[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 104, Issue 14

Sermon Paul P.Sermon at salford.ac.uk
Wed Jul 10 07:48:41 EST 2013


Good evening Simon, and empyre's

I'd like to pick up on a couple of the points you raise. I personally assumed the ISEA theme was suggesting any attempts to resist the ever increasing ubiquity and pervasiveness of technology is a futile task, or moreover resisting the significance of technology and its central role in contemporary arts. But I have to admit this is preaching to the converted, and I would assume the majority of delegates would agree with the conference theme statement. So who was this aimed at, perhaps the host city?

I am uncomfortable about the notion that we, the ISEA/ contemporary media arts community, have existed on the margins or that we are moving towards a central role in contemporary culture. I'm just not sure if this is for better or for worse. For me there is an implication here that the further centralised our practice becomes the more commercially defined and contextualised it is. Perhaps this is what we should be resisting, but this is becoming increasing futile, particularly as the bottom seems to be falling out of public funding for the arts - certainly here in the UK and across Europe, forcing us to look elsewhere.

But on a cheerier note, ISEA 2013 in Sydney proved a huge success, bringing together not only media arts and artists from across the world but linking multiple exhibitions, local artists and galleries across the city. For me it was a multi layered urban ISEA from Sensory experiences at Carriage works to social interventions at the rocks popups. But the popups at the rocks was perhaps a reminder that everything is not as it was. I'm not sure if these particular retail units have been vacant long term, although they didn't strike me as having the economic desperation I'm currently seeing here in Salford, Manchester, perhaps I was seeing it all through ISEA tinted glasses.

Paul 



Sent from my iPad

On 9 Jul 2013, at 03:00, "empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au" <empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au> wrote:

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> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> 
> Today's Topics:
> 
> 1. empyre: Resistance is futile, ISEA, Sydney 2013 - week 2
> (BIGGS Simon)
> 2. Re: empyre: Resistance is futile, ISEA,    Sydney 2013 - week 2
> (Gary Warner)
> 3. Re: resistance is shiftless\ "In its current state now it's a
> weapon, " said Ms. Law. "Do I want it to get in the hands of the
> Syrian Electric Army? No!" /futility is the paradigm (Terry Flaxton)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 07:19:51 +0100
> From: BIGGS Simon <s.biggs at ed.ac.uk>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: [-empyre-] empyre: Resistance is futile, ISEA, Sydney 2013 -
> week 2
> Message-ID: <1CC174D1-567C-46B1-9F0B-D862555E3204 at ed.ac.uk>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> 
> Welcome to week two of empyre's July 2013 discussion: Resistance is futile, ISEA Sydney, 2013
> 
> Thank you to Terry Flaxton, who graciously and provocatively kicked off the debate for the month. Other's, notably Johannes Birringer, Christine Spiesel and Simon Taylor, responded energetically, with much of the focus being upon how knowledge and cognition might variously be constituted. Thanks to everyone for writing and reading.
> 
> Before introducing the second week's three discussants (Paul Sermon, Charlotte Gould and Gary Warner) it is probably wise to restate that July's discussion on empyre will engage the themes and activities underlying and emerging from this year's International Symposium of Electronic Arts, held in and around Sydney, Australia during June 2013. The primary theme for ISEA was "resistance is futile". How are we to interpret this? Resistance to what? The conference programme offered a positive take on this statement - proposing that the electronic arts have moved from the margins to occupy a central role in contemporary culture. But has this happened - and, if it has, is it generally the case or only so in certain contexts? Resistance can be a positive or a negative form of agency. Are we talking about resistance as something heroic or reactionary - or both? What of those aspects of our technologised society which many of us would wish to resist? Do we seek to be the willing subjec
> ts of the pervasive surveillance systems the ISEA keynote Julian Assange spoke of and which are again in the news after Edward Snowden's recent revelations? Do we wish to be gamified and appropriated into the attention economy? Is it possible to resist these forces?
