May 30, 2004

processing identity

.. as to signal identifications, which are processing from multipicity, construction, mobility, .. whilst searching for some background material to remember the quote, which has been on my mind in collecting sparks for a general interpretation of the cultural effect of digitation I came across this and to the decision to make it short and link further:

The Other is not outside, but also inside the Self, the identity. So identity is a process, identity is split. Identity is not a fixed point but an ambivalent point, Identity is also the relationship of the Other to oneself
....from this collection of S.Hall excerpts
Widely discussed in the 90s it still seems to be one of the more difficult tasks to accept the notion of ambivalence in re-thinking contemporary concepts. The general idea evolves through the process and not in cutting it off, thus the inherent ambivalence is a necessary part of processing in order to realize the various possibilities... mulitiplicities ... and states of fragmentation ...

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May 28, 2004

mental leap

.. reading first here and then here again on Mitchell's book and interview .. Curiousity in combination with my weak memory for names made me go in search for the W.J.T. Mitchell I had on the first place of memory and ending up here at Critical Inquiry. This now could lead via name assoziations to that other story, which was sent around mailinglists today about a member of Critical Art Ensemble. (.. all connotations free assoziated ...)
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May 26, 2004

Updating the view by collecting the pieces ..

.. might turn into a paranoid puzzle searching for something to trust in our recent high times of conspiracy theories and teach The Painful Lessons of Abu Ghraib. (see also S.Sonntag)
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May 25, 2004

some views on media coverage

The site axis of logic collects from various sources ...
On venezuela analysis this quote can be found ...

"without culture there is no revolution, culture is the vanguard of any process of change and it is also its consolidation ..."

The article The Satellite, the Prince, and Scheherazade : The Rise of Women as Communicators in Digital Islam focuses on womens role in uprising satellite programs in north africa and middle and far east.

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May 24, 2004

In our digital hall of mirrors,

Susan Sonntag defines:

... the pictures aren't going to go away. Yes, it seems that one picture is worth a thousand words. And even if our leaders choose not to look at them, there will be thousands more snapshots and videos. Unstoppable.
... and they even re-appear in grim mutations (via) of the society, which produces them in the first instance. Re-jected images of the psyche always did. .... There is a difficulty to handle nowaday's images, which also come with the ambigious notion of some disbelief because of the inherent mutability of digital de-coding/evoking which is needed to create a visualy readable version. Thus the reactions are likely to be ..

as if the fault or horror lay in the images, not in what they depict.
... viewing known fantasies no one wants to acknowledge ..
Besides the irritation about the ubiquitous availability this might have been in a simple way also already been expressed through the words of Rumsfeld:

Today's soldiers instead function like tourists, as Rumsfeld put it, ''running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise.'' The administration's effort to withhold pictures is proceeding along several fronts. Currently, the argument is taking a legalistic turn: now the photographs are classified as evidence in future criminal cases, whose outcome may be prejudiced if they are made public.
The digital hall of mirrors seems to produce images, which in their flexibilty of production and circulation mingle more than before aspects of fantasies of the society (which evokes them and the production tools) and the captured events. The images still deliver a limited frame of proof, but obviously need to be classified as evidence again. Susan Sontag interesting article reads their evidence in relation to the psyche of the producers in a wider social aspect.
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May 23, 2004

.. remembering ...

I think the Vietnam War made us all a little crazy," one now middle-aged radical muses toward the end of The Weather Underground. That modest observation will surely, mutatis mutandis, be made of 9-11, but Sam Green and Bill Siegel's often gripping documentary manages to evoke the particular quality and extent of the madness that possessed many Americans during the course of the longest foreign war in the nation's history
... more here

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May 21, 2004

Filling in the Blanks

Embeded or not embeded .. not only concerning military aspects - it is still a real question nowadays .... Today new york times reports about two films which offer different views on war in iraq then the actual media image, which commonly is transmitted. As this article needs registration the following links lead to open sites about Jehane Noujaim's Control Room (accompanying pdf and the control room website). As well as Esteban Uyarra's War Feels like War, which also has a short review on BBC.

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May 20, 2004

a personal touch given to the message by the receiver

In attempting to redefine a contemporary cultural critic Brian Holmes' article in Noema magazine analyizes ..

cultural studies constituted a veritable school on the intellectual left, developing a strategic intention. However, its key theoretical tool was the notion of a differential reception, or "negotiated reading" - a personal touch given to the message by the receiver.
His development of thoughts towards a critical reading of the 'flexible personality' gives an interesting overview about sources and development of critical cultural practice.

