Thanks to Craig Saper, and Welcome Anna Munster
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Timothy Conway Murray
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:13 am    Post subject: Thanks to Craig Saper, and Welcome Anna Munster

----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
Thanks ever so much Craig for your final instruction on Rhizomatic time,
in which net time always seems to travel in the future perfect of the new
instruction as the repetition of what (might) has been. We appreciate
your opening the our September discussion, "Through the NET: Net Art Then
and Now."

Our featured guest for this week, Anna Munster (AU), is someone with whom
I've dialogued then and now. Anna and I first met in Sydney when we
shared our interests in the baroque and new media art a few years before
Melinda Rackham founded -empyre-. Anna has long been a supporter and
interlocutor on -empyre- and remains at the University of New South Wales,
where we first met, and which still generously provides -empyre- with
server space and software.

Anna Munster is a artist, writer, educator and an associate professor in
art and design, University of New South Wales. She is the author of An
Aesthesia of Networks <> (MIT
Press 2013) and Materializing New Media
<> (Dartmouth University Press, 2006).
Both of these examine aspects of artists engagements with networks and
digital culture. Anna is also an artist, regularly collaborating with
Michele Barker She has worked most recently on the installations evasion
(2014), and HokusPokus
(2011) using soundscapes, interaction and installation design to explore
both human and nonhuman movement and perception. She regularly contributes
to journals, writing on art, media, politics and culture and is a founding
member of the online peer-reviewed journal The Fibreculture Journal
<>. Her co-edited anthology, Immediations:
art, media, event, with Erin Manning and Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen will
be published with Open Humanities Press in 2017.

Renate and I are very pleased to welcome Anna back to -empyre- and we look
forward to benefiting from her discursive leadership this week.


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Anna Munster
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:23 pm    Post subject: Thanks to Craig Saper, and Welcome Anna Munster

Thanks Tim, lovely to ‘netter’ with you all once more on empyre…I am also being 'held-up' by the moderating software due to it only wanting plain text! That is very 1990s!!! So sorry for the lag....

It would/will/is easy for this topic to spiral into nostalgia. I hope to prevent myself from easily slipping in to the ‘then’. And Craig’s last post reminded me that there are many ‘thens’….

Hence I’ve decided to choose 3 trajectories that pulsed in the ‘90s and continue to pulse now through 'net-art’ as it continues, returns to, or refuses preoccupations with these 3 across the ‘then’ and ‘now’:

finance, feminism, futurity
…..not what we necessarily associate with net art, indeed! And yet, many of us will easily find resonances across the last 25 or so years with these.

Let’s start with finance:
Then: Heath Bunting ‘Own, Be Owned, or Remain Invisible’, 1998:

Classically this work is understood as addressing the commercialisation of the net. But I’d also like to see it as portentous of not simply commercialisation of a space somehow deemed ‘noncommercial’ prior to the 1990s (or at least prior to the WWW circa 1994). I’d like to see this as really prescient offinalncialisation as a capture of the forces of networking. How?
a) It’s use of the hyperlink to connect almost every word back to a ‘' domain arrived almost in the middle of the 1995–2001 (approximately) rise and collapse of the internet and tech stocks bubble. I’d suggest that this work was timely not because it evidenced commercialisation but because it enacts - over time - the ascension and fall of ‘dot-com’ domains that precisely marked the beginning of speculative networked financialisation as we know it today
b) In its use of the hyperlink - which trades words for dot coms – it reveals the beginnings of the ways in which ‘clicks’ start to form transactions and begin to function as online currency. (see this great article for an early insight in to the hyperlink as net currency: 'Links and Power: The Political Economy of Linking on the Web', Jill Walker, 2002: So Heath's work was prescient of the whole online economy of ‘click-throughs’.

Now: I invite you to suggest a more contemporary (when is ‘now' now??) net art work that might sit alongside Heath’s work as a continuation - conjunctive or disjunctive – of a critical intervention in to the networked financialisation.

cheers Anna
Anna Munster
Associate Professor,
Faculty of Art and Design
P.O Box 259
NSW 2021

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