> 
> Other themes were also apparent at ISEA, addressed in the various conference tracks and emergent in the creative works presented. Important questions were asked about:
> - sustainability - how this can be achieved in relation to the environment but also how artists, arts groups, academics and activists might ensure their activities are sustainable as the processes of technologisation and globalisation unfold?
> - notions of the human - what does it mean to be human now, in the context of developments in genetics and ICT?
> - globalisation, diasporas and cultural identity?
> - the boundaries of the real - where virtual and augmented realities have become pervasive media?
> - the post-digital and its implications for aesthetics and questions of agency?
> - the challenges and opportunities associated with big data?
> - urbanism, activism and the socially disruptive potential of technology?
> 
> Our guests during the second week of our discussion about resistance and futility are:
> 
> Gary Warner (AU) has a 40-year history of cultural engagement in Australian and international galleries, museums, botanic gardens and visitor centers as artist, curator, writer, creative director and digital media producer. He has collaborated with leading artists, exhibition designers and architecture firms, curated large-scale exhibition projects, directed and produced numerous multimedia installations, and researched and written interpretation of social history, natural sciences, contemporary art and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. While skilled in the use of digital media systems, he maintains a strong interest in hand-making, building small buildings, the adventure of materials and writing tanka poetry. Recent exhibition projects have included pencil drawings, folded paper and laser-cut plywood structures, and custom design of a timber and aluminium system for construction of geodesic domes.
> 
> Paul Sermon (GB) has, since the early nineteen-nineties, pursued practice-based research centered on the creative use of telecommunication technologies. Through the unique use of videoconference techniques in artistic telepresence applications he has developed a series of celebrated telematic art installations that have been widely exhibited throughout Europe, East Asia, the United States and Australia, including first prize awards at the Interactive Media Festival Sparky Awards in Los Angeles, the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica Award in Linz, as well as nominations for the San Francisco World Technology Awards, the ZKM International Media Art Prize Karlsruhe and twice Prix Ars Electronica runner up.
> 
> Charlotte Gould (GB) is Senior Lecturer in Digital Media at the University of Salford, School of Arts & Media. Through her research she explores the creative and cultural potential that urban screens have to offer in the digital media age and how these emerging technologies and digital infrastructure impact on how the public interacts within the urban environment. She has undertaken a number of interactive installations and projects with key industrial partners, including interactive installations for Moves09 at the BBC Big Screen in Liverpool, the BBC Big Screen at the Glastonbury Festival and for ISEA09 at the Waterfront Hall Belfast.
> 
> 
> moderator:
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk<mailto:simon at littlepig.org.uk>
> http://www.littlepig.org.uk @SimonBiggsUK http://amazon.com/author/simonbiggs
> 
> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk<mailto:s.biggs at ed.ac.uk> Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
> http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/edinburgh-college-art/school-of-art/staff/staff?person_id=182&cw_xml=profile.php
> http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/simon-biggs%285dfcaf34-56b1-4452-9100-aaab96935e31%29.html
> 
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.org.uk/  http://designinaction.com/
> MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices  http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php
> 
> 
> -- 
> The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
> Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 20:06:27 +1000
> From: Gary Warner <gwarner at cdpmedia.com.au>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre: Resistance is futile, ISEA,    Sydney
> 2013 - week 2
> Message-ID: <14E8141A-4AA4-4FF0-8A56-DDBE1B15769B at cdpmedia.com.au>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
> 
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> 
> resistance is futile / fertile / facile / fecund / febrile / feral / fecal [predictive text doesn't want to let me type this word - suggests 'decal' - I have to actively opt-out of its algorithmic second-guessing - resistance is, indeed, required] ? these and innumerable other pseudo-slogans, puns and putative semantic finials were casually tossed around isea's conversational littoral 
> 
> which is where the action is - the littoral zones in-between talks, openings, events, meals, sleeps - where the brokerage unfolds, the ontological beds are messed or made, the seeds sown, metonyms tested, agency wended, metaphors mixed, introductions extended?
