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Steal This Essay: Content Is a Pure Public Good
Dan Kohn

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 from doing so at will, the current economic model underpinning content creation will be dead. Despite the protestations of lawyers, (certain) rock bands, and legislatures (all on the same losing side, oddly enough), we are entering that brave new world.


 

Transfiguration of the Avant-Garde
The Negative Dialectics of the Net
Eric Kluitenberg

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 author, nor the artist genius, or the canonised conventions of artistic creation. What is challenged is the seamless surface of the networked media spectacle itself, and its illusion of stability. The negative dialectics of the digital avant-garde no longer challenge the notions of art, but those of the by nature symbolical digital realm it operates in, and its inherent instability.


 

Storia dell'arte in codice binario
Intervista ad Antonella Sbrilli
Ida Gerosa

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 superficie, una pellicola che copre il vasto lavoro immateriale che c'è dietro. E' un lavoro sul codice, è come spiegare algoritmicamente alla macchina l'immagine che dovrà venire. [...] Nella computer art l'antica tecnica che gli artisti sviluppavano nella bottega si è trasferita nel lavoro sul codice, che però poi nell'immagine finale rimane nascosto. L'immagine numerica mette dunque in contatto una sfera logico-matematica con l'esperienza percettiva dell'arte e in questo senso rappresenta un confine fra due mondi ritenuti molto lontani.


 

Behind the Blip: Software as Culture
Matthew Fuller

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 as a series of articles from a new kind of computer magazine. What would happen if writers about computers expanded their horizons from the usual close focus on benchtests and bit-rates? What would happen if we weren't looking at endless articles detailing the functionality of this or that new version of this or that application? What if we could think a little more broadly - beyond the usual instructional articles describing how to use this filter or that port? What for instance, would it mean to have a fully fledged 'software criticism'?


 

Digital Performance
Emanuele Quinz

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 directed towards the (digital) stage, an environment that has become sensitive through interfaces and is not merely the space surrounding a subject, but the entire complex of the physical and relational conditions within which the subject finds himself, acts and defines himself. Both the actor and the spectator find themselves on a new stage: subjects of a new world, in which they are not just confronted with texts, objects or computer systems, but with other subjects as well.



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