy.  And it seems to get worse: It is
hard to find people these days who don't mistake the Microsoft Windows
desktop - which has mainstreamed Internet user interfaces (through its
default, "standard" browser and E-Mail clients) radically in comparison to
the situation ten or even five years ago - for the computer in general.

I might be wrong, but I don't see much cultural computer literacy outside
either hacker camps - which are weak at theory - or the net cultures
organized around a number of old-fashioned mailing lists (such as Nettime)
and festival gatherings.

-F

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