[iDC] interesting article on new media scene in LA

john sobol john at johnsobol.com
Mon Oct 31 10:29:36 EST 2005

This has been a very interesting thread...

I'd like to redirect it away from the recent cali-centric focus and 
back to a point made a couple posts ago, which concluded...

On 29-Oct-05, at 9:46 PM, Anna Munster wrote:

> The art is the thing that is used to sell this military
> model as a public imagining/imaginary.

I found this to be a very provocative statement. I have taken it out of 
its original context – which I believe had to do with the militaristic 
control and colonization of research in partnerships between public and 
private sectors in Australia – because it suggests a larger reality 
worth considering.

What it suggests to me is the scary possibility that these words might 
apply to the 'public imagining/imaginary' of the Internet as a whole; 
the possibility that artists embody the best dreams of technological 
possibility even in their critiques of technology, and in so doing 
distract everyone else from literate capitalist agendas designed to 
limit meaningful popular participation in digital culture through 
legislation of networks, copyright, patents, standards, treaties and 

This is obviously not the complete picture. At our best we transcend 
the compromises and obstacles we face as artists to transform our 
communities. In fact, it stands as a kind of mirror showing what we 
should not be. But it's also a possibility I haven't quite been able to 
dismiss. For me it's given rise to such questions as: what kind of 
politicized new media art resists those institutional manipulations 
today, in SoCal or anywhere else? Not just intellectually but directly, 
viscerally, constructively? And what are we (politically-conscious 
artists) resisting anyway? What are the greatest stumbling blocks to 
the further realization of the 'public imagining/imaginary' via new 
media technologies?

I know these are not new questions but the answers are, I think, always 
changing and always relevant. I'm interested in any responses that 
point to specific dynamics or works that explicitly address and 
reconfigure technological politics. Of course, some answers are 
obvious, but no doubt many others are less so.

Happy Hallow'en.

John Sobol
NEW Samhain mp3s 2005
bluesology • printopolis • digitopia
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/enriched
Size: 2291 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/attachments/20051031/e393c276/attachment-0002.bin

More information about the iDC mailing list