> 
> where there's little resistance, 'cause its about flow and where that takes us, about the polity of digital arts like-mindedness, like all like-mindedness polities, like venn diagrams, some overlap, lots of enclosure and a lot more beyond...
> 
> that week, I left my one-room production studio piled high with books, devices, debris, deadlines, and wandered the halls of academe, sat in theatres and wondered how so many people who perhaps 'do this for a living' still read their powerpoint slides out loud - still use powerpoint at all - resistance is negligible, it seems, when such poorly designed, who-knows-how-that-happened ubiquitous junk software for decades shapes the performative deliverance of connection twixt mind-idea and other bodies in over-conditioned spaces?
> 
> but that's just a niggling aside? I do like to listen to others, see their images, hear their sounds ...
> 
> if resistance is futile, engagement is all - aptly demonstrated in michael naimark's mnemonic time-casting, flicking lines out into the never-the-same river of human inventiveness, reeling in slippery anecdotal instances, those old names, those young faces, splashing about in the tributarial memory pool of our digital arts wetlands - under the cascade of technologic supercession - dromo, hypno, techno, psycho - those influencing machines hacked out of desire to command, control, stretch and bend this soft-skinned fragility?
> 
> nothing is less than a little
> 
> the technolateral boundaryland {of social media] invites us to go disjecta membra, go touch-action fever, go microdish hunter
> 
> go invocation of the antecedents - a little heidegger, a refreshing spray of zizek, a deleuzian waft, a blast of virillion velocity... and there's guy debord deriving - hey there, guy, long time no see/hear/run/play } hats in the air to d'cruz and de bruyn - situated, saturated, intoxicated remonstrances, remembrance swirl, we've been at this game a while now { 
> 
> resistance is perennial, enduring, emphatic?
> 
> resistance is binary mechanism - the perpetual motion of ideological affray, the piston and shaft of human enginuity [no, no, predictive text machine - I wanted to write that]
> 
> now dusk has passed, night arisen - time to wander the streets among my citizen anonymies, make my way home in this here and now, under the streetlights, past the backlit promotions, dodging vehicles, catching the bus, having a beer, reading to sleep?
> 
> ???????..
> gary warner
> 
> soundcloud
> 
> flickr
> 
> vimeo
> 
> blurb books
> 
> cdp media
> ???????..
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 08/07/2013, at 4:19 PM, BIGGS Simon <s.biggs at ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> 
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Welcome to week two of empyre's July 2013 discussion: Resistance is futile, ISEA Sydney, 2013
>> 
>> Thank you to Terry Flaxton, who graciously and provocatively kicked off the debate for the month. Other's, notably Johannes Birringer, Christine Spiesel and Simon Taylor, responded energetically, with much of the focus being upon how knowledge and cognition might variously be constituted. Thanks to everyone for writing and reading.
>> 
>> Before introducing the second week's three discussants (Paul Sermon, Charlotte Gould and Gary Warner) it is probably wise to restate that July's discussion on empyre will engage the themes and activities underlying and emerging from this year's International Symposium of Electronic Arts, held in and around Sydney, Australia during June 2013. The primary theme for ISEA was "resistance is futile". How are we to interpret this? Resistance to what? The conference programme offered a positive take on this statement - proposing that the electronic arts have moved from the margins to occupy a central role in contemporary culture. But has this happened - and, if it has, is it generally the case or only so in certain contexts? Resistance can be a positive or a negative form of agency. Are we talking about resistance as something heroic or reactionary - or both? What of those aspects of our technologised society which many of us would wish to resist? Do we seek to be the willing subj
> ec
>> ts of the pervasive surveillance systems the ISEA keynote Julian Assange spoke of and which are again in the news after Edward Snowden's recent revelations? Do we wish to be gamified and appropriated into the attention economy? Is it possible to resist these forces?
