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The degree zero of politics: virtual cultures and virtual social movements

What I am arguing is that these groups' engagement with the medium is informed by an intuition. The intuition is that such degree zero, as it can be glimpsed at some level through the Internet itself, is not some kind of easy utopia, where differences are allowed to co-exist or go their separate ways if they want to. On the contrary, it is the ways in which the Internet allows such processes to take place that reveals the hard work that such scattering implies. This scattering, this tendency to ...

Steal This Essay: Content Is a Pure Public Good

In fact, while the Internet's growth rates have been quite high, other technologies such as radio and gas cooking have actually been adopted faster. It may be, though, that all of the hype surrounding the digital duplication and peer-to-peer distribution of content actually underestimates the impact on the authors and publishers of music, movies, and written works. Put simply, in a world where there are essentially no costs to replicate content and it is effectively impossible to stop anyone fro...

Storia dell’arte in codice binario

I. G. – [...] I non "addetti ai lavori" sono pronti in maniera spontanea, semplice ad accettare e a lasciarsi trasportare da quello che vedono. [...] Invece, mi sembra che le persone acculturate dal punto di vista artistico sono quelle che maggiormente hanno delle remore, delle censure. A. S. – [...] Alcuni anni fa si percepiva la computer art come qualcosa di freddo, di meccanico, di automatico. Mentre invece stiamo diventando consapevoli che l'immagine, chiamiamola digitale, è un velo, una su...

Transfiguration of the Avant-Garde

The strategies, the conceptual tools, the tactics of intervention in the new digital hypersphere are highly familiar. They draw on the legacy and experience of the avant-garde movements. Indeed many of the interventions that have been most successful in engaging the new conditions of digital mediation have been artistic interventions. But something has dramatically changed; the object these interventions engage is no longer the aesthetic framework of contemporary art, not the holy concept of the...

Behind the Blip: Software as Culture

What kind of critical and inventive thinking is required to take the various movements in software forward into those relatively straightforward areas which are necessary if software oligopolies are to be undermined, to develop the capacity for unleashing the unexpected upon software and the certainties which form it? What are the currents of software which are emerging which demand and incorporate new ways of thinking about software? One of the ways to think about this problem is to imagine it ...

Network 404

I must admit that I find it incredibly difficult to write about networks. I started out by trying to define what a network is, by spelling out, point by point, what are the inherent qualities of networks and how this might relate to art in general and to the work of the artists in this show. But soon I found out that this gave me writers block. Over the past few decades and especially at the start of the internet boom so much has been written about networks, that the ideas have somehow exhausted...

Digital Performance

Considering the body as the first interface between the world and ourselves, many new technology gurus, like Marvin Minsky or Hans Moravec, claim that in the (quite near) future corporeal interfaces will play an increasingly important role: the interface complex gradually takes over the perceptive system and therefore the body, as it is both a subject of perception and the first interface between the world and ourselves, becomes central again. [...] As a result art as well is progressively direc...

La lotteria a Babilonia

La communication research ha elaborato differenti modelli del rapporto tra media, utenti e società fino ad ipotizzare una società dei bites la cui realtà sono i messaggi stessi, e non gli esseri umani, le città o le nazioni. La smaterializzazione della realtà è un processo significativo, [...] in cui le entità materiali vengono progressivamente sostituite dal loro valore e infine dal simbolo del loro valore all'interno di un sistema di simboli, che sia esso economico, culturale o informatico. Qu...

The Flexible Personality: For a New Cultural Critique

The flexible personality represents a contemporary form of governmentality, an internalized and culturalized pattern of "soft" coercion, which nonetheless can be directly correlated to the hard data of labor conditions, bureaucratic and police practices, border regimes and military interventions. [...] The study of coercive patterns, contributing to the deliberately exaggerated figure of an ideal type, is one way that academic knowledge production can contribute to the rising wave of democratic ...

Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds may also be the future of ecommerce, and perhaps of the internet itself. The game designers who created thriving places like Norrath have unwittingly discovered a much more attractive way to use the internet: through an avatar. The avatar represents the user in the fantasy 3D world, and avatars apparently come to occupy a special place in the hearts of their creators. The typical user devotes hundreds of hours (and hundreds of dollars, in some cases) to develop the avatar. These o...