"We lack a serious history of co-optation, one that understands corporate thought as something other than a cartoon," writes the American historian and culture critic Thomas Frank (19). In a history of the advertising and fashion industries called The Conquest of Cool, he attempts to retrieve the specific strategies that made sixties "hip" into nineties "hegemon," transforming cultural industries based on stultifying conformism into even more powerful industries based on a plethoric offer of "authenticity, individuality, difference, and rebellion." With a host of examples, he shows how the desires of middle-class dropouts in the sixties were rapidly turned into commodified images and products. Avoiding a simple manipulation theory, Frank concludes that the advertisers and fashion designers involved had an existential interest in transforming the system. The result was a change in "the ideology by which business explained its domination of the national life" - a change he relates, but only in passing, to David Harvey's concept of "flexible accumulation." (20) Beyond the chronicle of stylistic co-optation, what still must be explained are the interrelations between individual motivations, ideological justifications and the complex social and technical functions of a new economic system....

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* Weblog.

This is a new Internet word I have made up, [...] I will work out a meaning for it later.
via overstated

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May 19, 2004

About Interruptions and [Dis-]Appearances

In an experiment of integration printed text comes together with web site dynamics .. as a book:

One of the most interesting aspects of this work is its user interface: the user can interact with the scanned texts through a set of icons drawn on the text, which point at other pages containing biographies, additional texts, original documents, external links and codes to access all the links of a section. Another icon is used to view the cross references in a text. The results of this work are remarkable, because it offers an experience where the user can read and explore a subject in a culturally coherent way and because it implements the same structural principles of interdisciplinarity, critique and aesthetics described in the best essays. The data and their connections, instead of remaining hidden in their respective devices, are dinamically intertwined in a structure which could become a very good standard for the printed works whose intrinsic value stems from their being a node in a greater network. via
The online version of this experiment between printed and hyper-texts is still in progress .. first chapters can be looked up here.

.. and also via Five Small Videos About Interruption And Disappearings.
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May 17, 2004

The paradox as condition of emergence for a location-aware society

The urge and pleasure to be located in an environment, which obviously is increasingly experienced as discarnate has been mentioned before. D.Hemment describes it even as

.. we now live in a present, [...], characterised by "scopophilia", a mix of voyeurism and exhibitionism, and an ontological need to be observed....
The interesting points of the article The Locative Dystopia are his observations on the ambiguous aspects of the locative, which points towards two important factors: to surveillance and tracking issues as well as towards a location-aware perception and its logics, or better the ability to reveal mechanisms of representation .. and also to the high ambivalence of status of embeddedness.

Like surveillance, locative media is a social project, but the grass-roots, social networks it advocates offer a critical distance to the system of domination of the control society. Locative media exults in the pleasure of locating and being located, and finds in this the basis for an emergent sociality - driven not by marketing but by networks of reciprocity and trust - as well as new ways of representing, relating to and moving in the world. Just as it contests the top down approach of conventional cartography to open up a manifold of different ways in which geographical space can be encountered and drawn, so in appropriating and refunctioning positioning or tracking technologies, locative media indicates how they may be used not for pinning down but for opening up.(4) In dispersing interventions and applications outside the State- and corporate-led technology push, it transforms a system of domination into a participatory milieu. And in bringing location and the coordinate system into the foreground, by examining location-aware experience or perception and its relationship to the dominant logics of representation, it creates distortions or moments of ambiguity by which mechanisms of domination become both apparent and less certain.

This does not yet allow a simple opposition to be made between locative media and surveillance or control. Locative media remains upon the same plane as new forms of pervasive surveillance, and this is a plane upon which emancipation and domination intertwine. It is not a simple question of emancipation _or_ domination, but of both at once. In many ways the locative utopia _is_ the dystopia of total control. After Systems Theory we might say that this presents a paradox that is not there to be resolved, but which is productive of the conditions of emergence for a location-aware society.

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A Free-Speech Hero

... found a gap in launching the first programs in Creole from his own radio station. J.Demme's tribute to Jean Dominique('s) and radio broadcasting in general can be viewed in The Argonomist...
Amazingly, The Agronomist remains upbeat. The stirring ending has the resolute Montas rebroadcasting one of her husband's speeches. This affecting eulogy underscores not only Demme's own tribute to Dominique but also the film's homage to radio.
(poster links to film website with audio and sound files)
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May 15, 2004

In-between spaces - some excerpts about: metaphors for locating an alternative space that can generate new knowledge, new practices ...

