calin dan on Sun, 8 Feb 1998 07:45:49 +0100 (MET)

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

<nettime> organized obsession

Triad. Three issues are defining both the discourses of war &  of computer:
a. data manipulation; b. interaction; c. connectivity.

a. Data manipulation is a main component of political power. It started
with taxation systems, elaborated first some 5,000 years ago and continued
to conquer other domains of public life. Taxation and army are
interconnected and together they give the first identity of state. Art came
next on the scale of state machines, geared together with religion.
Data manipulation is inherent 2 warfare, from the establishment of
infrastructure components 2 the way campaigns are dealt with. Spies were
the first hackers. Artists the first encoders.
Data manipulation is increasing proportionally the operational capacities
both in warfare and art fare; this is not necessarily bringing either
military victory or aesthetic accomplishment.
One of the characteristics linking art & war is the volatile behavior of
both domains in terms of the logic input - result. The interactive machines
are 4 the time being less volatile in their effects and therefore less

As I already said, since everything can be defined as data, all
speculations based on it drop flat. But here data has a meaning in
connection with 2 other issues: 1. amounts; 2. obsession.

1. Data is distinct from any other levels of information by the amounts.
Accumulating and processing it implies the existence of huge machines.
State was one. Computing capacities tend to become the next, and that
brings also the ideological speculation of the displacement of the state
machine by the computing machine.

2. Accumulating and processing data imply an obsessive strategy. Power is
about organized obsession. Obsession doesn't have 2 be necessarily clinic -
it results from the machinic specificity of power.
Archives are the first spectacular result of this obsessive exercise.
Databases are the next; what divides them is a magic word: access.
And access takes us 2 the next common place in discussion.

Calin Dan
Akademie Schloss "Solitude"
Studio 22
Solitude 3
D-70197 Stuttgart
T: + 49 711 69 930 122
F: + 49 711 69 930 150
ONLY Receive mail: 

#  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: and "info nettime" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: