january 15, 2002
*context weblog <http://straddle3.net/context/>
announces first issue of context series.
The world emerge as a new territory constantly reconfiguring itself.
A discovery journey is needed. At *context weblog we do this journey
by processing the flow of information; sampling, mapping and experiencing
the new territory, the emerging digital culture. Almost daily we
take and publish "samples" in a blog (or weblog) and monthly we
take a look to new cartographies, to the digital mapmaking of reality.
The map isn't the territory, as the model isn't reality. The map
is a referential structure; inside a coordinate system all can be
referenced laying the gridwork for reality. We choose the coordinate
system of internet references for our "mapping" activities. The
context series section of *context weblog have this mapping function.
By spring 2003, we will pack the 2002 context series as a physical
exhibition with their book-catalogue offering a wide mapping on
The first series is devoted to Information Arts book by Stephen
Wilson, from Leonardo book series published by MIT Press. Is a significant
selection. We define the activity of *context weblog, an emerging
culture observatory, as "information on art, science, technology
and their intersections." The subtitle of Wilson's book is "intersections
of art, science and technology."
Information Arts focusing on the revolutionary work of artists
and theorists who challenge the separations of art and science initiated
in the Renaissance. Can art and science/technology remain segregated
in the twenty-first century? This book ask how art, science, and
high-tech research can influence each other, and present an astonishing
panorama of contemporary aesthetic practices based on mutual influences.
Information Arts aims to be resource in the reexamination of the
relationship between research and art. For this reason presents
a unique international compendium of research-inspired artists,
emerging in the last seven years. Artists working at the frontiers
of scientific inquiry and emerging technologies, who incorporate
concepts and research from mathematics, the physical sciences, biology,
kinetics, telecommunications, and experimental digital systems such
as artificial intelligence and ubiquitous computing. The book also
provides lists of resources including organizations, publications,
conferences, museums, research centers, and web sites.
"As research increases in general cultural importance, it becomes
more dangerous to totally rely on market forces," writes Wilson.
"For the last twenty years my artistic practice as artist and researcher
has included monitoring scientific communication, working as a developer,
and being an artist in residence at several think tanks. This years
as what I call a shadow researcher have been iluminating. Tracking
and undertaking research at a distance, I have learned of intriguing
developments that never saw the light of day. I have seen many inventions
and emerging technologies killed because marketing departments judged
that no money could be made. I have seen entire R&D departments
and their years of research blow away by the winds of corporate
politics. Government and corporate support for basic research has
almost disappeared, and the concern with the bottom line has shortened
the payback horizon to the point where few risks are taken. I have
encountered debates in the scientific community that devalue approaches
that do not fit favored paradygms."
Information Arts is a key contribution to the mapping of art in
our contemporary context . Exploring the idea of technoscientific
research as cultural acts, the book also reviews the research agendas
and future plans of scientists and technologists working at the
frontiers. It attempts to identify research areas that promise to
be culturally provocative. For people interested in the future of
research that will have significant impact on the culture.