David Garcia on Mon, 12 Jun 2006 13:26:26 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> nettime as idea

On Jun 11, 2006, at 5:57 PM, A. G-C wrote:
> From this point of view, I think that Geert's provocation on closing
> the list to have it reborning from this new time, it is really
> interesting as logical activist attitude happening in real time of
> the mails against misunderstanding and mortification...

> Re borning situation of creating among the others is not a death,
> this is life.

It was great to hear guibertc's Anglo/Francophone voice and be
reminded of something that Mckensie Wark said on this list long ago
(very rough quote from memory) that these days english does not belong
to any one (I would add; least of all the english).

This post also has something of the euphoria for a culture of
continuous migration accompanied by the perpetual possibility of
closure ("not a death, this is life") as a measure of integrity. Other
less inspiring postings on this thread have talked airily "about
slaughtering of sacred cows" etc

These avant garde (Fluxes like) rituals or 'tactics' in which
ephemerality is taken as an emblem of life and authenticity are
assumptions that run deep in our culture. This is particularly true
of visual art and as we know from Venice Biennale to Dokumentas the
visual arts were a important componant of nettime.

But maybe we also have learned (eventually) that the cult of
ephemerality is just not enough, that nothing slaughters 'holy cows'
more voraciously than the capitalism these movements seek to subvert.
The burning question has become how to move on from a "kill your
darlings" culture without relinquishing the articulations of freedom
we value (sometimes presented as part of the 'precarity' discussion).
How to achieve sustainability without institutionalisation (or

The fact that we are arguing (and fighting) 11 years after its birth
shows that something in nettime (as it exists now) is worth struggling
over. It suggests that nettime has found away to address the questions
posed above, in fact and action as well as theory. The list has its
ups and downs but is clearly very much alive and (as Felix pointed
out) it has not professionalised or institutionalised. It is my
belief that we owe this part of nettime's achievement is owed in
large part to the current moderators. Not only to the years of quiet
methodical un-glamerous work but also the courage to put up a fight
when necessary!

This is not the first time that closure has been argued for. In the
past there are those who have argued strenuously to close the list
and move on in which we would now be talking in the past tense. The
moderators put up a fight and kept the platform we are now arguing
on open. Whatever differences there may be the years invested in
nurturing this space, with generosity and finesse, should (in my view)
be too easily disrespected.

I am not arguing that moderators, and their position can not be
questioned. But what I am saying is tokenistic expressions of
gratitude "great job guys, time to move on..bye". Are shallow and
disrespectful in the extreme. And more importantly fail to engage with
an important aspect of the list's achievement.

I would argue that any movement for radical change should be carried
out in close collaboration with the moderators and should take a very
different approach and tone from some of the peremptory notifications
we have seen on this thread. And above all they should seek to
work imaginatively with the fact that nettime has found a powerful
way of addressing our most pressing issue; sustainability without


David Garcia

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