Mediamatic Magazine Vol. 7#2 Geert Lovink 1 Jan 1993


Robert Fleck, On Justifying the Hypothetical Nature of Art and the Non-Identicality within the Object World, Walter König bookshop, Köln 1992

The catalogue of the Peter Weibel's interactive computer installation in the Tanja Grunert gallery in Cologne (June to August, 1992) contains a number of interesting pieces.

Besides a description of the installation, made at Weibel's Städel Professional Media Academy in Frankfurt, and a history of Weibel's contribution to Viennese 'aktionism' in the sixties, it contains an examination of VR by Virilio. He claims that the conditions of necessity for direct, sensual, sensory experience and our presence here and now are menaced. For Avital Ronell, too, the (virtual) world after the Gulf war is not the same as it was. In
Support our Tropes II, she claims that cyberspace is west of the west, a memorex cowboy frontier. The clean cyborg soldier is the expression of revulsion
for the body, the bloody mess of organic matter, as Marvin Minsky once called it. To Lanier's assault on the passivity of the contemporary subject she
opposes a space of repose and reflection, a space that would let the other come. This space would have to respond to the justifiable wish, expressed in VR and
other circles, for a new community. But no single place exists for Bataille's community of shattered egos to gather. ''Can there be an atopicality of the
community that nonetheless gathers, (..) where the control towers come tumbling down, and where the other is genuinely anticipated?'' Slavoj Zizek comes to
the same conclusion: VR excludes the other, especially women, the other par excellence. The book closes with an interview with Friedrich Kittler by Peter
Weibel. Instead of increasing numbers of media/multi-sensual applications, Kittler finds that computers ''should make their own processes of calculation more