307 Articles

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Sex in the Age of Media 


The most important issue concerning the representation of sexuality in the media is, whether human dignity is being honored or not. Respect has many forms and those forms have many layers, and really there is no one else but ourselves to be the judge of the way we are being treated. Yet when and where basic human rights are not granted, the feeling of being deeply rooted in one's dignity (if not entirely unimaginable) is but a dream. This world is certainly not the best of all worlds and there is always a battle to be fought and battles will have to be fought again and again. Some so mean and savage that they can only be fought by those prepared to go till the end.

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    Data Trash: The Theory of the Virtual Class 

    Arthur Kroker, Canadian media theorist and is the author of 'ThePossessed Individual', 'Spasm' and 'Hacking the Future'. Over the pastyears he, together with Marilouise Kroker, were often in Europe andmade appearances at Virtual Futures, V-2, Eldorado/Antwerpen, etc.Recently, they have also been discovered in German-speaking countries.Both are noted for their somewhat compact jargon, which made theirmessage appear to drown somewhat in overcomplex code. But "DataTrash"`(1994) changed all that. The long treck through the squashydiscourses had not been in vain. Firmly rooted in European philosophy,yet not submerged, Arthur Kroker has found his topic: the virtual class.

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    Grundrisse einer Netzkritik 

    1. Toward a European Standard Code for Critical Interchange (ESCCI)

    Bezeichnen wir das Internet einfach einmal als 'Kind der Moderne', soist das klassische Genre der Kritik sicherlich ein Teil davon. Im nochandauernden Zeitalter des multikulturellen Massenkonformismus, vollerMikropraxis und Ich-Management, ist die Kunst der Kritik jedoch inVergessenheit geraten. Die hiesigen Kommentare zielen nur noch aufKorrektur von Verhaltensweisen ab. Die Meinungsmacher/innen haben allesAngebotene laengst hinter sich, sie sehen das Ganze wirklichdifferenziert, aus sicherem Abstand. Die glueckliche Tatsache, man seieben nicht engagiert, wird als persoenliche Errungenschaft gefeiert.Solche talking heads ohne Eigenschaften sind aber nutzlos in Zeitenrascher Entwicklungen, sowie das beim Wachstum der Computernetze imMoment der Fall ist.

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    INFOBAHN BLUES 

    Since American Vice-President Al Gore made his famous speech in California a couple of years ago, it has become impossible to scan any news medium without finding at least one reference to the "Information Superhighway". The Information Superhighway metaphor - specially tailored for Mr. Gore's California audience - is so brilliantly simplistic it seems to have blown the mind of every media editor in the Western Hemisphere. With an Information Superhighway you just plug in your modem and roll your data out onto the ramp and into the dataflow where it zips along the freeway until it hits the appropriate off-ramp. Finding data is the same - it's all nice straight data-lanes with on and off ramps and well-banked curves.

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      The Disappearance of Public Space on the Net 

      The Internet was started in the 1970's by the U.S. Defense Departmentas a communications tool and is now being bought out by I.B.M., M.C.I.and other megaCorporations. April, 1995 marked the closing of theNational Science Foundation's part of the internet, and signaled thebeginning of the end of the publicly funded computer networkinfrastructure.

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      Postscript on the Societies of Control 

      1. Historical

      Foucault located the disciplinary societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; they reach their height at the outset of the twentieth. They initiate the organization of vast spaces of enclosure. The individual never ceases passing from one closed environment to another, each having its own laws: first the family; then the school ("you are no longer in your family"); then the barracks ("you are no longer at school"); then the factory; from time to time the hospital; possibly the prison, the preeminent instance of the enclosed environment. It's the prison that serves as the analogical model: at the sight of some laborers, the heroine of Rossellini's Europa '51 could exclaim, "I thought I was seeing convicts."

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