KATERINA D. on Tue, 5 Jun 2001 11:57:42 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> From the archives: David Hudson's Beauty and the East report (May 1997)

I was wondering if anyone could help me on Group Dynamics bibliographical
suggestions, offline or online. Other theories explaining group processes
and the formation of groups would be extremely useful, as well.
Thank you,
katerina d.p.

----- Original Message -----
From: "geert lovink" <geert@xs4all.nl>
To: <nettime-l@bbs.thing.net>
Sent: Δευτέρα, 4 Ιουνίου 2001 2:20 πμ
Subject: <nettime> From the archives: David Hudson's Beauty and the East
report (May 1997)

> From: "David Hudson" <dwh@snafu.de>
> Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 11:08 PM
> The article below, a report of the nettime meeting The Beauty and the East
> in Ljubljana, May 1997, was written for Spiegel Online and published in
> German. The English original never made it to David Hudson's
> as David originally intended. Here it is, enjoy. Geert & David
> ---
> [The following article originally ran in German last week at <A
> HREF="http://www.spiegel.de/">SPIEGEL ONLINE</A> under the title "<A
> HREF="http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/themen/hudson.html">Alptraum
> Wunscherfüllung</A>"... something like, "the nightmare of having your
> granted." Many thanks to Lorenz Lorenz-Meyer for his editorial polishing
> translation which nudged the quality of the piece a notch above the
> original below.]
> It's got to be a very unique Internet mailing list that can call a meeting
> in the tiny capital of Slovenia and have 120 of its approximately 400
> subscribers show up. All day and all night Wednesday, May 21, they
> in, singularly and in small groups from New York and Moscow, Riga and Bari
> and points in between, made their way to the K4 Club tucked into one of
> narrow streets in the center of Ljubljana, checked in and collected
> information packets, name tags, city guides and all the other trappings of
> major conference.
> Among the many differences between the <A
> HREF=http://www.desk.nl/~nettime">nettime</A> spring meeting, "<A
> HREF="http://www.ljudmila.org/nettime">Beauty and the East</A>", and, say,
> February's <A
> & Politics</A> extravaganza in Munich: more than a few nettime
> had little or no idea where they'd be sleeping, nearly all the events
> started late and ran overtime, there was a vague weekend camping trip
> atmosphere to the whole affair, and there was to be no press.
> "You're covering this for Spiegel Online?!" Pit Schultz, co-moderator of
> nettime, in a completely uncharacteristic display of alarm came running
> to me after Friday night's performance by <A
> HREF="http://mailer.fsu.edu/~sbarnes/">Critical Art Ensemble</A>. He
> reminded me of the "no advertising" policy he and fellow moderator Geert
> Lovink had established when the list was begun after an informal meeting
> the Venice Biennale in 1995. But after a few moments and even fewer words,
> it was clear that events had long since overtaken the policy. Nettime is
> the map.
> What began as a means of "text filtering", that is, a simple way of
> essays and documents around among like minds, many of them found on the
> has since become a forum in which similar texts are now originally
> published. The list has taken off the way it has (it's currently expanding
> at the rate of around ten new subscribers a week) because of a combination
> of factors. With subscribers from around the world, these texts almost
> to be in English, meaning not only those subscribing to the views
> in the texts, but the targets of the texts as well can access them. The
> resulting conflict has done more for the list's profile than any
> ever could have, but we'll get to that.
> Nettime sets out to be a forum of "net critique", or as Schultz says in an
> <A HREF="http://www.factory.org/nettime/archive/0101.html">interview</A>
> with Pauline Broekmann of Mute, "There is the chance that new media
> channels to redirect the flow of power. That's what nettime is made for.
> experimental place for (re)mixes... Never perfect and always 'in
> but not explicit, not descriptive but performative, and pragmatic."
> Another of Schultz' favorite adjectives for nettime, dropped again in
> Ljubljana, is "immanent", implying a somewhat Deleuzian recognition and
> perhaps even celebration of the complexity of any given moment or point(s)
> of view. As opposed to the U.S. American affinity for "transcendent"
> narratives, this stance is seeped in Europe and postmodernism. Nettime
> the former tag proudly but shrinks from the latter. But despite Lovink's
> professed preference for 19th century anarchy over 20th French academics
> despite Schultz' claim that he can pick up Derrida, read for a while and
> it back down having gained little of use, neither have grown up on the
> continent throughout the eighties and nineties completely untainted by the
> predominant ideas of their milieu.
> Like the vinyl disks selected by a savvy DJ, the texts plucked from the
> when nettime began set the tone for what followed, a deconstruction of
> narratives that had already taken kinetic form about the new medium.
> Certainly among the grandest was the one put forward by <A
> HREF="http://www.wired.com/wired">Wired</A> magazine. Neatly summed up
> the word "cyberlibertarianism", Wired's story is one in which the "digital
> revolution" wipes away economic scarcity and pesky governments and unites
> all as nodes in a single global "hive mind" where we'll all live happily
> ever after.
