Re: telematics

Sandi Kurtz (
Tue, 4 Mar 1997 16:30:11 -0800 (PST)

On Mon, 3 Mar 1997, Scott deLahunta wrote:

> 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?
> Regards,
> Scott
> ----------------------------------|
> 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
> email:
These are a couple of juicy topics.

First off, I really can't agree that there is no audience on the
Internet. I've read this post -- I am automatically your audience.
Perhaps what you are considering is the difference between a performance
audience and a reading audience. I subscribe to a dance series here in
Seattle -- I go to a place at a specific time, sit in a particular place,
surrounded by other people who have ag reed to the same limitations.
Unless I fall asleep or engage in really powerful daydreaming, I see/hear
a very similar event as the others in the same room, at the same time.
(interestingly, much of this is organized by other people -- someone else
sets the dates of the perforamcnes, someone else assigns me a seat)

I also subscribe to several magazines (to take the discussion out of the
electronic range). Although they are mailed to the subscribers at the
same time (or pretty close, depnding on the magazine!) the vagaries of
the post office make it difficult to know if I get them at the same time
as anyone else. I chose when and where (not to mention if) I read them. I
may or may not ever meet anyone else who reads them (and I certainly
don't sit down with other subscribers to read them!). I may come back to
something several times or I may skip big parts. I may find a reference
to an article many years old and find it in a library. This is a much
more highly dispersed activity, and yet I (and all the other readers) are
a part of that audience -- have shared an experience. As I wander around
the web at night (after my 3 year old goes to bed) I am an audience member.

This may not be the direction your comments were heading (and indeed many
people have written about the phenomenon of the audience in far more
depth than this) -- if that's so, my apologies.

sandi kurtz