Responding to the two questions below (which I missed in the early stages of this discussion):
During the 1990's some of the lists already mentioned in this discussion were very important for connecting people who were geographically dispersed but connected in terms of their ideas and intentions. The lists served as environments where the similarities and differences in what people were doing could be explored and relationships thus established. Whilst some used the lists for creative practice (Alan Sondheim, Mez, Vuk Cosic, Heath Bunting and Alexei Shulgin all did this) others saw them as primarily social media - a means for establishing professional and personal relationships. A small number used them to primarily promote themselves or denigrate others (there were some spectacular flame wars). In short - these lists were very human places... and along with a previously established network of media arts festivals and related events were, to my knowledge, the primary means by which a community of artists was formed and sustained.
Have these lists generated new ways of understanding art? I'm not sure if they have generally - but for me specifically I have to answer in the positive. Some of the activity and behaviour that was facilitated on some of these lists pointed to a way of understanding creativity in a way less focused on the individual as source of invention and more on the collective. Reflecting on this, over time, led to developing an apprehension of creativity as not something emergent from individual agency but an intrinsically collective process - even when creative work is conventionally ascribed to an individual.
I wrote about this in relation to the work of Mez, Abad & Tisselli. The text can be found here:
Penny Travlou developed this theme further at the outset of the ELMCIP project in the text found here:
Whilst both these texts draw on the work of anthropologists like Ingold and Leach they wouldn't have been written without the direct experience accrued, over a period of two decades prior to their being written, on a number of the listervs that have been mentioned in our discussions.
On 5 Oct 2013, at 18:05, Johannes Birringer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> one of the questions or implicit questions that Charlotte Frost asked (regarding rhizome but also other earlier maillists)
> . Did the list(s) take on a distinct role in the media arts community and if so,
> how would one describe that role?
> · How have discussion lists changed the way we generate art knowledge?
> Johannes Birringer
[log in to unmask]
http://www.littlepig.org.uk @SimonBiggsUK http://amazon.com/author/simonbiggs
[log in to unmask] Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/ http://www.elmcip.net/ http://www.movingtargets.org.uk/ http://designinaction.com/
MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php