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Re: <nettime> People offline [2x]
nettime's on/off connector on Wed, 26 Nov 2003 19:21:16 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> People offline [2x]

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   <nettime> People offline                                                        
     Keith Hart <HART_KEITH {AT} compuserve.com>                                          

   Re:<n> People offline                                                           
     Janos Sugar <sj {AT} c3.hu>                                                          


Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 06:06:23 -0500
From: Keith Hart <HART_KEITH {AT} compuserve.com>
Subject: <nettime> People offline


Good luck with your research. Your post reminded me that I am trying to
put together an article for a Brazilian journal on "the anthropology of
the internet".

What interests me is less the digital divide between people with and
without access to the internet, but how what we do offline influences what
we do on it. In this, I have taken some inspiration from Martin
Heidegger's book "The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World,
Finitude, Solitude". He says there that "world" is an abstract
metaphysical category for each of us (all that relates to or affects the
life of a person) and whose dialectical counterpart is "solitude", the
idea of the isolated individual. Every subject makes a world of their own.
But we do so from "finitude", the concrete specifics of time and place in
which we necessarily live. So "world" is relative both to an abstract
version of subjectivity and, more important, to our particularity in the
world (seen as a universe of time as well as space).

"The internet" is often represented as a self-sufficient entity, Each of
us lives alone (solitude) in a world largely of our own making and this
seems to be more real when we go online. But both terms are imagined as
well as being reciprocal. In fact we approach them from a relative
location in society where we actually live. The ideas of 'world' and
'individual' are equally abstract and untenable as an object of inquiry.
Therefore it cannot be satisfactory to study the social forms of the
internet independently of what people bring to it from elsewhere in their
lives. This social life of people offline is an invisible presence when
they are on it.

This is a different project, of course. I would be glad of any references
or anecdotal material that relates to this question.

Keith Hart


Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 13:44:05 +0100
From: Janos Sugar <sj {AT} c3.hu>
Subject: Re:<n> People offline

At 8:00 +0300 11/24/03, Steve Cisler wrote:
>In 2004 I am going to be collecting stories and writing about people
>and groups that are not online. 

>If you have suggestions of whom I might contact, anywhere in the world,
>please let me know.


Talán Sebeö is maybe the most important unknown figure of the Hungarian
contemporary culture.  Artist, activist, writer, organizer, in the early
8Oies he started to publish Csere (Swap, Austausch), the only
philosophical underground publication (samizdat).

In the mid 80ies, with the political changes even the small ads
(classified) got rid of censorship.  Until this time even small ads had to
follow some rules. Talan Sebeo was inspired by the liberalizations of this
genre and started a broad advertising activity. He published in a special
newspaper for such ads a few messages, with provocative, poetic content,
which immediately inspired the very mixed and special readership of the
paper. other people started to reply, Talan replied to them, and during a
relative short time a new community arose. They call themselves the
"32ers" because they used the 32. section (Readers Forum) of this
newspaper. Very soon an incredible interesting communication developed,
sometime nonsensical, sometime funny, witty messages came and circulated
between people who did not even know each others, only by the pseudonyms
they were using. With the friendly support of the German publisher of this
ad newspaper (Wolfram Helmle) the 32ers filled regularly two large pages
with their messages.
Kunst mit gesellschaftlicher Munition entwickelt in einer demokratischen
Gesellschaft andere Formen, als in einem repressiven Umfeld. Talán Sebeö
(Vielleicht Sebeö) hat als radikaler Vertreter der Gemeinschaftskunst seit
Anfang der achtziger Jahre Gemeinschaften ins Leben gerufen.  Neben der
Philosophenhaftigkeit der Austauschfolge und der Titanic vertreten in
seinem Schaffen die 32-er den Alltag der Unideologischheit. Seit 1984, als
das erste sog.  Anzeigenblatt in Ungarn erscheinen konnte, macht Sebeö
Talán auch vom Medium des Inserats Gebrauch. Etwas später, im Jahre 1990,
generierte er mit einigen in die 32-er Sparte des damals gerade
gestarteten Hirdetés-(Annoncen)-Blattes gesetzten Anzeigen eine Bewegung,
die auch heute aktiv ist, und mit der Vergleichbares erst ein halbes
Jahrzehnt später in den virtuellen Gemeinschaften der online-Welt
entstehen sollte.  Schon die Konzeption des Anzeigenblattes beruht auf
direkten Beziehungen, als ein Forum, wo Verkäufer und Käufer durch das
Ausschalten von Vermittlern aufeinander treffen können. Die das Blatt
füllenden Anzeigen ergeben ein eigenartiges, aber authentisches
Spiegelbild der Zeit. Die von Sebeö Talán inspirierten Korrespondenten der
Sparte Leserforum kannten sich anfangs ausschließlich von Pseudonymen,
viele verwendeten gleichzeitig mehrere Alter Egos, und die Identität wurde
grundlegend von der Kohärenz der publizierten Mitteilungen bestimmt.  Die
vernetzte Gemeinschaft der 32-er erinnert an eine
online-Korrespondenzliste, die zugleich eine riesige und heterogene
Leserschaft hat: all derer, die etwas suchen oder anbieten.



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