Category: Theory


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.

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When poetry averts conformity it enters into the contemporary: speaking to the pressures and conflicts of the moment with the means just then at hand.

“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.” (Montaigne)

 

Protocol. Perhaps one dimension of the aesthetic appeal of the mechanical is in the ‘purity’ of the interleaving of dynamisms — the quality of being a kind of ‘moving’ and even ‘living’ diagram that excites certain sensitivities. Each machine is already a manifold network of various configuration-spaces (involving significant mechanical, environmental, logical factors, etc.) — its singular and intricate behavior produced ‘simply’ by becoming activated and operated. I ask: how was it possible to lay out a common plane where signs and objects, code and data and things and people could all participate ‘democratically”?

 

Everything unfolds as though some master plan were pre-existent, as though the very organization of society, language and thought itself implicitly support a certain orientation, a certain set of virtual borderlines and existential territories establishing a kind of plane of consistency. The capitalist mode of production engenders the conditions for a radical destruction of the consistency of classical plans in place of a generalized decoding of flows; that is to say, flows of words, devices, actions, passions, people, all swept up into a decoded ‘polyvocity’, a collective elocution of a machinic assemblage complete with black holes and lines of flight, bursting with fractal islands of knowledge and complexity. The network illuminates.

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Jean Baudrillard’s “Le Xerox et l’Infini” – originally published in Paris, 1987 – as read by Patricia and Ellen. Recorded on 12 July 2009 by Vicki Bennett in Hersham, England. Sampled on Mudd Up!

A: Part One – 17m12s

B: Part Two – 15m07s

Translation: Agitac, London, November 1988.
The original text in French can be read here.

Deleuze and Guattari Resources

Reading Notes on Deleuze and Guattari  Capitalism & Schizophrenia

D&G Lectures and Outlines

Removal from the Now

For Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin’s Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction has merely identified one symptom of a much wider phenomenon, the death of reality itself–or rather its vertiginous implosion into hyperreality.

Reality in the age of mechanical, electronic and digital reproduction has somehow been absorbed by its own hi-tech self representations.  In a Baudrillardian postmodern world, what counts as “real” is never more than a simulacral by-product of endless copies, fakes, replicas, and media illusions.

Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization

by Alexander Galloway

“Is the Internet a vast arena of unrestricted communication and freely exchanged information or a regulated, highly structured virtual bureaucracy? In Protocol, Alexander Galloway argues that the founding principle of the Net is control, not freedom, and that the controlling power lies in the technical protocols that make network connections (and disconnections) possible. He does this by treating the computer as a textual medium that is based on a technological language, code. Code, he argues, can be subject to the same kind of cultural and literary analysis as any natural language; computer languages have their own syntax, grammar, communities, and cultures. Instead of relying on established theoretical approaches, Galloway finds a new way to write about digital media, drawing on his backgrounds in computer programming and critical theory. “Discipline-hopping is a necessity when it comes to complicated socio-technical topics like protocol,” he writes in the preface.

Galloway begins by examining the types of protocols that exist, including TCP/IP, DNS, and HTML. He then looks at examples of resistance and subversion—hackers, viruses, cyberfeminism, Internet art—which he views as emblematic of the larger transformations now taking place within digital culture. Written for a nontechnical audience, Protocol serves as a necessary counterpoint to the wildly utopian visions of the Net that were so widespread in earlier days.”

So far there is no Marxist theory of the media.

—Hans Magnus Enzensberger

“Unbelievable but true! Baudrillard recites his poetry backed up by an all star band featuring Tom Watson, Mike Kelley, George Hurley, Lynn Johnston, Dave Muller and Amy Stoll, special guest vocalist Allucquère Rosanne Stone. Recorded live as part of the Chance Festival at Whiskey Pete’s Casino in Stateline Nevada, 1996. You’ve never heard Baudrillard like this before! Music to read Nietzsche to.”

 


“The proliferation of displacement and communications resources everywhere tears
us constantly from the here and now, with the temptation of being somewhere else
all the time. Grab a TGV29 train, take an RER30, pick up a phone, and you’ll already
be there. This mobility only implies a kind of constant being pulled away, isolation,
and exile. And it would be intolerable for people were not to always be a mobility of
private space, of a kind of portable “indoors.” The private bubble doesn’t burst; it
just floats. This isn’t the end of the cocooning, it’s just that it’s starting to get
moving. From a train station, an office park, a business bank, from one hotel to the
next, there’s always that foreignness, so commonplace, so well known that it feels
like the least familiar thing. The luxuriance of the metropolis is a random brew of
defined, infinitely permutable environments. Its downtowns offer themselves up not
as identical places but as original offerings of ambiances, among which we evolve,
choosing one and passing up another, like a kind of existential shopping among the
different styles of bars, people, designs, or iPod playlists. Advertising tagline: “With
my mp3 player I’m the master of my world.” To survive the surrounding uniformity,
the only option is to reconstitute your own inner world constantly, like children
building little Wendy houses (A back-yard children’s play-house, named after the house Peter Pan builds around Wendy Darling after she falls upon her arrival in Never-Never Land) just the same anywhere.”
The Coming Insurrection

Is Poetry Enough? Poetry in a Time of Crisis

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Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art