[NetBehaviour] Not Now James, We're Busy

Mark Hancock mark.r.hancock at gmail.com
Sun Apr 22 14:16:35 CEST 2012

Good post Rob, a nice precise of the project and as ever, bringing something to light I had no idea about.


On 21 Apr 2012, at 16:08, Rob Myers wrote:

> http://robmyers.org/weblog/2012/04/21/not-now-james-were-busy/
> This post does not include the phrase "frantic academic clopping".
> James Bridle's "Where The F**k Was I?" (2011) is a book containing 202 
> maps depicting his movements over the previous year. The maps were 
> produced using OpenStreetMap (2004) to plot the secret location database 
> that iPhones (2007) had been discovered to be keeping (April 2011). It 
> is printed as a hardback book using Lulu (2002), although images from it 
> can be seen on flickr (2004).
> In writing about this project, Bridle reflects on the impact of 
> discovering that he was being spied on and takes this as a leaping off 
> point for wider and deeper reflection on the nature of memory and of the 
> mediation of experience by technology. In doing so he discusses 
> contemporary art, contemporary literature, and contemporary 
> cybercultural theory.
> I would like to make two points about this project.
> The first is that it would have been impractical before 2007, and 
> unnecessary before 2011. I appreciate that in the 1990s JODI were 
> multi-billion-dollar companies profiting from pervasive digital devices 
> and logistics that meant the virtual tail of the 
> military-industrial-fashion complex was wagging the actual dog of 
> society in ways that were bleeding through into everyday experience, but 
> I think we all have to admit that they didn't have a Tumblr (2007).
> The second is that the project is a serious and literate consideration 
> of personal experience as shaped by our present situation that uses 
> aesthetics not due to Theoretic inarticulacy but precisely to 
> communicate the full impact of its subject effectively.
> I am arguing that Bridle's project of The New Aesthetic (TNA) is indeed 
> considering both the new and the aesthetic, and that both these aspects 
> of it are critically valuable and cannot be reduced to historical or 
> textual surrogates.
> My favourite responses to TNA so far have been:
> David Berry critiquing Object Oriented Philosophical approaches to TNA 
> and providing three different ways of considering it that come from 
> within cyberculture -
> http://stunlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/what-is-new-aesthetic.html
> Saul Albert providing some very useful historical comparisons to net.art -
> https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A2=ind1204&L=new-media-curating&F=&S=&P=18212
> And Honor Harger pointing out the gap between the straw man of TNA that 
> many people are attacking and what it actually is -
> https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A2=ind1204&L=new-media-curating&F=&S=&P=20818
> - Rob.
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