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Re: <nettime> Armin Medosch (1962-2017)
Michael Connor on Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:33:50 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Armin Medosch (1962-2017)


Thank you to everyone who has shared their words about Armin on this
thread... I half expect that he might chime in. I posted the below on
Rhizome.org yesterday, and Felix suggested that I share it here as
well:

We at Rhizome were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of artist,
writer, and curator Armin Medosch. Others already have done a
wonderful job of narrating Armin's life and work, such as Felix
Stalder and others on Nettime, Sarah Cook on CRUMB, and many more on
Facebook. His impact on network culture and net art runs deep.

For my own part, I had the great pleasure of working with Armin on the
second edition of "Kingdom of Piracy," which opened at FACT in early
2003. Armin co-curated the project with Yukiko Shikata and Shu Lea
Cheang, and I remember vividly the clarity and rigor of his
intellectual position, his deep generosity and kindness, and his sense
of humor. As part of that project, Armin published DIVE, a book and
CD-ROM about the idea of the digital commons. In his text for the
project, "Piratology," he narrated the concept of piracy as a facet of
colonialism and the exploitation of Asia, arguing that artists using
the net were prototyping new, non-oppressive forms of collective
living:

"This is not piracy, as industry associations want us to believe, but
the creation of open spaces in a number of different ways; they
facilitate freedom of expression, collective action in creation and
political expression and the notion of a public interest in networked
communications."

The night before DIVE was to launch at Ars Electronica, I went to meet
Armin's train, which was due to arrive at 3:30 AM. Somehow, neither he
nor I had a cell phone. I was terrified that he would fall asleep and
end up in Budapest, but he appeared on the platform. In spite of the
late hour, in spite of the fact that I had booked him such an ungodly
itinerary, I remember how he strode right up, smiling and shaking my
hand warmly. We walked back to the dorm where we were staying, and got
a beer each from the vending machine.

I got to see Armin last fall when he came to New York for his book
tour. A different book, of course, his landmark history of the New
Tendencies movement, published with MIT Press. We were to give a talk
at Cabinet in Gowanus, an event staged in partnership with Rhizome. I
ran into Armin and his wife Ina on the street. It was my 38th
birthday, and they gave me a bottle of Austrian liqueur. Armin joked,
"When we first worked together, you were very young. Now, we are the
same age!"

It will take time and effort to process the importance of Armin's
work. For today, I miss my friend, and I know that so many artists and
writers around the world feel the same. To all of you, and especially
to Ina, my thoughts are with you.

For everyone else, I want to say that Armin was a person who knew what
it meant to take a position. He showed true commitment to his
principles, his ideas, his research, his practice, and the people in
his life. I hope you will take some time to get to know his work.
https://monoskop.org/Armin_Medosch would be a good place to start.

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