"This is sometimes another stumbling block, particularly to the Romantic notion of the practitioner whose aim is the expression of the self. We need to differentiate between activities that are to do with the personal development of the practitioner and his or her creativity, and activities that are significant for others in the field. It is only an activity that is significant for others that can be regarded as research. Personal development does not make a contribution to the 'advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight', except in the most parochial sense, i.e. my advancement. To illustrate this let us consider the discipline of arts therapies. It is the purpose of arts therapies to improve the well-being of the client through an intervention involving the client doing some kind of arts activity such as painting, music or drama, etc. Whether the client produces art, in the sense of 'a work of art' mentioned above, is irrelevant to the process. The activity is aimed at the personal development and self knowledge of the individual and not at the advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight into some issue shared by others. Of course, the client's case may contribute to the advancement of knowledge in arts therapies, but this would be an outcome for the therapist and not for the client. In addition, the client's productions may subsequently achieve the status of 'works' but this would be incidental to their original function in connection with improved well-being. Thus I would distinguish between (1) art as therapy (for the individual), (2) art as cultural practice (the production of works of art), and (3) art as research (meeting certain criteria under discussion). It is my claim that (1) and (3), that is, art as therapy and art as research, are mutually exclusive. I should emphasise that this does not mean that I deny that there is such a discipline as arts therapies research!"
(Michael A. R. Biggs, 2003, Practice as Research in Performance)
"The social demassification of newspapers-targeting an audience of one-is made possible by physical demassification, and it is no less problematic. The immutability and mobility of print on paper across a society (ensuring that the 'same' news is available to everyone at roughly the same time) turns items into 'social facts'-common to a broad readership, not merely selected by individuals. If news items were gathered individually out of a vast data base, even if the resulting copy looked like a conventional newspaper, imitating its fold and front page headlines, it would lack the social significance that arises from editorial juxtaposition. A senator is disturbed to find his or her scandalous behavior splashed across the front page not because the story is news to him or her, but because it has become front-page news to 100,000 other people. The newspaper is essentially, as Anderson (1991) described it, a 'one-day best seller' (p. 35)-and, as with a best seller, the point is that 'everyone' is reading it. The personally tailored, genuinely unique 'newspaper' selected privately from a data base-the ultimate outcome of the social and physical demassification of the newspaper as we now know it-offers neither physical, nor social continuity. Each individual output would be no more than that-an individual output. The juxtaposition of the senator and the pork bellies would then be not a composite, if oblique, social fact, but merely a result of personal serendipity."
(John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid, p.24-25)
1). 'Lionel Luthor Reading Newspaper'
2). Brown, J. S. and P. Duguid (1994). "Borderline Issues: Social and Material Aspects of Design." Human-Computer Interaction 9: pp. 3-36.
"MIT technology specialist Nicholas Negroponte prophecies the emergence of 'the Daily Me'--a communications package that is personally designed, with each component fully chosen in advance . Many of us are applauding these developments, which obviously increase individual convenience and entertainment. But in the midst of the applause, we should insist on asking some questions. How will the increasing power of private control affect democracy? How will the Internet, the new forms of television, and the explosion of communications options alter the capacity of citizens to govern themselves? What are the social preconditions for a well-functioning system of democratic deliberation, or for individual freedom itself? ...
A large part of my aim is to explore what makes for a well-functioning system of free expression. Above all, I urge that in a diverse society, such a system requires far more than restraints on government censorship and respect for individual choices. For the last decades, this has been the preoccupation of American law and politics, and indeed the law and politics of many other nations as well, including, for example, Germany, France, England, and Israel. Censorship is indeed a threat to democracy and freedom. But an exclusive focus on government censorship produces serious blind spots. In particular, a well-functioning system of free expression must meet two distinctive requirements.
First, people should be exposed to materials that they would not have chosen in advance. Unplanned, unanticipated encounters are central to democracy itself. Such encounters often involve topics and points of view that people have not sought out and perhaps find quite irritating. They are important partly to ensure against fragmentation and extremism, which are predictable outcomes of any situation in which like-minded people speak only with themselves. I do not suggest that government should force people to see things that they wish to avoid. But I do contend that in a democracy deserving the name, people often come across views and topics that they have not specifically selected.
Second, many or most citizens should have a range of common experiences. Without shared experiences, a heterogeneous society will have a much more difficult time in addressing social problems. People may even find it hard to understand one another. Common experiences, emphatically including the common experiences made possible by the media, provide a form of social glue. A system of communications that radically diminishes the number of such experiences will create a number of problems, not least because of the increase in social fragmentation.
As preconditions for a well-functioning democracy, these requirements hold in any large nation. They are especially important in a heterogeneous nation, one that faces an occasional risk of fragmentation. They have all the more importance as each nation becomes increasingly global and each citizen becomes, to a greater or lesser degree, a 'citizen of the world."
(Cass Sunstein, 8/7/2007)
Fig.1 San Liu (2004) 'Narcissism' webshots.com.
"In the current society of knowledge and communication, marked by the exponential increase of information, one might expect an even stronger hierarchy (of knowledge) within the audience than it was the case in industrial mass society - at least according to prevalent opinion (see 91). Brian Loader, for example, speaks of the 'information poor' (see 92), who, according to him, form a kind of new 'underclass' of computerized society, in which issues of access become crucial (see in addition 93). On the other hand, several empirical studies verify that differences in knowledge have remained rather constant (see 94). In compliance with a thesis of Ulrich Beck (see 44) one might, therefore, perhaps call it a 'elevator-effect': we all (perforce) are absorbing ever more information. At the same time the relative inequality remains stable (or is even enlarged) - but information use is 'lifted' to a higher general level. This shows a significant effect: on account of the generally higher level of information and the new technical possibilities for realizing individual preferences there comes about an individualization of information patterns and modes of media consumption, which finally results in a diffusion and fragmention [sic] of the public sphere."
(von Anil K. Jain, Heiner Keupp, Renate Höfer, Wolfgang Kraus)
(Agnes Martin Writings 1991)
[A rather romantic and traditional view of the artist.]