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gilets jaunes: act 5

It began as anger against neoliberal climate policies, a revolt against unfair petrol taxes that pass on the cost to working people rather than the rich and the very multinationals most responsible for polluting our planet. Now four weeks later, it has become a popular uprising for dignity, a rebellion against the elite and their world,a cry for equality. It has evolved into a powerful refusal of representation, of spokes people, political parties and unions. We have all been overtaken by what has been happening, everyone has become more than themselves; because we are impossible to define, the only code we have is a colour code, all the other codes are broken. We are too diverse and decentralized to be called a movement, too different to be categorized, let’s simply say we are an uprising ! Some in Europe have tried to turn this into an emblem of ideas from the extreme right, attempting to instrumentalise our heterogeneity… The yellow vests was at first a piece of road safety equipment, now it becomes an unprecedented event which opens up the fault line that charts our future, a chasm we must bridge, between social and environmental justice. It invites us all to make a choice between the political classes and the people,between closing borders and opening possibilities, between despair and hope.

This Saturday 15th of December, will be a key moment, ACT 5. Each Saturday has been called an act, an acknowledgment that the most beautiful popular theatre takes place in the streets, when we are dressed in costumes of fluorescent yellow… from here

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field recordings 2017:06:16 18:06:43 – 2017:08:03 12:37:29 including Minus Theatre rehearsing VMG at the Baptist Church and setup at LOT23

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brand “curatorial journalism”: this year more than ever before we are fighting the power (of speech)

Seth Abramson writes in the Guardian:

“In 2018, there are actually more reliable news reports than ever before, as there are now more responsible media outlets online and in print than there ever have been – a fact that often gets lost in debates over “fake news”. The digital age has also internationalized hard news reportage, meaning that readers have access to high-quality reports from around the world with an ease that was impossible before the advent of the internet.

“But this sudden expansion in focused, reliable news coverage has coincided with some of the largest and most prestigious media outlets cutting resources for investigative reporting. The upshot of all this is that reporters have less time or ability than ever before to review the growing archive of prior reporting before they publish what they’ve uncovered.”

He goes on to advocate (advertise) curatorial journalism. It’s like journalism but smarter. It’s all about context–that other dream of the net: hyperlinks as hypereferences and the interweb interweaving texts and documents and statements, online discourse in short, in multidimensional networks so that any one thread, quote, citation, reference might be followed back to its earliest online expression; or connected horizontally, and so on. But this is not the system we have.

We are therefore once again living in that exceptional present which would have been the future if it hadn’t already arrived, that exception that is always made for this year having more reliable news reports than ever before as well as more unreliable news sources than ever before as well as more words expended on, well, just about anything–taking into consideration the rise of text over speech in daily communication–than ever before.

The answer might have been, had Seth Abramson been so inclined, journalism with a scalpel. And we might well have been saying about our exceptional present moment, as well we might, that the time for journalistic balance has passed. The idea of a report being neutral, and of it presenting both sides of an issue, or curating the multiple facets of a complex ‘story’, belongs to the past. We might so have been saying. But what is of our devising, as the present is supposed to be, in the Anthropocene, is smarter than us–is supposed to be: so we are in the predicament of making sense, sense for an audience in the case of journalism, of a situation, a situatedness, of a realtime-base for issues, we have carelessly, hopelessly and unconscionably complexificated.

Journalism with a scalpel would offer a different diagnosis: maybe cut first ask questions later–maybe, but with the surgeon-reporter being held accountable. And perhaps more than events and issues becoming more complex, more deeply intricated and extensively imbricated, than ever before, issues and events have become more integrated, more deeply intimated and extensively implicated–in the social, for sure, but, as surely, in the personal.

Having an opinion is a public liability. Have a stupid opinion! Say “to be honest” a lot, honestly. Or imho, modestly. Have a stupid, make a stupid tweet, and the world is cheeping with you.

Imagine the informed writing to the level of the educated. Imagine no more–because in fact more informed journalists are writing to a better educated public than ever before this year. Of course this year stupidity has been normalised as populism too.

