nettime's_roving_reporter on Thu, 28 Oct 1999 18:26:15 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The Rise of Dot-Communism

[Yes, the end of history is rapidly coming closer. Less than two months
after the cybercommunism manifesto, the arch-enemies and mouthpieces of the
Californian Ideology, J.P. Barlow and Wired, declare unconditional
surrender and hail the rise of cybercommunism, though they still don't get
the terminology right and call it stupidly "dot-communism." But these are
details, already for the dustbin of history! We can all go to sleep now,
Disney is taking care of us.],1284,31922-1,00.html

The Rise of Dot-Communism

by Theta Pavis

3:00 a.m. 25.Oct.99.PDT

CAMDEN, Maine -- The dawn of popular culture is just beginning, John Perry
Barlow said in a speech at the annual Camden Technology Conference over the
weekend. And it's the Internet that has made it possible.

Barlow, vice chairman of the Electronic Freedom Foundation, argued that
because the media sells an audience's attention to advertisers, society has
been fed something that looked like pop culture but really wasn't.

"The people did not create this culture. This culture was created by power.
Now, people can manifest their culture and send it anywhere," he said. On
the Web, truth will have a bigger megaphone than money and "dotcommunism"
will win out.

"The Internet gives all a voice, but maybe not direction," said Alan Kay,
vice president for research and development at the Walt Disney Company. "It
is extreme democratization, but we need to find a way to criticize these
voices. We have to understand now what the benefit or disaster of these new
technologies will be."

The Pop!Tech conference on popular culture in the digital age was also
notable for some of the things it lacked. Several speakers mentioned MP3s,
for example, but nobody discussed the format in depth. And only snippets of
pop and alternative music were played.

"I was like, where are the young people?" said Erika Dalya Muhammad, who
spoke on a panel about identity and is completing a PhD at New York
University on what she calls "cut-and-mix culture," including digital film,
contemporary and cyborg art, and music.

The young, urban artists Muhammad studies are devouring mass culture to do
"digital combat against mental colonization." Her hope, she said, is that
technology will allow some disenfranchised youth to learn their history and
"map their own identity instead of having it mapped for them."


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