net_institute_apparatus on Mon, 3 Apr 2000 21:45:07 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> 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 possible. 

||  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 power. 

||  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

||  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

||  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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