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<eyebeam><blast> diversity and national net.arts

on the topic of diversity and national net.arts, Pedro Meyer made a good

>If Lev takes a look at the marketing manuals of the 500 top Fortune Companies, he will discover how much of this so called world homogeneity is not so at all, and how the fortunes of such Companies ride on the fact that they acknowledge such diversity, not the opposite.

in the so-called new global economy the shift from economies of scale
(think mass production) to economies of *scope*, in which micro-editions
of commodities, niche markets and massive product variation are central,
is crucial.

however, i don't support pedro's notion of a "real diversity" that
different coke products for different coke drinkers might represent.
"localization" is business-speak, it's a way of taking one pattern of
consumption and producing several.

nor would i conjure up Brian Holmes's vision of a broad diversity drawn
from the richness of human history and experience:

>Over the past three centuries a tremendous amount of cultural energy has been expended on the achievement of autonomy from fatalistic representations of existence.
>So the practice of autonomy generally means exploring, with others, some threads of cultural history, some specific groups of words, images, gestures, and so on, that can be reworked and transformed into something usable in the present.

to paraphrase donna haraway, "diversity is to us today what money was to
marx, the ultimate fetish." this is the 500 channel argument, or the 31
flavors argument, you name it. having tons and tons of different options
is crucial to our contemporary experience, yet we must also recognize
that difference is always a *regulated* difference, that specificity is
always at the same time indeterminate.

what do i mean? just think of the amazing cultural ramifications of the
fact that every single web page on the net responds to the same
protocol--one protocol, with variations on a theme (we could have
guessed) that are called http, ftp, smtp, etc. *that's* what i call
regulated difference--it's a billion to one.

so there looks like there is (at least) one other response to lev--for I
agree, i don't think that there will be many culturally-specific
categories within future.net.art. (especially culturally-specific
categories as they have been used in art history). however, the terms
have shifted a little. diversity has become a virtue.

two ways there *will* be specificity in future.net.arts:

+ after the "one world" euphoria, a general relapse to
nationalist/localizing networks *as a style*, i.e. let's do
cyberfeminism from adelaide, or let's act like european net.artists (we
are already seeing jodi being turned into a type of euro.crash style),
or let's do marginalized email lists, or let's do nyc art criticism
(heaven forbid). watch out for localist chic comming soon!

+ your own private net.art, the niche-ing of kultcha. in the same way
that amazon.com wants to show a differently tailored store interface for
each customer--advertisements particularly made for you, your fav books
up front, site redesigns to suit your individual tastes--(and i'm
confident they'll do it), net art will remake itself upon each viewing
as a sort of personal fantasy art.

Alex Galloway
Associate Editor

        --> agalloway@rhizome.com
        --> http://www.rhizome.com
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