[iDC] interesting article on new media scene in LA

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Sat Oct 29 15:53:41 EDT 2005

>On Oct 29, 2005, at 9:47 AM, Judith Rodenbeck wrote:
>>I find the current unproblematized adoption and valorization of the
>>business-model model very disturbing--and it's present not only in new media
>>circles but also in the theorizing of "relational aesthetics" as in MFA
>>programs. This business-model discourse has a history too--see Allan
>>Kaprow's "Should the Artist be a Man of the World" as well as his "Education
>>of the Un-Artist"--and I worry that with the piecemeal dismissal of history
>>the nuances--historical, ethical, "aesthetic"--of its implications may get
>>lost. Certainly that's what's happened in Bourriaud. But then again maybe
>>critical vanguardism is hopelessly retardataire.
>The military/education/entertainment complex that exists in So Cal 
>is where the money is because of the economic trajectory of the 
>Pacific Rim. I'm not sure how much any of this has to do with art 
>but I do find it interesting that they've lured so many "new media 
>artists" from New York, just as Cal Arts did with conceptual artists 
>in the 'eighties. I like to think we sent them the riff-raff.

I agree with Robbin -- this article is, for me, one of those "look 
what we (socal media) invented -- another reason to posit our 
physical location as the center of all things new."

I felt immediately that the article was about a decade past the 
curve.   And indeed illustrates the social process of 
academic/institutional adsorbtion of the elite that floated frothily 
to the top of "new media" by authoring hard-copy texts.  Back to the 
Literate Hegemony of universities that was previously discussed.

The process could be compared to Finland's prominence (to a greater 
degree than its size) in New Media in the last decade -- where there 
was a convergence of Gov't funding policy and new media 'research' 
(prominently powered by a collusion of Nokia and government policy 
wonks).  That situation generated a substantial "Cultural Industry 
Sector" which helped to drive European discourses and practices 
around new media.  EU funding policies also were part of this.  And 
Geroge Soros would figure prominently in any discussion as well.  It 
would be interesting, in retrospect, to see exactly where funds came 
from for all the many new media festivals, meetings, colloquia, and 
such over the last 10-12 years in Europe..

I would suggest that while there is always something new happening, 
thinking of SoCal as a center for innovation is a bit much unless you 
have a complete amnesia as to what was happening in Europe since the 
early 90's.

And I do vividly recall lively and heated discussions on the 
newly-birthed nettime about the 'California Ideology" (of new media). 
Perhaps we are seeing the pendulum swinging the other way.  I'll 
forward the article to nettime to see what happens ;-}

2 cents


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