Tom Moody
Since 2002
Works in New York, New York United States of America

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Thanks for posting this, Duncan. Seems like we're in a agreement on the main points. Besides a blog, twitter, and dump.fm I also have some fixed content websites. Experience tells me they are not visited anywhere near as much and I use them mainly as archives. That's one reason I date the beginning of "social media art," if such exists, to the advent of dynamic web pages, which I'm calling blogs, that also incorporate discussion features. I believe that expression changes with changes in technology, and we're still puzzling out what changes "social media" have wrought. Two years ago at Rhizome we were discussing surf clubs and the same forces of resistance were claiming they were nothing new. I don't want a timeline, but I do hope Ben Davis reads this thread, some of the earlier discussions here, the threads on Paddy Johnson's blog, and for sure the writing on your blog and Jesse P. Martin's and lalBLOG's before he writes his next essay.

DISCUSSION

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If you are so down with the era of social networking, why retreat back to your self-moderated, one-to-many / broadcast-model blog? Why not stay here and dialogue with me on an old school, unmoderated..."

>>Uh, because I don't like you?

OK gotta go, people are making Tom vs Curt cartoons and I don't want to be part of such a binary. It's deeply humiliating.

DISCUSSION

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Curt, you forget, I addressed you once before, to explain why I don't address you.
Social media begins not with the advent of Facebook (Rhizome's "Blogging and the Arts" panel preceded that) but for sure the advent of blogging. So, yeah, about the turn of the millennium. Here's something I wrote on my, um, blog, slightly tweaked:
You're right that "networked culture" existed prior to Nicolas Bourriaud's "relational aesthetics" of 1998, which Ben Davis used as a marker for the beginning of "social media art." But you overshoot retroactively by redefining "new media" as "social media" and tracing it all the way back to the Eisenhower era. This further muddies the muddle.
Blogging culture has partaken of (or accelerated) "relational" experiments such as live readings of twitter messages or YouTube playlists of MySpace intros but it didn't begin with awareness of Bourriaud (or Beuys, or Breton), it began with the invention of "last first" content management systems that allowed easy creation and updating of web pages, and faster networking between pages by means of comments, trackbacks, etc. The more relevant (or interesting) Bourriaud reference might be the "Post-production" essay and connections between blogging and DJ/remix culture; at least there is a shared origin in new kinds of technologies. I'd probably leave Mr. B out of the discussion altogether, since he apparently doesn't follow online stuff at all.

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Are you seriously saying mail art and EAT are social media? Yes, I guess you are.
That's kind of like saying stage plays were an early form of television.
But keep on spinning the new media history--oh sorry, I guess you're calling it social media now--because you seem to have an appreciative audience for it here in the Rhizome comments.
*rolls eyes*

DISCUSSION

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There was a specific example on the table, of how a Guthrie Lonergan piece was transformed by stages from an expression inside social media into standard museum video art fare, and how that misinterpretation caused incorrect theorizing on the part of a "main stream art writer." It's always more reasonable to talk in terms of generalities and comforting timellnes, though.