xaf@interport.net (Jordan Crandall) (by way of Pit Schultz ) on Mon, 24 Feb 97 21:41 MET

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

nettime: dX: suspension

	notes on 'suspension', installation and publication for documenta X
                  21 June - 28 September 1997

Contemporary spaces are accessed, ordered, and navigated under the
conditions of various online and offline protocols.  These protocols include
computer formats and settings, social codes and customs, and structures of
agreement, arrangement, and formalization.  These protocols serve to
initialize, configure, and normalize space, rendering it inhabitable and
infusing it with organization and procedure.  Determined by larger forces as
well as local practices, they might configure as walls, interfaces, and
representations--"facings"--that mark the boundaries of an environment.

The space that results is often something that is very much unlike space,
especially in its tectonic sense.  It is simultaneously flat and deep, unitary
and dispersed, near and remote, miniature and gigantic, reflective and
immersive.  To regard its structure is to block together these seemingly
incompossible aspects and to figure inhabitants whose bodily constitutions
and capacities have been adjusted to fit its diverse requirements.

Alternate structuring principles are required.  We are experimenting with
four.  "Matrix" concerns the structure of signification and its indissoluble
links to material substrate; "vehicle" concerns body, signification, and
technological apparatus as constituted in motion, including the ways that this
apparatus converts, transports, and makes its users adequate to new
velocities; "phoropticality" concerns the augmentation of vision by
technological apparatuses, its manufactured mistrust of the naked eye, and
its role in converting the body; and "pacing" regards navigational modes
that are adequate to the traversal of these conversional environments, and
which organize space according to patterns, rhythms, and routines.

We are exploring these principles within a simple setting--a kind of "home." 
This home is not necessarily a determinable place so much as it is a mode
or figure.  Both local and distributed, it is suspended between formats and
protocols, sometimes miniaturized into devices and sometimes expanded
into spaces.  It is a recurring pattern that is familiarized as structure,
part of a process of adjustment and calibration, through which accessors and
environments are conditioned to one another.  It is therefore a site of
struggle, a locus of subjectivizing procedures and of their contestation. 
Always in conversion, it hovers somewhere between represented image,
physical space, and access configuration while its inhabitant flickers within
it  like a ghost.

The home setting is therefore always accessed through its facings and their
systems of conveyance and interpretation.  This involves not only protocols
and their transfer and engagement apparatus, which set the conditions of
possibility (the setting's "settings"), but also a vehicle that helps to
and make adequate this accessor.  A viewing body is engaged to locate,
activate, and traverse the setting, and a viewing faculty adjusted to register
its content and contours.  This faculty is characterized by a mobile,
fluctuating point of view, able to resolve and incorporate diverse, conflicting
fields, dislodged from the body proper and extended into new devices.  As
such it marks a suspension of body, space, and vision across the borders of
the facings.  

Vehicles attempt to contain and conceal their support structures and
systems, advancing toward ubiquity and invisibility.  They face hardware
with a smooth, seductive, molded gloss that redirects vision away from the
interior and its production in the name of comfort and convenience. 
Vehicles are shaped by the demands of the technologies they contain, their
methods of production, the protocols of the environments within which they
function, and their values to users, whose morphologies and practices they
reflect and simultaneously help determine.  They are molded by, as they
participate in molding, bodies, activities, and environments, bearing the
impressions of activation, navigation, and inhabitation patterns.  Holding
both the promise of progress and the threat of obsolescence, they are
densely-packed condensations of time, space, and scale, materializing vast
incommensurabilities.  We are regarding these vehicles (the HBC-250 and
the HCA-1100/1200/1300/1400/3000) in terms of "home processors": 
conducting, binding, and calibrating units that resemble basic, necessary
home furnishings, whose surfaces are usable for eating, sleeping, working,
and organizing while they simultaneously house and conceal the components
that uphold them.  They mark the impulse toward "home improvement" and
its arrays of "built-ins," combined with the facing practices of the electronics
industry.  They position the home furnishing as a buffer, which absorbs and
stabilizes the shock of impact between conflicting forces, temporarily
freezing data in its tracks and placing it in a holding-pattern while providing
a resolved, comfortable, and usable surface for the body.  They
compensate for the vastly diverse processing rates between bodies and
machines while configuring as a conductive surface between them.  

However these vehicles traffic in other guises and attachable/detachable
"parts," which mark the drive toward cellularity, speed, and miniaturization
and disperse the conducting (transfer), binding (connecting/grouping),
and calibrating (signifiying/orienting) apparatus from the mainframe. 
These parts include a set of "figures" and a "rhythmic fitting" or
connector-frequencer.  This adaptable device (the RF-
1000/2000/3000/4000/5000) and its signals or "beats" facilitate pacings
between the realms, helping to pattern the home setting through embodied
routines, suggesting alternate protocols of frequency and spatial

The setting is crisscrossed with networks of projection and viewing cones
that are initiated and interrupted by viewer-navigators, both locally with the
Kassel exhibition space and remotely via the Internet.  Both surfaces of
projection and interruptions in the flow, both subjects and objects of the
images, both agencies within the images and controllers outside them, they
are caught within both geometral space and an atmospheric surround that
allows no overall point of view.  The normative lines of sight between body
and space are disrupted and the location of viewing dispersed.  The facings
are infused with a rhythm that disrupts the smooth continuity of the image
and its perspectives, imposing physical patterns onto the objective visual
planes.  Correspondingly, their structures, rhythms, and conditions impose
patterns on the ways that the setting is navigated and determined.  In flux
between are bodies, both physical and encoded. 


*  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
*  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
*  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
*  more info: majordomo@is.in-berlin.de and "info nettime" in the msg body
*  URL: http://www.desk.nl/~nettime/  contact: nettime-owner@is.in-berlin.de