Re: telematics

Scott deLahunta (
Mon, 03 Mar 1997 22:07:23 +0100

This is a brief response to Johannes... and I think it's worth noting that
we are a small readership at this point -- as noted in Scott's last email
regarding the subscriber list. No big deal, except that virtual communities
(such as discussion lists) exist in a strange imaginary zone where one sort
of expects or imagines that one's postings are 'public' in the sense that
there is an unknown number of readers. I usually imagine this number to be
about 100 or more on most specialist lists. But what if the number is only
10 or 15 ?? Hmmm...

At any rate, in response to Johannes' post:

At 05:01 PM 3/2/97 -0600, you wrote:
>I'd be interested in asking Scott and others who have done this,
>what the concept or the objective behind such temporary links (via Internet)
>are, how other collaborators or audiences enter (arrive/depart) into a work
>that is not necessarily developed together and explored over time, but
>functions as a technological hook up in the sense of a live broadcast.

For me, it's important to recoginize that there are two things going on in
telematics. Firstly, there is the attempt to recreate all of the
functionality (active communication modes) of 'real life' in virtual space.
Secondly, there are the solutions we come up with in lieu of these real life
communication modes. What I wonder about is mixing the two? For those of us
who have experimented on project realization in virtual space when we are
limited to the internet technologies available can attest to a remarkable
degree of functionality which can be discovered/stumbled across via
experimentation and strong goal orientation. It just takes LONGER... which
is SUCH a paradox given the myth of 'speed' which surrounds us.

Anyway, so these are a few thoughts on working together via synchronous
internet connections... which pertains specifically to collaborators.
Johannes also mentions audiences -- which, in my opinion, opens up a
completely different kettle of fish. In fact, I'm not sure if 'audience' is
any longer possible on the net. Audience has been a contested zone in real
life now for a few decades as the arts have undergone radical changes in the
last 50 years -- so I actually wonder whether or not such an entity really
can exist on the net. I would like to propose that audience can't exist on
the net -- that, whereas in real life audience is only be 'threatened' by
the fragmentation of coherent cultures, audience disappears forever on the
net -- as radical redefinitions of culture prevail online. Question: what
happens to 'spectacle' on the net?


Scott deLahunta and Susan Rethorst
Writing Research Associates, NL
Sarphatipark 26-3, 1072 PB Amsterdam, NL
tel: +31 (0)20 662 1736
fax: +31 (0)20 470 1558