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<eyebeam><blast> (no subject)

I find myself entering this discussion very hesitatingly, not only
because it is the first 'net' forum I have participated in but also
because I find the language most people are using so alienating.  It's
not that everyone is talking on some elitist, theortical plane (although
there's been alot of that) but the contradictions which I keep tripping
up on as I go from one e-mail message to the next.

On the one hand, people seem to be calling for inclusion, access,
political resistance and yet the very parameters of this discussion (in
form and content) is closed and contradictory.  For example, Brian
Holmes talks about the  importance of protecting French cultural
specificity (I appreciate the action of French intellectuals and
cinephiles - I spent time studying film in France myself) but France's
colonial history makes me certain that France is very well-placed to
defend its own image of its cultural superiority.  Recent calls to
defend the purity of the French language are not far removed from calls
in the political arena to 'evacuate' from France of all difference ie
its 'migrant' communities. 

And what about Andreas Broeckmann's call for responses from Africa,
Anatarctica etc?  Who is this authentic other which you are searching
for , out there?  An unconscious search perhaps for the authentic,
primitive other?  As Olu suggests, the other is within not without and
these binarisms conflict with an oft-asserted utopian vision of a
borderless, nationless net culture.

Nobody is really talking about art.  I'm personally not very interested
in the technology of the net and we get too easily deflected into
talking about modes of communication and the technology without
addressing the important issues (1) Has anyone got something worth
saying?(2) Is anyone actually listening? (I enjoyed your contribution
Saskia but you have not dealt with the latter question).  

I recently worked with an artist called Keith Piper on a multimedia
exhibition, website and publication/CD-ROM (see www.iniva.org).  Keith
started as a painter but swiftly moved into collage, video and
installation work and now multimedia.  These shifts in form are linked
directly to the content of Keith's work.  As a black British artist, he
has found the disjunctive, fragmented, layered and dissonant attributes
of multimedia the ideal format for addressing questions of contingent.
layered histories and the diasporan experience.

Gilane Tawadros
Institute of International Visual Arts, London (www.iniva.org)

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