[iDC] blogs, twitter, aphasia, speech

Christina McPhee christina at christinamcphee.net
Wed Jun 17 22:38:05 UTC 2009

Trebor asked me to join all of you in this fascinating conference.

Aliette writes,

> it remains that for any social organization the principle of the  
> society is to connect people by the way to allow an increase of  
> productive power, because it is a device of mutual exploitation of  
> people who share it. This mutual exploitation is a free exchange  
> which constitutes the social pact. If you make paying the pact at  
> once the society loosing its object disappear becoming a  
> segregationist community. Internet is a virtual increased reality  
> from the society and increasing the Technics of which the source is  
> to get free of alienating work (i.e. Working for food).
> Internet may be sound as the part of evil of the materialist  
> society, the place of mutual donation even can be the poorest can be  
> to the richest: online indifference. What is exactly normal.

I think about an aggregate 'voice' of the network as if it were in  
the  position of 'speaking truth to power" (Parrhesia).  If there is  
such a speaking collective 'subject' or subjective space, the common  
view holds  it's  semi-unintelligible and subordinate to global media  
capital.   Google 'owns' your stuff.

How can this be a powerful speech?

Serious blogs .. " people are seriously following each others special  
focussed writing.  Everyone reads each others' blogs first thing in  
the morning instead of the newspaper.  Then they comment on it and  
write some more." (Colby Reece, architecture student ).  Rhetoric :  a  
community-based logic to find shared premise.

Unserious blogs:  Twitter, yah.  But:  isn't it amazing though how  
Twitter is working out so well in the midst of the Iranian electoral  

The messages slip in and out of 'radar'.

The state can clamp down on Facebook for a while but there are always  
other ways.  Writing is always on to someone and into the material  
community.  It invents out there and back (bounce or retort or  
return). The speech is just 'out of phase' meaning not in sync with  
the present moment
-- or almost in synch.  The 'almost' is the productive spot.   A slip,  
between the report and the action of the report, on Twitter, on  
Facebook, even on listservs,  

  Networked speech like my haphazard attempts here are, to be  
precise !--  almost intelligible, but not, to some of us, not all of  
us, but close.  intimate. Close but hard to get a grip on. Close to  
home.  On your mobile, aphasia but also joke, pun, and play.

Trebor asked me, if I understand him correctly,  to perhaps speak to  
how precarious networked labour could resemble traditional  'women's  
work'  (disappeared?  silent? slaved? ).   How precarious network  
labour weighs into the boxing ring,  locks in tight embrace  the  
material.  with the material reality of putting long  hours in front  
of the computer; or uploading mobile phone shots at the aftermath of  
civil disobedience; or writing on facebook while washing the dishes  
and scrubbing the floor.     Garcia Marquez:  Language as a material  
is as hard as wood and just as real.

How  everywhere people , male / femle/ transgendered == make  
argument:  'texting' .  To text: not just through your mobile.   
Texting  world.  Even though you can't text the world.

Writing  is an enterprise leading to a  messed up, incomplete,  
partial, almost-actualized piece of work.   Getting at some kind of  
logic, arguing back to premises, in this case "the place of mutual  
donation " (Aliette).
We can never get it 'right' but the mutual editing is fantastic,  
liberating.   Naeem Mohaiemen: "My Mobile Weighs a Ton."    The action  
of Web 2.0 makes if anythning a stronger claim on arguments that go  
back to the material.  The
more elaborate the ephemeral updates of twitter, the more intense the  
reference to the real hard world.

   If anything, new social tools make me live in even more diverse  
physical spaces than before.   As difficult and exhilarating by  
turns.  No one knows how the demographics work.  Advertisers on  
Facebook are just guessing.  There
are no stats that are 'for sure.'

Amy Wiley (writing coach, comparative lit scholar); "Writing is a  
social enterprise.  Things are more or less effective.  Principles of  
rhetoric are part of sustainability.  They are not ego-driven,  rather  
community driven. Composition is a spatial function. "

Thanks for enjoying this brief divertissement.


about me:

Christina McPhee interprets the remote landscape in multimedia  
streams. She creates topologic site explorations in layered suites  
involving on-site photographs, video, drawing, and envrionmental  
sound.  Forthcoming in 2009:
"Tesserae of Venus," a science fiction series on carbon-saturated  
energy landscapes, opens at Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, in late  
October 2009; "Pharmakon LIbrary Folio 2 :" is in preparation for New  
York Art Book Fair at PS1, early October

Her films have most recently screened at Videoformes 09 Clermont- 
Ferrand,  San Francisco Cinematheque at Yerba Buena Center for the  
Arts and for “Drift/In Transitions, Russia 2008” at the National  
Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow and Ekaterinaberg, Russia.  She  
has created video suites for the variable cinema project "Plazaville",  
a remake of Godard's "Alphaville" with GH Hovagimyan, which premiered  
at Pace Digital Gallery in New York City in April 2009, as a  
turbulence.org commission.  A beta version of "Tesserae' will
screen at ISEA Belfast this August 2009.

Her media work is archived at the Rose Goldsen Archive for New Media  
Art, Cornell University; Rhizome Artbase/ New Museum of Contemporary  
Art, New York; Whitney Artport/ Whitney Museum of American Art, New  
York; Thresholds Artspace, Scotland; Experimental Television Center,  
New York; and the Pandora Archive, National Library of Australia.  
Museum collections of her monotype and photographic prints, paintings  
and drawings include Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery-University of  
Nebraska, Taylor Museum/Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Kemper  
Museum of Contemporary Art.   Her work is represented by Silverman  
Gallery, San Francisco.

She is a moderator of the Sydney based -empyre- list for digital media  
arts and culture http://subtle.net/empyre

She is a visiting lecturer on the faculty of the Digital Arts and New  
Media MFA program, University of California-Santa Cruz.


christina at christinamcphee.net
naxsmash at mac.com

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