anna balint on Fri, 22 Jun 2001 10:01:57 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] FW: commentary on Unsubscribe text

[Once I spent hours enjoying Ben Vautier's work called 'The Postman's
Choice'. It was a postcard with two different addressees on each of its

'Il n'ya plus de centre de l'art.Chaque artiste doit se considérer comme
partie d'un réseau'  Robert Filliou - Eternal Network

Dear Ana, folks, auto replyer,

One of the fantastic aspects of the net is the immediate accesibility to the
sources, works, people. One minute search on the web is enough to
the context of a text, and  find out that the Eternal Network text was
published. One more minute is enough to overcome the impression that mail
art circles were ever closed and kill roots without appropriate
understanding of the context. For people with theoretical interest in
mailing lists, networks, netart  - the net will probably be a minimum
reference and relevance.
Unfortunately I did not find your text in the nettime archives, as it is
very raw and inefficiently organised. Contrary to such net archives, mail
art archives already developed archiving, filtering strategies, and methods
for organise information.
Art and media concerned BBSs, mailing lists owe a lot to the correspondence
networks and movements, even the mailing list technique was developed in
mail art circles, it goes back to the newsletter of Dick Higgins and   the
New York Correspondence School of Ray Johnson. Besides technical aspects, on
the content level even nettime reproduced and interfered with many of the
mail art and fluxus phenomena  - intermedia, collaborative work, the
multiples, the anticopyright movement, much of the netart, media art, visual
poetry, copy art, censorship questions, radio art, sound poetry, fanzines,
video art, computer art, alternative music, alternative galleries, comes
from the correspondence art and fluxus.
When about bulky correspondence art materials, many theories and concepts
cover them very well, correspondence art theories in the first place, but
the library of Borges as well, some notions of  Flusser, the palimpsest (of
Hakim Bay as well), heteroglossic forms of Michael Bakhtin  - his theory of
reverse culture covers your original text as well - hypertext, and so on.
When about transmission of idea, would it be a coincidence that one of the
moderators of the nettime list comes form the American Fluxus circles, the
other from the Advancement for the Illegal Knowledge group, the third close
to the Marshall MacLuhan heritage - of course connected with Fluxus, as
Marshall MacLuhan was first published by Something Else Press?
The concepts, theories, practices and attitudes of the correspondence art
infiltrated not only mailing lists, but contemporary art practices - the
call for artworks and papers for instance, its morality, its rules. The
idea, the illegal knowledge which circulated through postal network on a
global level became much more known and legitimate on a larger scale due to
the net.  Though many things originating in the correspondence art became
more visible, some still wait to be discovered. Topics, methods as well. For
instance correspondence artists adored trash, crab and junk, they very much
explored and recycled it. They very much liked to recycle idea as well.
When about empty places in mailing lists, the squatters logic works, what's
wrong in that? That logic brought up alternative spaces, alternative radios,
alternative tv's, alternative art, alternative idea.  Nokia is  a spammer?
Great!  We found out that they traced the list or they sponsored it? The
Dalai Lama is spamming? Good that somebody reminds me the question of who
the Dalai Lama is! Integer was banned from the syndicate, nettime, rhizome
and infowar list at the same time? First of all we all learn that these
lists were connected. Their moderators control (too much) and they lack
humour - or the time did not come when people accept no censorship, no jury
rules. Her messages are overwhelming? Did we know before  that messages can
mix private and public spheres, did we know so much about private and public
feed-back, did we question content, language, filtering before? Didn't we
learn something about hidden and visible aspects of the email? Did some
mailing lists die out? Finally! New ones come, and maybe we will  find out
what is eternal. It might be anything which breaks everyday routines.
There is already much said about spatiality of the net, many people explore
utopia and atopia, virtual space, spatiality in general. Much less is
discussed the notion of temporality, though some artists, theoreticians
struggle with this concept. At this moment my personal time perceiving is
very much determined by the commercial s/censors of  net-works, as the
Telecomunication Company where I am connected lets me to work in the night
with less costs.  Robert Filliou did not wait the raise of the internet to
formulate his theories, maybe we still need time to properly understand his
notion of time with the help of the new medium. Eternity is a religious
notion? Which concept is not?
bests regards,
Anna Balint

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