New paper by Michael Dieter, David Gauthier & Marc Tuters - Conversation pieces: On recounting new media art mailinglist cultures
In the field of media art, mailinglists such as nettime, -empyre-, SPECTRE and CRUMB have functioned as important para-institutional formations that have influentially played host to a diverse community of artists, critics, curators, activists and academics since the 1990s. These lists, we suggest, are of particular epistemological and methodological interest for the field of internet history due to their critical and experimental nature. This stems mainly from the cultivation of highly reflexive, at times ambivalent, stance towards the technical, social and aesthetic limits of such networking activity itself. In this sense, they present unique objects of study for exploring what difference computational methods might make for understanding mailinglist cultures over time; what we refer to in this article, drawing on Wolfgang Ernst, as counting and recounting the past. Our aim in this paper is, therefore, to both introduce these lists to the emerging field of internet history and scope out medium-specific methods that take the measure of concepts, discourses, cohorts, and events that have taken place through them over time.