I find myself–more honestly, I lose myself–walking in a library modestly wondering what it is for, since it doesn’t itself seem to know. And the ones who work here give the others who don’t, who used to be members and who now are customers, or patrons, the resentful eye, while adverting to the latest electronic offering, whether it is wifi, or the latest pulp fiction or pulp nonfiction (pulp fact? fat nonfict?) available via the app. Like Seth Abramson, in the Guardian, I have been an advocate (advertiser? advertisement?) for curation: librarianship, isn’t it a matter of leading the social animal to the cultural water? Making better animals to make a better social? (Dot says, But you can’t make it think.)

These GOSPIS (Grand Old Signs one Participates In Society), like the Grand Old Deity itself, in whom, and in which, more people put their faith and believe, with honesty and modesty, than ever before–even to being pridefully jealous of the competition (this year more nationalistic than ever before)–have lost their tongues. Journalism must–you can’t fight it!–progress by borrowing ways of talking about itself and its essential tasks from, where? the operating theatre? or the art gallery?

Then the idea of information has lost its teeth. Open mouth, ah. Closed mouth, mm. We know there is more information than ever before, this year, and that’s why it’s called Big D. Journalists are among the data miners. But there isn’t the time and there isn’t the return, and this is the latter. Who wants to live forever? No, that’s not the question: Who wants to pay for information?

And libraries, going forward–resistance is futile!–, borrow ways of talking about themselves and their essential tasks from? They don’t borrow. They’re told how to speak for themselves by those who, usually those which, since they tend to be annexed to institutions, of which they once were the jewels in the crown, fund them. They are told how to speak for themselves so as not to try the patience of the daleks. Who or which will cease to fund them if they were suddenly to speak for themselves, since they would be asking for it, for extermination.

Yes, good journalism once it too was something to show off, now it’s tackling the big issues, scoring the big anchors, more than ever before this year. Just like a university was the institutional encrustation of a library. It was the paste and setting for the cultural riches collected over time, protected over the bad times, saved to adorn the good, through careful, assiduous, committed and (need it be said?) professional librarianship. But middle management detests decoration, for which there will be more martyrs than ever before, this year, mouthing silently the words written on the wallpaper, God Save Us & Oscar Wilde… and for the journalists we will add, George Orwell…

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neosurvivalist / naivalist / postoccupy / inhabit?

The End
of The World

It’s over.
Bow your head
and
phone scroll
through
the apocalypse.

from here

and or

Learn to hunt, to code, to heal. .

from there

despite the brilliant and funny analysis given inhabit.global’s website by Ted Byfield [assuming he’s this one] on nettime listserv, I wonder about both Ted’s intention to be funny and inhabit’s intention to be serious, one to be taken one way, the other to be taken one way as well.

a left-leaning bunch of techfriendlies reacts to a naive bunch of reactionary post-politicos–the common ground, to hunt, to code, to heal, would appear to repose in the middle term.

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“I wanted to do something worthy of the place” – theatre of writing

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are there any answers?

Dear Visitor,

Let us engage with the questions:

  1. anthropogenic climate change–is the question of the present, not the future.
  2. ownership of elements: air earth water warmth–China has awoken to Capital, whatever the corporate brandname on it: another question of the present.
  3. health: obesity is a mental illness; mental health is a cultural illness. A question of the present.
  4. the future will be? A question of human cultural regeneration–perhaps the only question of the future?

In our small way we are addressing ourselves to these questions with a view to an answer that is local and directed towards the future.

The means to cultural regeneration are within reach of a modernity that believes in itself–has not lost that belief. This we have found in Benesse Foundation’s Public Capitalist undertakings in Naoshima and Teshima, the ‘art islands’ of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan.

We would like you, dear visitor, to share with Benesse this vision for an answer that is local and directed towards the future:

 

I am writing to you from Waiheke Island.

Waiheke has a similar status in the Hauraki Gulf to Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea. It is a popular tourist destination: however it attracts visitors more for reasons of its natural beauty than for cultural tourism.

Waiheke is 35 minutes by ferry from the centre of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland. It currently boasts a resident population of @9,000.

A large proportion of this population is artistically active–this is owing to heritage settlement: it was originally a cheap place to buy and rent, with advantages of a healthy natural lifestyle.

