[-empyre-] scalable relations-- how does this matter? (orde-materialize?)

naxsmash naxsmash at mac.com
Sat Feb 7 03:30:03 EST 2009

Dear Anna,

While  Christiane  formulates one of her elegant responses (!~) I just  
want to say that I was pondering the same issue over the last 24  
hours.  The key query you make locates
a problem of human values ( specifically relational aesthetics)   
within the topologic 'deformations' or transformations  (you note  
"relations cannot be simply toologically deformed without
very real consequences for their relationality.") I wonder are you  
suggesting that human use and human values always activate these   
topologies at a core level.? - personally
I think so , despite the old seduction of the autonomous machine (good  
old bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even).

in re all of this please see this amazing little sketch  (see ref  
below)  by the architect of requests to Flickr, David Vance  
Pattishall.  One guy managing an amazing amount of requests: by simply  
moving the Flickr architecture away from
a master/slave topology and into multiple afilliated 'masters'  
exchanging 'shards' so that all the servers are participating with one  
another in sharing key information.  This is a very beautiful example of
relational aesthetics in information design!  Check it out..it's quite  
a provocative instance of an almost utopian moment for info sharing  
and personal exchanges.

The originating polity of the design is  a  system of  'federation' .

Federation at Flickr:  Doing Billions of Queries Per Day   http://www.scribd.com/doc/2592098/DVPmysqlucFederation-at-Flickr-Doing-Billions-of-Queries-Per-Day


On Feb 5, 2009, at 10:33 PM, Anna Munster wrote:

> Hi Christiane,
> I've had a brief look at the website but won't be able to experience
> the exhibition - stuck in Australia I'm afraid! What  a pity - looks
> great!
> I am wondering how you see the relation - at a curatorial and
> conceptual level rather than purely technical - between the idea of
> 'scalable' and the commonly used notion of 'scale-free' which abounds
> particularly in contemporary network science?
> I think your idea of scalable within the aesthetic context perhaps in
> fact includes both the concept of 'scale free' especially as you put
> it in terms of the continuing functionality of a database for example
> in spite of changes in context or transaction quantity. But perhaps
> scalability also includes the  opposite of this - ie that relations
> cannot be simply topologically deformed without very real consequences
> for their relationality. If something can be scaled, then there will
> be relational aesthetic changes although this may still allow
> functionality...
> Just wondering about your thoughts on this
> Best
> Anna
> A/Prof. Anna Munster
> Assistant Dean, Grant Support
> Acting Director Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics
> School of Art History and Art Education
> College of Fine Arts
> P.O. Box 259
> Paddington
> NSW 2021
> 612 9385 0741 (tel)
> 612 9385 0615(fax)
> a.munster at unsw.edu.au
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

naxsmash at mac.com

christina mcphee


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