“To speak about the performative in relation to art is not about defining a new class of artworks. Rather, it involves outlining a specific level of the production of meaning that basically exists in every artwork, although it is not always consciously shaped or dealt with, namely, its reality-producing dimension. In this sense, a specific methodological orientation goes along with the performative, creating a different perspective on what produces meaning in an artwork. What the notion of the performative brings into perspective is the contingent and elusive realm of impact and effect that art brings about both situationally—that is, in a given spatial and discursive context—and relationally, that is, in relation to a viewer or a public. It recognizes the productive, reality-producing dimension of artworks and brings them into the discourse. Consequently we can ask: What kind of situation does an artwork produce? How does it situate its viewers? What kind of values, conventions, ideologies, and meanings are inscribed into this situation?”
“The goal of critical scholarship and artistic and scientific practices is to make media unstable. To turn not to solving problems, but to imagining new worlds exceeding the demands of war and consumption that kill signification, experience, and time itself.”
“Play does not only include the logics of the game – it also includes the values of the player. Her politics. Her body. Her social being. Play is a part of her expression, guided through rules, but still free, productive, creative. Without the openness of play, the player cannot express or explore their ethics, their politics. The player may be guided by reason, by the instrument of play, but that does not guarantee, as the fall of modernity and the critique of Enlightenment have shown, that rationality is enough to express politics or ethics.”
“A Pepsi commercial on MTV promoting the 1998 MTV music video awards emphasized the fact that the video of the year award would be selected by the viewers through Internet and phone calls live during the show; the commercial dramatized “the power of choice” and reminded us that “you are in charge of your destiny,” equating the ability to vote for an MTV music video award with personal and social power. In such fashion, the interactive spectacle attempts to seduce viewers into playing its game and equates virtual participation with empowerment and destiny.”
“All the snapping and posting of photos, liking, commenting, linking, and clicking is happening without any compensation for this sweat. No wonder Zukerberg’s personal net worth is 34 billion. Youtube is saturated with videos of young people — many in their teens — testing out their skills at contributing to the world, offering tutorials in bow-tie tying, make-up tips, computer application reviews, movie reviews and many, many software tutorials focused on anything from Final Cut Pro to InDesign — high end and complicated applications, which they’ve clearly mastered. The beneficiaries of all of this generous labour are not only those whose lives are made slightly more easy, but, even more so, the companies who create the products that these kids are all helping us to use. The demand on Adobe from customers struggling to sort out Final Cut is much less because of the unpaid labour of young people.”
“Although designers continue to dream of “transparency” – technologies that just do their job without making their presence felt – both creators and audiences actually like technologies with “personality.” A personality is something with which you can have a relationship. Which is why people return to pencils, violins, and the same three guitar chords.”
This Friday, Geoff Long and I will run a collaborative storytelling workshop during Cyberpunk: Past and Future, a special event at USC Visions & Voices co-curated by professors Henry Jenkins, Scott Fisher, and Howard Rodman. Later, we’ll be publishing some of the material created by our participants (a stellar group including seminal cyberpunk figures Rudy Rucker, Nalo Hopkinson, and Bruce Sterling) as a special “Cyberpunk 2.0 Story Sparks Kit.” Stay tuned — and please join us if you can!
The literary and cultural movement known as cyberpunk began in the early 1980s when a confluence of speculative-fiction writers remapped and reinvigorated their genre—and much more. Inspired by a rapidly changing present—the beginnings of the World Wide Web; the proliferation of man/machine interfaces; the global spread of Japanese culture—these writers integrated technology, politics, literature and cultural theory to create a genre that not only predicted the future but also helped shape it.
A day-long event will bring together seminal figures of the cyberpunk movement, including Rudy Rucker (the Ware Tetralogy), Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber) and Bruce Sterling (Bicycle Repairman, Taklamakan, Mirrorshades), along with figures from the worlds of film, music, technology, architecture and cultural theory, to discuss the cultural moment cyberpunk incited.
The afternoon will be devoted to “Cyberpunk 2.0”: small-group world-building and storytelling sessions in which USC students can collaborate with cyberpunk’s founding figures. Teams will [construct] a story and decide on a means of presenting that story to the conference participants. Led by Jeff Watson (School of Cinematic Arts) and Geoff Long (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism). Participants will include the morning’s panelists, plus Stacey Robinson (Black Kirby Project). (USC Visions & Voices)
Additional information and background, courtesy Henry Jenkins, here.