[iDC] The Lure of Internet2

trebor at thing.net trebor at thing.net
Fri Feb 17 09:42:44 EST 2006

Provocative? Reading your response we seem to largely agree. I am fond of your
suggestions for panels. "The Telephone: Radical Educational Practice" and "The
Modem: Aiding Transformative Learning." Large bandwidth, available in
educational contexts could be useful for easy access to open archives, for
example. Open archives matter a great deal. Projects like CCmixter would
equally benefit. But bandwidth or equipment are not an all-out solace! They are
not the answer to everything. And, it does not mean that meaningful, resonating
work will be produced.


>When will the illusion -- that better/more
>machines/materials/infrastructure/wealth/power somehow relates to
>better creative expression -- be finally put away.

Yes. However, sometimes using the AccessGrid makes sense, never mind its
original intention. We can use our devices against the grain of the intentions
of their inventors. That does not just hold true for the Internet but also for
AccessGrid and I2. I2 is expensive, elitist in its institutional limits of
access, and it is hard to use (you describe the lengthy procedure). Performance
work on AG could be fascinating.

I am rather amused by Megaconferences.
<http://digitalunion.osu.edu/megaconference/> They really miss the point of
human encounter and discourse. But an occult sect or a multi-national
corporation would perhaps take a liking in such mass assemblies.

However, I don't have a problem with artists doing strange things with
bandwidth. There is nothing wrong with that. Bandwidth is just another
available ingredient for cultural production. It matters if you want to work
with networked VR, for example. But it is merely one aspect on the palette of
experimentation. I2 is not the hot new thing. Internet2 is not the next
technological wave that throws you magically on the shore of art world success.


The central issue about I2 for me is technical. Jon Ippolito's argument about
the smart nature of the routers is contested.


I'm not an oracle and not too interested if I2 is the future (it's already
gray-haired). Geert Lovink pointed me to Grid Computing as a more likely
prospect than I2.


Indeed the question is rather if emerging network technologies allow for the
same liberties of sharing and generosity that the current Internet provides
(despite of its 'participatory panopticon').


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