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MAPPING EXPRESSION
© Lily Díaz, 2000
Presentation at EVA-Gifu, Oct. 6, 2000

I should explain why I have chosen this title for my presentation today. Especially since I have been told that the meaning of the word "mapping" may vary slightly from the English to the Japanese language. In the latter, the word is synonymous with"getting to know". As it turns out, during the past few days, we have heard the word content used many times. For example: The Age of Content. So we know that content is important. Yet what do we mean by content? And what is it about some content that it touches us? I would propose that each and everyone in this room possibly has a slightly different interpretation of this word. And although I do not have a precise answer, I believe that it is something important for us to reflect on. Then there is the word user. This is also another word that we have all heard over and over again throughout the past few days. I have never met anybody I held in esteem, to whom I would apply this term user to. There are people, communities, and nations...

I want to suggest to you that in the Information Society, what joins these two abstract entities of content and people is the notion of expression. The philosopher John Dewey defined expression as "a transformationby which a set of gestures, representations, or sounds, are brought into existence for the purpose of communicating something. Expression is informed by reflection, which takes into account, for example, the value of past experience. I also propose to you that expression is not the sole domain of the artist. What brings us together in this realm of "doing with computers", besides earning a living, is a desire to express something. Mapping expression is therefore, about how different people work together with content to create this objectthat is culture heritage.

ABOUT COLLABORATIVE WORK
One of the realities about work with multimedia products and computers is that it takes a lot of work. A special report published in 1998 to the National Science Foundation in the United States stresses that the level of complexity of virtual networked environments is such that successful ventures can only be developed as collaborative endeavors. For the artist who is used to working as an individual, this is a key issue. In fact, many of the works presented as media art, are also the result of a team effort.