The location of culture is shifting. As Homi K. Bhabha has written, in his attempt to relocate the notion of Western modernity, "What must be mapped as a new international space of discontinuous historical realities is, in fact, the problem of signifying the interstitial passages and processes of cultural difference that are inscribed in the 'in-between,' in the temporal break-up that weaves the 'global' text."[13] The relationship of globalization and the arts is not about "ecumenism or good will,"[14] or about political correctness, or even worse, guilt. Nor is it about finding an "insurance policy on humanness."[15] The complexity of the issue resides in the terminology of the issue itself.
... more
The notion of thirdness, of in-betweenness, is central to the practices we are considering here as well as to larger theoretical constructs developed to analyze recent cultural shifts. For Homi K. Bhabha, thirdness is a key element in enunciating and conceptualizing a new international culture based on hybridity: "It is the inter--the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the in-between space--that carries the burden of the meaning of culture."[27] He locates culture in what he calls a "third space," a space that collapses new cultural practices and historical narratives.
... more

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May 13, 2004

.. and again: introducing some more ambivalence on this theme

The content of ACCESS calls for awareness of the implications of surveillance, detection, celebrity, and their impact on society. The structure of ACCESS is intentionally ambiguous, revealing the obsession/fascination for control, visibility, and vigilance: scary or fun. ACCESS was primarily influenced by the beauty of the surveillance representations (x-rayed bodies, luggage or vehicles, 3D laser scans, satellite reconnaissance imagery, etc.), the invisibility of the collected data, and the power generated by means of surveillance practices.
...via reblog

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May 12, 2004

Surveillance is Freedom

.. similar theme with an readable text titled Top-down surveillance for grassroots initiatives!.
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Its Eyes

.. a little film trying to grasp a view from an other angle as a according to the walking tours and information from
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May 10, 2004

The Social Construction of Blogspace

A critical and controversial article on blogs, which brings up some interesting thoughts on the issue has been recently published in a not very readable version at rhizome ... a better version can be found here. These quotes about the structural condition of blogs and the creation of space, they seemingly establish, are usually left out beside the discussed issues .. but worth some thoughts. Obvious is the linear structure based on a timeline along which blogs usually develop, eventhough they claim a multidirectional environment their own. A second point is the structure established through content as mentioned here hasn't been much thought about yet, but definitly has impact on the architecture of space, which blogs manifest in the 'virtual no-space' ..
Third - this still is just published as a blogpost as an initial thread to be followed up for an eventual answer ....
Weblogs depend on structure, and a fairly rigid and hierarchal one, to function as defined, both in terms of the visual presentation of information (chronological, vertical, etc.) and as it relates to the larger space of the Internet. This spatial aspect of weblogs is beginning to be discussed in terms of a political economy that includes the cultural and economic exchange of value through links.15 The mechanisms of access are also discussed, including search engines like Google that are considered as integral to blogging as "the Otis elevator was to skyscrapers." 16 But what of the aesthetics of management utilized by blogs? The rigid, hierarchal structure of blogs is what is said to allow for the aesthetics of immediacy within the content. What does this understanding of content and form within weblog discourse mean politically?

"The modern world has given us ways to experience the extension into space, ways that are more accessible (maybe) than older routes of mediation... Space has become obsolete."17

I certainly don't have any answers to my questions, just suggestions for discussion. The issue of space, where contact between subjectivity and social conventions occurs, is one that seems worth investigating. The dichotomy of form and content seen in blogs can be seen to intersect with how space is created and understood. If the form of distribution (blog tools and the Internet) creates an experience of public space as a field with no distance, then the content becomes a marker by which to recognize location. Blogs become "virtually local" within the communities they participate in.18
... more

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May 8, 2004

From Bateson's the map is not the territory to evolving definitions of the locative

We say the map is different from the territory. But what is the territory? Operationally, somebody went out with a retina or a measuring stick and made representations which were then put on paper. What is on the paper map is a representation of what was in the retinal representation of the man who made the map; and as you push the question back, what you find is an infinite regress, an infinite series of maps. The territory never gets in at all. [...] Always, the process of representation will filter it out so that the mental world is only maps of maps, ad infinitum."from wikipedia
In Geograffiti as the digital production of nomadic space Marc Tuters explores
the postmodern trope in which the map has replaced the territory is posited by some as a problem resulting in a decentred subject who is thus unable to map her position in a world in such flux. Borrowing metaphors from postmodern theory, this article develops the notion of a user-generated cartography wherein we can inscribe a one-to-one scale map of space with a multitude of 'other' places.
His article attempts to bring together short clips of recent postmodern and -structural thinkers in a way to point to some reason to try the attempt to gain back some territory .. or at least not to lose the ability of the idea of mapping totally to military and surveilling issues....
Jameson claims that the urban 'hyperspaces' of multinational capitalism have undergone a "mutation in the object, unaccompanied as yet by any equivalent mutation in the subject" (Jameson in Leach 243), "ending the capacity of the individual human body to locate itself... and cognitively to map its position...(in) the great global multinational and de-centered communication network in which we find ourselves caught as individual subjects" (Jameson in Leach 1998, p. 244).
.... read more

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May 7, 2004

If all matter is intimately interconnected by wave-surfing ....

