Two or three things that I know about the streaming media.
In May 1998, at the third annual conference of RealNetworks, Mitch Kapor stressed on the "emotional bandwidth" in his keynote speech. He might have reluctantly argued this concept to the "poor" condition of streaming media at that time. Because the live streaming connection often has problems of congestion and interruption. But I would like to insist his concept more idiosyncratically than what he thought by it.
As far as the congestion and interruption of live streaming concern, they still happen even in the ADL and relatively faster connections today. So You should long for future innovation of optical fiber cable or something like that. But I myself, as an artist like such problems. I will not use the internet live streaming for a substitution of live radio or television. Given the radio and television, I will not expect of the streaming a similar function of radio and television. If the streaming is a different medium, artist should find totally different way of expression in it. I think weak point of newborn medium will reverse itself into a positive function.
I have been involved in a very micro radio/television for a long time. We have been using a very low-power transmitter that usually can cover only one kilo-meter radius. This, however, created many interesting examples of expression and postures both in the "sender" and the audience. Since the power is very low, both the "sender" and the audience must try to intentionally send/receive the airwaves. To do so in itself (for instance to beam the antenna to the most appropriate direction) became a performance art piece.
The satellite technology is global while the internet is *translocal* in the sense that is local and global at the same time. You can have options whether you use it global or local. Even if you use it local, it cannot help being global. Thus you should insist in being local.
"Sender"-"medium"-"receiver", the popular concepts of communication have become obsolete as late as the Internet has started. The medium is not a "tube". As Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela wrote, there is no "transmitted information" in communication. Communication is a "structural coupling" and resonance in the "emotional bandwidth". At lease for media art, resonance proceeds "correct" messages. Let's hand over the message to the military and business communication that simplify the viability and potential of communication.
Whenever I mention this topics, I remember the impressive story "Here the voice of the Algeria" by Franz Fanon (in Sociology of a Revolution). He talks about a paradox of "insufficient" circumstance of radio technology. The listener had to understand the voice of the radio passing through terrible noises. "Cet voix, Fanon writes, souvent absent, physiquement inaudible, que chacun sent monter en lui, fondIﾝe sur une perception intﾝrieure qui est celle de la Patrie, se matﾝrialse de faﾛon non rﾝcusable."
Every technology has its artistic viability at the early stage. The further stage is the process of institutionalization. The streaming medium gets closer to conventional media such as radio and television. The experimental stage will go to an end. It will soon have no place for us. The "insufficient" aspects of the streaming technology gives a chance to use it creatively. Art and business look for a different 'telos'. You don't care of the insufficiency of the streaming media.Today is the best for streaming experiments. Sooner or later, the streaming will be integrated into a general technology of "broadband". Every artist of streaming, therefore, should look for another way of use from the way that the business world now aggressively proceeding.
To be sloppy in technology and to be tolerant of the insufficiency are different. At media festivals and conferences, there is a division of labor between planner and technician. Artist of electronics must finish this. Electronics is the technology after the modern technology that enjoyed this division. In this technology, artist could recover such a wholistic work as in da Vinci.
Learn at least how to connect computer, peripherals and the circuits, how to install softwares and how to use them. Painter who has no brushes is absurd. Take hold of screw drivers and solder irons. They are the postmodern counterpart of the brushes spatulas of the pre-modern and modern arts.
Originally for Reader of Net.Congestion Festival (Ed. Geert Lovink, October 2000, Amsterdam)