brian carroll on Tue, 24 Aug 1999 06:34:04 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Fragments of Network Criticism

>Fragments of Network Criticism
>By Geert Lovink

>Where are the
>de Beauvoirs, Sartres and Camus of the Digital Age
>now that we need them?

 on negation as the empirical source of first-hand knowledge:

 i negate, therefore i think..
 i doubt, therefore i question..

 i doubt the network,
 yet the network is...

 the archaeology of media, of archive, of the network as a
 thing-in-itself, replicating, doubling-back, geologically
 thrusting up, pyramid building, collective spirit (of
 capital as e-commerce), the growth, exponential, stocks
 split, markets boil over... 

 what is the existence of the network for the critic..? 

 an interpretation of the object, event, place, unfolding
 and emergent in the chaotic spectrum of culture, economics,
 socius, and politic ranges bridging time, the present, the
 Virilian light of speed, money is all that matter(s)... 

>What would Nietzsche have thought of the Californian
>Uebermensch, preaching to embrace the herd?

 the Superman is the economist on a Harley-Davidson,
 potato! potato! potato! breaking limits of the dromo-
 sphere, up 5/16ths is not enough, warp speed till
 escape velocity- then sell! 

 the ego of the supra-, the overriding structure, the
 facade of makeup, mascara, lipstick, eyeshadow, all
 of a bullish networked costume party.. put on strapless
 bra, tatoo, leather jacket- to roar into the Tofflerian
 future, the future is near, the future is here, there
 is no here there... 

 the individual ego, fusing with the collective psyche,
 superman and woman, rising above the flames of discourse,
 to critique? to dissent? or to glorify the network as
 status, to protect and to hoard the information of the
 Trademark, the Copyright, and the All Rights Reserved... 

 battle cry- no one dies electronically! 

 the immortal silence in not changing, not questioning,
 not critiquing, not cognitively dissenting the role
 of the network as is, as was, future tense, future
 hense, wherewithal.

 the knowledge worker, pun, equating information with
 knowing, with existence without a being in it, an utter
 emptyness, silence, without voice, without psychology
 besides that of a bad dream, of virtues, of ideas, of
 beliefs economically unfeasible...

 philosophy out of a networked vending machine, what
 need is there for philosophers in an ideological bath
 of excess, of doing - not thinking, of thinking therefore
 being, but all in bad faith, Camus' virtual gun shooting
 blanks on silicon beaches, leaving only the text dead,
 the text as image, as symbol, electronic diaspora...

>One day,
>origins and basic structures will no longer be dominant. Media can grow,
>and transform into something different, more playful, open, with modular
>architectures. Breaking the magic spell of meaning and casting will create
>democratic structures in which truely flat channels prevail.

 the subconscious network, will the origin story become a
 forever lost 'first tale' of our path, a mystical and divine
 beginning, to be rehersed again and again by the net critic..
 to divine the true meaning and the retro-reality of a pre-
 net cultural zeitgeist?

 "what was it like, grandma, when the net didn't exist?"

 "you mean you didn't have e-mail?"

 "you didn't have a global e-state?"

 what is ancient in this electronic archive of civilization?

 what is the foundation of the network structure... Marx's
 supra, Freud's sub, Jung's alchemical symbol transferred
 onto D&G's body without organs, where are we now without
 a network in our future? we are nowhere, that is here-
 mixing bits of electronic bytes, chaotic flows of energy
 representing information, direct current riding on the
 processors, fluid dynamics through router, ISP, screen,
 to teleport to the power, the glory and the media for all.

>arts, incapable of taking a real avant-garde stand, has maneuvered itself
>in an impossible position. It is neither participating in fundamental
>research, nor does it have content, compared to 'regular' websites, videos
>or audio pieces. At best they are form studies, esthetic explorations, in
>search for a visual language, done by arts students and their teachers.

 art is not dead- it is irrelevant. the artist is no longer
 "creator" but "interpreter". but not by organizations of
 power and institutions of legitimation, but of a critical
 dissent/descent in the family tree of familial black sheep.

 the shepherd of the electronic herd, taking horrific paths
 to a virtual charged oasis where ideas are economies unto
 themselves. back to discourse, back to archive, back to
 Foucault's archaeologies of knowing...

 i doubt, therefore i judge...

 i think, therefore i think i know...

 the break, the schiz, the flow, the analysis of the network
 as hermeneutic device, for mass psychological profiles, for
 RTMarks and CNETs, same space, different places in mind...

 where to go where to be where to see?

 'here comes the regular?'

 how we interpret the network-

 how does the network interpret us?

 -or is there no us? no group ego, only maniacs. no
 commonality, no public, relativity again gaining upper
 hand in a crooked game of cards. if you have no bits
 you cannot play...

> What is
>needed are new spaces for reflection and critique, free zones where
>researchers of all kinds can work without the pressure of sponsors and
>administrators, free from short term commercial pressure. The same can be
>said of the 'digital Bauhaus' concepts, which lack any negation of
>mainstream digital utopia and are hardly different from average photoshop
>plus HTML-courses.

 mine the archive. reinterpret the recent past... compost heaps
 of information to detourn, to burn, to reassemble... the aesthetic
 is regurgitated, reappropriated, string into a bird's nest, an
 animalistic, animistic, mystic weaving of ideas, no his- or
 her- story, an our-story, an imaginary utopia in the dystopic
 present. mind is an island. dreams are atmospheres. are we
 in the same universe? on what levels, in what nodes, in
 what spectrum does our realities intertwine? or is it all
 junk. garbage. waste. ruins of mind. ruins of time.

 to electromagnetic detectors, brains as info engines,
 mind as crypto without a code, life as signal diminishing...

>The computer as a machine will disappear anyway, and will be
>dispersed into our daily environment. So it be quite an achievement to
>negate and ignore these devices. I do not blame anyone for anything.  Let
>us overcome this universal protestantism and instead concentrate on the
>architecture of these new media, now that there is still something to
>decide. Time is running out.

 architecture as archaeology, interpreting the built, with the
 design of the future, to build.... looking backward, waking up
 with cryonic sneeze from the deep freeze- what was it like in
 2000 grandma?

>Future generations will look down on our time
>and think: why did they all use these crap Microsoft products?
>Why did not they revolt against the supidity of its interface and the
>corporate take over of this once so public and open Internet platform?


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