The former and the following are quotes from the article: How Electrons remember by Laura U. Marks in which she developes along the line of the loss of indexicality of the digital image towards metaphers of interconnected matters ...

I have argued that in the analog electronic image, because of the enfolded wave-particle relationship, a strongly indexical or mimetic relationship is maintained between object and image through all stages of recording, transmission, and reception. Moreover, even the digital image remains a physical object. Although it no longer bears an analog relationship to its initial object, the digital image relies for its existence on the fundamental interconnectedness of subatomic particles. Electronic images, like all of us, owe their material being to electrons and their associated wave forms. We are physically implicated in the virtual realms we inhabit, and far from divorcing ourselves from the world when we enter electronic spaces, we may be more connected than we imagine.

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May 6, 2004

connectivity and the feeling of being blinded by no light ...

The first attempts moving in virtual reality created some feeling of stumbling along in something which can be described as 'seeing' blindness. The connectivity of something me brings me back to this sensation. It might not become that obvious in many cases, if not for some reason further bewilderness occurs, but an increasing dependency on something me technologies can have a similar effect, as receiving signals without clear image.
Further it occured to me that connectivity can only grow if there are empty connection points - thus a totally layered area might not be able to provide further ability to recognize a differnent signal. A simple example is that the search for unknown signals is located in more or less waste areas like here. Interestingly all these facts also refer to an ability to receive an image / scenery through different devices than just the eye. The 'image' is created through signals, which do not constitute an image that is visualy readable at the first sight or without some decoding advice.
Abstract readability of scenes might first have been introduced through games as they are usually describing a transformation process of 'reality'. One of the oldest in that sense might be the game go, which came to my mind when i was thinkng about connectivity relations. As far as I remember a 'stone' there is captured and worthless if it has no more liberties.
It also recalls that networks in itself are limited to some extend .. and often just networks within a bigger one ... so we have just reached another level, which we do not overlook at the moment .. to continue again?
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May 5, 2004

via reblog and kottke .. to something me

Despite the comments on this short sequence, which all deal with the way of expression used ... it gets me thinking another way - eventually just approriate to my current situation, when the usual communication channels for some reason get blocked, just difficult to access (may be because of simple reasons like time delay or access fees ..etc) or vanish because of access regulations in the places one finds. It drove me back to think about the limitations of digital transfer and its discrete, thus fragmentated character. It is the paradox of the increasing information, which in itself contains less - like in the simple comparison of an analog signal compared to the digital. The sharpness and clearity has to pay some tribute to warmer shades in between. Thus the sudden dependence exclusively on the digitized for know contacts focused my awareness on the missing information between the signals, which is not transmitted despite the open channels. In this regard I especially liked the expression something me with its unspecified character of whatever way something might be transmitted .. it is treated almost according to its nature more like a signal not as a specific sign of communication.
update: .. accidental find: a supplementary post >> found via at apophenia: Social Technology: From MPD to Aspergers
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some supplementing links ..

.. on video streaming technologies ... collected via
free video streaming technologies
digital instrument for video livesets

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May 4, 2004

The invisibility of unknown knows and the obscure object of desire

... evolves here in associations from an analyzis worth to be read on the halluzinations & antics blog .. It linked me back to Bunel's obscure obsessions and finally to the surrealist's creative understanding of paranoia - which seems somehow relvant to create a gap and gain back the ability for a difference in reality perception in the continuing hermetic interpretation of - for example this war.
Salvador Dali recalled the surrealists ideology, "It is possible to systematize confusion thanks to a paranoia and active process of thought and so assist in discrediting completely the world of reality" (Gould 37)
from here
This re-evocation is also helpful to keep alive the ambiguity of the unknown known and recalling as well that ...
Bunel's aims were specific: through the surreal, visualizing the impulses of the uncon-scious, he would, he said, "shatter the optimism of the bourgeoisie world and force the reader (or spectator) to question the permanency of the prevailing order"
.. though even here it seems to make some sense to follow the interlinking system of associational bits and thoughts ....
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May 3, 2004

The Memory Hole

.. as according to recent themes and links it gained more relevance and attention, than blanks usually do. Though among the ongoing exchanges of bloggers and guestbloggers out there it is worth to mention boingboing for inviting Russ Kick into its side blog. He is editing on the memory hole, publishing books and maintains the memoryblog ...
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