[iDC] interesting article on new media scene in LA

G.H. Hovagimyan ghh at thing.net
Mon Oct 31 08:25:12 EST 2005

gh comments:
I think the article in the L.A. Times is quite telling. It talks about 
how the film industry is the main industry in L.A. as Art is in New 
York. One could argue that New York is essentially the cultural center 
of the U.S. with it's fashion, media. theater, art, food etc. but in 
any case. New Media in relationship to Hollywood is an interesting and 
exciting possibility. At the moment Hollywood thinks of new media as 
special effects and surround sound. Maybe it can get beyond that. Car 
culture in L.A. is a factor that can highlight the notion of rhizomatic 
networking and virtual bodies.   I think that the decade of excitement 
about new media has played out. Now the hard work begins and that is to 
assess and incorporate new media into the larger cultural discourse. In 
America that also means creating a market. Right now the market for new 
media artists is in the Universities as teachers. That is a worthy 
vocation but needs to be extended into the world as a whole. The 
problem with new media has always been a focus on what the software 
does rather than what the art work means or what it communicates. The 
main discussion in New Media is whether someone does their own coding. 
That's actually detrimental to the notion of art. It's about the same 
as saying a person isn't a painter if they don't grind and mix their 
own paints.  I always think of California as looking to the East and 
the Orient. I think of the East Coast as looking to Europe. It's a sort 
of where we came from and where are we going dynamic. One of my main 
problems with California is how they always claim to be be inventing 
things, starting trends etc.. That is probably why John Hopkins got a 
little steamed and started talking about all the new media projects in 
Europe. It does become interesting to try and define what the 
difference is between New York New Media, L.A. New Media and E.U. New 
Media. This becomes interesting and exciting. The problems I see are in 
getting bogged down in Hackneyed Marxist discourse or staying 
sequestered in New Media cloisters. One of the more exciting things 
that happened in the 1970's New York punk scene was a rejection of the 
high aesthetics of  Soho and a move to mix it up in the rock clubs. 
There is that potential for new media which Perry Hoberman hinted about 
when he said in the article that people are working in the fringes in 
California. Excuse me as a New Yorker if I mix up L.A. , .S.F. and S.D. 
and lump them all together. I know that not the case but this is a 
short post. Have fun in the sun!
g. h. hovagimyan

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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