>> 
>> Other themes were also apparent at ISEA, addressed in the various conference tracks and emergent in the creative works presented. Important questions were asked about:
>> - sustainability - how this can be achieved in relation to the environment but also how artists, arts groups, academics and activists might ensure their activities are sustainable as the processes of technologisation and globalisation unfold?
>> - notions of the human - what does it mean to be human now, in the context of developments in genetics and ICT?
>> - globalisation, diasporas and cultural identity?
>> - the boundaries of the real - where virtual and augmented realities have become pervasive media?
>> - the post-digital and its implications for aesthetics and questions of agency?
>> - the challenges and opportunities associated with big data?
>> - urbanism, activism and the socially disruptive potential of technology?
>> 
>> Our guests during the second week of our discussion about resistance and futility are:
>> 
>> Gary Warner (AU) has a 40-year history of cultural engagement in Australian and international galleries, museums, botanic gardens and visitor centers as artist, curator, writer, creative director and digital media producer. He has collaborated with leading artists, exhibition designers and architecture firms, curated large-scale exhibition projects, directed and produced numerous multimedia installations, and researched and written interpretation of social history, natural sciences, contemporary art and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. While skilled in the use of digital media systems, he maintains a strong interest in hand-making, building small buildings, the adventure of materials and writing tanka poetry. Recent exhibition projects have included pencil drawings, folded paper and laser-cut plywood structures, and custom design of a timber and aluminium system for construction of geodesic domes.
>> 
>> Paul Sermon (GB) has, since the early nineteen-nineties, pursued practice-based research centered on the creative use of telecommunication technologies. Through the unique use of videoconference techniques in artistic telepresence applications he has developed a series of celebrated telematic art installations that have been widely exhibited throughout Europe, East Asia, the United States and Australia, including first prize awards at the Interactive Media Festival Sparky Awards in Los Angeles, the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica Award in Linz, as well as nominations for the San Francisco World Technology Awards, the ZKM International Media Art Prize Karlsruhe and twice Prix Ars Electronica runner up.
>> 
>> Charlotte Gould (GB) is Senior Lecturer in Digital Media at the University of Salford, School of Arts & Media. Through her research she explores the creative and cultural potential that urban screens have to offer in the digital media age and how these emerging technologies and digital infrastructure impact on how the public interacts within the urban environment. She has undertaken a number of interactive installations and projects with key industrial partners, including interactive installations for Moves09 at the BBC Big Screen in Liverpool, the BBC Big Screen at the Glastonbury Festival and for ISEA09 at the Waterfront Hall Belfast.
>> 
>> 
>> moderator:
>> Simon Biggs
>> simon at littlepig.org.uk<mailto:simon at littlepig.org.uk>
>> http://www.littlepig.org.uk @SimonBiggsUK http://amazon.com/author/simonbiggs
>> 
>> s.biggs at ed.ac.uk<mailto:s.biggs at ed.ac.uk> Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
>> http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/edinburgh-college-art/school-of-art/staff/staff?person_id=182&cw_xml=profile.php
>> http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/simon-biggs%285dfcaf34-56b1-4452-9100-aaab96935e31%29.html
>> 
>> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/  http://www.elmcip.net/  http://www.movingtargets.org.uk/  http://designinaction.com/
>> MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices  http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
>> Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> 
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> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2013 11:37:22 +0100
> From: Terry Flaxton <Terry.Flaxton at uwe.ac.uk>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] resistance is shiftless\ "In its current state
> now it's a weapon, " said Ms. Law. "Do I want it to get in the hands
> of the Syrian Electric Army? No!" /futility is the paradigm
> Message-ID: <C76DCCD8-C34D-444E-9777-E758F7F7E702 at uwe.ac.uk>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"
> 
> Well - I guess this will be my last post for a bit:
> 
> I am interested in Terry Flaxton's new, "incoming" or "developing" paradigm. I'm surprised that it requires behavioural adjustment, the end of theory and careful attendance to that learnt trick of the mind where clarity of thinking is preferred over obscurity of intuition, or enlightenment.
