n.e.w.s. is a collective online platform for the analysis and development of art-related activity, drawing upon contributions from around the globe, bringing together different voices, accents and outlooks from the North, East, West and South. | Read more..

Audience questions

Audience joins the discussions.

Jasmine Stevens (Australia): We can't see the blogs, is it because they are moderated. Are some of the curators logged on and if so, can we see their responses and comments? Why can't we see it. Renee explains the interface. Rich: maybe we should have told you that in the beginning, so you could log into.

Kathleen (Los Angeles). Background in contemporary Asian art, Chinese in particular. Excited about the potential to transcend. What about translation? Renee: The platform supports this but the question is about who? Who will translate and will they be compensated? Rich: This is free for borrowing as a model. So other groups that might find aspect/modules useful, then they can be made in particular languages.

+ Prayas (India) - What about the expansion of curators? For example, I am involved with Art India.
- The initial discussion was that existing curators would invite another, but that doesn't necessarily be how it plays out.
+ Prayas - It's text intensive. Is there other capabilities, such as media?
- Curators- There are links to videos, books, etc. This will probably expand. You will be rickrolled if you delve deep.
+ Prayas: Needs articulation for forum topics.

Cyberspace (Italy): First of all thanks. Simple question, about the acronym n.e.w.s., remember where I first saw this. Singapore artist who used this acronym in a Haiku (Weng: yeah, so she might sue us).


Lin hsin has used the term

Lin hsin has used the term n.e.w.s. before in a Haiku poem...


contributors, any questions?

please ask now, thanks for being online!


Is it possible?

On the International conference for New Media in PAN (Naples) I heard an interesting topic about Microsoft initiative – they wanted to provide a special equipment and software for most of countries in Africa, for supporting people, who are AID’s infected, so they can test their health condition. It was a huge and important contract, but finally it was not realized. Just it was not electricity in the most places… My question is to all contributors: what do you think, how can we talk about equality, or diversity, or have any ethical discussions, if the half of the world just have not electricity/internet/English language possibilities/etc/? I mean not only Africa, our Tajik artists, for example, have electricity 2 hours a day after the Civil War, most of the people on Post-soviet territory doesn’t speak any language except Russian or their native exotic language. Some of the artists in Kazakhstan, for example have not Internet and they even do not know how to use computer… Is it possible to be contemporary artist without computing, Internet searching, English and electricity? What do you think?


an artist who cannot speak english is no artist -- stilinovic

Do you know the work by Zagreb conceptualist Mladen Stilinovic, "An artist who cannot speak English is no artist"? It had a critical edge when he did it in the 90s, but it has become something of a tautology now in worldart circles. Pristina-based artist Jakup Ferri made that point when he took up the title in a video he made of himself speaking jibberish, using English words but with random syntax.
Russian conceptualism was never restricted to Moscow alone, but it's hard to imagine someone moving their way up in the reputational economy of worldart without any knowledge of English. Fortunately, there are countless other plausible artworlds that they could be part of.


With reference to the basic

With reference to the basic question of technological and infrastructural access to this new-media 'global inclusivity' that n.e.w.s. is implictly (or explicitly?) trying to foster... well, I can't answer the full question.

But it makes me think of the largely egalitarian ideals of critical media and new media practice, which though inheriting its central ideological principles of openness and access from FLOSS, often remains fixed rather unimaginatively on many of the same technologies and languages (spoken and programming) only available in certain privileged contexts.

It's one of the reasons I'm so interested in Mumbai-based (pace Rich) critical media practitioners Ashok Sukumaran and Shaina Anand who are very critical of this, and have been much more locally-specific in their media idealism. If eurocentric new media initiatives evangelise over public access to and control of the internet, presuming that we all have laptops, Sukumaran and Anand's initiative CAMP and their earlier practices have looked at localised electricity and cable TV networks as the far more relevant 'open access' media that are currently being 'enclosed' by corporate interests in India. By comparison to laptop-enabled technologies and languages, these media are cheap, localised, accesible, analogue, yet in the Indian, and many other contexts, are easily the more relevant media to configure within the typical new media debates.

It's also a general concern that the curator Anna Colin and I tried to see addressed in the third of the four phases of the seminar for our project Disclosures, though I think in retrospect it remained very eurocentric.

How this works for n.e.w.s. remains pretty unresolved, I think. In many contexts a project like n.e.w.s. would be far more relevant as a radio project, for example.