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Philip Auslander on Digital Liveness

These are just notes taken during the talk. Nothing structured. Probably an ephemeral post that I'll edit later.

****
Philip Auslander
nice baritone voice.
Georgia tech
Digital liveness on Historico-Philosophical perspective

History On the historicity of Liveness
what is considered live performance changes over time as technology changes
The concept of live did not exist before sound recording or film. The concept of live performance depends on the concept of not-live.
good thought.
also requires broadcast networks

1934--first reference to performance as "live" BBC Yearbook.

The confusion of whether something is live or not on radio
when you put on a record, you know what you are doing. It's easy to know that it isn't live.

With radio you can never be sure if you are hearing something live or recorded.

Live and recorded: dichotomy so self evident before that it didn't need to be named

discursive distinction when experiential distinction was lost

But then... live in front of you or live on the radio have no differentiation. That seems odd.

live==physical and temporal
live==temporal (live broadcast)
recorded live==neither, specific performance, vicarious audience, not studio

online liveness-social copresence from chat rooms to audiences waiting for breaking news
group liveness-mobile group of friends in continuous liveness through their phones

liveness is technologically mediated

ideology of liveness...
Margaret Mores
feedback is a machine interacting with you. It gives you a sense of the machines agency, even a persona

A website goes live. The feedback loop makes it live. Liveness doesn't need physical, temporal, or human.

The audiences affective experience. If the thing feels live to us, we value it as live. Is that true?

Philosophical

technological determinism--people create the liveness of technology, not the technology.

He likes to toss the papers he is reading on the ground.

diff digitlal representations make different claims on us. Claims in a philosophical sense
Gottamer (aesthetic)
analogous to the Gottamar idea

some digital representations demand that we interact with them as if they were live, but then it is up to us to accept or not

computer as social actor paradigm
words for output
response based on prior inputs
filling of roles traditionally held by humans
makes us act toward them AS IF they were social actors


contemporaneous (kirkegaard)
this particular thing that presents itself to us achieves full presence however remote it may be
contemporaneity is not a characteristic of the work or the thing, but of our experience of it.

The temporality of the aesthetic (why we still like old painitings)

the liveness does not come from the machine, but from our willingness to treat the thing as alive. But it does depend on the technology making the demand that concretizes the claim to liveness that we fullfill or don't.

I hate the way this guy writes. Oh, academia, why do you write so crappily? Why do you love the 4-syllable word?

mindlessness accounts for our tendency to interact with machines as if they were human even though we know they are not. But this is also technological determinism.

My personal opinion (me Tracy) is that we accept technology as live because we like to. Also, it's a lot easier for us. We're used to dealing with things that are alive.


Auslander's summary of his argument:
some tech object makes a claim on its audience to
concretized as a demand by some way it presents itself
if we accept the claim and take it seriously, it becomes live for us
not characteristic of the object
not characteristic of the way the object presents itself
characteristic of our acceptance of the object

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