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<eyebeam><blast> Vertical Invasion

I've enjoyed reading the posts so far and have nothing particularly
significant to add at this point except to say that while reading these
posts I am also rereading three texts as research on VRML,

"The Philosophical Brothel" by Leo Steinberg
"The Success and Failure of Picasso" by John Berger
"Neuromancer" by William Gibson

I'm still in a confused state brought on by a recent bout with
technofatigue which may explain why I'm reading about Picasso to
understand VRML:

In his book Berger calls Picasso a "vertical invader" who dragged the
romantic nineteen-century concept of the gifted artist/genius into the
twentieth century not by continuing the tradition but by creating the
outrage of "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon". The painting, "unlike any
previous painting by Picasso, offers no evidence of _skill_. On the
contrary, it is clumsy, overworked, unfinished. It is as though his fury
in painting it was so great that it destroyed his gifts."

[To me "Les Demoiselles" was a convenient point, maybe even a switch,
that Picasso and others used to validate "Picasso," cubism and modern
art after the fact and created an environment of fame for Picasso to do
whatever he wanted. I don't know or really care if this is good or bad
just that it is one of many possible/virtual interpretations.]

Still, I'm intrigued by the idea of a "vertical invasion" into what I've
come to visualize more and more as the horizontal space of the Internet.
(One problem I have with VRML is that I can't seem to map the Internet
in 3D no matter how hard I try.) We talk of nodes, links, community but
rarely of the value of unexpected disruption from another direction.

True hackers who come from another direction seem to have faded from the
scene or have been successfully kept out to be replaced by those who
represent "hacking" (for example, jodi.org or Heath Bunting). Is it
possible to have an electronic disturbance that will significantly alter
the Internet, even retrospectively, the way "Les Demoiselles" altered
visual representation and would that be a good thing to happen? Was the
recent alteration of the Mexicon Government Web Site by the Zapatistas
an effective intervention or like a Greenpeace publicity stunt
(effective but not the main event)?


Robbin Murphy
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