The Napsterisation of Everything

Unlike earlier forms of youthful rebellion, peer-to-peer computing is a direct threat to the economics of the music industry. Despite the rapid changes in musical tastes over the decades, the fundamentals of its business structure have remained the same. Musicians are contracted to make recordings. Music is sold on bits of plastic to consumers. Copyright laws ensure that no one can distribute recordings without paying their owners. Everyone supposedly benefits from this arrangement. Fans are off...

Privacy and freedom of choice

The general discourse over technology usage is one of freedom of choice. You chose to adopt or not to adopt a technology, to use or not to use it. This argument allows for only two explanations: One, you choose not to use it because you don't like/want it (e.g., it poses too many risks, takes too much time, etc); or, second, you choose to use it because you like/want it (i.e., you think it is helpful, saves time, etc). In both cases it is assumed that the individual is making a clear and aware c...

Essay About History and Futurism of the net.art Story

Net.art is not the only art on the World Wide Web and is actually just a tiny part of cyberspace. Art history would describe it as a movement, while other artistic approaches still wait for their history to be written. Once art history is logically extended into the history of visual concepts - a general history of visualised concepts, net.art 1994-1998 will become part of the visual heritage of the Internet. And an embodiment of the concept of art as proposed by A.C. Danto in 1967. First art on...

The new information ecosystem: cultures of anarchy and closure

The rise of electronic peer-to-peer networks has thrown global entertainment industries into panic mode. They have been clamouring for more expansive controls over personal computers and corporate and university networks. They have proposed radical re-engineering of basic and generally open communicative technologies. And they have complained quite loudly – often with specious data and harsh tones that have had counterproductive public relations results – about the extent of their plight. But th...

The Lens of Images. Desire, Commodities, Media and Hacking

Database offers the technological means as well as the methodological basis for searching, indexing, seeing patterns between media elements. Narrative offers the moral container within which those elements can be organised in such a way that they reinforce the broader moral standpoint. Hacker culture is about living ones life as if authority had already been done away with, as if ones own liberty were a birthright and access to all things were not only possible, but to be expected. [...] Databas...

Mapping territory

How hard it is to write about a world becoming strange, or new, or spooky, after the dotcom crash, after the high hopes of increasing productivity through IT, of readers and writers becoming publishers both, of liberty finally around the corner: a product to be played out in all kinds of gender, racial and cultural roles, a process to drive decision-making transparency in both offline and online processes. Only to have woken up to the actual realization of a highly synergized performance of sear...

Nuovo teatro digitale

Nella definizione più essenziale di teatro [...] non c'è nulla che afferisca all'ambito del tecnologico, del [...] digitale. Allo stesso tempo, non potendo trascurare il fatto che l'incontro fra teatro e nuovi media sia in corso e stia producendo dei frutti, non risulta affatto facile tracciarne un profilo preciso, da un lato a causa della velocità di sviluppo delle tecnologie impiegate dai nuovi mezzi di comunicazione, dall'altro perché i risultati stentano ancora a trovare visibilità se non pr...

Roaming Producers

[...] I was imagining "Roaming Producers", trying to figure out what this could mean: people who move while producing and produce while moving. And then, I noticed that, actually, I don't like these people. Or rather, I'm even afraid of "Roaming Producers". Some of them really scare me. And that is because I was not so much thinking of Roaming Situationists, but rather of Roaming Deleuzians. These are people who see themselves as nomadically roaming the rhizomes of Capitalism. People who have a ...

Interview with Luis Miguel Girão

Interview with Roberta Buiani

Interview with Bill Seaman

Interview with Roger Malina

Interview with Pavel Smetana

Interview with Christa Sommerer

Interview with Annick Bureaud

Interview with Leonel Moura

Interview with Nina Czegledy

Interview with Alberto Abruzzese (Italiano)

Interview with Stelarc

Interview with Derrick de Kerckhove

Interview with Margarete Jahrmann

Interview with Jaromil

Interview with Laura Beloff

Interview with Alan Shapiro