Timothy Druckrey on Thu, 31 Aug 2000 15:04:57 -0400

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Re: AW: Syndicate: Ars Electronica, Next Sex and the political situation in Austria

Dear Gerfried,

I am very surprised that you consider the attempt made by a very engaged community to raise issues with you in such a negative or "flashy" way. As is quite evident from the posting (no less the original communications), we simply tried to broach issues that were not evident in the initial announcements about the theme of Ars 2000. Since the original letters were not public, we thought we should voice concerns and suggest approaches to confront serious issues. It is sad - if not shocking - that this "bores" you. We were not grandstanding or turning Ars Electronica (which we wholly support) into an "enemy," but were offering, from the outset, to actively work to construct a public - and international - dialogue. I'm not sure how this constitutes "criticism from afar," since we offered "to participate in the organization of any events," and proposed some possible ways to approach them. To consider this "arrogant" is absurd and uncalled for. We did not attempt to make you sound as defensive as your letter. We wrote two letters, made our argument, read your response, and then left it at that, realizing that our goal was not to meddle or overcomplicate the pressures. This is hardly a siege! And while I welcome the Free Speech events, we have to be clear that they emerged in public only with the Ars announcement sent on Tuesday August 29th (that is only two days ago!). To suggest that we did not look at your programs seems a bit hazy when we consider this. This aside, the opportunity for these events to have a real effect is precisely what we were aiming at and are grateful that they are happening!

I also want to strongly comment on the assumption that these letters were written only by myself. It is true that I initiated discussions with those who signed, but the letters were collaborative and drafted, revised, subjected to debate between ALL who signed them. They were a group effort and not individual complaints as your letter suggests. They were written in the spirit of good faith and, though blunt, they were not wrought with antagonism for anything but the situation and how it reflects on and is implicated in the broader community. From the outset we were on the side of Ars and approached this as concerned colleagues and not as complaining opponents.

for now,


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