In terms of built infrastructure it is poorly served, with one exception: the Stony Batter site, https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/auckland/places/waiheke-island/stony-batter-historic-reserve/

Built to defend New Zealand in the event of the war in the Pacific extending into the Hauraki Gulf, Stony Batter is largely built underground, with approximately 7km of tunnels.

It has recently been proposed that Stony Batter be developed as a Heritage Site. Submissions are being solicited by Auckland City Council to this end. However, it is our opinion that Stony Batter, on Waiheke Island would be a missed opportunity of giant proportions if it is only developed with a view to low level heritage tourism–which tends to be internal and nationally based.

Stony Batter, Waiheke, commends itself as a site for Global Cultural Tourism.

The as-built aspects of it, the island location, underground and above, the natural surrounding context, are ripe for such development.

Ando, we think, would be impressed with this structure: although built for utilitarian purposes, its aesthetic qualities are evident.

The underground would suit gallery development, with installations taking advantage of the light and sound qualities of the tunnels. The textural and architectural uniqueness of the site would attract and inspire international and local artists to exhibit and install here.

The exterior would suit installations to make the most of the dramatic scenic beauty of Hauraki Gulf and islands.

We humbly bring this to Benesse’s attention on the basis of our recent visits to Naoshima and the sites of cultural tourism–and cultural pilgrimage–located there. Stony Batter Waiheke Island could be such a place with the vision and thinking and good-being/good-doing that is characteristic of Benesse’s Public Capitalist approach. It could be a Southern counterpart to Naoshima and Teshima.

We would add that Benesse’s sensitivity, shown in the development of globally recognised sites for cultural tourism in Naoshima and Teshima, is to the forefront of our considerations in making this recommendation. Waiheke has a long colonial and precolonial history, as well as the heritage to which Stony Batter is a material attestation: the respect we know to inform Benesse’s approach is essential to this project.

We suggest that Benesse follow up with a submission to highlight the advantages of Stony Batter as a site for global cultural tourism (with a smaller heritage element incorporated into the plan). Submissions are currently open until 27 September 2018. Please make your submission here: https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/have-your-say/all-consultations/2018/applications/fort-stony-batter-heritage-park-limited/

Please be aware that we present this proposition in good faith and feel free to cite our support for this submission.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Simon Taylor

 

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03.08.2018 Universal City, Studio & so on, to infinity and beyond

Hakutsuru since 1743—choice. Although, writing with Gekkeikan glass this balmy evening.

…speaking of culture: 2 gratifying aspects of culture and cultural acceptance we observe are 1) the presence of ashtrays; although it is not a nation of smokers as it might once have been, like some charming anachronism ashtrays have accompanied our dining experiences, if not the actual effluvia; although tonight we sat opposite two middle-youthed men in shirtsleeves, both trying valiantly to master the art of electrocigarette action (the younger man, trying to outdo the elder, tried to smoke harder and drink louder, while his cigarette insert kept falling out of the electro-gizmo, and he acted like he didn’t care, sweeping it off the floor with a nonchalance so contrived and demonstrative as to be theatrical); and other times young women smoking, the smoke effectively sucked out of the room, leaving the tang of chemicals behind, like a sour smell-rind; 2) despite the years of isolation being long gone by about 2 centuries and those of American occupation barely within living memory, despite the porky presence of gaijin reeking of the dairy (to mix scentences), particularly in a place like the Dot of Doutonbori, it is surprising the predominance of Japanese language outside the most tempting of eating-places, drinking-places, on menus and in descriptions of what lies inside the mostly inward-facing joints, bars, holes in the wall, restaurants, rooms for public life. This is accommodation without concession.

…yes, speaking of culture, today we went to Hogsmeade, Harry Potter Land, Hogwarts—at Universal Studio! …

We expected crowds—there were; we expected tantrum-inducing waiting-times—there were; but we also expected—the Japanese panache at carrying fakery to next level; we expected the generosity in adopting the misshapen popular artifices of cultures other than that of Japan; despite the Americolonial years, we expected the joy at inventions—that the Japanese seem to have invented anyway, like theme-parks, living hoardings, robots-are-as-good-as-life, loud in your face snakeoil salesmanship … and we expected it all to be beautifully performed, dressed, choreographed scenically. After all, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has won best ride in the world for @5 consecutive years. I think.

