net_institute_apparatus on Mon, 3 Apr 2000 18:32:45 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] the net_institute manifesto

	t h e   n 3 t _ ! n s t i t u t e   m 4 n i f e s t o

||  n e t _ i n s t i t u t i o n

the net_institute is not an institute devoted to new media but an
institute_network that uses a net structure to deconstruct the
traditional power frames. the net_institute is a flat-hierarchy
horizontal institute aimed to bypass the old centralised media, i.e.
the institutions, and to set up bottom-up mass media. the net_institute
believes that every institution is a consensual allucination.

||  a l e p h _ m a t r i x

the net_institute is a hybrid between the city and the net, the
metropolis and the mediascape, between a collective intelligence and an
institutional apparatus. it is an example of the genetic mutations
induced by the implosive convergence of media, formats, genres into the
net's omnivorous matrix. at the same time the net_institute works as a
mediatic icon, an institutional apparatus, a networked building, a
horizontal institute, a mailing list, an urban interface of the net, a
net interface of the landscape, a machine programm, a connective name.
the net_institute is a new bio_informational organism: its life task is
to reproduce its meme by contaminating other organisms as faster as

||  l e a v i n g   t h e    n e t

at the end of its pioneering period, the net is living its definitive
commodification and trasformation in the backbone of the new economy.
the cyberspace saga ends up in an on-line supermarket. past the
cyberspace, the net_institute seeks a third space of action, the
friction point between netscape and landscape. for this reason the
net_institute goes out of the net, ejects the network out of the web,
tries to create short-circuits with the territory, to establish a
practice connected to net_culture in a contradictionary way. the
net_institute sets itself on the point of detonation between the cyber
and the real world, on a hybrid topological dimension implementing the
communication and immaginative power of the net straight into the real
world. the net_institute uses the net to outline future lands, to draw
maps that subvert the present territory, to project the territory itself
on the mediascape.

||  p r o _ i n s t i t u t i o n

the net_institute reveals the social simulation of content, normally
protected by institutional or antagonistic rethorics, and the power
frames hidden in the art world and counterculture. at the same time as
the institutions are hosting subversive net_artists and cultural
terrorists, the net_institute itsel becomes an institution. as the real
power leaves the government buildings to move to faceless corporations,
the net_institute gets hold of abondoned simulacra, occupies the center
of the territory, makes the power relationship visible again. since
power no longer has a face, a center, a head, the net_institute turns
the net in a collective and organised intelligence. the net_institute
does not live in the underwoods of the net.

||  n e t _ w o r k e d _ i n s t i t u t e

the net_institute is a building that embodies the deep frameworks of the
net and is made up of public and private environments, physical and
communication spaces. it is a hybrid architecture capable to fit itself
into other architectures. it is a transversal, modular, unstable space
that can be constructed by anyone, a low_tech practice devised to hack
the architectural code and to revivify the urban space. the
net_institute is a mass medium building daily repopulating the city.

||  u r b a n _ i n t e r f a c e

the internet is a machine capable to overcode each aspect of social
life. standing up against the technoeuphoria, the net_institute thinks
it is reactionary to look for the wonderful, the complex, the extreme on
the net only. the net_institute is an urban interface of the net_culture
that breaks with the dominant discourse about cyberscape, virtual
reality, simulation. the net_institute is a physical, social, mediatic
space and it is not controlled and constructed on the net but through
the net. the net_institute is a creative interface for the conscious -
technical and political - management of the networks and their mediatic

||  h u m a n / m a c h i n e   i n t e r f a c e

the net_institute builds human and urban networks in order to turn the
networks' invasion into everyday life inside out. at the same rate as
the networks are rooting into social life and the computer is giving the
human being its mind, the net_institute will root inside the network and
give the machine its mind. the human being is now reshaping itself after
the models of intelligent machines: the meta_design of the new
technologies permeates the neural structure more than old ones, redraws
its circuits and constructs new infrastructures for human behaviour. for
this reason the net_institute wants to de_cable the collective brain.
the net_institute device wants to make conscious again the behaviours
made automatic and unconsious by the widespread technology, by the
software easy automatism that are standardising taste and creativeness.
the net_institute wants to construct not user_friendly but
brain_friendly interfaces, wherein the friction with the diversity of
machine be the highest.

||  s o c i a l    o pe r a t i v e _ s y s t e m

operative and the social systems are converging towards each other. the
operative systems have been increasingly designed according to social
models and metaphors, and are aimed to control the whole society. at the
same time, the term 'operative system' leaves the field of computer
science, in order to be used by the social system to describe itself.
such a convergence allows us foresee scenarios of 'intelligent'
networks, buildings, cities controlling any aspect of social life. the
net_institute sees itself as a social operative system aimed to control
the dominant operative system.

||  i m m a t e r i a l _ a r c h i t e c t u r e

the net_institute is obsessed with the material and immaterial
architectures that continuously shape the collective behaviour and the
unconscious: commercial and bureaucratic architectures, urbanistic
plans, media embedded in the urban texture, computer networks,
information fluxes. the post_industrial culture is dominated by
immaterial information architectures and by invisible comunication
channels, no longer by the heavyness of industrial economy, but the
immaterial yoke is as much heavy. the net_institute itself does not
express but ghosts unconsciously sedimented in the brain of the masses
and in social behaviours.