> 
> Paradigms are in development all the time. Some have long leads, some long tails, some short. My use of the word paradigm is from a love of the idea developed when I was a child in a high  chair - I thought to myself: 'What will I say when I am able to talk?'. No doubt this memory has changed and massaged from one thing to another but the issue is: How will it be when it is different. Mainly because we know ourselves through 'what is'.
> 
> Did I say it requires behavioural adjustment? I think really that I said that what we actually are as human beings is sentience in a continuos state of adjustment in relation to what we envisage for ourselves. The science fiction writers of the middle of the last century articulated what it is we are now developing as technical developments. AT my last university matter was moved from one location to another instantaneously - the beginnings of Star Treks Matter Transmitter. They also are working on quantum computers that have 4 logic gates - or rather two logic gates and two illogical gates (which brings them in alignment to higher levels of Tibetan Buddhist Philospohical logic. Meanwhile, some argue, like gnostic Christians, or the Eternalists of Southern California, that we must first visualise a reality and then matter will follow suit.
> 
> WHichever narrative you follow or subscribe to, the cognitive neuroscientists say that in that image we will make ourselves. This is not a behavioural change this is an ontological change. We are not required to do it - that is what we are, a relative sentient continuum. Again I am not proscribing, just relating the narratives of others with interest in the formulation of the concepts.
> 
> As for the end of theory - that just 'logically' follows suit. If you leave ratiocination behind as your medium of contemplation, then you enter a different terrain of contemplation/reflection (these words are not going to work of course) but fundamentally the point is that if theory is the behaviour of the prior paradigm - you wouldn't want to use a bicycle in the Indie 500 would you?
> 
> Lastly: The obscurity of Intuition. Well, if you haven't exercised Intuition then it will appear as obscure, if you've spent a life practicing the language of intuition then you'll know the 'discourse'. What I'm saying is the terminology does not serve, the functionality of standard theorising cannot suffice, that if we're serious we'll put the energy in to becoming subtle in our internal sensitivities to functionalities of the mind that are always present, yet barely noticed.
> 
> bad abstractions are inadequate critically or analytically. They are not up to the task in hand and, even as we experience them falling short, we identify the failure with a further and more distant layer of abstraction or false problem, language, theory, cognitive habit, bourgeois individualism, the body, the mind, technoscience, marketing - or we identify with it ourselves, closing a circuit of personal fantasy and fictionalising the results - rather, their lack - through reflexivity: that's my story. A fantasy of traversal without encounter.
> 
> Well perhaps. But perhaps not. It depends if you are practised in other languages. A poor grasp of French could take poetry and turn it into 'bad' poetry.
> 
> I'm not a fan of metaphor. It's from a past paradigm. It's a ratiocinatory practice which talks about one thing in terms of another and always falls short of task. It seeks to be objective by an actor sharing and agreement as to meaning, it is utilised at the highest levels and yet it can enact false logic, suffers category mistakes, conflation, bad arguments. So one wonders - what is good abstraction. An this becomes highly subjective and an be charged with being: A fantasy of traversal without encounter.
> 
> WHen I was first asked to do something with the Empyre list I wondered at this behaviour. My experience of online discussions is that it is replete with huge understandings, that for instance, academic language and referencing comes completely unstuck here, that exceptions can be taken because vested interests are ruffled, that egos somehow get uglier than they actually are in real life.
> 
> Not following on from this comment at all:
> 
> Reading your latest post, Terry, there seems to be foregrounded what was behind "distributive cognition" from the start: networks. Glastonbury arises "out of the alternative networks of the 60's, where Buckminster Fuller, Stafford Beer, Edmund Carpenter, McLuhan etc were leading thought and early user generated ecological and cybernetics oriented ideas were networked at early festivals such as this." From a colonial perspective that it become emblematic of an ideal Albion and embody Arthurian virtue sounds a sour and quaintly nationalistic note. But resistance or liking different types of network to me links the Borg, Big Data and the observation in mass events of an emergent political will, again, either resisted or liked. Unless the last is mere projection.
