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1.2

Light Heavy Weight Curating — o l g a g o r i un o va see images on pages 120 – 121

1 Jane Bennett (2010) Vibrant Matter: The Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press. 2 Ibid.

The virtual of the 1980s and early 1990s ceased to exist. The immersive caves of Ars Electronica, augmented reality of Karlsruhe, drug-like trips into the virtual worlds of early 3D films and the cyborg personae of the early World Wide Web gave way to the degustation of the materiality of the computational medium. It is an accounting for vibrancy, the ‘thingly power’ and ‘recalcitrance of materials’ that is now dominant in a new-materialist ontology.1 Not only does such materialism grant agency to non-human things, endowing them, following Spinoza, with a capacity for affective interference,2 but humans are necessarily becoming things themselves, acting in an assemblage with things of various power, kind and sort. Such material entanglements can also be almost entirely computational. The new discussion of virtual worlds is based on computational materialism. The stuff of which the world is made now includes Facebook buttons and requests to accept agreements of all kinds as well as protocols and bots communicating with each other without curtseying to the ordinary human thing. No longer is the virtual the dream, psycho-space, escape, or merely a thought; thoughts and creative ideas are now bulky furniture to handle. The heaviness of the material turn is inscribed into the computational: hyperstimulation, corporate control, an overflow of mass-produced material, big data, massive scale, and software undercoating, in which the users are illiterate but creative (or not, or both). The new heaviness might feel light, overpowering, and panic inducing. The novel lightness is about staying afloat or, rather, remaining operational at whatever depth is required.

Speculative Scenarios — Edited by Annet Dekker  

There is a growing understanding of the use of technological tools for dissemination or mediation in the museum, but artistic experiences th...

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