Interview with Lisa Nakamura Race and Cyberspace Geert Lovink, May 2004
I met Internet scholar Lisa Nakamura on a conference in Oslo, late 2001,
where she showed how techno-utopian dreams reproduced racist patterns.
Her analysis was of a shocking normality because it, once again, proved
how 'the old' got teleported into the new in such a frictionfree manner.
Nakamura's material shows how the Internet, despite all its alternative
claims, is part of dominant visual culture. "No one on the Internet
knows you are a dog." It is this flirt with fluid identities, so common
in the roaring nineties that distracted Internet advocates from futher
investigations. That, of course, changed over the past years. A number of conferences were held, and studies done and Lisa Nakamura's work stands out within this context. The following email interview was done after we both got involved in a debate about the merits of 'Internet research'.