Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> nottime: the end of nettime
Eric Kluitenberg on Fri, 3 Apr 2015 17:11:51 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> nottime: the end of nettime

   dear nettimers,

   So, nettime is not, for the moment going to disappear, and I'm for one
   quite happy about that. I feel ambivalent though about the way in which
   the issue of 'taking stock' of the current substance (or lack thereof)
   of the list and its extended constituency (to avoid the overused term
   `community') has been raised.

   For me the greatest quality of nettime is its continuity and continued
   presence, with all its defects and shortcomings, but still. And this is
   in no small part due to the continued efforts of Ted and Felix keeping
   this edifice alive and dragging it through extended periods of
   sluggishness. I used the word `monumental' in a private mail to Ted the
   other day (off-list) and saw that he already integrated it in his
   recent negation of all the shoulder patting rumbling through the ascii

   Well OK let's move on then.

   I think there are a number of issues that need to be unpicked from this
   `intervention' that require some reflexion and possibly also some
   actions to follow up on.

   First an uneasy one that so far only Ted dared address (yesterday):
   ownership of the list and what extends from it - Ted and Felix don't
   know if they could, or have the `right', to close this list down even
   if they wanted to - despite their extremely extended `stewardship' of
   the whole affair. And Ted's right - I don't think that this list and
   what it extends into is or should be / can be `owned' by anyone, and
   therefore nobody in particular has the right to shut it down. Still,
   things need to be maintained, both technically, editorially and as a
   living social entity - all that doesn't happen by itself and if the
   extended constituency would not find somehow a solution for it the
   thing would in effect disappear if Ted and Felix stopped taking care of

   That's an unresolved dilemma that afflicts many of such invaluable not
   for profit / not for glory enterprises - a bit of `crowd funding' will
   not solve this. David Garcia is talking about `resilience' instead of
   that other overused term 'sustainability', but we don't know exactly
   how to organise this beyond personal sacrifice (sacrificial labour is a
   more apt term here than `affective'). That's an important one for our
   list - how to solve this (not just for nettime)?

   But then there are a whole bunch of specific issues lumped together in
   the original posting that should in fact be taken separately, I think,
   before we make a judgement about the larger whole. I've copied the
   paragraph again at the bottom of this message.

   So let's unpick:

   - the summer of the internet is over: that is in itself already a
   question whether or not this moment and its momentum is over? I
   actually don't really think so, but it has become a much more
   complicated space of activity to get to grips with - the walled gardens
   of (anti-) `social' networking platforms (that everybody nonetheless
   seems to flock to, so where are the alternatives that are so unlike the
   corporate mainstream?). The revelation that the control society was
   every bit as bad as we had imagined it in our worst nightmares... The
   sad fact that the massive participation in online media and
   self-mediation has not by itself and of itself lead to a more open,
   democratic, equitable society (or should we say `collective'?).

   - the former `East' for the most part does not exist anymore - it is
   now rather a vanguard for political experiments that set a tone for
   much of Europe to follow. What was still termed `enduring
   post-communism' during Next 5 Minutes 4, back in 2003, now really seems
   to have come to an end. The rise of chauvinist authoritarianism voted
   into power in Hungary is not so much a regression to the past as it is
   a prefiguration of a future we must desperately try to avoid.

   - that we have so little reports and discussions about what is
   happening on Russia's borders is actually hardly a surprise. The only
   ones who could offer us a genuinely interesting perspective on what is
   going on are the ones inside Russia, who live that situation. But they
   will not speak out in public - it's too dangerous. Do it and not only
   will you put your own life at risk (think of Oleg Kyreev's so-called
   'suicide' after openly supporting the idea of an orange revolution in
   Russia - we will never forget that!), but also the livelihood of your
   friends and family (losing jobs, benefits, housing, opportunities) -
   this is all very real and the last thing you will do when in such a
   situation is speak out in public (archived for eternity). No wonder
   there's no voices on this list that could enlighten us. We are very
   much back to the good old days of `Kremlin-watchers' who attempt to
   interpret spurious signs of tightly controlled (media-)enactments that
   could mean anything or nothing at all - really..

   - China, Middle-East, Africa, and for that matter Latin America, all
   very much absent indeed and we miss this dearly. There are net.cultures
   in these places, but they are not with us. I agree fully with Ted and
   Felix here that this is a major issue. In the past we had a healthy
   inflow from South Asia via the Sarai `constituency', but that too has
   dried up, largely because it migrated to Sarai's very active Reader
   List and other fora, but we've somehow lost touch. I guess for a
   variety of reasons.

   - nettime could do more, much more to connect with the new generations
   of what I usually refer to as the `movement(s) of the squares', and
   what Ted and Felix call the `flowerings of new forms of subjectivity
   and the new forms of sovereignty that they give rise to' - indeed. The
   generation issue is not so relevant for me. The more important point
   would be to build on nettime's continued presence to create connections
   between different generations, to exchange experiences and knowledge,
   to learn more from what is happening right now, to understand, create
   solidarity, gain new insights and energies.. That wil not happen by
   itself, but requires a dedicated and conscious effort - would that be
   thinkable in the context of nettime? Who knows? Maybe...

   - the "profoundly important dynamics across parts of the world
   conventionally -- and reductively -- called 'Muslim' or `Arab'" - when
   I want to figure out something there, my first stop is always the
   superb Jadaliyya blog. But there are no `Jadaliyyans' on nettime, alas,
   none so far as I am conscious about. And yet they are only one e-mail
   away. For the Tactical Media Files resource I collected a number of
   contributions from that `constituency' and never had a problem getting
   a swift response and co-operation, so what's stopping nettime?

   I think the idea for (finally) a nettime meeting again (after way too
   many years) is a really valuable one. And indeed it can take many
   forms, but it would be great to meet up for this, discuss, debate,
   invite youngsters and non-grey/whites/males/euromaricans and so on,
   cross-connect, pollinate, infect, contaminate and infuse, all that.
   Let's again be `proud to be flesh'..

   In short, let's move from self-reflection to some concrete actions...

   up for the next 20...!


   in appreciation,


   On 01 Apr 2015, at 07:35, nettime mod squad <nettime {AT} kein.org>

   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.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} kein.org