[NetBehaviour] Links

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Fri May 11 14:02:22 CEST 2012


On Fri, 11 May 2012 08:12:05 +0100, ruth catlow wrote:
> Thanks Rob,
>
> I agree. Well worth the read. An illuminating article after all the
> "clopping" ; )
>
> Though even in this account the machines are imbued with agency and
> autonomy - strangely disconnected from natural and (human) political 
> and
> economic forces that drive technological developments.

Manuel de Landa aside, Charlesworth describes:

"...this fantasy of machine agency that seems to lurk in the New 
Aesthetic’s enthusiasm..."

the machines do move, he writes:

"...but only because humans have deployed them to do so..."

Crucially:

"The New Aesthetics is a demand-side aesthetics. It doesn’t matter who 
transmits, only what is received. Say Sterling:

‘Valorizing machine-generated imagery is like valorizing the 
unconscious mind. Like Surrealist imagery, it is cool, weird, 
provocative, suggestive, otherworldly, but it is also impoverished.’

It may seem impoverished, but without a more robust concept of the 
creative, initiating human subject, it is also an accurate reflection of 
the current condition."

This is politically and philosophically damning, but not for TNA: for 
its chosen subjects.

The TNA tumblr was *visual rhetoric*. It very successfully demonstrated 
the quantitatively distinct current historical moment of pervasive 
digital distortion of the real. To ask it to do something else is to ask 
it to be less successful at what it did. And if it had been less 
successful at what it did, we wouldn't all be arguing about it. We 
cannot exhaustively replace new pictures with old texts.

The messenger is now so filled with lead that we could use him as a 
pencil. So let's write.

- Rob.




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