[artinfo] Re: Netbase (1995-2006)

Mark Dery markdery at optonline.net
Sun Mar 5 22:41:26 CET 2006

I (belatedly) second that emotion. Under the inspired guidance of Konrad Becker
and Marie Ringler, Netbase was a hothouse for the culturing of strange new
intellectual flora. Even better, it was located in Vienna, where the Freudian
Uncanny seemed to wait around every corner. The time I lectured 
there, I was able
to visit the incomparable Narrenturm (a museum of pathological anatomy, at
http://www.pathomus.or.at/frameset.htm), the mind-boggling Josephinum (with its
wax obstetric mannequins), the museum of crime, the museum of undertaking, and,
wonder of wonders, the museum of electrical deaths (attached to the
electrotechnical institute)---the equivalent, in a day or two, of a 
year spent in
any American university. Only in Vienna! Can it be mere coincidence that Konrad
bore a striking resemblance to _Caligari_'s Cesar the somnambulist, as drawn by
Emil Nolde? A beacon for contrarian thought, Netbase was blessedly free of the
soul-crushing political correctness and soul-killing humorlessness 
that afflicts
so many new-media spaces. Now, as the Stalinist left and the culture-of-life
right, the neo-Orwellian neocons and the jihadi stand united in their 
to smothering free thought and stifling free expression everywhere, we need a
Netbase more than ever.


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