沒有意見 / 不予置評:Zero Comments

要談論網路文化,該從哪裡談起呢?何處是我們的 home(page)?…要回到哪一個首頁呢?

我準備要收拾行囊,開始一段漫長的旅程,出發前來到的是荷蘭網路評論者、媒體理論研究者 Geert Lovink 的《沒意見/不予置評》(Zero Comments)的書目介紹資料:

In Zero Comments Geert Lovink upgrades worn-out concepts and inquires the latest Web 2.0 hype around blogs, wikis and social network sites. In this third volume of his studies into critical Internet culture, Lovink develops a ‘general theory of blogging.’ Unlike most publications he is not focusing on the dynamics between bloggers and the mainstream news media. Instead of celebrating ‘citizen journalism’ blogs are analyzed in their ‘nihilist impulse’ to empty out established meaning structures. Blogs bring on decay of the 20th century broadcast media, and are proud of their in-crowd aspect in which linking, tagging and ranking have become the main drivers.

The book also deals with the silent globalization of the Net in which no longer the West, but countries like India, China and Brazil are becoming main players in new media culture. It is not only the latest that Internet enthusiasts should focus on. Zero Comments upgrades concepts such as global Internet time, tactical media, the crisis of new media arts and the problematic relationship between architecture and the Net. The book ends with speculative notions on concepts such as organized networks, free cooperation and distributed aesthetics.(強調處為本文作者所加)

一如以往,書中的文章都可以在 nettime 這個線上論壇找到原稿;例如這篇評論部落格(blog)的專文 Blogging, the Nihilist Impulse(寫部落格:虛無的衝動)。我引述幾段讓我印象深刻的說法:

It is of strategic importance to develop critical categories of a theory of blogging that takes the specific mixture of technology, interface design, software architecture, and social networking into account.
針對寫部落格(blogging)的理論,發展一種批判的分類範疇,在策略上具有重要意義;這也是一個將科技、介面設計、軟體架構與社會網絡混雜在一起,納入考量的理論。

Instead of merely looking into the emancipatory potential of blogs, or emphasizing their counter-cultural folklore, I see blogs as part of an unfolding process of “massification" of this still new medium. What the Internet lost after 2000 was the “illusion of change". This void made way for large-scale, interlinked conversations through freely available automated software.
不只是檢視部落格解放力量的潛能,或者強調他們那種反文化的民俗型態,我把部落格當作一套這個仍然很新的媒體,其「大眾化」(massification)開展歷程的一部分。網際網路在2000年以後,消逝、失去的是一種「改變的幻覺」(illusion of change);這種空缺,是藉由免費散佈、自動化軟體,創造出大規模、交互連結對話的空間。

The motor behind the expansion of the blogosphere is the move away from code towards content. There is no more need for empty demo design. Blogs are not a test or proposition. They actually exist.
部落格生態圈擴張背後的動力,是離開程式碼、走向內容。人們不再需要假的畫面、展示設計。部落格不是測試或命題;他們如真地存在在那裡。
Blogging did not emerge out of a movement or an event. If anything, it is a special effect of software,
constituted especially by the automation of links, a not-overly-complex technical interface design issue.
部落格並不是從一個運動或一個事件中浮現。如果它是什麼的話,它是軟體的一種特效,特別是一種由連結自動化、非過度複雜的技術介面設計構成的議題。

一如過往的感覺,我認為 Geert 在此展現的是歐洲媒體批判理論傳統的思維方式;以具有歷史意涵的批判語言,重新整理、審視與定位部落格(blog)這個全球現象。身為 1990年代熟稔並且帶起 nettime 風潮的電子郵件討論群組達人,Geert 在近幾年的這幾本書中,一直努力要把 blog 現象尋找一個恰當的框架與說法「固定下來」,重新掌握。相較於 My First Recession 當中的討論,《沒有意見/不予置評》(Zero Comments)已經更為明確,給予了堅定的論斷說法。很久沒有閱讀他的文章的我,一方面覺得種種洞見與觀點很精彩,另外一方面又覺得,真的如此嗎?真的已經被他看穿這「國王的新衣」了嗎?難道像是 GVO 全球之聲這樣的行動,也沒有辦法證成某種運動的正面形式嗎?他所論及的究竟是英美主流的部落格風潮呢,還是也包含了這些國際行動主義者的武器與舞台呢?

自己也運用部落格形式在架設網站,對於 blog 的可能性,真的是不予置評/沒有意見嗎?我很好奇。

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