The trip came on on leaving our train at Universal City. Like the Tomoyuki Hoshino novel I’m reading, things got weird pretty quickly; and like with any trip left little time to wonder at psychological harm, ensuing identity disorders, or moral malaise (anyway, we’d been to an owl forest in stifling heat, in a suburb of Kyoto).

The check-in lady’s voice came at us with machine-gun machine-reproduced—for no conceivable reason, since she was just behind glass—ear-slicing consonantal bruitage. And we asked about express tickets. Would’ve added hundreds onto the bill, as well as kept us there until 1900 hours plus.

We braved the cheaper entry. Found Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, the snow glistening, and J. asked how they keep it from melting … Magic.

Rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden & so on. Ate churros. Checked out the Butter Beer.

Rolled out of the Wizarding World into Muggles of Amity Village, and onto the schlocky Jaws ride. What was our open secret? Singles! Japanese prefer to ride in groups, friend groups, family groups … so we are told. Still, with the Potter ride, the ten mins turned into about an hour, but beat the two hour standard wait time—unless you have express and can arrive at the designated 1900 hours. We rode singly. That’s how we rolled.

Next, Jurassic Park’s The Ride, in water, with splashdown.

On to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D. This was great—cartoon characters leaping into your field of vision, with 3D goggles, addressing each of you, each of me, individually, right up on your bonnet, and grill. When the electric baddy plugged his thing into the front of our car the Chinese lady two down screamed like she’d been personally electrocuted. Electrocution—it’s personal.

But the prize—apart from the overall artdirection of the Wizarding World—went to Evangelion XR 4D. This was a VR—full head-set (staff intensive, the team fitting me up, as I sat beside, as a single, an odaku guy, asked where I was from. New Zealand. Ah, sheep! Yes, I said, with fingers in beard, like me! Most disconcerting—when she’d fitted the headset and launched me into VR I heard You’re a sheep! You’re a sheep! A sheep!) hyper experience. Mosquitoe giant guys demolished the city and, cleverly, with a pilot and orientating details in field of vision, we hurtled through the apocalypse, bodies thrown one way, then another, because on an actual rollercoaster, while heads and sensory apparati were, through the headset, tuned into the virtual environments. And what works here is scale. This world was huge and in 360 degrees. … Mission accomplished, we slowed, me and the odaku guy, whom I’d neither heard nor seen a baby whisker of, into a massive hangar space, and outside the VR I heard clapping, the clapping the staff were routinely doing for new recruits, getting seated in their pods.

Tonight we found a skinny building to eat in, sat upstairs, two cynical electrosmokers doing their best to look cool.

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02.08.2018 NMoMAO, Nakazakicho & Namba eats

In the groove of the morning coffee—imported, from Brazil fl. 1995-2007, done in the dripfilter method, the mechanism bought not far from Resol, c. 2015—and usually soggy Danish. Yes, this morning’s was. That of Kyoto, however, was echt Franzoise. A leisurely preparation for the day, then subway to Osaka National Museum of Modern Art, or hereabouts. The heat immersive and swimmable.

Showing—a retrospective from the museum’s own collection and a collection from the Pushkin (including Déjeuner sur l’herbe). Items of note included—the light was unusual in the gallery, indirect, giving the impression of dim ambience; the exhibition followed a catachronology—Satashi Ohno’s polychrome style mashup: [look here: http://tomiokoyamagallery.com/artists/satoshi-ohno/] figurative, symbolic & prismatic quantum lifepainting. The Saito, I’d encountered looking at artists ‘breaking the frame’ in Japan and Brazil; Saito’s work recalls Tapiès’s. Of course: Sugimoto’s photos. And some interesting Western pieces: Warhol’s Marilyns (anyone who thinks of Warhol as overrated ought to spend time with his amazing colours, his colour curation); Cy Twombly; a little Picasso, Cubist period; and Max Ernst—which never reproduce (the same can funnily enough be said of the Warhol screenprints). Oh, and of course, favourite it seems with collections in Japan, Gerhard Richter.

Next door to the NmoMAO, the curved building houses the Museum of Science, and two little boys had bought a windup plane, the sort with rubberband, were trying to fly it. I helped them. It flew.

