<videovortex> Fwd: [iDC] Introduction: The Internet as Playground and Factory

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Wed Jun 10 10:00:32 CEST 2009

Begin forwarded message:

> From: john smith <arttorrents at gmail.com>
> Date: 9 June 2009 11:44:03 PM
> To: idc at mailman.thing.net
> Subject: Re: [iDC] Introduction: The Internet as Playground and  
> Factory
> Hey
> I'm a new reader of this list as well and wanted to give a short  
> introduction to what i work on as well(English is not my first  
> language, i hope it's readable).
> Between December 2006 and September 2008 i ran a blog called Art  
> Torrents, which was and still is a synergetic bridge between  
> KaraGarga.net, the largest torrent based archive, indexing material  
> which could be labeled 'the negative shape of Hollywood(arthouse,  
> videoart, experimental cinema, etc.) and then Google. The blog had  
> several functions. One was to invite people to KaraGarga, who had  
> use of and interest in some of the same material as i had, being  
> mainly video art from the 60's to now. I have since 2006 received  
> 4000 mails from which i have invited app. 1500 people from all over  
> the world, students from every field and every place, professors  
> from Asia, Africa and other non-western locations, with no access to  
> the university archives in the west, which most of the new material  
> which has come through me, stems from, artists(some sharing own  
> work) - also from a wide range of locations, curators, historians,  
> researchers and so forth. One thing was important while going  
> through the mails: the ones who in some way said they planned to use  
> the material they found in a social situation, in its widest sense(i  
> might at some point have invited a lonely Inuit at some point, now  
> sitting in his igloo watching Godard or something having no one to  
> share it with), were chosen before the others, as i myself have  
> moved from a somewhat romantic view of the internet as a place where  
> new experiences can be gained to a view of the internet/the browser  
> as a tool, to move data from one computer to another, and then into  
> a social situation, where the material again is activated,  
> actualized, made important; taken from the highspeed space being our  
> browser into a more slow social space where our minds can relax and  
> more often drop below the surface.
> In the future, everything which can be digitized will always all  
> ready be there, which moves the task from creating the archive to  
> the new task, which of course all ready is actual; making the binary  
> masses important again, getting it off the internet, into a space,  
> into our dialogue, away from the browser, from the place our  
> computer is situated - often a desk and a chair, which literally  
> makes everything flat, the body is put out of control, deactivated  
> so as to make peace for our eyes, to scan over our computers and  
> take everything in visually.
> Because of the decentralized structure of KaraGarga, the archive is  
> everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It has no physical  
> appearance, at least not one anyone except a very small group of  
> people have access to and therefore it lies somewhere in between the  
> daily lifes of the sites users, the institutions they attend every  
> day, the cinema they go to at night and so forth: it is what Stoffel  
> Debuysere at some point on his blog referred to as an informal  
> archive opposed to the formal ones which we find at fx. Berkeley and  
> places like that - a line which of course isn't clearly drawn,  
> meaning that KaraGarga, as a surface, a picture of how history also  
> can be written, of course at some point, if it isn't taken down, may  
> become an established institution in itself, a formal archive.
> Other than that i have since 2007 helped out at UbuWeb, an archive  
> focusing on poetry/visual poetry, avantgarde, art, etc., run by  
> Kenneth Goldsmith, a new york based poet.
> On a more general level, I am interested in the internet because of  
> it's similarities with books and publications, as a thing, which is  
> nothing else than what is asserted in a given context - meaning, at  
> every site, in every book, every discourse, aesthetic language, can  
> or can not be activated, by the one engaging with it opposed to the  
> physical institutions which, when stepping through their doors,  
> accepts certain ways of behaving while excluding others, the  
> internet can as you can in a book fx., establish a hybrid  
> institution, drawing on whatever language, visual as linguistic, as  
> it want's to all the time affirming, that it exists in a place where  
> it can be activated as well as it maybe wont be.
> All the best
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