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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10002/897

Title: Mailing lists are dead, long live mailing lists! — periodising discourses, debates and infrastructures of nettime, empyre, spectre and crumb
Authors: Gauthier, David
Tuters, Marc
Dieter, Michael
Keywords: mailing list
discursive infrastructures
historiographies
nettime
empyre
spectre
crumb
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: While contemporary social media have been critiqued for their ephemeral effects on media arts, curatorial practices, and activist politics, the mailing list has proven an enduring venue for geographically dispersed communities and individuals to participate and remain in dialog over the course of decades. Lists such as nettime, empyre, spectre and crumb have played host to a community of artists, critics, curators, activists, and academics, helping to launch or establish the careers of numerous prominent figures in related fields. In spite of their historical significance, however, the currency of these mailing lists (and mailing lists in general) seems to have substantially diminished over the last decade with the advent of corporate social media. Based on empirical studies we conducted on these lists, this paper argues that nettime, empyre, spectre and crumb, as well as mailing lists as discursive infrastructure, although being understudied, are objects worthy of inquiry and of particular interest for the field of media art history. In the paper, we present our analysis of these lists’ respective archives, which span almost two decades, periodising the discourses, cohorts, and events that have taken place on these lists with the aim of contributing original historiographical research into debates and issues in contemporary media art. Methodologically, the study addresses questions of how to write mailing lists historiographies, and argues that, from the perspective of the future, legacy systems, such as open crawlable mailing lists (GNU Mailman, Pipermail, Listserv, MHonArc, etc.), may retrospectively provide a more lasting historical record of digital culture than today's all enveloping corporate-guarded social media.
Description: Biographies: David Gauthier David Gauthier is a research fellow of the Netherlands Institute of Cultural Analysis (NICA) at the University of Amsterdam. He has conducted artistic and academic research in various institutions, notably the Banff New Media Institute, Hexagram Institute for Research-Creation, MIT Media Lab, and the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA). His current research explores how can the advent of technological errors reveal about the various regimes of legibility / illegibility of modern techno-scientific equipment. http://www.uva.nl/profiel/g/a/d.gauthier/d.gauthier.html http://gauthiier.info Marc Tuters Marc Tuters is Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam. He has previously worked as an artist and researcher in various organizations including Concordia University, the University of Southern California, Annenberg Centre, the Banff Centre, National University of Singapore, and the Waseda University. He is credited with having developed the concept of "locative media.” Tuters holds a PhD in New Media from the University of Amsterdam, and his current research focuses on the theoretical concepts and cultural techniques related to contemporary notions of ‘awareness’. http://www.uva.nl/profiel/t/u/m.d.tuters/m.d.tuters.html Michael Dieter Michael Dieter is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM), University of Warwick. Prior joining CIM, he worked at the University of Amsterdam and the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana, Germany. Dieter holds a PhD in Culture and Communication from the University of Melbourne on media arts practice and theory. His current research focuses on publishing practices after digitisation, cultural techniques in interface and user-experience design, and genealogies of media at the intersection of aesthetic and political thought. http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/cim/people/academic/Michael-dieter
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10002/897
Appears in Collections:1. Re:Trace Conference - Keynotes, Papers & Posters

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