ricardo dominguez on Mon, 11 Aug 1997 17:18:25 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> documentaX Forum: Blast

DocumentaX Forum: Blast
                Moderated by Jordan Crandall

                An overview by ricardo dominguez

             "Habit is a great deadener."
		 --Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot 

             "If my language quavers, trembles or is 
 	      obscure, quavering and obscure are then 
              also the ideas it tries to express. Still when 
              it is to my taste precise, I then feel it 
              attained simplicity. So I'll send - separately - the
             'home-affect and co/in-habit(u)ation' murmurs 
              that deals with'co-spasming' and recurrences."
		 --Bracha Lichtenberg-Ettinger 

             Homo Neticus is the outcome of multiple dead
             machines congealing into ugly social habits.
             Aesthetic and political discourse is moving from
             the analysis of place, to that of bandwidth.
             From the movement of people to the flow of
             information. These have become our prime
             critical habits. Digital economies of signs and
             space have pushed ethics and the polis towards
             the 'fourth discontinuity.' First Copernicus,
             then Darwin, followed by Nietzsche and Freud.
             Pushing us out of our comfortable homes to
             linger and reside alone in our fragile 'meat

             Now "meta-attributes have replaced physical
             attributes..." (John Beckmann, Blast), thoughts
             with hyperlinks, and activity with instant
             remoteness. The rush of being-on-line over comes
             the becoming of Being. The online forums at
             DocumentX attempt to suture the wound by
             inhabiting our disappearance--the 'home-affect
             and co/in-habit(u)ation' of the matrix. 

             In 1968 Edmund Leach said that what frighten
             him, "more than the complexities now being
             presented to the mind was the impulse to respond
             with a reductive omniscience." These forums
             certainly are not reductive and they capture the
             process of social introjection which new media
             dialogues engender. Of the three forums offered
             at DocumentaX, the Blast forum moderated by Jordan
             Crandall, has created the most impassioned leaps
             in the darkness which swerve across the
             electronic nervous system. Perhaps, because it
             attempts to suture the wounds of art with the
             formal "protocols" of a new media aesthetics.
             That may create unfamiliar routes back towards a
             new "art." 

             But, this new 'art' of increased bandwidth,
             connectivity, and distributed informatics may
             set the conditions of an aesthetics which will
             be unrecognizable by the very hands and eyes
             that set it forth. New media maybe the last
             trace of art and the artist--they have been
             introjected into the everyday exchange of market
             realism. Art within the frame of new media is a
             traumatic thing, an "...aching, and we do not
             know where it hurts and that it hurts. It
             struggles unsuccessfully to re-approach psychic
             awareness, but only finds momentary relief in
             symptomatic repetitions or, by subterfuge, in
             artwork, where its painful encapsulation partly
             blows up," (Blast, Lichtenberg-Ettinger). 

             The Blast forum then is spillage management for
             something that is already lost and attempts to
             find, "an aesthetic that saves...to reverse the
             seemingly irreversible destiny of the modern
             subject; to develop the phenomenology of
             perception," (Attila Sohar, Blast). The Blast
             forum is a life boat floating on a net without
             islands, holding a cargo of empty figures, fading
             into an invisible horizon--and they ask, "what
             name do we have for defining our relationship to
             blindness and calamity? These are questions for
             the emerAgency." (Greg Ulmer, Blast). These are
             the whimpers of our digital "Ate"--the tragic
             impure net of co-aphanisis.


ricardo dominguez

Thing Mag
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