The Sky Bridge. Tickets to be bought on the 39th floor, via glass elevator. (The snaps I’ve taken are from the descent; I couldn’t look out on the upway.) It is intended that you exit your elevator box and take an escalator, which runs in a tube, on a diagonal up to the Sky Bridge Platform, some 140m in sky, through space, unsupported. I looked up tube, that runs through sky, space some 140m up in it, and wanted to get back downstairs.

An Ando wall of vegetation outside the Sky Bridge Towers, under which we lunched on cheapnesses—I, out of sorts, did not want the flavours of the basement foodhall, all done out like early 20th century Osaka: and so we got a smelly fish set from a streetvendor and a puffdog from a Family Mart, and pork on stick.

Nakazakicho is a place we walked to then—not far, it was far, and via a ridiculous layercake of consumerstores, and Osaka Station. We went there because it was called boho central in some online cultural guidething. It had nice small buildings and the collection usual for artistic quarters in cities of secondhand clothing stores and cafés with questionable opening hours; but there were many hair studios. I drank a white soda.

We went to Namba to eat, down the end of the Dot, which I have been misspelling—it is Doutonbori. And ate well.

On the stroll home, we went westward, to Ameriburi and walked around.

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28.07.2018 to Uji, Japan

Overlooking the Ujigawa, the river in Uji, split by an artificial island, and fed from the nearby dam, with rapids below the island and above, we are finally in our room, and not only that but fresh out of the hotpools, the public baths as they have to be called—since to qualify as onsen the waters must arise naturally from the ground and possess minerals, a mineral quality; so that some onsen are coloured and some so hot when they bubble into the baths or pools there are attendants present to make sure bathers do not broil and cook.

From Waiheke to Uji:35 minutes by ferry; 25 minutes by Über; a checkin time two hours ahead of boarding time, which allows for seats together to be confirmed; 11.15 hours’ flight—with a supper, followed by 71 minutes of Dog Island; 5 hours sleep, on a partially full 777, since it had been cancelled because of the typhoon rolling in on Tokyo, was subsequently reinstated—adding to the likelihood of sleep being had, since more space to stretch out—however I could not get my body to fit the available empty space, the ma was all wrong, no matter how I curled and contorted to fill it—then breakfast, a gesture at Japanese style, with the rice handily deposited in a pleated cupcake paper; monorail from Haneda to Shinagawa 15 minutes; some circulation of bodies searching for the right line, the JR Nara line, to Uji—say 10 minutes—then, departing at 29 minutes past the hour, the local train, stopping at all the stations on the way, to Uji, 25 minutes later; walking, asking for directions, along the Ujigawa to our ryokan 20 minutes.

Time, Deleuze writes in his book on Kant, is not determined by movement, or change, and time itself does not move and change. Neither is time eternal. “It is the form of everything that changes and moves, but it is an immutable Form which does not change”—the unchanging, unmoving Form of what is impermanent, an impermanence that in the form of time is not eternal. In it, all things are impermanent. All things pass. That time passes without passing away is, Deleuze writes, a profound mystery.

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you want to be liked I like you & your dissertation linked below

 

Figure 8.6 Sondra Perry, It’s in the Game (2017), screenshot of video demo

 

from Megan Philipa Driscoll’s Art on the Internet and the Digital Public Sphere, 1994 – 2003

© Copyright by
Megan Philipa Driscoll
2018

(shared on Nettime by Cornelia Sollfrank 25.06.2018)

 

abstract

This dissertation narrates the development of internet art, a diverse set of practices united
by their interrogation of the technological, social, and/or political bases of computer networks.
Covering the period from 1994, when “internet art” began to coalesce around the rise of the
World Wide Web, to 2003, when both internet art and internet culture writ large began to
respond to the rise of social media and “web 2.0” technologies, the dissertation homes in on a
select number of net art projects that variously engaged or challenged this period’s most
persistent claim: that the internet is a new, digital public sphere. By studying how these artworks
critiqued this claim, the dissertation uncovers three major models through which net art has
asserted the publicness of computer networks—as an interpersonal network that connects or
unites strangers into groups; as a virtual space akin to physical spaces of public gathering,
discourse, and visibility; and as a unique platform for public speech, a new mass media
potentially accessible to all.

