[iDC] Re: REFRESH! conference, some impressions (panelism + powerpoint)

Jon Ippolito jippolito at umit.maine.edu
Wed Oct 12 17:43:47 EDT 2005

Hi Judith,

Thanks (via Sarah) for your no-holds-barred take on the REFRESH conference. To judge from the dialogue on the CRUMB list, you seem to have injected networked dialogue into what previously was an almost exclusively broadcast affair. 

Your diagnosis of panelism is accurate--though, to be fair, I think the conference's organizers realized this in their post-conference self-interrogation. I'm hoping that the 2007 RE-REFRESH will incorporate a more bottom-up, atomistic approach to
the subject, perhaps with the help of some networking technologies (moblogging, folksonomies, customized schedules). If new media are going to be assimilated into the discipline of history without changing the way history does business, then I'll
find something else to do.

As a card-carrying, button-distributing anti-PowerPoint activist, I have to take issue with your final comment. Several of the projects I showed in my presentation ran on Gnu/Linux (Red Hat), one of numerous examples of free software I used to make
and present my presentation (Apache, Firefox, Web Developer, SubEthaEdit, Cyberduck, Darwin, etc.). Perhaps Gnu/Linux et al. were simply "hidden in plain sight," in the sense that open code is now so blended into mainstream use that we don't even
notice its appearance. (I did use a PowerBook, because I like the Tiger GUI and have neither the time nor know-how to build my own laptop. And I'd rather sport an apple than a Sony logo....)

To be sure, it's a problem for open code simply to ape the appearance and function of proprietary software without revealing its political potential. But that's why my presentation (http://three.org/ippolito/newmediarecognition/) explicitly included
links to and instructions for downloading the code I used for the presentation itself--which incidentally is all free and open DHTML. Now, if someone wants to upload their PowerPoint file along with instructions on how to decompile it, I'll be



Sarah Cook <sarah.e.cook at sunderland.ac.uk> on Monday, October 10, 2005 at 1:58 PM -0500 wrote:
>forwarding here, on Ms. Diamond's suggestion, a message by Judith
>Rodenbeck originally written to and posted on the idc list
>(collaboration, hosted by Trebor Scholz on Thing).
>Judith Rodenbeck <jrodenbe at slc.edu>
>the conference overall suffered greatly from
>what Trebor Scholz and Geert Lovink have dubbed “panelism”
>	• 	Comical reliance on and then debate about
. And then, as one member of the audience pointed out,
>nearly all of the people at the conference in their ppt-critical
>right-thinking wisdom had little glowing apples at their desks. No
>sign of Linux.

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