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34


drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry
Rob van Kranenburg

I don’t know how to say this really, as I never do, but I got this song in my head ‘Bye, bye, Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry’ and it is a few days now, and tonight finally I figure out why. Let me tell you. [...] The public is insecure. We will restore faith in themselves by creating dignity poses: individual fake memories that will restore self confidence (the rescue of a child, standing up to an assailant on your younger brother…). The factuality of these poses will be enhanced because the public wears an always on camera, so it must be real. We will write the software to decide between different recordings of events, and so we hold the key to communal experience.


 

Posthumous society. On the implications of a transition via transhuman - to posthuman society
Gabriel Pickard

I call to get involved in developing projects that aid intelligence in new, connective and interactive forms. I do not primarily call for the simulation of human intellect, however i do call for “critical coding”, for technological development that breaks with forerunning paradigms if necessary. My personal take is that a close look at phenomenology might help us in finding alternatives to brute-force attacks on intelligence (eg. neural networks). Thinking about new, flexible forms of representation, as well as enacting meaning might be the outcome. Developments such as the Semantic Web working group and generally the growing popularity of mapping analysis, seem to be interesting approaches, steps forward on the level of representation. But to transcend that level, we need a more profound and critical theory to apply.


 

Confessions of a whitneybiennial.com Curator
Patrick Lichty

In reflecting upon whitneybiennial.com then, what are the questions did it ask, and continue to put to us? Does it posit a fundamental shift in the art world with radical implications for future exhibitions in light of online art? Does it herald the invalidation of the legitimacy of major shows like the Whitney Biennial through the capability to create media attention via tactical means? Does it suggest that with the advent of new media art, the space of representation for the work of art has now become nomadic, and free of the institution? Or perhaps more succinctly, could whitneybiennial.com have been a further conceptual expansion on Manetas’ play with the insidious practice of branding as a unique part of American culture? Or had it asked questions that had already been asked in previous Whitney Biennials, but merely in different terms.


 

ASN: Reinventing Social Networks
Interview with Ken Jordan by Geert Lovink

New York-based Ken Jordan is one the ASN authors (together with Jan Hauser and Steven Foster). Ken is a pioneer of Web-based multimedia. [...] In arts and theory circles he is known for Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality, an anthology (co-edited with Randall Packer) that traces the secret history of digital multimedia. With Ken Jordan I discussed the call for trust and the question of sustainable social networks. Is the Internet consensus culture cure or disease? Instead of merely posing the power question, like in the case of ICANN and WSIS, the ASN initiative points at exciting conceptual realms out there in which civil society is not just a user, not a victim of governments and Microsofts. Instead, it positions itself in the drivers seat and takes place at the drawing board of the network society.


 

The Myth of Meritocracy in Fine Arts
Dyske Suematsu

In a field like fine arts whose primary concern is subjectivity, what does meritocracy mean? Merriam-Webster defines it, “a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement.” That is, a meritocracy assumes that achievement and reward are two separate issues. In sports, science, and business, for instance, meritocracy is relatively easy to define: winning competitions, discoveries, inventions, profits, and so on. Meritocracy is a system of rewarding based on measurable merit. Unless the achievement is measurable to some degree, rewarding based on merit is impossible. Andy Warhol once said that a measure of good art is its price. In response, some would argue that an artwork could have a high price tag but be devoid of any artistic merit. Such presumed discrepancies are what often bring up the question of meritocracy.



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