[ISEA2011] Panel: Steve Rush­ton – Self-per­form­ing in the Feed­back Loop

Panel Statement

Panel: Sniff, Scrape, Crawl: Part 2

This talk will argue that me­dia-ac­tivist ini­tia­tives from the late 1960s and early 70s (such as Ant Farm and Rad­i­cal Soft­ware) share more in com­mon with today’s so­cial net­work­ing sites and re­al­ity TV shows than one might first sup­pose. I will in­ves­ti­gate how the no­tion of ‘feed­back’ works as a metaphor and a ma­te­r­ial con­di­tion which in both in­stances aims to pro­duce a self-per­form­ing sub­ject. Al­though the self-per­form­ing sub­ject has been re­al­ized through media such as Twit­ter and Face­book, it is of a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter than the one en­vi­sioned by the media gueril­las of the past. My pre­sen­ta­tion will fur­ther ex­plain how the feed­back loop of non-scripted TV serves as an aid to the neo-lib­eral po­lit­i­cal rea­son­ing which pro­motes a cul­ture of en­tre­pre­neurism, pri­vati­sa­tion, vol­un­teerism, and re­spon­si­bil­i­sa­tion.

  • Steve Rush­ton is a found­ing mem­ber of Sig­nal:Noise, an ex­per­i­men­tal cross-dis­ci­pli­nary re­search pro­ject that aims to ex­plore the in­flu­ence of cy­ber­net­ics and in­for­ma­tion the­ory on con­tem­po­rary cul­tural life by test­ing out its cen­tral idiom, ‘feed­back’, through de­bates, art­works, pub­li­ca­tions, per­for­mances, events and ex­hi­bi­tions.  He has been a writer and ed­i­tor for a range of pro­jects with artists such as Rod Dick­in­son and Thom­son & Craig­head. His pub­li­ca­tions in­clude the se­ries ‘How Media Mas­ters Re­al­ity’ for First/Last News­pa­per, Is­sues 1-6, Dex­ter Sin­is­ter (2009); ‘New Walden,’ HB2, Issue 1, CAC, Glas­gow (2008); ‘Ex­pe­ri­ence, Mem­ory, Re-en­act­ment’, Piet Zwart In­sti­tute, Rot­ter­dam; Re­volver, Frank­furt (with Anke Bangma and Flo­rian Wüst) (2005); ‘The Mil­gram Re-en­act­ment’, Re­volver, Frank­furt (2003). He also teaches at the Piet Zwart In­sti­tute, Rot­ter­dam, NL.

Full text (PDF) p.  2081-2086  [Title slightly different]