Welcome to TRUSTblog

16 Aug

To connect with the rest of the world, we invest a certain amount of trust in various relations. Trust is by default an ambiguous notion, it is one grounded in good faith as much as in doubt. As individuals we not only have these relations to our fellow citizens, but also increasingly with modes of connection. With proliferating forms of media, information comes to us in many guises, and the message is more and more opaque; marketing poses as friendship, solitude as community, populism as democracy.

**via e-flux  press release (7/1/2010)

To connect with Media City Seoul–the 6th Seoul International Biennale of Media Art–we hope that you will invest your trust in TRUSTblog.

Media City Seoul, which takes the increasingly esoteric concept of “trust” as its theme in 2010,will present the best in current media art for two months of exhibitions and public programs.  For two months, beginning on 6 September, Seoul will be transformed into a true “media city,” with works by more than 40 media artists providing a unique look into the media art from around the world.

“Trust” seems quite an apt theme for this, the 6th edition of the biennial’s history.  Biennials in general are propositional, to borrow the phrase from the exhibition’s literature.  That is to say, they circumscribe the direct relationships between people and propositions–regardless of their veracity.  The catch-22 this presents is something like this: a forum for the evaluation of truth which itself is subject to the same critical assessment.  Just like the recursive reflection that results when you place two mirrors facing each other, how long does the feedback loop need to encircle the question before  you can reach an answer? This year’s Media City Seoul exhibition does not necessitate unqualified belief or repudiation; it invites an active inquiry into the institution of trust itself, a task certainly easier said than done.

Of course, in light of such discussions, even a blog such as this must needs be reconsidered.  And so, in perhaps stereotypically “first blog post” fashion, we will attempt to lay down the guiding principles and rationale upon which this blog is built; to necessarily “gain your trust.”

Why a blog?

Media City Seoul 2010 is represented through a variety of “trusted” social networking and social media utilities–Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo–all of which depend on the implicit trust placed in them by their millions upon millions of users.  Such trust can be more than partially attributed to the “bandwagon effect” (or, more pessimistically, “lemming syndrome”); that is, once a critical mass of people start doing something, it becomes not only socially acceptable but indeed socially necessary to join that group so as not to be marginalized.  In the case of social networking/social media sites, it is the sheer number of users that lends them credibility– the same credibility, or “trustworthiness” that Media City Seoul 2010 takes as its primary point of investigation.

Blogs do not fall under this category, and as such their “instant credibility” rank is nil.  Since they do not (as a matter of course) offer services, but rather content, an inherent skepticism pervades their web presence.  Blogs are, by definition, personal. Trust on a personal basis relies on what we call a relationship, which in turn relies on an emotional or other attachment between people.  This is all semantics, of course, but the point is that blogs cannot acquire the same “universal” trust as social networking/social media sites because that widespread attachment is lacking.  Although political blogs such as The Huffington Post (#1 on Technorati’s daily-updated “Top 100 Blogs”) has over 25 million unique page views per month, they cannot hope to match the statistics of social media sites.  According to a Google-sponsored ranking in June 2010, Facebook got 540 million per month; QQ ( China’s most popular social network), 130 million; twitter, 99 million; and so on.  Incidentally, wordpress.com, which hosts this blog, receives 120 million unique page views per month; remember, however, that wordpress publishes over 25 million sites (you do the math).  But I digress.

To return to the point, this blog is the same as any other–namely, personal.  TRUSTblog, though affiliated with Media City Seoul, does not fall under the organization’s official PR umbrella, we are un-official; semi-independent, thus the name, “TRUSTblog,” rather than any official Media City Seoul affiliation in the url line. We certainly enjoy collaboration and cooperation with Media City Seoul, however we operate separately.  That having been said, this blog is intended as an English-language resource to augment Media City Seoul’s existing web presence with an eye towards promoting its programming so that more people can enjoy all that is has to offer.

So, how to build that trust that is so elusive to bloggers?  Take a look around. Comment on content.  Join the discussion.  If you’re lucky, we might end up trusting you, too.


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