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<nettime> no space III
Pit Schultz on 14 Mar 2001 15:16:46 -0000


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<nettime> no space III


landing

in popular myths the internet is described as an extension of the sea,
la mer, el mar. as 'kybernetes' we use navigators to explore a space
which is technically nowhere. start a ping and try to measure the
miles the packets took. an ip adress locates you indeed in internet
time, but not in internet space. there is no place in cyberspace
and plenty of room for your imagination. consuming time is enough to
be productive.

space metaphors are popular. electronic music, cultural studies,
post-postmodern theory, exhibitions about maps, and a whole
meta-mathematic spaceology of words which try to prolongue the common
within the uncanny. what is a vector outside of the realm of
mathematics? maybe a reference to a dali-like euklidian central
perspective, a mutated atari battlezone, a flatland with a few objects
spread over it, the italien futurist power lines, or much more the
baroque garden architectures of mythical landscapes? what is the space
of theory, the space of thought, the space of memory else then a
romantic cultural program about a nature which only exist in
paintings, an idealism of a world in proper order, a conventional
agreement that became a dead metaphor. like calling you a lion makes
you rather a baseball fan then a strong man today. space gets hollow,
the more it is hysterically expanded into all kinds of popular
language for some reason. ok, maybe it makes sense in another
dimension.

meanwhile you can't just trash the old saints without getting back to
them and ask before. foucault, in his often quoted text 'other spaces'
refers to an era, the nineteenth century, as history dominated,
obsessed with linearity, causality and entropy. he then writes ours is
the era of space, and speaks obviously about the 20th century. space
age. short summer of the internet. foucault carefully keeps the
integrity of geography as the basic reference, the prison, the
hospital, the body. other spaces are careful explorations of other
orders, maybe refering to the bars in stockholm, who knows. in the
end it didn't become a central theory, it was a trial, but hordes of
cultural studies people jumped onto it, with their hypertext spaciality,
transarchitectures, and nostalgic maps of infospheres looking like
africa.

when i read william gibson today, it seems to me like listening to a
duran duran song. cyberpunk rooted in the 80ies. the smell of
leather jackets in smoky bars.

what is the 21th century about then? if we beg D&G to come over for
a moment, it's probably time for "re-territorilization", looking at
the stock markets, the crisis in the agraric sector, the collapse of
the meat industry, earth quakes and global warming, remind you that
there is a space outside of cyberrama. and probably this is just a
pilot. the ground which was hidden beyond the digital fireworks
comes much nearer than before. airplanes and rockets have an
overproportional effect on global warming. some might get reminded
that we go to dust and come from dust. beyond all humanist bashing
its possibly about replacing the human beeing on planet earth.
nietzsche lurks with his candle and laughs...

a couple of months, a few hypes earlier, they called it technorealism,
and it became the open agenda of harward's berkman center. just get real.
a proper working theory, like linguistics or media theory needs a
discoursive clean room but no dirty realism, the suburban paradise of
boredom and turbo-capitalistic hyperreality with keywords like "desire"
or "disembodyment" focused on faith into the nihilism of the flesh. gene
tech brings coding back to the body. ready to really fuck around
with your own narcism, clone it and have another trial if you can
pay. the answer to "are we analogue or digital?" must really hurt.

negri & hardt are sceptical about the romanticism of the left towards
locality. place as the last distinction which is OK. identity based on
defending your own territory OK. the Kosovo liberation front,
completly OK. make your own discourse a little kosovo to be
liberated must be OK too. territorialism is a discoursive desease
spreading not only through the academies but everywhere people insist
on authorship for ideas they just catched up and compiled artfully
just to defend their property more than ever hacking the code of law.
an informational civil war from house to house spread over the
technoscientific economies in expectation of some kind of accidential
scarcity: the abbundance of idea supply! they, we fight with bureaucracy,
hypermediocracy and supercomplex weapons of virtual territory defense
systems. all they,we can dream of is to govern real big info-territories,
third culture like, with los alamos sized budgets.

after race, class, gender was banned from public discourse it fits
perfectly to a little conference tour, a weekend in north italy,
including the good olive oil and red wine which is just a little bit
better then the one of the same kind at the deli around the corner,
here in berlin mitte which looks more and more like stuttgart, frankfurt
or munich, if you know what i mean.

the unitited states, turn the weel of time back, and navigate
cyberspace right down to earth, onto american land, build a virtual
wall around it, to coexist with the star wars program, discontinued
after ronald reagon. 'carbon dioxyde does not happen to be a
pollutant...' there is no east and west, no south and north, there is
only the united states and the rest of the world including its air,
water and idea supplies. there is the putin webcast from the cremlin
and the marcos webcast answering from mexico city, reaching out.
the pyramid scheme of the new economy didn't work out as the
long boom it was programmed for, potentially sucking in all free
capital in the world, it just crashed halfway out. the landing was
not particulary hard, not hard enough to wake up.

later i found this text, thanks to the foucault reference, modest in
its own way, but really, really fun to read, almost a cause to start a
new reader series... it's about law, and no wonder the author works on
copyright. what if just the next phase of a global eco activism would
aim at the relation of copyright and ecological crisis, knowledge as a
irreplaceable resource which needs care, like a fishground.


wonder what you think about it:

Law’s Empire and the Final Frontier: Legalizing
the Future in the Early Corpus Juris Spatialis
by Barton Beebe
http://www.bartonbeebe.com/N-Beebe.pdf


putin webcast from cremlin:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1205000/1205932.stm

comandante marcos in mexico city:
http://mex1.starmedia.com:8080/ramgen/encoder/marcos.smi

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