dear marc, jess, susan, simon, secret fluxus and the list i have been reading with a mixture of curiosity and amusement some bitterness and not a little sadness, the various remarks on gatekeeping, who gets 'in' and who gets (left) 'out'. i certainly agree with marc's eloquent last note (below) and would simply add that for all of us who continue to work '24/7' on our philosophical/art/techno/techne, it is inspiring to get to meet, at least via the net, some rather profound thinkers on this subject, even if few or none get a mention at the proverbial 'tate'. in some very real sense, the power games continue; and the old addage 'power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely' seems apt (though perhaps for some of the power brokers it might be rephrased to: 'power corrupts; absolute power seems kinda neat'). but it also seems to be the case -- exactly at the same time as the power-games continue and the tate, in particular builds its base --that the tate itself seems a tad bit 'out of the loop' as does the book which 'documents' the selective memory banks of the (so-called) 'new' media arts crowd (tekkies, designers, scholars, artists, curators, x). at the risk of saying either too much by saying too little or not saying enough(!): one of the attractions (for me) to this field(s) -- one of the reasons i love it -- is that it seems to hold out the promise of a certain kind of anarchy -- one that cannot be easily hijacked (read: mastered) by one organisation or type of institution (galleries/star systems) at the expense of other voices; or at least it cannot be hijacked for too long and certainly not without a fight. i don' think that promise -- a sensuous + pluralised kind of anarchy/art/science -- is either 'empty' or secretly a 'threat' or 'a something x to come' in some future that never gets 'here'. rather: that some very brilliant people have been top-sliced off the list is a political issue, here and now. but it is also a reminder for all of us who may need reminding, that power is toxic (which does not mean one shouldn't go after it or want it; one should just be fully aware of the the level of toxicities and dress accordingly). johnny In a message dated 27/3/04 3:28:30 PM, [log in to unmask] writes: << Firstly, I would like to thank all those who have sent me personal emails (which surprised me, and there are quite a few) regarding this issue. And also, a thank you to Sarah & Simon who both declared honourable text’s that I agreed with on the whole… It seems that many are too afraid to openly declare their own experiences and misgivings on this list because they fear being blacklisted or not included in certain funding or potentially collaborative remits. Isn’t that a sad state of affairs? Secondly, I would like to welcome the sudden (masked) appearance of 'Secret Fluxus' to this list. Hello ‘secret Fluxus’ - you may have managed to place (hopefully not deliberately) Jess in a box that is not appropriate to the discussion needed on here. By inferring that Jess is only interested in her own state of being or personal, nationalist vision or as you say 'special pleading to give British artists a place in the American sun', you have managed to belittle original intentions – if you are seriously progressive then you will not mind who wishes to have their own voice heard. Whether one wishes to change the currently stale ‘new media’ hierarchies as an artist or as a group, there is plenty of room for alternative imaginations to explore such options; seen and acknowledged (or not, as is the case here). So what you are said you are doing is of course admirable... If you really are a secret ‘Fluxus entity’, or belong to a Situationist sect/group – you might possibly (hopefully) be aware or informed that the ‘Temporary Autonomous Zone’, is no longer appropriate. It does not work any more, it merely puts those who refer and expound its relevance in the driving seat, and those who lived it, become consumable curiosities. Fodder left in the vaults of selected historical annuals, categorized as ‘safe = past’ therefore, ineffectual. Rather than taking on the very real and urgent challenges at hand, certain default led individuals and groups would rather just say ah, he or she is just whining. One of the most commonly used weapons, tactics by despotic rulers, or tactically controlling organizations; is to drown out valid concerns, dissent and social disquiet by stigmatizing them as whiners. Dumbing it down to a level that cheapens the original intention itself. Putting it all down to a backward non progressive act of jealousy… In essence these tactics and responses are psychologically reactionary. Such properties are mannerist, whether conscious or not - they do serve to inflict disempowerment and do act to trivialize the disputer’s voice, diverting them and others away from the actual context of what was originally argued or disputed. A patriarchal function (similar to governmental functions) that pulls rank, displacing the upstart in question and literally placing them to the back of the queue called 'shut up listen person'. Thomas Moore said 'All attempts to give a strict form to life, even if they are based in a fantasy of self improvement, participate in Sadeian monastic ideals'. This is the perptually (unconscious probably) repeated action that occurs between situations suchas this. Jean Dubuffet wrote 'What cultured people want, in terms of language (and thought), is to be well-defined, correctly positioned in strictly combined terms, and this is what they call good speech, good thought, and good writing. But they do not realize that they are thereby creating a