Delocations / Reflexive Responses

"Delocations 1: Digital History" was a working group, initiated by the Rotterdam Visual Arts Center, which investigated the relationship between words and images in digital media and the function of language in critical approaches to media history, visualization, and contemporary theories of representation. This presentation took place at DEAF96.

18
 
Sep 1996
 
19:30 to 21:30

"Delocations 1: Digital History" is a working group, initiated by the Rotterdam Visual Arts Center, which investigates the relationship between words and images in digital media and the function of language in critical approaches to media history, visualization, and contemporary theories of representation.

The first part of the program includes a lecture by media theorist Timothy Druckrey (USA) and a presentation by artist-designer Mike Quee (NL) and by the project's organizer, Cornée Jacobs (NL). In the second part, entitled "Reflexive Responses" and chaired by Timothy Druckrey, the wider context of Delocations will be tackled in a panel discussion on the development of a critical discourse about art and media on the Internet.

Despite its potentials for the multi-mediatic presentation of information and cultural contents, the Internet is still used for verbal discourse much more than for visual imagery. Even visual artist who employ the Net as the site of their artistic practice often place an emphasis on words, a situation which urgently raises the question of the quality of visual presentations on the Internet. Taking up this problem, the working group Delocations 1: Digital History investigates the relationship between words and images in digital media and will lead to the production of a CD ROM and a WWW site. It assesses the function of language in the development of critical approaches to media history, visualization, and contemporary theories of representation in a hypertextual environment. The first part of the program consists of a lecture by media theorist Timothy Druckrey and a presentation of the Delocations project by artist-designer Mike Quee and Cornée Jacobs, organizer of the project for the Rotterdam Center for the Arts. In the second part, the wider context of the project will be tackled in a panel discussion about this and other projects and strategies aimed at the development of a critical discourse about art and media on the Internet.

 

Delocations1: Digital History (1996) from V2_ on Vimeo.

On-line criticism, often a cross between chat-room and rant and yet an increasingly important tool for the development of the contemporary discourse about digital media, must face some crucial issues of history and judgment. The urgent issues of organizing and distributing the contributions to this discourse are unequivocally linked with those of content and thematic scope. Though appropriately built on the premise of user-participation and access, the lists, web projects, e-journals, et cetera, belonging to this genre are often scattered, irregularly updated, and seemingly disorganized.

Amid an avalanche of threats and innovations which on-line editors are facing, the necessities of reflection are sometimes jettisoned in favor of well-meaning knee-jerk reactions. Yet, it becomes ever more important to think about the ramifications of distributed information in a historical perspective and in forms that are both dynamic and considered. Reflexive Responses attempts to confront and incite an approach to web criticism across a range of topics and will discuss networked discourse as a fundamental issue of the political, intellectual and theoretical consequences of network ideology which today present themselves on an international scale.

The objectives of the discussion are: to account for the shifting histories of technology in terms of its relationship with cultural theory and experience; to integrate social and aesthetic issues into the discourse of technology; to develop initiatives for the support of independent production, distribution and creative projects.

Drawing on several models (Nettime, Telepolis, MediaFilter, Rhizome, t0, Reflex, Delocations and others), the panel will focus on the challenge to traditional publishing and on strategies of net-discourse that avoid the pitfalls of pop criticism or zealous euphoria in favor of reasoned and reflective responses. Panelists will outline strategies and experiences in providing critical content and will offer proposals for the development of theoretical models for continuing this work.


Nederlands / Dutch text

Het Internet is potentieel geschikt voor het op multimediale wijze presenteren van informatie en cultuur, maar wordt nog steeds voornamelijk gebruikt voor verbale discussies, meer dan voor visuele verbeelding. Zelfs visuele kunstenaars die het Net gebruiken als locatie voor hun artistieke uitingen leggen nog veel nadruk op tekst en deze situatie roept de dringende vraag op hoe het is gesteld met de kwaliteit van visuele presentaties op het Internet. De werkgroep 'Delocations 1: Digital History' pakt deze vraag op en onderzoekt de relatie tussen woord en beeld in de digitale media, hetgeen zal uitmonden in de produktie van een CD-ROM en een Website. Er zal aandacht worden besteed aan de functie van taal bij de ontwikkeling van kritische benaderingen van de media-historie, aan visualisering, en aan hedendaagse theorie. En over representatie in hypertekstuele omgevingen.

Het eerste deel van het programma bestaat uit een lezing van media-theoreticus Timothy Druckrey en een presentatie van het project 'Delocations' van kunstenaar-ontwerper Mike Quee en Cornée Jacobs, die het project organiseert voor het Rotterdams Kunstcentrum. In het tweede deel wordt de bredere context van het project besproken tijdens een paneldiscussie over dit en andere projecten en over strategie'n die zich richten op de ontwikkeling van een kritisch debat over kunst en media op het Internet.

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