Category: Article


Wired Magazine just published an article on social media, assembly, and dissidence. Way late to the game but a nice read none the less. We should be thinking about what comes next.

In the first 18-month phase of the program, the Pentagon wants researchers to study how stories infiltrate social networks and alter our brain circuits. One of the stipulated research goals: to “explore the function narratives serve in the process of political radicalization and how they can influence a person or group’s choice of means (such as indiscriminate violence) to achieve political ends.”

H+ article Propaganda 2.0 and the rise of ‘narrative networks’ highlights new DARPA concept of narrative network control.  By manipulating flows and feeds of information, DARPA is attempting to influence the force of news narratives in ways which  designate thematic and semantic influence to precisely control reader responses–to achieve political ends.

Narratives and meanings which constitute our quotidian world view (reality) are now under threat of neurological stimuli/response management.  In this scenario, information narratives (of the world around us) become paired with neurological and technological reorientations of meaning as seen fit by control society, thus opening up new ways of managing behavioral outcomes and perceptions of (information) society.  Our narrative reflexivity with the world around us is sectioned off and stretched into spaces of predetermined outcome.  Baudrillard talks about this already occurring, but now neurology of perception is employed as a new legitimizing force of narrative/info feed control.

This second Video Vortex Reader marks the transition of online video into the mainstream. Staggering statistics of hypergrowth no longer impress us. Discussing a possible online video project for the first time in late 2006 in Melbourne with Seth Keen, the topic was still a matter of ‘becoming’. One collaborative research project, six conferences and two anthologies later, the Video Vortex project seems at a crossroads. Massive usage is not an indication of relevance. Heavy use does not automatically translate into well-funded research or critical art practices. Is the study of online video, like most new media topics, doomed to remain a niche activity – or will we see a conceptual quantum leap, in line with the billions of clips watched daily? So far, there is no evidence of a dialectical turn from quantity into quality. It is remarkable how quickly both pundits and cultural elites became used to online video libraries containing millions of mini-films. In our ‘whatever’ culture nothing seems to surprise us. Who cares about the internet? Continuous technological revolution, from social networking to smartphones, seems to have numbed us down. B-S-B: Boredom-Surprise-Boredom. Instead of an explosion of the collective imaginary we witness digital disillusion – a possible reason why online theory has had a somewhat unspectacular start. The low quality of YouTube’s most popular videos certainly indicates that this platform is not a hotbed of innovative aesthetics.

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Seth Price’s Dispersion

Dispersion by Seth Prince

“Distributed media can be defined as social information circulatingin theoretically unlimited quantities in the common market,stored or accessed via portable devices such as booksand magazines, records and compact discs, videotapes andDVDs, personal computers and data diskettes. Duchamp’squestion has new life in this space, which has greatlyexpanded during the last few decades of global corporatesprawl. It’s space into which the work of art must projectitself lest it be outdistanced entirely by these corporate interests.New strategies are needed to keep up with commercialdistribution, decentralization, and dispersion. You must fightsomething in order to understand it.”

 

sourced for the New Museum’s exhibit Free

 


 

The Network Architecture Lab is an experimental unit at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation that embraces the studio and the seminar as venues for architectural analysis and speculation, exploring new forms of research through architecture, text, new media design, film production and environment design. Specifically, the Network Architecture Lab investigates the impact of telecommunications, digital technology, and changing social demographics on architecture and urbanism.

Netlab’s Network Culture project explores networks not merely as a technology with social ramifications, but as a cultural dominant that unites change in society, economy, aesthetics, and ideology.  Just as the machine made modern industrialization possible and also acted as a model for a rationalized, compartmentalized modern society while the programmable computer served the same role for the flexible socioeconomic milieu of postmodernism, today the network not only connects the world, it reconfigures our relationship to it. We argue that many of the key tenets of culture since the Enlightenment: the subject, the novel, the public sphere, are being radically reshaped.

