context weblog: [ pr 2002.01.15 ]
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[january issue]:
context series 2002 :: mapping new cultural context

information arts book
by stephen wilson

january 15, 2002

*context weblog <>
announces first issue of context series.

The world emerge as a new territory constantly reconfiguring itself. A discovery journey is needed. At *context weblog we do this journey by processing the flow of information; sampling, mapping and experiencing the new territory, the emerging digital culture. Almost daily we take and publish "samples" in a blog (or weblog) and monthly we take a look to new cartographies, to the digital mapmaking of reality.

The map isn't the territory, as the model isn't reality. The map is a referential structure; inside a coordinate system all can be referenced laying the gridwork for reality. We choose the coordinate system of internet references for our "mapping" activities. The context series section of *context weblog have this mapping function. By spring 2003, we will pack the 2002 context series as a physical exhibition with their book-catalogue offering a wide mapping on emerging culture.

The first series is devoted to Information Arts book by Stephen Wilson, from Leonardo book series published by MIT Press. Is a significant selection. We define the activity of *context weblog, an emerging culture observatory, as "information on art, science, technology and their intersections." The subtitle of Wilson's book is "intersections of art, science and technology."

Information Arts focusing on the revolutionary work of artists and theorists who challenge the separations of art and science initiated in the Renaissance. Can art and science/technology remain segregated in the twenty-first century? This book ask how art, science, and high-tech research can influence each other, and present an astonishing panorama of contemporary aesthetic practices based on mutual influences.

Information Arts aims to be resource in the reexamination of the relationship between research and art. For this reason presents a unique international compendium of research-inspired artists, emerging in the last seven years. Artists working at the frontiers of scientific inquiry and emerging technologies, who incorporate concepts and research from mathematics, the physical sciences, biology, kinetics, telecommunications, and experimental digital systems such as artificial intelligence and ubiquitous computing. The book also provides lists of resources including organizations, publications, conferences, museums, research centers, and web sites.

"As research increases in general cultural importance, it becomes more dangerous to totally rely on market forces," writes Wilson. "For the last twenty years my artistic practice as artist and researcher has included monitoring scientific communication, working as a developer, and being an artist in residence at several think tanks. This years as what I call a shadow researcher have been iluminating. Tracking and undertaking research at a distance, I have learned of intriguing developments that never saw the light of day. I have seen many inventions and emerging technologies killed because marketing departments judged that no money could be made. I have seen entire R&D departments and their years of research blow away by the winds of corporate politics. Government and corporate support for basic research has almost disappeared, and the concern with the bottom line has shortened the payback horizon to the point where few risks are taken. I have encountered debates in the scientific community that devalue approaches that do not fit favored paradygms."

Information Arts is a key contribution to the mapping of art in our contemporary context . Exploring the idea of technoscientific research as cultural acts, the book also reviews the research agendas and future plans of scientists and technologists working at the frontiers. It attempts to identify research areas that promise to be culturally provocative. For people interested in the future of research that will have significant impact on the culture.

>see january issue of *context series :

information arts book
by stephen wilson




> Leonardo book series

The cultural convergence of art, science and technology provides ample opportunity for artist to challenge the very notion of how art is produced and to call into question its subject matter and its function in society. The mission of the Leonardo book series, published by MIT Press <>, is to publish texts by artists, scientists, researchers, and scholars that present innovative discourse on the convergence of art, science and technology. The MIT Press sponsors this first context series.


> context weblog

an online publication of the *context project <>, which aims to appropriate and disseminate the emerging culture as a new 'art de vivre' the planetary civilization that technology is creating. The "zero ground" current situation highlights the need of this kind of public observatory, this research and development project, this innovative publishing model that contribute to be ready for the coming context, for the next cycle; "the tech revolution is about to get rebooted."


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> january 1, 2002
context weblog released

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