It is artists-as much as museums or the market-who, in their very efforts to
escape the institution of art, have driven its expansion. With each attempt
to evade the limits of institutional determination, to embrace an outside, to
redefine art or reintegrate it into everyday life, to reach "everyday" people
and work in the "real" world, we expand our frame and bring more of the
world into it. But we never escape it.
Of course, that frame has also been transformed in the process. The
question is how? Discussions of that transformation have tended to revolve
around oppositions like inside and outside, public and private, elitism and
populism. But when these arguments are used to assign political value
to substantive conditions, they often fail to account for the underlying
distributions of power that are reproduced even as conditions change,
and they thus end up serving to legitimate that reproduction. To give the
most obvious example, the enormous expansion of museum audiences,
celebrated under the banner of populism, has proceeded hand in hand
with the continuous rise of entrance fees, excluding more and more lowerincome
visitors, and the creation of new forms of elite participation with
increasingly differentiated hierarchies of membership, viewings, and galas,
the exclusivity of which is broadly advertised in fashion magazines and
society pages. Far from becoming less elitist, ever-more-popular museums
have become vehicles for the mass-marketing of elite tastes and practices
that, while perhaps less rarified in terms of the aesthetic competencies
they demand, are ever more rarified economically as prices rise. All of
which also increases the demand for the products and services of art
`The “abstract machine” is Deleuze and Guattari’s term for the sum of all machines—in their terminology, this includes the body, society, language, interpretation: like the rhizome it stands both for the sum and its parts. So the network too is one of these abstract machines: a mainframe, a terminal, a laptop, a wireless LAN, a string of satellites. And us too, living inside the machine, a part of the network.
That notional space.
The interface thus trains the user into a specific performance. When interfacing with any technology, users subtly and often subconsciously modulate their own behaviours based on the response obtained — which gestures are understood, which hashtags gain traction, which photos become promoted. Users learn what is understood and what is ignored with any particular system; they adapt their practices to make them technically legible; and they refine their strategies based on the results obtained. This iterative cycle of reorientation for maximum recognition is what Tarleton Gillespie calls “turning to face these algorithms” (2014: 184). In a world in which interfaces driven by algorithmic logic increasingly mediate our everyday, this skill becomes critical. From facilitating friendships (Facebook) to getting hired (LinkedIn), massaging your credit score (RevolutionCredit) or maintaining your rating (Uber, Airbnb), the ability to sense what an interface “wants,” and adjust accordingly is key.
"In contrast, as a post-communist subject, I cannot but see Internet as a communal apartment of Stalin era: no privacy, everybody spies on everybody else, always present line for common areas such as the toilet or the kitchen. Or I can think of it as a giant garbage site for the information society, with everybody dumping their used products of intellectual labor and nobody cleaning up. "
Galloway stressed (2008: 947) that existing theories of the interface that only understood it as a palimpsest “can only ever reveal that the interface is a reprocessing of something that came before.” As he alludes, the interface is not simplya set of inscriptions written onto a static object, nor just a fossilized configuration of past practices brought together into a particular media form. Rather, the interface is better understood as a generative performance taking place in the present, a performance intersecting with elements outside its original remit: culture and capital, gender and history. In other words, an interface does not just register the conditions of its own production, but also actively reinscribes them back into the world in specific ways: reinforcing a relationship to the commodity, formalizing a feminine-technical understanding, supporting a particular sexual subjectivity. In connecting, bridging and mediating, the interface is simultaneously shaping. If the interface is a fertile nexus, it is one that is both lively and can affect our lives. Alexa poses an important and ongoing question about what forms that nexus should take.
(from previous link)
Much of how games have been theorized is based on the idea of the separation of the game from life. And this separation has to do with the rules of the game and the means of producing and policing the game space. The interface similarly operates according to a separation that produces another state. In a game, one voluntarily assumes the limitations imposed by a set of rules in order to be incorporated within game play. This sense of freedom within already given constraints is very much like the experience of using an interface. Given this, it’s not surprising that the history of interfaces has been intertwined with that of games.
Apple’s first constitutional claim is that the court order violates the company’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech. According to Apple, the order compels “speech” because complying would require the company to write software code (tweaks to the iOS operating system) that the company would rather not write.
This type of compelled speech argument stems from a seminal 1943 Supreme Court case about Jehovah’s Witnesses who objected to forced recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. As the court then explained, “No official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” The connection to the iPhone case may seem hazy, but courts have lately been treating corporations like religious objectors, even in the narrow context of stock market disclosure laws. An amicus brief from industry giants including Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft summarizes the compelled speech theory here: “The government seeks to force Apple and its engineers to write software — that is, to engage in protected speech — against their will.”
As a wise man once put it: ‘Who said “the customer is always right?” The seller – never anyone but the seller.’ When companies stoke our impulse to connect and harvest the resulting data, we’re not surprised. When the same companies are treated as public utilities, working side-by-side with governments to connect us – that’s when we should be surprised, or at least wary. Until now, the choice to use Gmail or Facebook has felt like just that: a choice. But the point when choice becomes compulsion can be a hard one to spot.
When you need to have a credit card to buy a coffee or use an app to file a complaint, we hardly notice. But when a smartphone is essential for migrant workers, or when filling out the census requires going online, we’ve turned a corner. With the US Census set to go online in 2020 and questions about how all that data will be collected, stored and analysed still up in the air, we might be closer to that corner than we thought.
When the web belonged to amateurs it belonged to the people. You knew that behind this page and email address was a person you could contact with a question, admiration or an insult. And people did.
In time the feedback elements on private sites became more modest but they haven't disappeared. They're still present. What has been lost is the custom of sending feedback.
There are many reasons for this but primarily it relates to the above mentioned professionalization and automation of being online and the transition to more sophisticated forms of interaction and communication: filling in, ordering, updating, repeating passwords, contacting support, tracking, informing [email protected] then proceeding to the check out.
It might sound paradoxical, but by encouraging the user to “feel at home” services create more distance between the users and themselves. Simplistic, silly graphics, senseless gadgets, customized pages with virtual puppies and kittens of the day heaped together with CNN news and bites of wisdom from Oprah – all of that subtly serves to show the user his proper place.
I guess Blingee is a good move towards Facebook’s myspacisation. They will soon incorporate funny cursors, lake applets, background sound and the rest of the vernacular repertoire.
I can be wrong. Maybe right at this moment conscious upper class users are caning the Facebook admins with angry demands to remove this inappropriate application from their “clean” pages. But then, I don’t know how are they going to spend their time on this service. As a communication platform Facebook is mega boring. Since it’s impossible to create there profiles like this, there is hardly a reason to give them your data.