Keith Sanborn on 28 Sep 2000 00:11:06 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> "The Without Response" Verbal 3, Call & Response

Call with/without response.

I've been watching the bleeding of things as they/it comes into contact
with institutions for a while now. What struck me about last night's event
was that it consistently pointed beyond or outside itself towards what I
have experienced as what I might call "the virtual." There is something
inherently personal in the interactive experience which in a sense does
not belong in a public space. We saw Chinese food being ordered--I had to
leave right before it was served up--so even that remained virtual for me
and it wouldn't have mattered in a sense. It was the remote control aspect
of the event which was half of its interest. The other half was of course
the physical meeting together in the same space of people who may have
exchanged data on-ine. It was a nice wrap around to the event. And even
the McCoys event which took place right then, pointed beyond to something
unspeakable, their low-tech but realtime synesthesia being a kind of wry
commentary on the mediations which religions try to provide for what
should ideally be unmediated and unspeakable. A nice contradiction. The
CUCme was almost like a kind of high tech tertulia with a rigorous list of
topics, which didn't really need the audience to happen and I think most
everyone on this list who was there felt that it was demonstrating
something that most people there had already experienced in one form or
another. Another way of putting this might be: for whom was the even
intended? the cyber-cognoscenti? if so it was preaching to the converted,
if to the art world, was it a class? and why would they want to know these
things. What good would it do? Was it to re-establish the Kitchen in its
tradition role as mediator to the culture of techno-artistic
experimentation? I keep coming back to the virtual Chinese food here,
since it was bringing food to the Kitchen, where in etymological
prehistory it might have originated, again referring to several past
locations which have been displaced to allow us to arrive "there, then."

Well, it was awkward and oddly familiar to me I confess since I recognized
fragments of a translation I had made appearing in Ricardo and Diane's
piece via Yokodoll, who had used the translation already on line to
marvellous effect. It was an odd feeling, like hearing voices in my head,
but they were words I had written, at least in English, since they were a
translation from French and thus referred at once to the context of a
critique of corporate strategies, the situs, the Zaptistas, and finally to
Napoleon and to myself, not necessarily in that order. Again, even the
part which was most intimately familiar referred beyond itself to another
order: the Seattle on the screen could only refer to the Events taking
place time shifted in Prague.

I don't know if the evening was good or bad, but it was an odd exercise in
displacement. Perhaps this will always happen in the presence of the
virtual, or was this its absence made apprehensible.

Keith Sanborn

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