Matthew Smith on Tue, 16 Apr 96 12:54 MDT

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nettime: Hypernation

But it is really the irony of the title *Hypernation* which makes
it interesting and useful --  it also reminds us that it is a
discussion taking place within the context of an artwork/artproject.
Hypernation is a network sculpture! Its product could and should
be a new way of understanding territory and space.

isnt it a bit anachronistic?

It is true that at least the concept of nation/nationality/mother-tongue is
perpetuated into the net, but is it desirable?

in the irc-community one can find a channel for almost every connected 
country. the main attraction of these channels is the fact that most of 
the conversation is held in the respective language of the nation it 
represents, so most of the users naturally are members of that 
national/ethnical group.maybe this is the first first step towards 
this "concept" of hypernation, but it seems to be dissolving, as people 
move from channel to channel - from #drugs to #singapore to #rapesex to 
#courtnee to #austria etc... - to make friends, discuss motorcycles or flame 
the shit out of somebody.  

it doesnt seem to have the qualities of a sculpture, at least 99% of the 
users definitely dont percieve it in that way. it much more resembles the 
the corny ideas of the "matrix" proposed by W.Gibson & his colleagues, 
than most of the intellectuals and theoreticians would like.

this seems to be so, as a majority of the users of irc are 
asian, european, american 20something (many women/girls) or 
younger - as opposed to the 30something primarly white male users of 
only e-mail and www - that have some financial/social background which allows 
them access to the net. They dont worry too much about losing their national 
traditions/identity - MTV is "global", at least as global as the 
internet. and their use of the medium is quite unreflected,
nobody is talking about the "cultural revolution that is happening" 
or "the ultimate democracy that is the internet". the revolution happened 
20 years ago, and democracy is nowhere in sight, as there is nothing to 
decide on the net. people still live in their respective 
nations are obliged to comply the local law/political system. the net 
will never change that. states will change, but the net is only a 
symptom for corporate interest slowly overriding national intentions... 

all this discussion about "how the world is changing" is not relevant for 
most people from my generation - i was born 1974 - and the next 
generations, as many of us grew up with computers and cable-tv, and we 
are all living these changes. we dont need to reflect on how the PC 
changed the world, for the people 3 years younger than me, the PC is as 
common as the compact-disc. i never owned a record-player, when i started 
to buy music, i bought CDs. i cant divide without a calculator, and i 
cant imagine anybody seriously writing a text of this length without 

so, maybe we can move on to more important things than 
nations&sculptures on the net, and do something approriate;)

no offense intended
matt smith
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