Geert Lovink on Mon, 26 Oct 1998 10:56:11 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> text written for the first net.time meeting (june 95)

[this is one of the first, internal texts written by Nils Roeller, as a
preparation of the first net.time meeting which took place during the
Venice Bienale, june 95 as a part of the Club Berlin program, organized by
the Berlin Bienale]


>From Mon May  8 03:27:26 1995


"We are facing the end of the era of the printed word (...)
We are no longer readers, but universal spectator. (...)
The dependance of humans on machines, virtual reality, computers and
television, is not an historical novelty, but, instead, the final stage of
civilizytion (...)"

These are the words of Hans Gadamer, born in 1900, the father of
contemporary hermeneutics (science of interpretation).

And if were actually so?

Is technological development bringing us to self-distruction or to a new
Renaissance? Are we experiencing the last phase of Western civilasation, o
the dawn of the digital era? Does computer revolution favor alientation or
communication? Does computer simulated closeness increase actual solutude?
In cyberspace distance does not exist: everybody is in contact with
everybody. The corners of the earth are within reach. The world, having
become a global village, loses its present geographical boundaries:
north-south-east-west and becomes divided by population, acutually two:
those who use the computer and those who don't, indepentent of where
they are found. Humans have created an alternative world, of which they
are both the builders and the users. They have invented an "other" nature
whose instruments, languages and methods must be studied. This generates
two reactions: euphoria and panic. Scientific progress offers infinite
possibilities, previosly unknown or even imaginable. But there is
something that must be sageguarded, and that is the value or unique,
unrepeatable, irrevocable personal and collective history.

History is embodded in language. If language is a code that preserves our
past and records our present, then there resides the building blocks of
one of our many possible futures. insturments, languages and methods.
Categories in which art resides. Cardinal points of creation. If it is
true that the artistic-creative process is an extremely personal
undertaking, and sometime unexplainable, it is also true that the outside
world profoundly influences its mechanisms and results.

Enrica Abate
Assoziatione fondamente Nuove
Cannaregio 5013
30131 Venezia
fon 0039 41 522 4498
fax 0039 41 532 1988

Botschaft e.V
Kronenstr. 3
=46RG 10117 Berlin
telfax +30 229 24 29

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