[iDC] interesting article on new media scene in LA

Mark Shepard mshepard at ap.buffalo.edu
Sun Oct 30 23:51:53 EST 2005


No reason to categorically disparage the SoCal expats. The LA Times  
article was written by Holly Willis,"a regular contributor to the  
Weekly, who currently teaches video art, new media and digital  
culture at USC, Art Center and CalArts". So of course she's  
referencing the people she knows and the context within which she is  
operating. I don't see anything problematic with regional reportage  
of this nature. It gives us a glimpse (however biased) of what is  
happening there.

Beatrice da Costa commented at Trebor's conference last spring that  
SoCal had this wonderful confluence of academic and industrial  
interests - almost as if she were speaking about cocktail recipe.  
Now, it's not news that the post-critical is the parole du jour there  
- and perhaps something valuable will come from it - but the limits  
are already being articulated by people like Julian Bleeker in his  
response to Mike Liebhold's talk at USC's Annenberg Center for  
Communication  ( http://netpublics.annenberg.edu/about_netpublics/ 
_27_2pm#comment-25 )

I'd be interested in hearing more about the opportunities and  
dilemmas of research funding schemes based on tight couplings between  
academic, industrial, and military interests in new media in southern  
California... And particularly what, if anything, this has to do with  


On Oct 30, 2005, at 3:09 PM, Murphy wrote:

> A few thoughts on being mean to SoCal:
> I always thought Barbrook's "California ideology" was unfair to  
> California (and the US in general) but that it was accurate for  
> Wired magazine and those who wrote for it. My response was  "chill,  
> dude" because Americans don't take mass publications as seriously  
> as European Marxists. Having worked in magazine publishing and  
> production I saw Wired as an incredibly produced promotional book  
> that was great fun to look at and attempt to read but wasn't very  
> influential because Americans don't read anymore. If they do  
> they're not getting their information from Wired. Now it's owned by  
> Conde Nast because it was always a Conde Nast sort of publication.  
> It was the nerd Vogue. Great layout and occasionally great writing  
> because text is cheaper than image in a magazine.
> The University of California system is a marvel of American  
> education that all of us should be proud of. Instead, Reagan tried  
> to destroy it when he was gov. while waving the flag. That's  
> schizophrenic America in a nutshell.
> There really is no other place in the US where so many industries  
> interested in new media converge (and throw in agribusiness while  
> we're at it). I don't think of them as evil per se. There is a sort  
> of fascist element to it, though with a Disney facade.
> I was joking when I called the New Yorkers who went to SoCal to  
> teach as "riff-raff" because I'm friends with some of them. OTOH,  
> I've decided Lev Manovich just may be the devil. He is the primary  
> proponent of the non art historical view of new media and I can't  
> excuse him for that.
> The Thing has operatives at UCSD so we're just as much to blame for  
> what's happening there as anybody else.
> {smiley face}
> Robbin Murphy
> The Thing, Inc.
> c/o Death Star
> New York, NY
> murphy at thing.net
> http://post.thing.net
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mark shepard
assistant professor
departments of architecture and media study
university at buffalo, state university of new york

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