Finally found time to add some brief thoughts to the list.
I would like to say that think the proposed format for transmediale is a
really useful intervention and a challenge to other festivals and
competitions... and an overt statement that categories and definitions are
unreliable, contingent and temporary - at best strategic. In the context of
the latest iteration of transmediale and the removal of categories, my
concern at the time was that the removal of the 'software' category would
lose the critical impetus that had been established over the years. The
point was really whether this was the right time to remove it. The category
(like festivals and awards too) is, and was useful, only for strategic
purposes but the time will come, or has come, when it loses its usefulness,
or is recuperated. (There was some brief discussion of this at the recent
'readme' conference in denmark...) Other categories such as interaction were
probably well past their sell-by date.
And stating the obvious perhaps: It has been well established that 'New
Media' is a particularly problematic phrase in this respect in that 'media'
is hardly an adequate term to describe the practices that involve
computation, and 'new' is often ahistorical ('when old media were new' and
so on). Perhaps this emphasises that practice should necessarily come first.
The orthodoxy appears to be to establish historical analogies with emergent
practices. This seems useful but often too loosely applied - like Manovich's
'language of new media' reduced to cinema. These again are at best strategic
it seems to me.
- who was involved in the jury for the software art award at transmediale
- who has tried, and failed, (with others) to put together a subjective and
playful classification for life-like software at http://www.vivaria.net/
based on Darwin's taxonomy of species.
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> in order to kick off, i am attaching the text of the call for
> proposals that we wrote for the new format of the award competition
> of transmediale. it received mostly positive feedback when we did a
> trial round, and we look forward to a more in-depth discussion of the
> issues involved, over the coming weeks here on the crumb list.