Kristoffer Gansing on Mon, 1 Jul 2019 16:29:09 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> limits of networks...

Dear all,

Maybe I can take the opportunity to plug in to the running discussions
by shamelessly plugging the announcement of the next transmediale
festival which aims to deal exactly with the topics of networks, as it
appeared here as a recurring common concern.

I think its quite interesting how the thread on nettime being in a bad
shape and the one Rachel O' Dwyer started on net-art is converging
around questions that have to do with how the limits of networks have
become more tangible today, technically as well as in the form of
"network idealism".

Molly Hankwitz wrote:

> The question comes up more and more - where is the whole idea of networks
> that was once? Answer: sorry, social media has everyone blissed out on
> their own screen.
> The great debates that enlivened networks of the 90s, have become muddled
> to the point that "networks" per se don't seem to carry much weight online
> - now its the app, its the website - which don't always reflect a living
> community of net-users as we know...or maybe we are imagining networks
> differently than before and that does not help. Common interests which
> drove the formulation of networks and network 'flows' seem to have been
> replaced by something else. Who is the we of any network now...


> Can we still speak about ?tactical media? or ?the exploit?, and if not is
> this because
> a) network activism has transformed so that these older descriptions no
> longer accurately describe net art and ?hacktivist? practices, or
> b) these art practices have stayed much the same, but they are no longer
> effective in the current political and economic context?

I would not agree with David Garcia that these meta-discussions is a
sign of the decline of nettime however, rather that the discussion of
networked forms seems to be returning at the moment, maybe especially
also on a list like nettime, because it seems as if it disappeared from
the big "digitalisation" debates that are now anyway everywhere. (except
for the breaking up of THE social network) Meanwhile, users are
returning to smaller networked forms in the form of the fediverse or in
other intimate constellations taking their cue from safe spaces and
intersectional practices online, offline or rather in between. Maybe we
need new ways of modeling networks also beyond the canonical Baran
diagram of centralized, decentralized and distributed, along with
nodocentric visualizations that have been so prevalent from the 1990's
and basically up until today?



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