Author: Thomas Dreher  
Posted: 06.11.2002; 21:58:34
Topic: Question 3
Msg #: 599 (in response to 420)
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Response to Michael Corris´answer 3/6:
Dear Michael, polarization is sometimes helpful. If we conceptualize a dialogue as a dialectic between argument and counterargument then we have to polarize. And this antique conceptualization of a dialogue helps us to conceptualize polarization as a passage in an argumentational process. The new rhetoric of Chaim Perelman and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca are a relevant source for me in these cases (here: Traité de l´argumentation. Bruxelles, deuxieme edition 1970, p.46f.: Quintilian: "la dialectique"="la poing fermée" et "la rhétorique"="une main ouverte"). And "the new rhetoric" is part of the history of the discourse of A & L in the early seventies, as you know (A-L, vol.3/nr.1, p.6,21,24,45). Let us proceed with the `dialectic´ character of dialogues which allows polarization.
"net.art" as another "art gang":
Here you are very funny (for me) and you fix a relevant case of the present development of net.art (which is a misnomer for me: I am interested in the hybrid relations between (h)activism and artivism. I am not really interested in borders between art and non-art and definitions of art...but my professional expertness is called "art historian". Irony helps...). Contemporary Net.art has some forms of presentation which can be described as virtual media with stable rules for variations (Manfred Faßler: "Virtualitätsgattungen", f. e. soundtoys).
The differences between some net.art and entertaining forms of art like f. e. computer games are of reduced relevance, because these virtual media have a certain amount of users (communities within a consumer society) who estimate the next million realizations but won´t change their preferences strong enough to cause changings of the implicit rules (which limit the generation of variants).
The typical pop culture phenomenon can be repeated with copyright or with intellectual potlatch, like techno music with copyleft. Pop culture reproduces old concepts of art forms and masters, and some communities of pop users produce variants of successful virtual media forms (sometimes called art, sometimes not). `The master´ is able to produce an interesting variant within seas of variants of the same rules which constitute precoded art forms/uses of media (Gattungen).
But with the digitalization some conceptual doubts became inevitable not only for the criticism of popular media but for some producers and consumers of mass media culture too, who began to estimate hybrid media and hybridizations. If you allow me to sloganize: The digitalization provoked and provokes reconceptualizations of intertextuality on the level of intermedia art and/or entertainment (`hybrid´ relations between media, popular media included).
The `transmedia´ digital software and computer hardware offer potentialities for so-called interactivity and combinations of verbal, audio and visual media. Conceptualizations of these media are not only relevant for an art practice (art gangs included), but artists can produce models which help to generate relevant media combinations in different fields of work.
Changings of the net architecture restrict free links and help copyright owners to manage their `deals´. Activists against these changings need different media practices to find a public. The experiments with these media help to find forms of presentation which allow activists to engage a wider public.
This is not only a problem how we can find voices for minorities. It is a problem how minorities and majorities of citizens can find a voice against the influences of corporations and administrations f. e. on legislation procedures. Here, we are far away from "art gangs" but we can use their media competence for entertaining presentations of contents which help to define the future possibilities of the net.
A relevant use of the term "art gang" in a wider frame of net culture could be: Professionals who use visual media within digital media combinations and the distributors of these professional products constitute "art gangs". Beside their forms of presentation are some uses of digital media of more interest, because they work beside stable rules. These forms beside the stable contexts/communities of popular culture need some writers who are able to point the attention of more and more people to them. It is easier to reach wider audiences since popular culture tries to renew itself via integrations of hybrid digital forms. Thomas Dreher (TDreher@onlinehome.de)

 



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