Tagged: Politics

Another Change of Heart/Setting

How things can change! I was made aware by a few people who had tried the early tests of my VR piece that the environment wasn’t necessarily a Church to them. The comparison given was the U.S. Capitol building.

I spent a considerable time focussing on a religious setting after the influence my research paper had had on my practice. From the beginning I focused on the Internet as a physical space and the architecture within it. Hearing the users experience made me feel that the environment is comparable to both a political and religious setting, which, given the nature of the internet, I didn’t dislike. Though, admittedly it wasn’t intended.

I’ve kept what was originally designed as a church / chapel going against what I’d decided a while ago.

I’ve reflected on the Internet as a comparable institute to religion and still believe that its use and ability creates a similar social structure based on live information. For example, stories of discrimination, abuse, or any injustice are shared and commented on. These are seen and read by tens of thousands, creating a collective social view on that injustice. The main issue with this idea is that internet communities are more secluded than I’d originally thought. The stories of injustice I see on my Facebook timeline are personalised to the community I’m a part of. If I lived elsewhere, in another community, it is a different story. (Of course this is a simple and obvious reflection that can be seen in any community online or offline).

This couldn’t have been made more obvious by Brexit. Since Friday, Facebook (and most other social media) has been set alight with emotion both positive and negative. Some of the posts have been horrendous, some very enlightening, however, the best one I read was a friend from Nottingham uni. He wrote:

“……and proof that my newsfeed is a terrible measure of public opinion”

I don’t want to digress to Brexit, but this comment gives the perfect insight into internet communities.

Back to the religious comparison. This idea has made me realise that although the spread of information allows for quick solidarity and reaction to significant events. It is also tailored to you as an individual and therefore doesn’t give you the insight of all points on the spectrum. I’ve always felt that the best way to understand a story or an idea is to read from both ends of the argument. This is in some way lost by the monetization of the net, and its focus on your individual experience (This is mostly true for social medias).

I’ve gone slightly off topic but the idea of Gateway is to highlight the importance of the viewer’s input.

I will post some more recent examples of the VR experience I’m building in due course.



Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, By Gregory Sholette

‘The artist Martha Rosler was once brazenly informed by an art dealer that you’re either on the art world table or your not. The question today is, who supports the table?’
‘The spread of information technologies including the World Wide Web directly enhance this process of illumination while expanding forms of creative economic discipline into the affective and domestic spheres of human life. As never before, producing, copying, re-mixing, printing, uploading, and distributing images and information has become (almost) everyone’s privilege, even their social responsibility. Digital technology also functions like a prosthetic memory permitting the excluded to document and narrate ephemeral; everyday activities and overlooked forms of expression or resistance.’ P7
Guy Debord calls the corporate or state run society created on the Internet as the society of the spectacle.
What Keeps mankind alive?
Is the Internet a creative playground? Or an electronic factory? ‘ p18
Mario Tronti’s The Social Factory 4 decades earlier described the idea ‘in which the regulatory power of the capitalist market encloses social relations once found exclusively outside the workplace’ 18
Brecht – 75 years ago – who builds the digital networks? 19
Second Life Left Unity – anti capitalist organisation based entirely online. Performed a digital protest for 24 hours within second life. Including digital pickets. The protest attracted 2000 avatars, and ended with the boss of IBM Italy, resigning. 20
‘The very trace of this curious mix of seen and unseen, active and inert, bAnal and confrontational dark matter is only possible thanks to networked global capital and the soulless spectre of an absent society than haunts it. A strange inter dependency is made possible in other words by the prosthetics of inexpensive communication, audio and visual technologies. That this missing mass, this dark matter is materialising and getting brighter is not in doubt. Instead, what remains to be seen is just what kind of world it is giving birth to, and exactly how this “revenge of the surplus” will ultimately re-narrate politics in an age of enterprise culture.” P22
Political Art Documentarion/Distribution (PAD/D)
Romantic anti imperialist rhetoric was a grandiose vision through time possibilities of 1980s technology.
The twitter revolution did not produce the desire for social change. At best, cellular
P35 :
Speaking about religion, political divisions: Christianity, Islam, Nationalism and Socialism : “The near-total privatization, objectification, and marketing of life seeks to incorporate even those forms of production that historically claimed to stand outside of, or against the reach of, capitalism, on both the left and right.”
“A spirit of entrepreneurship now dominates “every phase of contemporary art, writes Chin-Tao Wu, including its ‘production, it’s dissemination and it’s reception’ art historian Julian Stallabrass recommends re branding this enterprise culture Art Incorporated, a satirical proposition that reflects the ascendancy of corporate marketing and finance industries today, much as Horkheimers and Adornos famed cultural industry metaphor conveyed the administrative function of a Taylorism of the Mind, some 60 years earlier.”
“Hans haacke, a co founder of AWC wanted to include in his major solo museum show two conceptually based artworks that traces the real estate investments of several family run corporations in New York City. Drawn from public records, the informational pieces used diagrams, texts and snapshots to present a “real time” mapping of actual social systems. But many of the properties to be displayed were of substandard, poorly repaired buildings in low income neighbourhoods of the city. Therefore, along with questioning the limits of art and what could be counted as legitimate aesthetic experience s, Haacke’s projects also  rendered an unflattering picture of greed and urban neglect. After some efforts at negotiation Guggenheim director Thonas Messer canceled the exhibition, explaining to the press that Haacke had deliberately pursued Suns that lie beyond art when he tried the introduce an “alien substance” into the “museum organism”. The alien substance of course was Haacke’s focus in social reality Abd by extension social justice, two concerns that surpass the self-interested and frequently internecine conflicts of the art world. Nevertheless, this notorious incident has often been historicised strictly in terms of institutional critique, forgoing the very reason why Haacke’s exhibition was censored in the first place.”