||MINDAUGAS GELUNAS (Lithuania)
EDUCATION / TRAINING
1990 – 1996 Painting apprentice in private studios and Vilnius Art Academy
1996 – 2001 Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania, Kaunas), BA of Arts (Ethnology and Anthropology)
2001 – 2004 VMU, Institute of Political Science And Diplomacy, MA of Communication and Information.
2003 winter/spring Socrates/Erasmus exchange student at the University of Ulster, School of media and performing arts (Northern Ireland)
BRIEF WORK HISTORY / PROJECTS
2001 Member of social investigative projects organised by ISM, VMU Center of Sociopolitical analysis
2001 - Freelance author of articles, essays and reviews in “Gramofonas” magazine dedicated to music, newspaper “Kauno diena”, newspaper “XXI amzius”, internet magazines “Ore”, “Rutrut”
2002 - Journalist, editor, exhibitions consultant, English language interpretor at The Sugihara Foundation “Diplomats for life”
2002 - Presenter and speaker at the Multimedia art festivals Centras 2, Centras 3
2003 August Member of “Foreign corresspondents’ programme” (Finland)
2004 - Information coordinator at KAI (Kaunas Art Institute)
Though I have only web based impression about the RAM events, I feel they hold some key elements and hints about what is happening today – be it art, any kind of communal form of interaction or individual position that are in most ways connected to www.
Getting closer to RAM 6, one of the most interesting things for me is the contradiction between this virtual realm of idealized communities in the www reality and the individual utopia of making yourself the center of the Universe with the help of information technologies. A kind of shift from individual towards social with its totally individualistic ending (lets say in a principle of boomerang)…and what does it mean for You or Me in the real life. As author Margaret Wertheim suggests: “The promise of utopian community is indeed one of the primary appeals of cyberspace.” The vision and illusion of friendship, that is what is brought by the internet or www, this comes from the modern reality of isolation and growing individualization. An easy access to any kind of creative expression thanks to information technologies has led to a kind of forest of overproduction.
This is what Margaret Wertheim says about considering the cyberspace as a new realm in which we may realize a better life on earth and about the more pragmatic potential of cyberspace to enhance mortal life:
“In particular, cyberspace is promoted as a space in which connection and community can be fostered, thereby enriching our lives as social beings. In these visions, cyberspace becomes a place for the establishment of idealized communities that transcend the tyrannies of distance and that are free from biases of gender, race, and color. In other words, this is a dream of cyber utopia.” It’s a fact that Western new media technologies attempt to erase the barriers between the real and the supposed by using new technologies.
Margareth Wertheim also says: “At a time of widespread social and familial breakdown in the Western world, increasing numbers of people suffer from isolation, loneliness, and alienation. In this climate, says commentator Avital Ronell, “virtual reality, artificial reality, data space, or cyberspace are inscriptions of a desire whose principal symptom can be seen as the absence of community.” The Internet, with its vast global web, beckons us all with a vision of friendship and the hope of inclusion in a wider social whole.”
One of the pioneering creators of the online community WELL Howard Rheingold recalls what the cyber-pioneer J.C.Licklider has suggested that “life will be happier for the online individual because the people with whom one interacts most strongly will be selected more by commonality of interests and goals than by accidents of proximity.” And it has to do a lot with informality, with public sphere of free individuals out of corporate interests. It also helps to redefine our role as citizens of local communities and of a global society, to be the masters of our own lives.
I would also like to spot the ideological side of a matter. Some researchers notice that there is a new serious tendency when practice is mixed with ideology, especially in terms of the information society metaphor. Speaking generally, in many ways informatization in Lithuania has turned into the search for a new paradise (bit similar to the building of communism) - there is a huge gap between identity and real practice. We have a very unhomogeneous understanding of national and civil identity westbound towards enormous individualization (that was mentioned before and can be taken as one of basic features of modern society) and subjectivity out of real ideological focus and content.
And in my rushed essay I slow down a bit in the phase of the shift Towards without quite clear understanding where I am now.