Janos Sugar on Wed, 26 Nov 1997 09:56:13 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> bulldozer 1/2

In October 97 the Media Research Foundation published BULLDOZER, a  220
pages  anthology of contemporary media theory in Hungarian. (ISSN:
1417-6033). Although the material in the book is also available (readable +
downloadable) for free, in the spirit of anti-copyright, on two sites on
the net (http://www.mrf.hu and in the Hungarian Electronic Library) BULLDOZER
became an immediate hit, and was the 3rd among the bestsellers in October
in one of the most prestigious bookstores in Budapest.

In the following you will find the table of contents, the introduction by
Janos Sugar and the preface by Geert Lovink.

The Media Research Foundation would like to thank all the authors for their
contributions and C3 for its financial support.

We hope we can go further with the bulldozer! further info: mrf@mrf.hu or


        an anthology of mediatheory

edited by: Agnes Ivacs and Janos Sugar
in cooperation with: Diana McCarty, Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz
biographical notes by: Diana McCarty
layout: Balazs Boethy using Heath Buntings graphic


introduction by J. Sugar
preface by G. Lovink
Gilles Delueze - Postscript on the  Societies of Control
Thomas Pynchon - Is it O.K. to be a Luddite?
Tjebbe van Tijen -   Ars Oblivivendi
Bruce Sterling- The Brief History of the Internet
Richard Barbrook - Andy Cameron - Californian Ideology
Manuel De Landa - Markets and Antimarkets
closing debate of MetaForum 3
Felix Stalder  - Financial Networks
Matthew Fuller- Spew- Excess and Moderation on the Networks
Critical Art Ensemble - Net Realities - Utopian Promises

Data Trash an interview with Arthur Kroker  by Geert Lovink
Janos Sugar - Paradigm Shift Interruptus
Pit Schultz  - The Final Content
Geert Lovink - A Push Media Critique
Alexei Shulgin - Art, Power, and Communication
Calin Dan - Journey through a Data Room
David Garcia / Geert Lovink  - ABC of Tactical Media
Miklos Peternak  - In Medias Res - The Man without Interface
Lev Manovich - Digital Reality
Hans-Christian Dany - Schizos Still Wanna Have Fun
Michael Heim - Anxieties
Attila Kotanyi - Is There Any Media Criticism That Isn't Suicidal?
Gabor Bora - AI Service
Alpar Losoncz - Digitalization of Borders
Erik Davis - Technoculture and the Religious Imagination
Peter Lamborn Wilson - Net-Religion - War in Heaven


        by Janos Sugar

The past regime bequeathed a huge void to us. Certain philosophers,
sociologists, and artists got stuck in the riddle of ideological control,
and because of this whole movements, branches of science,  and other
would-be theoretical  directions have stayed away from  fields of general
knowledge and information that have become the basis of contemporary
thought elsewhere. This lack has hardly decreased, in spite of the texts
which  have been translated into Hungarian, and has been transformed into a
lag behind.  For the dedicated researchers, of course, those new
developments of the interdisciplinary approach in media theory were not
unknown, but because of the lack of background knowledge  caused by the
previous era of censorship those new and inspirative ideas could not
generate a larger, deeper  discussion. And as a long term effect of the
former ideological control, nowadays, just the freshest results remain

At the same time that new communicational techniques radically transformed
the world around us, after telephone, radio, and television; the global
network which allows for the contestant exchange of information including
the most mundane of our   daily practices, consciously designed
communication permeates all levels of our life. The appearance of the
personal computer, and the evolving of global network have thoroughly
reworked our way of thinking and our social life. The technology dissolves
the accustomed regularities to such a scale that, paradoxically, the main
subsidizer of development became the potential buyer, and his/her decisions
have come to define the directions of development. Hence the  enormous
significance  of we, the user/developer, thinking about our digital toys,
not just on the level of volunteer and naiv promotion due to novelty, but
we have to see the results of our new tools produced at the end of the
millennium technical boom  in a  broader, social-historical context.

The writings of our volume are derived from two sources. The Media Research
Foundation organized an international conference series called MetaForum in
1994-95-96 (organizers: Geert Lovink, Diana McCarty and Janos Sugar). The
topic of the first conference was interactive multimedia. In Hungary, the
first CD-ROM was produced in 93,  domestic Internet access was limited to
the academic networks. MetaForum 94' was the first public introduction to
the World Wide Web in Hungary, the newly developed multimedia protocol of
the Internet. A year later the speakers of MetaForum II. addressed the
culture of the aggressively expanding net, how it transcends and redefines
the social, political and commercial borders. The theme of the third and
final MetaForum was  content, the notion indicates that besides access, the
most essential element of net culture is what that access leads to. The key
function of the Information technologies is quality information that
attracts  and holds the attention of users equaling hits on a website.
Because of this, the content is the point where commercial aims could be
enforced as well. Since the main characteristic of the net is being beyond
territoriality, popularity isn't necessarily linked to physical access or
to direct possession. In this way the minimal amount of consumers which are
necessary to the profitability of a particular product is added together
from a global public.

The other half of writings of our book came from the Nettime mailing-list.
In the Spring of 1995, following the second meeting of the Medien Zentral
Kommittee (ZK), Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz started the network list,
which became in the enormous oversupply of info production, a success
story.  The approximately 500 readers of the English language Nettime list
receives on a weekly or rather a daily basis from the  other list members,
author's essays, texts, and writings inspired by our medialized
environment. Someone reading, even in a superficial manner, the essays,
interviews, and reports published here, could participate in the highest
level of media theory discourse of the past three years. On the basis of
the growing popularity and impact of Nettime the volumes of ZKP (ZK
Proceedings) compilations from the selected texts of the list came out- in
a rather simple Xerox technique, with small print runs of 1-200.  Those
volumes of theorie direkt are now anxiously guarded collector items. The
ZKP4 published this year on the occasion of the Nettime Spring Meeting
*Beauty and the East* in Ljubljana, a run of ten thousand, and was
distributed  by snail mail, hand carried parcels, media festivals, and
during the hundred days of Hybrid Workspace at Documenta X. of Kassel.

The two sources of our book concur in many ways, the Media Research
Foundation and Nettime are in a close cooperation. The major part of the
participants of MetaForum are themselves listmembers and although the
lectures of the conference series were first published in Hungarian in
Bulldozer,   most of them were already published in English in the ZKPs and
some of them in the fall of 96 in the ZKP3 on the occasion of MetaForum
III. in Budapest.  Until now, NetzKritik , a selection of Nettime texts,
published by the German Edition ID-Archiv Verlag, was the only actual
Nettime  book,  but even now the editorial processes for the Nettime Bible
are underway.

Therefore, we tried to published from both sources the best, the most
inspiring writings, our selection touches the historical, cultural,
philosophical, and economical aspects of the topic. The interdisciplinary
approach of media theory is uniquely suitable so that our new and
referenceless tools are wound around by comprehension and the context of
intelligent use. The venture of Media Research wants to be consciously
heroic, with the presentation of the freshest yield we aimed to produce
just a momentary synchronicity.  Since the interest of our foundation is
not institutional we can afford, with the financial support of C3, the
luxury up to one gesture to forget the painful financial realities and
present without any thriftiness, the maximum amount of fresh texts.
However, we hope that this volume will be followed by further ones.

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