Carl Skelton on Thu, 28 Apr 2005 16:59:30 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Hyperpolis: Age of Reason 2.0, May 5 2005

* Have new digital communication technologies made civil society 
obsolete, or enabled its next generation**

* Is it becoming possible to think and communicate rationally through 
audio-visual media** Where*s the party*

Hyperpolis: Age of Reason 2.0 Conference and CelebrationThursday, 
5/5/05, starting 1pm.

Location: Polytechnic University*s Brooklyn campus, in the Dibner 
auditorium, moving on to the new Polytechnic Hall of Fame.

(Subway A, C, E, F to Jay Street-Brorough Hall)

2 interdisciplinary panel sessions in the Dibner auditiorium,*

followed by a D-VJ party in the Polytechnic Hall of Fame.

Registration: $20, $10 for students & adjuncts(complimentary sandwich 
buffet after the panels)

Register online:

Panel 1: To address recent changes in the practical conditions of media 
production and distribution, especially the convergence of broadband 
internet and low-cost production and post-production equipment, and the 
ways in which they alter what we do and can describe by the term *mass 
media*; in particular, the emergence of a whole new class of 
independent media producers, who can (at least in theory) address a 
global audience without mediation by corporate, state, or religious 
organizations. What are the real terms and conditions of media 

Moderator: Harold Sjursen, IGEER (Institute for Global Education and 

Mark Amerika, University of Colorado

Stephen Wright, Coll*ge Sup*rieur de Philosophie, Paris

Bharat Rao, Polytechnic University Department of ManagementBeth 
Coleman, MIT SoundLab Cultural Alchemy Project

Panel 2: To consider a specific cultural potential of the new networks 
and production capacities, namely the possibility of a *global Polis*, 
whose lingua franca is a highly developed synthesis of audio, video, 
and text. Can there be such a thing as rational audio-visual discourse* 
What are its logics* What are its limits**

Moderator: Dominic Pettman, Polytechnic University Brooklyn*

Panelists:Ken Wark, New School UniversityWendy Chun, Brown University

Luke Murphy, MTV NetworksCarl Skelton, Integrated Digital Media 
InstituteThomas McEvilley, School of Visual Arts

Participants in the two panels will be invited to re-convene for a 
round-table discussion, followed by a VJ celebration in the Polytechnic 
Hall of Fame in Wunsch Hall. Live mixing of video, audio, and elements 
of the proceedings will be *performed* on the Hall of Fame*s nine 
screens and five speakers, showcasing Brooklyn Polytechnic*s new 
facilities and its leadership in both concepts and production in* 
digital multimedia.

The after-party A-and-V-mix will be supplied by Nvidius and Anton 
Marini, in the Polytechnic Hall of Fame's new 9-screen multimedia 

See you there.

Co-sponsored and organized by: The Integrated Digital Media 
Instituteand the Othmer Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at 
Polytechnic University, Brooklyn.*

to register online:

Information: Othmer Institute office, (718) 260-3556

Premise: (long version):

By now, it seems to be generally understood that the first "Age of 
Reason" is over. Its passing was noted in 1962 by communications 
theorist Marshall McLuhan, and explained in part by the advent of 
electronic mass media: ubiquitous, immersive, too big and too fast to 
"think through", and utterly determined by the very structure and 
technical conditions of the media themselves: the "tribal drum". Events 
before and since have tended to confirm this analysis, from Munich in 
the 30's to Rwanda in the 90's, and back via Munich in 1972 to New York 
in 2001. Some herald a new Age of Faith, others warn of a new dark age, 
or worse.*

McLuhan associated the age of reason with its founding communication 
technology: mechanically printed books, which could be produced by 
relatively small enterprises and distributed without loss of 
information to a global network of highly educated adults. Electronic 
media, on the other hand, were in 1962 necessarily mass media* a 
one-way dissemination of programs, emanating from a small number of 
very large organizations to a very large number of individual 
receivers, whose participation was limited to *choice*.

Conditions have changed. Thanks to recent developments in technology, 
infrastructure, and marketing, it is becoming at least as practicable 
for individuals and small groups to produce and broadcast audio-visual 
media as it ever was to publish texts. Enough people can now produce 
and distribute media, that a second age of reason based on audio-visual 
communications, rather than pure text, is now becoming practical.

Meanwhile, it is becoming clear that concepts of media literacy as a 
purely critical (rather than analytical-synthetic) cultural asset are 
inadequate. In other words, it makes no more sense to speak of a person 
as media-literate who cannot produce media, than it would to call a 
person literate who can read, but not write.

*Hyperpolis: Age of Reason 2.0* will combine panel discussions 
featuring leaders in the fields of media analysis and creation, as well 
as live demonstrations and indeed celebrations of the potential and 
power of audio-visual technologies as media for reason itself: a whole 
new set of tools for the construction and communication of rational 

We know from experience that the language of cinema is understood by 
more people than English, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin combined. We 
can foresee a time, and conditions, under which that language can serve 
as a Lingua Franca, or Free Language, as Latin and classical Greek in 
their time, IF certain conditions are met.*

The first of these conditions is a recognition that audio-visual 
discourse lends itself to the same level of discipline in thinking, 
once its distinctive grammar is properly and consciously understood, as 
writing ever has.*

The second is another recognition that there is no such thing as 
*read-only* literacy, in any medium: no-one can be considered a citizen 
of any Polis, whether local, national, or global, who does not have the 
power (the right + the ability) to send as well as receive 

The third is a critical mass of desire. We*re almost there, this 
conference is proposed by way of preparation and celebration.*

The technical requirements for an initial phase of development have 
already been met.

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