[-empyre-] youtube VS warner bros VS the users; circuits as technical objects

Gabriel Menotti gabriel.menotti at gmail.com
Sun Sep 27 16:59:06 EST 2009

Dear all:

I apologize for the void that has taken over the list! It seems that
this week’s guests had some troubles in the last moment, and I wasn’t
quick enough to find substitutes. =/

On the bright side, that means we can stick longer to the last week’s
threads! =) I will take Johannes Birringer cue to try and introduce a
little more about the circuits topic:

>I am not I see any connection between the video trailers on YouTube
>and the claim
>“In that sense, transporting cinematographic practices to open spaces
>disturbs both its particular architecture and the urban logic, allowing
>the dismantling of the apparatus and its renegotiation in more fluid
>It would seem to be always the opposite, under capitalist / global
>domination-diffusion systems, namely that the apparatus goes on,
>healthy and strong, and panoptic and postpanoptic [Johannes

Maybe the thing is that you are reading /renegotiation in more fluid
forms/ as having straightforward political (liberal or democratic)
connotations, when it is not the case at all. The statement was from a
purely formal point of view.

Considering the whole cinematographic circuit as a complex technical
object, I’d argue that the deterioration of the limits between public
and private spheres has the same effect of the wearing of the
mechanism inner pieces: the machine operation becomes loose and
faulty; for it to run “properly”, we must make fixes, put wedges, etc.
We must work in function of automatization.

To use Gilbert Simondon’s terms, this disturbance would make the
cinematographic circuit less concrete, less individuated - we’d
presume: less specific, less cinematographic (at least for a while,
before these fixes become institutionalized solutions, and the object
become concrete once again).

I.e. before Google enforced copyright measures protections in YouTube
and production companies used the service to advertisement (in favor
of their systems of distribution), some users were employing the
website for piracy (that is: to bypass the companies system of

That said, I also meant that I don't believe the concept of (an
all-powerful and essentially a-historical) apparatus can be
politically or aesthetically useful to analyze media systems anymore.
Consider the relation between the engineering sectors of society and
the cultural production ones, for example – a very stressful relation
ever since tape recording was killing the music biz. Nowadays we see
Sony tech department against Sony Music; Apple outdated strategies of
controlling content-software-hardware at once. In the meanwhile, the
French government is outlawing photoshop.

Is it really possible to see in the negotiations between Google and
movie companies the synergy of one “capitalist / global
domination-diffusion system”?

(btw, I don’t think that the logic going on here is that of the
supplement, and I don’t believe it is dialectical either. Piracy still
keeps going on the ‘tubes – trying to adapt itself to the “apparatus”
just as the movie companies are. Is there any distinction between
one's tactics and the other's strategies?)

All the best!

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