[-empyre-] disturbances accept the > fact

Ricardo Dominguez rrdominguez at ucsd.edu
Sun Nov 29 22:32:40 EST 2009

Hola Trebor and buenos dias all,

>Good morning from coast to coast, Ricardo. It's 6:40 am; Brooklyn is
>slowly waking up. The street lamps just switched off. I'll quickly write
>before my daughter wakes up.

I understand that moment of the before the liminal light.

I am trying to write these notes before the sun and my son wakes up.
The potential playground of world will be calling us for early morning
re-design of the trans-imaginary. (Plus my poet love will need here
morning Lattes, one of the few jobs I could get after the UC fall ;=}

Thanks for the notes and general breakdown of one viral strain to be found
at the

> "how do we train the next generations to hactivate the design of "playbor"
> towards a "acti-play" that only pretends to "labor" in a directed manner -
> de-linking towards disturbance."
> Let me try to respond through the lens of The Internet as Playground and
> Factory conference.
> The scale on which all that networked expropriation takes place has
> seriously changed since the late nineties and the lateral axis is much
> stronger now. We are used and are using each other. Life itself is put to
> work.

Yes, I had just bit of time to review the wealth of materials you linked
to and
I found myself wanting to strain beyond the cloudy limits of Web 2.0 and
enclosure moments and smell out those moments of "jailbreak" or of limited
tactical realities - and I did see some hints and allegations in your
final point of
the powerpoint(s) (yours and the other scholars).

All of it brought to mind the linking of Internet as Playground being the key
to the lockdown - the call of "All Power to the Imagination" is now the
of new prison/hospital/school/corp/empire/....and know escape if possible.
So lets turn the tables, lets disconnect the cables, so let try to sing
other songs,
so let run nakes into the sea! (Not really an answer to the difficulty
needed to escape code and the gathering dealt with - just my mood at the

While disturbances do accept the fact that "These disturbances accept the
> fact that they take place on corporate grounds and in a hybrid economy."
I think
disturbance accept that we can imagine the staging grounds to something other
happening in between the (hy)bird...those other creatures...

which brings me to an old re-run for old.thing.net that also asked similar
(I know it is long of me - but do not read it if you do not want to).

Gracias for the work Trebor and have fun this morn.

P.S. Interview with Bill Bogard
by Ricardo Dominguez

Escaping from the WEB we weave reduplicates the drive of digital-flesh.
Digital-Dasein dreams of jumping over code, simulation, speed, and
bodies--The GREAT ESCAPE just like Steve McQueen on his motorcycle, a
hyper-line of fligth over the telematic state. The only problem is that in
order to accomplish this break-out we must help build our own
micro-panopticons, our own electronic pyramids, and pretend that we are
digging our way out. Bill Bogard's The Simulation of Surveillance: Hyper
Control in Telematic Societies traces the imaginary structure of our
present holographic situation. The macro-desires of organizations like
Identification Technologies International in Coral Gables, Florida, that
has created a pixel signature system that uses only 96 bytes of memory and
can easily be folded into a smart card. A biometric recognition process
that can find any face in any crowd--the National Security Agency has
exhibited a high-level of interest. Bogard's theory-fiction opens the
backdoor of the always/already dream of total security of the global
market. So slip on your mask and meet us by Cell Block C--remember to
bring a spoon!"
Q. Our imaginary is becoming our real electronic state where the borders
between speed and bodies, surveillence and simulation, technology and
science fiction merge in an extropian implosion (a highly organized
nano-culture or a society of invisible technology) that nolonger needs any
external representaions of power. Can this always/already holograhic state
be used by groups towards counter-networks of resistance? Such as the
Zapatistas' use of netwar? Or is resistance part of our lost horizon?

A. It's always possible to resist. But I think resistance to these systems
has to take the form of a counter-actualization rather than a negation.
Negation is the logic of the system, already pushed to its extreme. You
can't really appropriate or manipulate the media either, since it's become
the very form of appropriation and manipulation. I follow Deleuze on
this--freedom is located on the plane of the event, not the plane of
information. Information systems can simulate events by coding them and
playing them back ad nauseum, but events themselves unfold according to an
entirely different temporal logic. However much telematic technologies
appear to play with time, at bottom, in their operation, they're still
linear and unidirectional, still caught up in making the event present.
Events, though, as Deleuze says, move in two directions at once, into the
future and the past at the same time, always eluding the present. To
counter-actualize the event means exactly the opposite of producing the
event as information. So I guess the short answer is that I don't think
you resist the holographic state holographically. You search out the
movements and singularities that elude coding and follow them.