An important dynamic of a Network Culture within a metropolitan space is the transportation of bodies–particularly the commute.  In dense urban life involves with (mobile) technology in efficient and smooth integrations.  As Alexis Madrigal points out, “car time is wasted time, but commuting time doesn’t have to be. Look at well-heeled Silicon Valley companies. They offer their employees cushy, WiFi-enabled buses for commuting. That first hour of the day, Apple and Google employees are banging out emails and getting ready for the day, not sitting in traffic carrying out a set of repetitive, low-level, and occasionally dangerous tasks to maneuver their exoskeletons southward.”  This implies a new sort of movement that will simultaneously nurture and create the new type of human possible in a network culture.  I am not speaking on the use or dangers of this quite yet.  The latest network to overspread our country — the wireless electromagnetic one — is just not fully compatible with driving, at least for human brains.  We cannot pilot a vehicle and text with our fingers–the brain becomes unfocused.  “You can listen to Howard Stern in a car [on your commute]; you can run your business from a train or bus’s wi-fi network.  What new sort of human is possible?

The physical displacement performed by an individual on a reoccurring basis; commute, occupies the blurred territories of home and transportation. A transition of not only body but mind. Each mode of transportation in the urban environment is connected to a specific set of displacement criteria, offering its own unique environment through which one moves.  Variability of speed, flexibility, and exposure generate different scales of connectivity to these environments and the occupants within. Experiential connectivity calibrates the different moments of motion, pause, and stop in order to expand connection to one another at a multiplicity of scales from the intimate routine to the urban commute.

Netlab seems to investigate how space is reconfigured by/reconfiguring our relationship between technology and bodies.  As the contemporary city evolves, the ways in which it stimulates the human pysche and body transforms as well.

The program Simultaneous Environments experiments with representation and the real.  Our public presence becomes increasing augmented as we assimilate into technology–reshaping and reveling new relationships with material objects, places, and people we encounter while “jacked in” to a screen amidst a wireless landscape.  The real and th virtual begin to merge and transform into a new concept of space.  Simultaneous Environments “documents the invisible structures produced by data exposes moments of individual absurdity, public anonymity, false security, and collective behaviors of isolation while also underscoring the ethereal environments that increasingly surround us.”

Netlab’s program Core iii situates information (network) society into practacle navigations of space and living.

 

Video Lectures:

Tan Lin’s Introduction for Peripheral Writing in EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts

“This issue looks at how and in what spaces writing takes place, i.e. the ambient environment of reading as well as the ecology of writing practices. If the amount of text being generated today is voluminous and threatens to transform a once-visual era into one structured by data and various communications protocols, the site specificity of the EOAGH cluster is distributive and ethnographic, like a reblog. What would an ethnography of writing look like? In an environment of re-circulated PDFs, scripting languages, the built environment, e-commerce, photo sharing as a discursive practice, network architectures, and the social more generally conceived, forms of non-writing comprise a re-distribution within the sphere formerly known as poetry. From this generic standpoint, the spaces poetry is said to occupy, or drift in create shared or communal references and appropriations. A few authors are a few allusions. Although individual authors are listed, a page functions best without them.

Tim had initially inquired about an issue of ambience, as a literary idea, and this section of EOAGH tries to site ambience, where ambience is understood as a medium rather than a genre. Non-writing is one of the forms such a medium might take.

For this particular issue I asked individuals to: send anything that is PERIPHERAL to their current writing (these could be actual words) or current writing practice (more generally), i.e. not immediately sensitive to a desire to do writing or intended to “be” writing. It can be an image, a text you’ve read and not really thought about, a thought about something that you didn’t write about etc etc etc. It can be a series of linked items or it can be a single item, anything really but unconstrained by a desire to make it into something that it is not. It should not have much to do with you, at least textually speaking.

I’m hoping this project might continue beyond the strict bounds of the invitation, with further entries submitted post February 1.”

 

Deleuze and Guattari Resources

Reading Notes on Deleuze and Guattari  Capitalism & Schizophrenia

D&G Lectures and Outlines