> The critiques of this vision published on nettime quickly earned the list
> reputation as a sort of European anti-Wired. The equation had a certain
> to it. On the one hand, there was this down and dirty, black and white
> ASCII-based many-to-many exchange going on, and on the other, this glitzy,
> award-winning, Absolut vodka ad-laden visual assault of a U.S. magazine
> its Netrepreneur coverboys and steamroller exclusivity.
> And then there was geography. When all 60K of Richard Barbrook and Andy
> Cameron's "<A HREF="http://www.wmin.ac.uk/media/HRC/ci/calif.html">The
> Californian Ideology</A>", billed on the Ljubljana program as "one of
> nettime['s] greatest hits", went out over the list, the title alone struck
> chord that only further solidified the juxtaposition. More recently,
> novelist, nettime subscriber and occasional contributor Bruce Sterling
> feeding nettime texts into a topic on the legendary ultra-Californian
> conferencing system <A HREF="http://www.well.com">The Well</A> called
> Leftists Sniping at Wired" where the likes of Wired executive editor Kevin
> Kelly and HotWired editor Chip Bayers could snipe back.
> It's been a strange couple of months recently for nettime, reminiscent of
> Oscar Wilde's nightmare scenario in which you get exactly what you wish
> There's no way anyone on nettime can claim he or she is a lone voice in
> wilderness. When Howard Rheingold was asked on his <A
> HREF="http://www.minds.com">Electric Minds</A> about resources for
> technology criticism, he named three, and nettime was one.
> There was a palpable notion in Ljubljana that it was time to move on. The
> "cyberlibertarianism" meme had long since peaked, was waning, and a far
> potent strain of a greedy virus was eating away at hope for realizing the
> potential of new media. It bore buzznames such as "neoliberalism",
> "pan-capitalism" and "globalization" and its most active battlefield is
> was quickly dubbed in Ljubljana as "the Ex-East". The unspoken straw being
> grasped at throughout Friday, the day devoted specifically to media
> and the formerly socialist Soviet satellites, was the ever elusive "third
> way" countries such as the DDR were never given a chance to concretize,
> less pursue.
> As net.artists, journalists, theorists and media activists gathered in the
> large upper room of the <A HREF="http://www.ljudmila.org/">Ljubljana
> Media Lab</A>, essentially a handsomely renovated manor outfitted with
> computers sharing a 9600 baud feed, a microphone was passed around so that
> "blitzlectures" of a few minutes a piece could be delivered and then
> discussed. There were very few moments of friction between representatives
> of so diverse a crowd; it was generally agreed that big media (the Web,
> television, etc.), big corporations and big money were worthy targets of
> guerrilla-like rerouting small media (such as, well, mailing lists like
> nettime) are capable of. The bearded sage-like presence of Peter Lamborn
> Wilson, aka Hakim Bey, most well-known for his writings on the concept of
> the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ), leaning back into the tattered sofa
> the center of the room provided a certain consistent ambience throughout
> proceedings.
> The meeting was certainly well-documented. At one point, three video
> were rolling and every word was captured on tape for future Net radio
> broadcasts. After hours of being blitzlectured, nettimers retired each
> evening to the K4 Club for beer and dancing to the vinyl spun by DJs
> arranged for the event. Again, as with just about any other conference,
> conversations went on in groups of two and three, business cards and email
> addresses were exchanged and plans for future gatherings were tentatively
> sketched out.
> Despite the profuse criticism of non-governmental organizations (NGO's)
> George Soros in particular, despite the moving testimony of several
> nettimers in the "Ex-East" regarding practical struggles with outmoded
> technologies (too few phone lines, too narrow bandwidth) and bureaucracies
> (too few streams permitted by the Latvian authorities for Riga Radio's
> RealAudio broadcasts, for example), little was offered in the way of
> solutions other than using the Net as a <A
> HREF="http://www.factory.org/nettime/archive/0533.html">tactical
> That is, as an agile form of resisting the powers that be whoever and
> wherever they be at any given time.
> This spirit of resistance without a specific goal to strive for was made
> manifest in a post to the list by the major players after the bulk of the
> meeting's participants had made their way home. Dubbed "<A
> HREF="http://www.factory.org/nettime/archive/0586.html">The Piran Nettime
> Manifesto</A>" after the Slovenian coastal town where Lovink, Schultz et
> decompressed after a severe week, the document, declaring "Information
> and denouncing pan-capitalism to the point of demanding reparations, was
> clearly meant to provoke others to ponder solid answers to the questions
> raised in Ljubljana. As New York editor Ted Byfield <A
> HREF="http://www.factory.org/nettime/archive/0596.html">wrote</A>, "This
> 'manifesto' doesn't especially summarize anything that I saw or heard in
> Ljubljana -- not any decisions, and certainly none of the debates."
> But instead of wrapping up the spring meeting in a neat summary, happy
> ending and all, the intent of the manifesto may well be to spark further
> dialogue, to probe further for answers to the questions raised in
> After all, you have to be careful what you wish for.
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