I am writing this essay online in WordPress, where my notes, references, images, and outlines are stored for easy access and retrieval. This essay is being authored from within the telematic writing space where the necessary information can be organized, and where the creative possibilities appear to be unbounded when integrated with the larger network of information.
Central to a networked practice is the rich hypermedial field of connections afforded by relating one’s work instantaneously to information via hyperlinks, metadata, social media, repositories (such as Flickr), etc. This is the current necessity of a medium for 21st century writing practices: no longer closed off by the boundaries of a word processor situated on one’s own computer, but rather an open source space of inclusivity when writing and creating in open hypertextual online space.
When working in the space of the network, there is a sense of authorial control and ownership of the medium. It is here where links, embedded images, trackbacks, social media, taxonomies and other meta data become immediately integrated with a global online discourse, where the reader and writer are engaged in a continuous medium of reciprocation through commenting and dialogue, where sharing via social media is accessible and a generator of immediate feedback. The creator of media need no longer exist in a vacuum, nor wait until a work is completed, but rather open the process of creation as an ongoing personal feed.
In the open source telematic writing space, there is the sense of authoring as conversation, a collaboration with peers, and the immediacy of performance with a live audience. In the open source studio, the artist is collectively engaged, or as Roy Ascott has described: “the individual user of networks is always potentially involved in a global net, and the world is always potentially in a state of interaction with the individual.”
Since artists are fundamentally individuals who thrive on creative spaces for their work, then writing and authoring in the telematic space provides not only the multimedia tools associated with other platforms, but when writing in an online environment, publishing is essentially one click away, so that the artist takes immediate action with their work, not at the end of a completed project, but in the process of creation. This dramatic shift in the artist’s “workflow” results in a more process-oriented, collective mode of creation, which is fundamental to open source thinking and to participation in the global information culture.
Artist blogs and Websites by such artists as Jon Cates, Mark Amerika, Cory Arcangel, including my own Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge, provide a window in the artistic process that gives virtual access to their studio. These sites show the net space as an arena for experimentation, such as in the fragmented utterances of Cates’ GL1TCH.US; or Mark Amerika’s Professor VJ, in which the artist is spontaneously testing ideas and ruminations on remixology and other forms of experimental writing; and Cory Arcangel’s Official Porftolio Website and Portal, in which he mocks the artist portfolio site by sharing the most trivial and mundane aspects of his working process. In Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge, I have documented the sheer abundance of information and mediations that are generated in my studio and travels, chronicling and developing a medium of writing that is central to the work itself.
In all of these examples, the artists generates a steady stream of information and work that is inseparable from their studio practice, which functions as research as they test and develop their ideas in the public space of the network. Essentially, the telematic writing space has given artists a medium to broadcast their working process to an audience, on a daily basis, from their studio, which in many cases is a laptop computer they carry with them on their travels. The open source studio is not confined to a single space, it is a nomadic entity that the artist carries with them everywhere they go to give them immediate access to a medium that is always on, always connected, always engaged in a telematic embrace with an audience.