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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Emergence or Submergence: Which Precedents

for Posthumanity?
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2 responses to Jon Ippolito, from Greg Pliska and Susan Hapgood

Greg Pliska <Gregpliska@aol.com> writes:

Regarding Jon Ippolito's "third, insidious thread" and emergent

(And by way of introducing myself to my fellow list members)

I find Jon's arguments intriguing, and his recognition of the human
being as ALREADY emergent quite compelling. I also find his only
slightly implicit condemnation of the "net utopia" ideal equally
compelling - I'm too cynical to believe there is magic in this Web.

He argues....

 <<But individual
 <<humans don't get together and make emergent systems--they're emergent
 <<already! When groups of humans set off in a single direction or rally
 <<around a single banner, I'm not reassured, I'm worried--because
 <<*submergence*, the collapse of a rich, complex system into a simple
 <<"Virtual communities of like-minded individuals working together
 <<suppressing their own egos in the process"? Sounds more like
 <<networked serfdom than the disagreement-filled Internet I know and
 <<Do we really want a "distributed cognitive system" like that? 
 <<Anytime a group of people presents a united front--on the Internet or
 <<elsewhere--someone's perspective is being repressed. >>

As a musican and theater professional (and someone hardly as well-versed
in the ways of visual art as my fellow list members) I can only offer my
OWN perspective on communal and collaborative art, the kind of work that
I undertake on a daily basis.

I would hope that the result of a theatrical endeavor - the presentation
of a performance - represents a "united front", yet I would vehemently
argue that MANY times (not always) that front results not from
repression of a perspective, but from the conjoining of many
perspectives in a collaborative effort. That is not to say that there
aren't autocratic theatrical productions, in which the vision of one
individual suppresses all others', but in it's best manifestations the
collaborative effort between writer, composer, designer, director,
performer, technician, etc., represents a united front that springs from
intense disagreement and the expression - not repression - of individual

In a very real sense I'm agreeing with Jon - "Virtual communities of
like- minded individuals working together suppressing their own egos in
the process" terrify me. I simply wanted to clarify the point - "united"
does not necessarily equal "repressed".

Greg Pliska
New York


Susan Hapgood <shapgoo@ibm.net> writes:

In response to Jon Ippolito's post, I want to emphasize that I do not
envision a network community akin to Microsoft's, the collapse of a
complex system into a simple one, either. My point in talking about
suppression of ego had more to do with the fact that people sublimate,
alter, and otherwise play with their identities on the web in a way that
debunks the superficial glorification and market isolation of singular
art stars. I mean more of the kind of collective you are part of, Jon,
which entails dialogue, even conflict, and yet as a method of production
incorporates relationships between individuals. Admittedly, my choice of
words may have pointed in the wrong direction.

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