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<nettime> nottime: the end of nettime
nettime mod squad on Wed, 1 Apr 2015 10:22:59 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> nottime: the end of nettime


Dear Nettimers, present and past --

The first nettime message was sent on 31 May 1995,[1] almost twenty
years ago. A lot has happened since then, and we're proud of how well
this list, and the larger nettime 'neighborhood,' has traced many of
these epochal changes. The list's alumni/ae is a who's who of critical
culture across an incredible range of fields. They -- really, *you*
-- have helped to redefine activism, shape national and international
legal and economic reforms, lead international cultural festivals and
some of the world's most famous musems, produce astonishing works of
art, write fiction and nonfiction that's won awards and redefined
entire disciplines, and build crucial free and open-source software,
to name just a few things. And those are just the 'heroic' stories.
There are many more obscure ones that, if anything, are even more
impressive, as even a quick glance at nettime's Wikipedia entry will
show.[2] A few nettimers have passed away, and we miss them dearly,
still. Moreover, most like-minded projects of a similar age have
either vanished or, alternatively, have succeeded by forsaking their
alternative status for the discursive bonds of institutional security.
Nettime stands alone as a deliberately, even radically independent
project. Its migration over the years -- in-berlin.de, desk.nl,
material.net, thing.net, waag.nl, and now kein.org and bitnik.org --
tells just one part of that story.

     [1] http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-9810/msg00048.html
     [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nettime

But if times have changed, Nettime has not. At a time when an email
address as such is becoming a generational marker (for many younger
people it's little more than a tool of the man), the very idea of a
mailing list is itself an anachronism. It's slow -- sometimes slower
than a mailed letter would be, at this point. It takes time to read
and write. And there's no images, no video, no memes, no numbers,
stats or ranks, no friends or followers -- in short, there's not much
to like about it. 'Tactical' media has gone viral -- it's mainly
absorbed in its own anthologies -- while 'viral' media have become a
cliche for marketers and other assorted bottom-feeders. Nettime is
still devoted to criticism of the net, in a way. But how could that
matter when it's debatable whether 'the net' even exists anymore?
Hasn't everyone else moved on to the post-digital? 'Posttime,' anyone?

In this and many other ways, nettime has been 'graying.' It's wedded
to a particular Euro-American moment, the so-called summer of the
Internet, which has since turned to winter. Nettime's once-radical
embrace of the ex-East -- or, if you like, of the ex-West -- barely
extends to Hungary now, and has nothing to say to the decisive
conflicts around Russia's borders, obviously (but not only) in
Ukraine. Its early tacit prohibition on ritualizeddebates about
Israel and Palestine has grown into a complete failure to address the
profoundly important dynamics across parts of the world conventionally
-- and reductively -- called 'Muslim' or 'Arab.' These areas are too
often consigned to the 'timelessness' of conflict, but there's every
reason to believe that their liberatory struggles could ultimately
define the future of the 'WEIRD' nations. China? Barely a peep about
it. Africa? Nettime is nowheresville. The seas, the skies, the
circulatory flows? Nada. And how about nongeographical 'areas' where
the most moving cultural changes are happening -- in the flowerings
of new forms of subjectivity around the world and the new forms of
sovereignty they're giving rise to. Silence. But, really, who cares
what a bunch of straight white cis guys -- which is 95% of the list's
traffic -- think about those things? Really.

We briefly hoped that we might begin to address these questions and
more with a twentieth-anniverasary conference in Bucharest. Not a
'revival tour' of nettime's ageing heroes but, instead, some broader
kind of gathering around newer, open questions. Unfortunately, that
didn't pan out. Nettime is not mobile and there is no app for that.
After considering these and other options, and trying to imagine how
we could 'upgrade' nettime's creaky infrastructure so that it'd at
least have a chance, we've reluctantly come to the conclusion that it
would be better to make a graceful exit. So we've decided to fold up
shop on 30 May, the day before the list would turn twenty. Nettime
has a troubled history when it comes to unsubscribing people --
plus, since we're stuck in 1995 and *none* of this this is automated
-- so we're asking that each of you to pitch in by unsubscribing
yourself before that date. You can find the link to do so here:
<http://nettime.org/info.html>.

Personally, we -- Ted Byfield and Felix Stalder -- would like to say
that it's been a pleasure and an honor to moderate the list for the
last seventeen-odd years. It's been a part of our lives, and we'll
miss it very much.

-- the mod squad





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