closed circuit that leaves no room for anything but what was there in the first place---except for the decomposition inherent to all closed circuits, like moss that grows in a hermetically sealed jar.' The psychological relationship between academic intelligence and outsider intellectuals has been a constant battle through history and one that institutions should not be proud of. The stance that many academic individuals use to hide their emotional and intellectual inadequacies is to add clout to their own use of language by imposing the official 'wild card' that they know more because they have gone through the process of induced learning. This failing of coming to terms to the idea, the reality that actually there might be equivalent, relevant ideas and people out there that have not of been processed by the same protocols, is shameful. For this puts in place barriers enhanced via denial, plus the default of the traditional and tiresome dichotomy of, we are right and you are not. 'We are right and you are not' does not even have to be said, for it is assumed. What this means is that the probability for those who have not had institutional support compared to those who have had institutional support, regarding being seen by writers and critics with strong institutional connections, is a vast chasm. For institutional historians for some reason by habit it do not value social change, they seem to value history instead. Thus they do not feel that it as part of their remit to put forward a more democratic vision. A more realistic multi-explorative world. Secret Fluxus - Your secrecy worries me slightly, because you could be either a group of top down instigators and we have no way of knowing that - your acceptance or recognition that something is indeed not working does declare a mutual possibility that I do warm to; yet, declaration of your selves, or yourself can open things up a little in regard to the dynamics of this current argument. Then, I will feel that you are putting your money where your mouth is (excuse the wording here). Getting back to what I view as a misdirected reference yet seemingly relevant statement 'special pleading to give British artists a place in the American sun'. May be it would be more constructive to redirect that statement elsewhere. Surely the Tate needs to stop gloating on American institutions and go wider a field, invite other groups who are not necessarily institutionally supported but are equally effective in their critical and fluid presence and experience in respect of new media (hate that word), digital and networked creativity. Perhaps be more imaginative, playful, and less self-conscious and include a mixture – surely this is more productive rather than supporting the same old names, perpetually building larger walls. It is not about wanting to be part of an institution as many might think. No, many of us have opted out of such things to consciously discover other options instead, forging new territories that are actually very exciting and offer great rewards. There is nothing more stimulating than building something of value that is special, with other like-minded people who are passionately involved in the process, context, inventing, re-inventing new fields and platforms that were not there before for others to enjoy with you. In fact it is beautiful, magical and contextually liberating, and one is continuously reevaluating, relearning, learning new ways to negotiate and communicate. Sharing self- made platforms independently is a respectable thing to do, not a negative thing. And what many of these groups and people are asking is that they should be seen, not ignored. No, of course soft groups such as Furtherfield do not wish to become the same as other more static, bricks and buildings ‘hard groups’, who (obviously) find it less easier to move beyond the remits of traditional constraints. We wish to be working with people who have vision beyond top down led conferences, who actively work together because they believe in what they are doing collectively. Who are genuinely wishing for something better than what is already here – build a new creative world that does not rely on history alone to change our perceptions, we want to change things now, not tomorrow. Those who are not comfortable with such changes will view this sort of talk as scary. Well, we are not asking for a revolution silly, we are asking for an evolution, that’s all – calm down. Do your job and let others be seen… marc >> ****************************************************************************** **************** Professor Johnny Golding (SGolding/johnny de philo) Director of the Programme in Critical Studies, New Media and the Practising Arts **a unique graduate programme interlacing contemporary philosophy new media and the arts through independent research, experimentation and play ** University of Greenwich, Maritime Campus, London, UK a world heritage site of extraordinary elegance dedicated to making research and higher education accessible to all. For more information: http://www.gre.ac.uk/~gs04 and follow the links or t: +44 (0) 20 8331 8948 o: Queen Anne, room 112, Maritime Campus join our Philo/MediArts discussion group/events listings/grants info & etc to subscribe: [log in to unmask] to post a message: [log in to unmask] to unsubscribe: [log in to unmask] Mailing address: Professor J Golding Chair/Prof of Philosophy in the Visual Arts & Communication Technologies Director of the CritMediaArts Programme Dept. of Creative, Critical and Communication Studies School of Humanities, University of Greenwich Maritime Campus, Greenwich London SE10 9LS U.K.