Sean Cubitt on Tue, 14 Dec 1999 21:10:30 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> [net\.]art(history|definition)

I like Melinda Rackham's quote from Tiia Johnson about 'making them wait'
for download. Download, like the crash, the freeze, upload and boot up,
are temporal modes that are the last vestige of labour time on the web,
giving the lie to the mythology of instantaneous transmission. 

But there is another point to add, a small one: what we have by way of
browsers are not interactiv, or at least not interactive enough. We can
click, we can to some extent navigate, we can publish, but we can't
re-edit someone else's work without downloading it and republishing the
reedited version on a different server. Netscape and IE are both based on
the principle of user-friendly admission to a publishing medium, not to
genuine interactivity. Perhaps this can't be done on the wide open spaces
of the net but only on intra/extranets where some degree of responsibility
and trust can be presumed. Nonetheless, the model of the Amaya browser
seems to me the kind of tool we will need if we are going to get
interactivity of any real sort online. That will mean, as well, some
radical eductaion in democracy: if the authorship of works moves from
authors to users, then the responsibility also shifts in proportion. 

So to add my crumbly bit of old cheese to the flan, a
thing is if the user takes responsibility for the work


Sean Cubitt
Screen Studies
Liverpool John Moores University
Dean Walters Building
St James Road
Liverpool L1 7BR
T: 44 (0)151 231 5030/5007
F: 44 (0)151 231 5049

***Note new URL for Screen Studies Online courseware***

Now Available: Digital Aesthetics, Theory, Culture and Society/Sage London
and New York

#  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: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: