John Hopkins on Thu, 12 Dec 2013 23:02:02 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> History of Computer Art, chap. V

On 12/Dec/13 00:05, Armin Medosch wrote:

Hallo Armin!

my reply was in no way meant to be a "critique" of the whole project as John
Hopkins wrongly insinuated. It is just a critique of the title which projects

Nah, it was a more general reaction on my part, there were a bunch of folks who started to drill down looking for weaknesses in it... This should be a part of the discourse, but seems lop-sided, without much positive spin.

I totally hear your original suggestions -- accuracy in linguistically framing a reductive re-framing of 'reality' is a good thing. And there are more obvious 'mistakes' and less obvious ones. And accuracy, surely is subjective.

I was just remarking on a general nettime response which seems to be (imho) more times skewed to critique or to yawning silence than to praise or support. Seldom praise for folk's efforts. Maybe that occurs back-channel, I don't know. I haven't done a statistical analysis of this situation, so, yes, it's a feeling, I admit.

As a learning facilitator, I recall when I first moved to Reykjavik where I established a photo/electronic media program at the Icelandic Academy (B.W. 'Before the Web'). I was quite troubled that there were no written or visual resources for teaching History of Photography, for example, aside from what I bought with me. (Yes, perhaps books in private hands, but only a couple Icelanders had gone abroad to study contemporary 'art' photography at that point). Even my teaching technically was illegal as I was not a member of the Icelandic Photographers Union -- a trade union!

This dearth of material in many ways was liberating -- no need to 'fight' the canon of history when no one knew anything about it!

But, of course, going back to basics of evolutionary development (paraphrasing Santayana): "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Having some texts (almost regardless of their content, in my case in Iceland) was better than none. They became the starting point in a discussion, *not* the ending point as a definitive statement of the nature of a former reality. I guess I've always been happy to see texts such as Dr. Dreher's being generated as they (possibly) enrich a learning situation. Happy to the point of being blinded to the negative potential of having reality mis-characterized. But wait that always happens with any reductive re-presentation!

I am hyper-conscious of making that point a constant learning moment, as I find it seems largely forgotten in the education system here in the US. The Bush Regime did a good job of removing 'critical thinking' from K-12 curricula, and thus, half-a-generation later, that lack is seeping, flooding into the universities.

It's true, the discussion occurring in nettime signifies what is always necessary, maybe it was the overall tone that I was objecting to.

BTW, what is that ZKM document sourcebook you spoke of (did Darko author it?) -- do you have a bibliographic entry for that?


Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD

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