File spoon-archives/surrealist.archive/surrealist_1999/surrealist.9910, message 1


Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 13:48:58 -0500
Subject: VIRTUALY2K  |  A conference  |  How digital technologies are




** apologies for cross-listing
** please forward to others who may be interested

_____

//.VirtualY2K.

       A conference on how digitized and networked technologies are
       changing our lives and the world.

       -AT- brown.edu
       11.5.99 - 11.7.99

The Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University will
host a three-day conference-VIRTUALY2K-from Friday to Sunday, November 5-7,
1999.  The conference will explore how digitized and networked technologies
are transforming the world and our lives. As distances collapse under
globalization, as societies become ever more media-intensive, as the new
velocity of virtual networks transforms warfare, diplomacy and politics,
VY2K will bring scholars, writers, practitioners and critics from many
parts of the world to interrogate the nature and future of virtual worlds.

What is at stake?  Has modernity been overtaken by a "virtual condition"?
If so, what are the technical, political, ethical and immediate
implications?

Definitions of the virtual are not easy to come by.  Long before microchips
were imagined, theologians and philosophers were debating the elusive power
of the virtual, of immaterial forces that could exert an influence at a
distance, from the holy spirit to the rays of the sun.  Now, thanks to the
viral spread of networked computers, the virtual is not so much elusive as
pervasive.  Even so, like the puzzle of the philosophers, this contemporary
virtuality produces effects and results that blur our usual ways of seeing
things. We find new worlds emerge which though real are less than
physical.  We find spaces emerge which though extensive are immediate and
not at all distant.  In short, as the virtual becomes ever more actualized
in our daily lives, many of the familiar ways in which we've looked at the
world are being redrawn, if not turned upside down.

In the meantime, global politics is being transformed.  Battlesites and
websites converge.  PCs and TVs meld.  Electronic eyes replace human eyes
as global surveillance, media interventions, and invisible sanctions afford
"action-at-a-distance".  Think-tanks and peace institutes promote "virtual
diplomacy" as the means to avoid actual insurgency.  As data equals power,
infowar becomes not only possible but an accepted, and seemingly acceptable
reality.  Indeed, the virtual touches every aspect of our lives: identity,
economy, environments, people.  As the century ends and a millennium
begins, VY2K will open a debate about what is surely becoming one of the
most important political, social and philosophical questions of human
development: the power and opportunity, dangers and politics of virtuality.

VIRTUALY2K is sponsored by the Watson Institute for International Studies,
and made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation and with the support
of the Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Research in Culture and Media Studies.


VIRTUALY2K is free and open to the public.


Confirmed participants:

*  Adam ASHFORTH, Institute for Advanced Study
*  John Perry BARLOW, Electronic Frontier Foundation
*  Thomas P.M. BARNETT, U.S. Naval War College
*  Thomas J. BIERSTEKER, Watson Institute
*  Manuel DE LANDA, independent writer
*  James DER DERIAN, Watson Institute
*  Ron DEIBERT, University of Toronto
*  Mary Ann DOANE, MCM, Brown University
*  Ricardo DOMINGUEZ, thing.net & Electronic Disturbance Theatre
*  Ian Robert DOUGLAS, the power foundation
*  Jean Bethke ELSHTAIN, University of Chicago
*  Miguel ENCARNACAO, Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer Graphics
*  Yaron EZRAHI, Hebrew University
*  Samuel FULCOMER, Brown University
*  Abbott GLEASON, Watson Institute
*  Jonathan GRATCH, Virtual Helicopter Pilots, University of Southern
California
*  N. Katherine HAYLES, UCLA
*  Wendy HUI KYONG CHUN, Brown University
*  Michael IGNATIEFF, writer, New Yorker
*  Mary KALDOR, London School of Economics
*  Carmin KARASIC, thing.net & Electronic Disturbance Theatre
*  Jon KATZ, writer, slashdot.org & Rolling Stone
*  Thomas KEENAN, Bard College
*  Laura KURGAN, Princeton University
*  George LANDOW, Brown University
*  Jaron LANIER, Tele-Immersion
*  Thomas LEVIN, Princeton University
*  Robert MACE, TOPSCENE, Naval Air Systems Command
*  Michael MACEDONIA, STRICOM, US Army
*  Ira MAGAZINER, SJS, Inc.
*  General William NASH (Ret.), National Democratic Institute for
International Affairs
*  Mark PESCE, University of Southern California
*  John Phillip SANTOS, Ford Foundation
*  Marcus THIEBAUX, Virtual Helicopter Pilots, University of Southern
California
*  Andries VAN DAM, Brown University
*  Stefan WRAY, thing.net & Electronic Disturbance Theatre
*  Michael ZYDA, Naval Postgraduate School


Key questions:

*  Is there a distinction worth defending between the real and the virtual,
   or is there a reality intrinsic to the virtual?
*  Can an 'ethics of virtuality' be imagined?
*  When everything arrives, we no longer have to leave.  Does 'virtuality'
   portend a new world-wide freedom - or a new carceral, albeit in the name
   of participation and communication?
*  What will the robot historians of the 22nd century write about the
   beginnings of the 21st?
*  Virtual technologies collapse distances, distort time, blur fact and
   fiction, fundamentally transforming the world of appearances.  Are we
   witness to a 'de-realization', or a complexification of our perception of
   the real?
*  'Cybernetics' originally denoted the 'arts of governing'.  Is
   'virtuality' also a means of governing people?
*  Can virtuality or virtual worlds allow for the free expression of
   difference, or do they disallow it through a standardization of real lives
   via universal code?
*  The Berlin wall falls, the web takes off.  Pure coincidence?
*  What does it mean to wage a 'virtual war'?
*  Is 'virtual war' a form of just war?  If it kills fewer people but
   attacks the 'reality principle' is it still justifiable?
*  Can virtual communities be real?
*  What can we understand by the merging of information, warring and
   entertainment?  Is virtuality merely preparing society for new forms of
   war?
*  Can interventions in virtual environments be real?
*  Does virtuality alter how we think of mortality?
*  Every new technology brings with it a specific accident.  What would a
   'virtual accident' look like?
*  Is virtualization the "real" force behind globalization?  Is it the
   harbinger of a new world order, or a brave new world?


Location:
       The Salomon Centre for Teaching
       Brown University
       Providence
       Rhode Island
       USA

Dates:
       November 5-7, 1999

Webpage:
       http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Watson_Institute/

Email:
       virtualy2k-AT-brown.edu


General information (including information on travel, accommodation,
location, etc.):

http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Watson_Institute/programs/gs/VirtualY2K/info.ht
ml

VIRTUALY2K is organized by James Der Derian and Ian Douglas, Watson
Institute for International Studies, Brown University.



______________________________________________
Ian R. Douglas  |  Watson Institute for International Studies
Brown University, Box 1831, Providence, RI  02912  USA

fax: 401 863-2192

 " .. the virtual is not opposed to the real; it posesses
   a full reality by itself.  It is on the basis of its reality
   that existence is produced .. "   -  Gilles Deleuze

http://www.powerfoundation.org



<fontfamily><param>Geneva</param>** apologies for cross-listing

** please forward to others who may be interested


_____


//.VirtualY2K.


       A conference on how digitized and networked technologies are

       changing our lives and the world.


       -AT- brown.edu

       11.5.99 - 11.7.99


The Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University will
host a three-day conference-<bold>VIRTUALY2K</bold>-from Friday to
Sunday, November 5-7, 1999.  The conference will explore how digitized
and networked technologies are transforming the world and our lives. As
distances collapse under globalization, as societies become ever more
media-intensive, as the new velocity of virtual networks transforms
warfare, diplomacy and politics, <bold>VY2K </bold>will bring scholars,
writers, practitioners and critics from many parts of the world to
interrogate the nature and future of virtual worlds.


What is at stake?  Has modernity been overtaken by a "virtual
condition"?  If so, what are the technical, political, ethical and
immediate implications?


Definitions of the virtual are not easy to come by.  Long before
microchips were imagined, theologians and philosophers were debating
the elusive power of the virtual, of immaterial forces that could exert
an influence at a distance, from the holy spirit to the rays of the
sun.  Now, thanks to the viral spread of networked computers, the
virtual is not so much elusive as pervasive.  Even so, like the puzzle
of the philosophers, this contemporary virtuality produces effects and
results that blur our usual ways of seeing things. We find new worlds
emerge which though real are less than physical.  We find spaces emerge
which though extensive are immediate and not at all distant.  In short,
as the virtual becomes ever more actualized in our daily lives, many of
the familiar ways in which we've looked at the world are being redrawn,
if not turned upside down.


In the meantime, global politics is being transformed.  Battlesites and
websites converge.  PCs and TVs meld.  Electronic eyes replace human
eyes as global surveillance, media interventions, and invisible
sanctions afford "action-at-a-distance".  Think-tanks and peace
institutes promote "virtual diplomacy" as the means to avoid actual
insurgency.  As data equals power, infowar becomes not only possible
but an accepted, and seemingly acceptable reality.  Indeed, the virtual
touches every aspect of our lives: identity, economy, environments,
people.  As the century ends and a millennium begins, <bold>VY2K
</bold>will open a debate about what is surely becoming one of the most
important political, social and philosophical questions of human
development: the power and opportunity, dangers and politics of
virtuality.


<bold>VIRTUALY2K </bold>is sponsored by the Watson Institute for
International Studies, and made possible by a grant from the Ford
=46oundation and with the support of the Malcolm S. Forbes Center for
Research in Culture and Media Studies.



<bold>VIRTUALY2K </bold>is free and open to the public.



Confirmed participants:


*  Adam ASHFORTH, Institute for Advanced Study

*  John Perry BARLOW, Electronic Frontier Foundation

*  Thomas P.M. BARNETT, U.S. Naval War College

*  Thomas J. BIERSTEKER, Watson Institute

*  Manuel DE LANDA, independent writer

*  James DER DERIAN, Watson Institute

*  Ron DEIBERT, University of Toronto

*  Mary Ann DOANE, MCM, Brown University

*  Ricardo DOMINGUEZ, thing.net & Electronic Disturbance Theatre

*  Ian Robert DOUGLAS, the power foundation

*  Jean Bethke ELSHTAIN, University of Chicago

*  Miguel ENCARNACAO, Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer
Graphics

*  Yaron EZRAHI, Hebrew University

*  Samuel FULCOMER, Brown University

*  Abbott GLEASON, Watson Institute

*  Jonathan GRATCH, Virtual Helicopter Pilots, University of Southern
California

*  N. Katherine HAYLES, UCLA

*  Wendy HUI KYONG CHUN, Brown University

*  Michael IGNATIEFF, writer, New Yorker

*  Mary KALDOR, London School of Economics

*  Carmin KARASIC, thing.net & Electronic Disturbance Theatre

*  Jon KATZ, writer, slashdot.org & Rolling Stone

*  Thomas KEENAN, Bard College

*  Laura KURGAN, Princeton University

*  George LANDOW, Brown University

*  Jaron LANIER, Tele-Immersion

*  Thomas LEVIN, Princeton University

*  Robert MACE, TOPSCENE, Naval Air Systems Command

*  Michael MACEDONIA, STRICOM, US Army

*  Ira MAGAZINER, SJS, Inc.

*  General William NASH (Ret.), National Democratic Institute for
International Affairs

*  Mark PESCE, University of Southern California

*  John Phillip SANTOS, Ford Foundation

*  Marcus THIEBAUX, Virtual Helicopter Pilots, University of Southern
California

*  Andries VAN DAM, Brown University

*  Stefan WRAY, thing.net & Electronic Disturbance Theatre

*  Michael ZYDA, Naval Postgraduate School



Key questions:


*  Is there a distinction worth defending between the real and the
virtual,

   or is there a reality intrinsic to the virtual?

*  Can an 'ethics of virtuality' be imagined?

*  When everything arrives, we no longer have to leave.  Does
'virtuality'

   portend a new world-wide freedom - or a new carceral, albeit in the
name

   of participation and communication?

*  What will the robot historians of the 22nd century write about the

   beginnings of the 21st?

*  Virtual technologies collapse distances, distort time, blur fact
and

   fiction, fundamentally transforming the world of appearances.  Are
we

   witness to a 'de-realization', or a complexification of our
perception of

   the real?

*  'Cybernetics' originally denoted the 'arts of governing'.  Is

   'virtuality' also a means of governing people?

*  Can virtuality or virtual worlds allow for the free expression of

   difference, or do they disallow it through a standardization of real
lives

   via universal code?

*  The Berlin wall falls, the web takes off.  Pure coincidence?

*  What does it mean to wage a 'virtual war'?

*  Is 'virtual war' a form of just war?  If it kills fewer people but

   attacks the 'reality principle' is it still justifiable?

*  Can virtual communities be real?

*  What can we understand by the merging of information, warring and

   entertainment?  Is virtuality merely preparing society for new forms
of

   war?

*  Can interventions in virtual environments be real?

*  Does virtuality alter how we think of mortality?

*  Every new technology brings with it a specific accident.  What would
a

   'virtual accident' look like?

*  Is virtualization the "real" force behind globalization?  Is it the

   harbinger of a new world order, or a brave new world?



Location:

       The Salomon Centre for Teaching

       Brown University

       Providence

       Rhode Island

       USA


Dates:

       November 5-7, 1999


Webpage:

       http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Watson_Institute/


Email:

       virtualy2k-AT-brown.edu



General information (including information on travel, accommodation,
location, etc.):

     
http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Watson_Institute/programs/gs/VirtualY2K/info.html


<bold>VIRTUALY2K </bold>is organized by James Der Derian and Ian
Douglas, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University.

</fontfamily>




______________________________________________

Ian R. Douglas  |  Watson Institute for International Studies

Brown University, Box 1831, Providence, RI  02912  USA


fax: 401 863-2192


 " .. the virtual is not opposed to the real; it posesses

   a full reality by itself.  It is on the basis of its reality

   that existence is produced .. "   -  Gilles Deleuze


http://www.powerfoundation.org

   

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