Claims for the public status of computer networks rest on their ability to circulate
information and facilitate discussion and debate. This definition of publicness is rooted in the
concept of the classical public sphere as theorized by Jürgen Habermas. The dissertation will
thus review Habermas’s model of the classical public sphere as well as its most significant
critiques in order to interrogate the terms of a digital public sphere. The dissertation will also
engage Michael Warner’s work on the formation of publics, counterpublics, and the mass-
cultural public sphere; Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s analysis of shared experience as the
foundation of the formation of public spheres and the role of mass media in this process; Henri
Lefebvre’s articulation of the social production of space; and Gilles Deleuze and Alexander
Galloway’s respective analyses of the role of network logics in contemporary systems of control.

The dissertation begins with a chapter overview of the emergence of computer
networking during the second half of the twentieth century and the different ways in which
artists experimented with it to explore new modes of communication, collaboration, and
exchange. With the appearance of the web in the mid-1990s, and with growing art institutional
interest in its novelty, these experiments crystallized into what we now know as internet art,
bringing with it challenging questions regarding the viability of the internet as an unprecedented
digital public sphere.

The second chapter turns to this emergent field of net art and how some artists tried to
define the terms of a new public sphere as an interpersonal network that allows people who are
not in physical or temporal proximity with each other to form publics. The chapter explores
Douglas Davis’s The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (1994) and Heath Bunting’s Project
X (1996), two works that use the strategy of accumulation to make visible the collective presence
of internet users, either as a reading public formed through the circulation of discourse or as a
public united by the articulation of its members’ shared experience. The third chapter introduces
practices that challenge the presumed universality of the digital public sphere by foregrounding
gender and race issues, which are often obscured in dominant discourses regarding computer
networks. The chapter focuses on Cornelia Sollfrank’s Female Extension (1997) and Mendi +
Keith Obadike’s Black.Net.Art Actions (2001 – 2003), demonstrating how these works help to
define the counterpublics of the digital public sphere by circulating marginalized discourses on
the web in opposition to the mainstream.

The fourth chapter examines the spatialization of computer networks and how the
internet’s communication platforms have become conceptually analogous to ancient forums or
seventeenth-century coffee shops. Through analyses of Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen’s Listening
Post (2001) and Natalie Bookchin and Jacqueline Stevens’s agoraXchange (2003), the chapter
attends to both utopian and skeptical views regarding the viability of the internet as a (virtual)
space of public gathering and discourse. Chapter five further interrogates the idea that the
internet is a theater of visibility, where actions are public because they cannot be private. The
first artwork in this chapter, RSG’s Carnivore (2001), critically addresses computer networks as
a surveillance technology and part of a system of social control. The second work, Eva and
Franco Mattes’s Life Sharing (2000 – 2003), explores what happens when internet users embrace
this condition of (hyper)visibility, freely sharing not only their personal information but also
their intellectual property, thereby eliding spatial and juridical notions of public domain.

The sixth chapter addresses the notion of computer networks as a new mass medium of
public speech, a platform for publicity that is also a site of struggle to exert influence on the
public sphere. Homing in on the work of net art collective ®TMark, the chapter follows how the
collective uses parody to challenge institutions that seem complicit in the commercialization of
ivthe network and the suppression of individuals’ access to the network’s platforms for public
speech. In the seventh chapter, the dissertation turns to artists’ responses to a legal challenge that
threatened their speech rights on the network, a set of actions known today as Toywar (1999 –
2000). The chapter also contends with how etoy, a collective of artists involved in the litigation,
took up corporate branding as artistic practice to reframe internet communication platforms as
tools of mass publicity in a mass-cultural public sphere.

The final chapter concludes with a reflection on the changes in the forms of net art and its
place in the field of contemporary art that followed the first phase of net art, the central focus of
the dissertation. While acknowledging the transformation of the online environment brought on
by social media and other “web 2.0” technologies, the chapter argues that the question of
whether computer networks can function as a digital public sphere remains an open and
contested one. The dissertation as a whole thus provides an historical account and critical
analysis of internet art that encompasses not only its technological evolution but also its
confrontation with the claims of publicness upon which our understanding of computer
networks, and the art made on and about them, are founded.

 

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