Q. Your analytic process is part of growing movement of theory fiction
which allow critique to enter by the backdoor, by sneaking up behind the
demands and desires of code culture, and re-reading the cracks, punctures,
gaps in the seamless dreams of our holographic state. Can these
hallucinatory explorations give us more insight into our current situation
than other forms of critical discourse?

A. I guess my thinking has changed about this. The danger is always that
theory fictions will fall back on a traditional view of the concept as a
logic of signification, and in that way become accomplices of the systems
they critique--information is just the ecstatic form of the sign. What
fiction can do, I suppose, is explore the imaginary limits of these
systems, the places where they disappear or reverse or implode. But
expressing the problem in terms of limits already forces us back into a
framework of negation. In some sense, we have to turn our backs even more
radically on telematic systems, which already produce abstract fictions so
efficiently and profusely that they exhaust almost all of their critical
possibilities. Theory fictions are one point of view on the problem, but
they aren't better or worse or more right or wrong than other kinds of
critical interventions in the mediascape. We need more than a critique of
the media, anyway. We need to counter it with a whole different way of
life, like becoming nomads again, and I don't mean electronic nomads.

Q. Is the techno-dialectic and its will to virtuality part of a substratum
of history that is now emerging as the main drive of Western Culture? The
will to overcome friction, time, and the screenal? Where is this uber-code
leading us?

A. I think we have to distinguish at least two wills to virtuality, one
technical or telematic, the other related to the event. The first will
makes all becoming a matter of the code--smoothness and frictionlessness
become functions of the well-designed program. The second will makes
becoming a matter of fate and desire--smoothness here takes on an entirely
different meaning. The term virtual today, unfortunately, has become
synonymous with the technologies of simulation. But there is a deeper
sense of virtual, too, one that develops from a distaff tradition in
philosophy that runs through Duns Scotus and Bergson to Deleuze. Here the
virtual is what rises to the surface from the depths and is actualized in
the event, and has nothing to do with information or the sign or the
subject. If the will to virtuality means becoming informated, it means
sacrificing this second sense of the virtual, as the principle of a
counter-actualization, or as what is revealed through the cracks in the
surface. Western techno-culture, or the so-called bourgeois will to
virtuality, on the contrary, is only about sealing up those cracks.

Q. Some theorists suggest that the transparent culture of total visibilty
and control will actually spiral into a highly dense chaos that will flow
beyond the States imaginary demands. That so much informatic stuff will
create endless waste and blockage--enough to protect digital singularities
from the big panopticons? Is this line of flight enough to overcome the
seductions of auto-surveillence, the nano-panopticons, that are being sold
to the public--for the good of the public. The Therapy State, Confess TV,
COPS--to be watched is fun, to watch yourself is ectasy!

A. It's hard for me to conceive of digital singularities. If anything,
digital systems eliminate singularities in favor of resemblances. It's
true that information is like a gigantic waste dump and that even the
state can't control it today. But to say this creates a space for
individuality and freedom is to take a weird comfort from that fact.

Q. Finally, if you could build your very own prison-house what would it be?

A. Like Foucault says, I'll leave that to the architects and the police.
I'm looking for the key, not the lock.


In a brutal economy, fortune is an even bigger motivator than fame for
many aspiring reality television contestants, producers and researchers

Both reality television and the Internet have trained people “to brand
themselves, to distribute themselves, to get themselves out there,” said
James Hay, a communications professor at the University of Illinois and a
co-author of the book “Better Living Through Reality TV.”

Ricardo Dominguez
Associate Professor
Hellman Fellow

Visual Arts Department, UCSD
Principal Investigator, CALIT2
Co-Chair gallery at calit2
CRCA Researcher
Ethnic Studies Affiliate
Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies Affiliate

Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics,
Board Member

University of California, San Diego,
9500 Gilman Drive Drive,
La Jolla, CA 92093-0436
Phone: (619) 322-7571
e-mail: rrdominguez at ucsd.edu

Project sites:
site: http://gallery.calit2.net
site: http://pitmm.net
site: http://bang.calit2.net
site: http://www.thing.net/~rdom

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