[TISEA1992] Internet Project: CULTURES IN CYBERSPACE

Curator Statement

What is culture in cyberspace? In Australia, Canada, the US and parts of Europe, some artists have gained access to computer networks and are using them to make and distribute art. Those working in a Euro-American artistic tradition often experiment with conferencing software to create works that evolve from a process of participatory, interactive communication. Native American artists in the US have developed online graphic share-art, which represents their distinct cultural identity, and feeds their traditional (offline) communities. In many 3rd world countries where poverty is high, and computers and phone lines are rare, networking projects are generally operated by non-governmental organisations or educational institutions, and tend to focus on economic or social development, not cultural preservation or participation.

How will cybercultures evolve? Is it important for cultural participation in cyberspace? And if so, how can and is equitable access made available to all cultural groups? What will happen to cultural groups that remain offline? Will cultural groups that do access cyberspace lose their distinct identities through a process of interaction? And if so, is such an occurrence cultural evolution or homogenisation —something to explore or something to avoid at all costs? What is the role of cybercultural activity in cyberspace itself; what is its role in the ofline culture that initiated it?
As a virtual panel, Cultures in Cyberspace will be conducted as an open panel within a number of computer network communities, ranging from internationally distributed networks, to local BBS. Participants will include cultural workers as well as cyberspace citizens who are interested in the issue. TISEA participants are invited to contribute to the panel discussion, direct from its TISEA site.