||  o p e n _ a r c h i t e c t u r e

the net_institute's network structure allows an open architeture which
new structures can be connected to at any moment. the net_institute is
an autopoietic organism piloted by the networking of its nodes: each can
propose a reorganisation of the whole net. as in a population of
neurons, no one rules, but the brain works the same. in this case the
brain trigging neuronal impulses is the mailing list: better, the
net_institute is a mailing list, i.e. a collective narration. for the
net_institute anyone can build the basement, write the mission, develop
the departments, control the image, program the code. the net_institute
is a connective name.

||  o p e n _ s o u r c e

as a political groupware the net_institute is open_source, and it makes
the decision and organisation mechanism completely visible and
accessible. the net_institute is a transparent multi-cellular organism
whose evolution can be observed through its mailing list and the iconic
interface of its structure. the net_institute doesn't follow a strategy
of secret [though this statement is not demonstrable]. the net_institute
is a freeware and open_source software, usable and modifiable for
non-commercial purposes.

||  l o _ t e k

squashed between wired-style psychedelia, web-tv colonisation threats,
virtual reality middle-class neorealism and aesthetic spectrum
saturation, a space for action is left only for those who can devote
themselves to networking, minimalism, schematism, fast rates and
iconoclasm. the net_institute prefers the low_tech because this is the
fastest format in the information highways and the collective imaginery,
and because it is a code accessible and understandable to all. the
hi_tech hides the content, makes it elitist, and works slower inside the
communication channels. the low_tech is critical, iconoclastic, compact,
modular. the intelligence and imaginery that are being constructed are
minimalistic, schematic, connective, modular and text_based.

||  t e x t _ b a s e d

the low_tech is text_based. the net_institute represents neither the
intellectual class nor mass culture. the net_institute uses the ASCII
characters, better known as an american standard, as an universal code,
a tool to assault both the elitist and the commercial culture.
text_based concept does not deal with a bookish culture but with
computer keyboards and mailing lists to write a bottom-up culture.

||  c o d e _ c u l t u r e

the net_institute explores the digital culture neuropathy that neither
activists nor the sharpest critics are able to perceive. this narcosis
of consciousness can be observed in the wired family and in all the net
users, hackers included: the computer medium has mathematicized and
digitalized the mind and its irrational and analogic impulses. after the
early period of domestication to the medium, the net_institute tries to
subvert its inner logics, to bypass the machine code, to explore its
limits. otherwise the net_institute thinks that the turing machine
language could be a therapy for the 'weak thought' of western

||  n o t _ a r t

the net_institute considers more necessary and interesting to build
pathological containers than pathological contents. in order to set
schizophrenia and creativeness free, they should be forced into an
obsessive, allucinatory and claustrophobic space, in an articial light.
the net_institute was born far away from the ergonomic european new
media centers. the net_institute steals and implements the most
sclerotic appearances of power, with no provocative intentions, to show
the failures and contradictions of underground and overground
lifestyles. in a world where institutional culture is kept alive with
transfusions of counter-culture, and upper class fashion wears the
street-style, the net_institute causes activism to lose its bearing. the
net_institute does not play with the superficial interface of two
browsers as well as net art does, but works with the deep framework of
the internet machine to have its underground exposed. the most beatiful
artwork is the idea - the meme that manages to spread and reproduce
itself widely and actively.

||  t o t a l i t a r i a n _ m a c h i n e r y

the net_institute is a perfect overturning of the kafkesque universe: it
is an institute where the outside is the inside like in the klein
bottle: logically you are already inside it. the institute is a
totalitarian machinery because it celebrates the death of the author,
the artist, the individual, and the sexual and ethnic identity, through
an anonymous, asexual and inorganic architectural simulacrum. anyone can
construct and inhabitate the institute to find a home to own unstable
identities. following the example of the corporations, the individual is
not meant to espress him/herself, the institute cares about doing it in
his/her place.

||  r e t r o _ a v a n t g a r d e

the net_institute is a paranoid disguise of schizophrenic forces against
those paronoid forces that in western society pretend to be
schizophrenic. the net_institute faces the e-nomination and the
invisibility of the new power and economy using the heavy and material
image of an institute. laibach, nsk, luther blissett, rtmark, balkania
and the net_institute are examples of practices that do not face the
system 'correctly' but deconstruct it from the inside by the means of
aesthetic, semantic, polical, legal short-circuits.

||  c o n n e c t i v e   n a m e

the net_institute is the reincarnation of luther blissett as a
collective open pop star, an evolution of the multiple name's karma when
the name started being used for boring 15-minutes celebrities. luther
blissett is not only a multi-use and multi-user name but also a
collective myth that can animate new narrations and new devices. the
net_institute represents its further implementation. the net_institute
is not indeed a collective name, but a connective one, not the name of a
character but a structure_name. in other terms, the net_institute can be
described as an urban and institutional architecture built on and for an
open-architecture pop star. the net_institute is not a metaphor but a
political and aesthetic device to construct urban and international
networks, to deconstruct the cultural and mass media industry, to
reconquest the territory, to find a home for unstable identities. when
the masses and the media are acclaiming a harmless luther blissett, it
is the right time to kindly offer them a totalitarian institution.
become net_institute.



  n 3 t _ ! n s t i t u t  e

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