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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Art and Media

Ursula Biemann wrote:

"... I have to disagree with Simon on his idea that digital based art
becomes a distinct art form.  Art practices on the web are no more just
another discipline as cultural studies are, they both have an impact on
all disciplines or make disciplines somewhat obsolete."

Ursula, I'd be interested to hear more on that. From my angle, cultural
studies demanded a recognition of multiple value-perspectives, making
disciplinary closure perhaps not obsolete, but at least not absolute.
Cultural studies demanded that every practitioner of a discipline ask
questions and make decisions about his or her own uses of the given
discipline, and about the uses others might make of it. Most of the
people writing and teaching in the cultural studies vein - starting with
Richard Hoggart - have made that demand explicitly. To me it is still an
excellent way to start. But where do digital art and the internet come

I would guess that digital art (that is, experiments in consciousness
developed within the fundamental technical and logical parameters of the
computer) could become a discipline, and probably will, as our world is
very keen on disciplines. Who then will question its uses? It seems to
me that the internet at best offers an _implicit_ presupposition of
equal opportunity to respond. And Tim Jordan has pointed out how even
that implicit equality is mediated, among other things, by specific and
potentially exclusive technological protocols (i.e. the ASCI character
set). The non-technological exclusions - use of a particular language,
etc. - are important too. So isn't the cultural studies question more or
less infinite? Isn't the net just a particularly promising medium in
which to go on asking those questions about each specific discipline:
What is it good for? Who is it good for? Where does one turn one's own
efforts, and why?

Brian Holmes

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