12.0036 creative work in the new media

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 21 May 1998 19:28:31 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 36.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Dieke van Wijnen <Dieke.vanWijnen@wkap.nl> (33)
Subject: creative work in new media

[2] From: Mike Fraser <mike.fraser@computing- (23)
Subject: Re: 12.0030 creative work in the new media

[3] From: Steve Dietz <stevedietz@yproductions.com> (59)
Subject: Re: 12.0032 creative work in the new media

[4] From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca> (46)
Subject: creating machine scholarship

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 09:54:46 +0100
From: Dieke van Wijnen <Dieke.vanWijnen@wkap.nl>
Subject: creative work in new media

Dear Willard,
I find your remarks regarding creative work in the new
media very interesting indeed. As you may know, our journal
Computers and the Humanities revised its scope statement
some time ago to include a larger range of contributions
from the humanities community, including research
applications relevant to the creation and use not only of
digital TEXTS/DATABASES - but also of images, sound, video
and mixed-media. We'd be delighted to receive contributions
of serious research coming from the digital art community,
as well as those doing research in such applications for
art history, performing arts and music. Last year, I
invited someone from the electronic art community to submit
a proposal for an issue on digital art and, although we
have not heard back from him, we are still interested.

Ms. drs. Dieke van Wijnen
Commissioning Editor
Humanities and Social Sciences Department
Kluwer Aacdemic Puboishers
3300 AA Dordrecht, the Netherlands
Email: Dieke.vanWijnen@wkap.nl
Tel 31+ 78 6392 264
Fax 31+ 78 6392 254

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 10:31:48 +0100 (BST)
From: Mike Fraser <mike.fraser@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 12.0030 creative work in the new media

An enjoyable article is:

Smith, Barry, "Live Art's digital horizons: recording recent developments
in Live Art practices." Literary and Linguistic Computing 12:4 (1997):
251-57. [Plenty of further references; see also the Live Art archive at

Further resources and so on can be found via

* the CTI Centre for Art and Design <http://www.bton.ac.uk/ctiad/>

* the ADAM (Art, Design, Architecture and Media) Gateway

* FACT:The Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (commissioning body
for electronic media art in Britain) <http://www.fact.co.uk/>.

Continuing the British theme, this year's IESA (Inter-Society for the
Electronic Arts) conference is to take place in Liverpool, 2-7 September
1998. View '...invisible cities...' and everything else via

Dr Michael Fraser Email: mike.fraser@oucs.ox.ac.uk
Manager, CTI Textual Studies Fax: +44 1865 273 275
Humanities Computing Unit, OUCS Tel: +44 1865 283 282
University of Oxford
13 Banbury Road http://info.ox.ac.uk/ctitext/
Oxford OX2 6NN

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 07:17:28 -0600
From: Steve Dietz <stevedietz@yproductions.com>
Subject: Re: 12.0032 creative work in the new media

Another source for the work of net artists and commentary about it is
the exhibition I curated for the Museums and the Web conference, "Beyond
Interface: net art and Art on the Net"
(http://www.archimuse.com/mw98/beyondinterface). I specifically make the
argument that one way to think about the work of these 24 artists is as
explorers (research?) of new possibilities for the medium.


Steve Dietz               || Director of New Media Initiatives
YProductions              || Walker Art Center
24680 Smithtown Rd.	      || Vineland Place
Shorewood, MN 55331       || Minneapolis, MN 55403
sd@yproductions.com       || 612 375-7686

--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 08:57:17 -0400 (EDT) From: Francois Lachance <lachance@chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: creating machine scholarship


You have recently lifted a fibre from a posting to spin a thread concerning the similarities that may exist between the creative arts and scholarship in the emerging age of digital media. This action -- what I like to call using the telling detail to magnify the picture -- is itself facilitated by digital media. As you have pointed out and said on numerous occasions, the digital media offer artefacts both easily reproducible and malleable.

What is considered an artefact can vary. A tradable commodity, an electronic edition or a database of cultural records, for example, fit very well with a view of digitalization that, whether celebrating or deploring, proclaims the democratization of means of production. A view of digitalization focused upon distribution networks provides a glimpse of artefacts less tractable as commodities and more easily apprehended as public utilities. In short, if your electronic bursts of energy as well as mine can be modified, forwarded, bounced, deleted or stored, so too can the addresses of the senders and receivers, the translators and transducers of these propelled and halted bursts. Salons and discussion lists mutate as much as the messages exchanged within their precincts.

Groups and institutions are a special set of artefacts. They govern and regulate the social organisation of work, scholarly and creative. Certain artefacts act as switches influencing the flows of who does what when. The figure of the group-as-machine is rarely stated overtly in the discourse on governance of organisational theory except in those silly extended comparisons between the workings of computers and human society that forget to mention the sources of power and eternally loop input and output in some perpetual motion. Creative and scholarly (digital) workers know machines can die! It is perhaps our humble task to repeatedly remind ourselves and others of the mutability in the distribution of the skills for making the artefacts that drive digital machines.

Shuttling some warp into your woof and admiring your skill at weaving groups of respondants,

Francois plugs scifi touching upon how machines may make promises at <http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~lachance/sd/sd0003.htm>

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