Wikipedia Art

Wikipedia Art

My friend Nathaniel Stern has a new collaborative project that deals with Wikipedia. Set to be an evolving work that requires readers and interested individuals to post, discuss, and help propogate the idea of a Wikipedia Entry as a work of art. The project sounds great because it brings up issues of power/control that surround sites that promote themselves on the accessibility and authorship by its users.

I've thought about this topic a lot. In grad school I wrote a paper about how satellite cartography (google earth, google maps, etc) while still being relatively objective, has still been edited and consolidated. So, although the work is marketed and believed to be objective (the scientific eye of the satellite capturing all) there is still an element of controlled information = power.

My wife wrote a paper directly about Wikipedia and this sort of thing for one of her English courses. She used Foucault's Archaeology of Knowledge to argue that the content, although presented in a more populist form, still runs the risk of presenting controlled information from an "authority" position. Because it is possible for everyone/anyone to edit the content, it doesn't mean that the information is more true, accurate, or objective.

I usually don't write this sort of thing here, but I couldn't pass it up today. It's a very interesting project. You should check it out: Wikipedia Art - It appears that the "powers that be" over at Wikipedia have already started flagging the authors of the project's other entries as not meeting the standards. You can read more about that on Nathaniel's blog under the title "Wikipedial Art: Retaliation"

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