Geert Lovink on Thu, 23 May 2019 16:05:01 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Remember shih-chieh ilya li

I also just heard that our dead activist-friend Ilya from Taiwan died because of complications from cellulitis, a few days ago. 

Thanks, Graham, you have described his warm character very well!

I can't trace the exact beginning of my friendship with Ilya but it must have been in the last nineties. His trip to the third Next Five Minutes tactical media festival in Amsterdam was a huge event for him (and all of us). The idea of creating networks of artists and activists working at the crossroads of politics, aesthetics and new media was a very real, living thing.

In 2001, I did an email exchange with Ilya, for nettime: In my 2002 book Dark Fiber there is a travel report about my 1999 visit to Taiwan and my work with Ilya. Since then I came to Taiwan and he to Amsterdam on a number of occasions.

Ilya’s politics I found always very interesting: a unique mix of radical practices, government policies (or the attempt to somehow address them), research and IT startups. His passion and enthousiasm to translate concepts from elsewhere to the high tech policy of the ‘renegade island’ that was going its own way, investigaring what freedom on many level could mean, inspired all of us. Farewell, Ilya!


I wrote this for inclusion in a memorial volume, Ilya Li's memorial is present in the living and breathing of networks he helped create since 1996.

I'm not sure how many net timers knew of Ilya but until his sudden death a few days ago - he had done so much great work from his base in Taiwan. Here are a few words in his memory. If you have any words or images you want add - a memorial page is on facebook that will be printed of for his family. just search (Remember shih-chieh ilya li)

I'm not sure how ilya's idiosyncratic, strange, funny and generous thought processes managed it, but he glued together a carnival of like-minded misfits around the world, adding to their nutzo projects, like YoHa's, 'Plastic Raft of Lampedusa'. Ilya gave many of us a version of what globalisation, transnationalism could mean in opposition to the fragmentary version we are fed with our processed foods. He taught europeans like myself to listen before judgment, to think with him around corners and on different scales while usually eating delicious unprocessed food. He did this by guiding you to an embarrassing pause, when you thought... I have no idea what he just said to me or where it came from. At such moments, you had to ask him, over the next tasty mouthful, to unravel his thoughts, translate them across cultures so you could understand where you may have had it wrong, to get a new insight.

Ilya was a romantic and I both saw him struggle with being on his own and then it was my priviledge to see him seek out love, follow it around the world and finally find it in his and his partner's garden, growing more food for the future.

Ilya was our friend, eating companion, glue in a world that tries to keep us separate.

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#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact:
#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: