Walker Art Center

MARCH 11-22, 2002, Steve Dietz (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Gunalan Nadarajan (Singapore), Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta of Raqs Media Collective (New Delhi, India), and Yukiko Shikata (Tokyo, Japan) engaged in an online conversation that started from the idea of translocations and ranged widely across the terrain of global net art practice and philosophy. Following is an edited version of that conversation.[1]

From: Steve Dietz <steve.dietz@walkerart.org>
Date: Mon Mar 11, 2002 0:48am
Subject: Why "translocations"?

Dear Guna, Jeebesh, Monica, Shuddha (Raqs), and Yukiko,

I first came across the term "translocal" in the writings of Andreas Broeckmann.[2] For me, one of the ways the term resonated most strongly was the flip from terms such as transnational, transglobal, and global. If McDonald's and Starbucks are the poster children for such corporations--the near hegemonic presence of a single brand globally--then translocal foregrounds the aspect of "situatedness" (sometimes geographically local and sometimes psychogeographically?) while acknowledging that we live and practice in a (potentially) networked context.

Tetsuo Kogawa, who also uses the term translocal--and said in a conversation that he had coined/used the term independently--suggests a similar flip in "The Global Transformation of Books and Reading" when he states that the goal is not, in fact, to "think globally, act locally," as the popular refrain goes, but to "think locally, act globally."[3] In other words, focus on the local, but allow the networks to propagate the action globally.

Anyway, my interest is not in the term per se, and I recognize that there is a complicated dynamic involved. Raqs, if I'm not off base, it is precisely the complexity of this dynamic--of not being "Indian," even though what

Note: Except for the Web site provided in footnote 1, which was posted on February 7, 2003, all sites referenced below were visited by the author on June 12, 2002.

1 Steve Dietz is curator of new media at the Walker Art Center; Gunalan Nadarajan is dean in the faculty of visual arts, Lasalle-SIA College of Arts, Singapore; Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta are founding members of Raqs Media Collective and participants in How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age; Yukiko Shikata is a curator at the new Mori Art Center in Tokyo. The full version of this conversation is available online at http://translocations.walkerart.org/conversation.

2 See Andreas Broeckmann, "Networked Agencies," at http://www.v2.nl/~andreas/texts/1998/networkedagency-en.html; "Sociable Machinists of Culture," at http://www.v2.nl/~andreas/texts/2000/networkers.html; "Minor Media--Heterogenic Art," at http://www.nettime.org/nettime.w3archive/199811/msg00029.html; and http://www.translocation.at/d/broeckmann.htm.

3 See http://www.honco.net/archive/980801.html.