… As of today we have the ability to take 80,000 orders per second without any mistakes. Our businesses have access to a elastic computing servers giving them the ability to use cloud computing, something hard to imagine achieving with the traditional IT infrastructure. Today business owners can, Ali is one of only three companies in the world capable of accomplishing such a feat, accompanied by google and amazon. Nowadays the state of the informationization system is what determines the corporations’ ability to compete with its competitors. —— huxiu.com : 〈 Ali BaBa’s newly appointed CEO Zhang Yong’s Reflection after a months work: The end of E-Commerce 〉
It’s self evident that the technology involved in E-commerce has been well received in China. Though the leader in the world for informationization– the internet and informationization, still to most of the artistic community, are simply something that has to do with computers. This has lead to a shocking emergence of a so-called “digital divide” . One in which the division is not determined by the ability to access computers and informationization, but where productivity in technology and economics is separated from that of the arts and humanities. When technological achievements become the main source of productivity in society, art and humanities becomes a way to record philosophy but a means of trying to reconcile to the inadaptation brought from technology.
When the creativity and insight provided by the fields of art and humanities lose their influence, it means this society has lost its ability to innovate. This could explain the large production of knockoff products in China or why so many crowdfunded projects are never realized, and the lack of diversity between makers and their spaces. Its hard to imagine hackers without a free society, a cartoon that lacks deep cultural ties, a maker who has no need for a progressive outlook. We can, however, be certain that Apple definitely isn’t a company developed by nerds.
Technology is always rooted in changing the social structure and survival needs. It is an extension of humans and not the other way around, if one day we must resort to adopting technology to adapt then we shall taste its toxicity and abandonment. There was a period when the art and literature community used words and created images to show societies need for cultural value. How then should the realm of art and literature confront the informationization of society and networking technology? To use the vulgar words of Ali baba’s new CEO Zhang Yong, “ Whatever situation that is set up by the Informationalized society determines the competitive role the arts will play in the future. To be a bit more specific, how do we “program” like a programmer does a tool, a new format for social change? Many nations are attempting to bridge this “gap” or “divide” which is why there’s been much effort put forth into promoting interdisciplinary collaboration.
For instance, February (2015) in Switzerland was the first annual cultural data hackathon. OpenGlam, an open gallery, played a major role in the event with its library, archive, museum as well as the cultural agencies conceptual data.
Since the advent of web 2.0 technological innovators as well as museums have been trying to utilize IT technology as means exhibiting knowledge and educational concepts in the form of a practical model : from folksonomy to museums taking the initiative to produce conceptual intrstruments that interpret API servers. Gradually technicians realized the barrier breaking potential technology possessed, collaborating with programers and users changing the appearance and function providing optimal and unique service.
On that same note, in May, this year in England held an Art Hackathon where concepts and practices that were presented were in close correlation to the latest trends of inventors and makers. According to the English team the “Art Hackathon” is about “the collaboration between creation and technology to create digital art. This entails (but not limited to) Interactive installation, visualized data, network service and physical objects.”
The main effort of this project is to bridge the gap in the digital divide. By hosting international academic courses and hackathons, veteran artists and curators hope to span out bringing different fields of artists and directors together. A hackthon that gives educators,coders,artists and curators a space to improvise, edit, and curate, uniting Chinese cultural workers, innovators, networkers, as well as those from the technological community. As the new era emerges students and teachers of art academies that are taking part in the global digitalization, produced by media and network societies is and will be the height of art and humanity, “Epoch”, There will be an estimated seven hackthons to be held in the next three years.