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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Seeing Eyes

On Mon, 2 Feb 1998, Simon Biggs <simon@babar.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> The camera can be regarded as just as arbitrary an imaging
> system as any other that has been devised, so why should the
> lens based scan of an eye have any particular veracity
> beyond the contingent parameters of our expectations of the
> media and the 'nature' of the image? Not that this would
> bother the computer, so long as it has an accurate map of
> those parameters.

What is interesting is the confrontation that is staged between two
conditions of seeing – the eye having ‘met its match,’ so to speak,
head-on, within two modes of coming-into-being through identification.
A mirror-based process of identification clashes with the circuitous
process of ID-ing.  One of the reasons for that post was to suggest that
seeing is no longer our (as humans) privilege, we can’t talk about
seeing images without accounting for the processes and circuits by which
they see us.  If there is to be a network image it has to be embedded in
such a dynamic (as well as others) but under such conditions the image
undergoes profound mutation, and we require new ways (other than
traditional semiotics) to account for it.  It is a knot of flows.  It
seems a mistake to begin talking about artistic practice in the network
as if the image still exists as such – as if the image were a permanence
from which to depart.   It’s interesting to begin to look at network
work from a position that the image doesn’t exist.  (As with jodi.org:
speech doesn’t exist; what is speaking? )  From there we have to account
for identifications and  agencies.

To respond to Robert Kramer and Jouke Kleerebezem – this departure
position is only one of the political question, there is no other

One of the other reasons for that prelude post was to suggest that the
territory we’re discussing is not only the Internet, but something much
more pervasive.  To talk about the network is to open up investigations
into the network paradigm and thinking of networks (such as Latour’s
conceptions).  If we as artists don’t do this but limit our thinking to
a narrow concept like netart then we remarginalize ourselves, limit our
effectiveness and also fail to account for the full diversity of
emerging network practices.  One of the key questions for me is what is
a network practice, how do we articulate it in all is complexity and
diversity, without falling into the traps, without ‘jumping the gun,’
assuming that, for example, an image exists as such?

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