> 
> Networks which use ratiocination are not cognitive distributive networks - so no they're not the same thing at all, ratiocination might be an element in the carrier frequency, but it is only partially the medium. Whatever something arises from does not necessarily mean the thing itself has not transmuted, or is a carrier frequency for things other than what they may have arisen from. I should have thought that a possibility? Yes? Albion and Avalon has everything and nothing to do with nationalism. The Grail legends were cross-boundary in Europe arising from Arabic and Hebrew sources (depending on who you read) and reached more deeply onto cognitive expressions of distributed ideas from deep within species consciousness (which is why they have staying power). And that's the thing - vested interest is as much a demolishing force for the Governments and Intelligence Agencies as it is for the individual position that is fixed. I can only maintain and keep saying the same thing in
> different ways really - - but I would say that Bid Data, Borg - all that stuff is fashionable - and passing, and not in any way real - unless you speak of them as real. Remember the major academic project of the years of convergence was to see data as immaterial - now we're flipping our position - like scientists in relation to dark matter.
> 
> Big Data has, however, no self-organising characteristics. Algorithms are blind to describe it. Consultants invoke it as a shibboleth to inflate their fees. Big Data is generated not generative and companies invested in its problem ramify by extending the graph functions from which it is derived.
> 
> I don't recognise the existence of big data. If you want to know what's going on: Follow the money.
> 
> Is the Social Graph productive of Social Capital? and isn't this a newly emergent form of networked capitalism? Isn't this a new money because it is a new measure of human sociality?
> 
> I don't accept the rhetoric here because it is an 'argument' in support of no change at all in thinking/feeling/intuiting - developing past this place. Again: Follow the money that supports the argument (or its inverse).
> 
> If this is the case, then there is neuroscientific 'hard' evidence to support the idea that networking is 'hard-wired' into human behaviour - here<http://www.sott.net/article/263639-We-are-wired-to-network-with-others-How-the-brain-creates-the-buzz-that-helps-ideas-spread>.
> 
> Well, you better tell our cognitive scientific colleagues. I'm feeling a little bit like Swift here - I bring stories from afar :)
> 
> Is their hard evidence for anything - ontologically speaking: Even if I hit the table and hurt my hand I have doubts about calling that hard evidence. Is what I mentioned a false problem? Of course, everything is. Is there such a thing as empirical evidence, yes if you accept the materiality of the world outside of the critique provided by so many practices they cannot be listed with worth - but you will know what I argue when I say: To the pickpocket, the world is full of pockets, to the person that wears shoes, the world is covered in leather. I know: quaint.
> 
> Sorry - work calls, I'll check in to see how this goes, maybe the discussion will veer to standard theoretical positions and we can furiously argue like scribes and scholars again.
> 
> With Best wishes for tolerating my jet-lagged but recovering state of mind?.
> 
> Terry Flaxton
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 8 Jul 2013, at 00:13, simon <swht at clear.net.nz<mailto:swht at clear.net.nz>> wrote:
> 
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear empyreans,
> 
> by happy accident - twitchy trackpad - the quotation pasted itself into the subject. It comes from an article about a cookie fishing game, developed by Rachel Law, which exploits the fluidity of online identity to confuse trackers, potentially hiding player's behaviour both within and without the game: "It acts like a translator?. It basically fucks up algorithims." It 'weaponises' identity presumably by anonymity. And who wants their algorithms fucked up? Not Mozilla, evidently, neither can one imagine the NSA nor, here in New Zealand, the GCSB endorsing the product if it does make it to beta. (Not that either GCSB or NSA have their proprietary algorithms, rather use contractual than ownership of patents - a liability of outsourcing.) [here<http://adage.com/article/privacy-and-regulation/student-project-kill-digital-ad-targeting/242955/>]
> 
> In addition, "Vortex" - name of game - automatically assigns the location Narnia to players hiding geolocative information, whether for reasons nefarious or playful. The comments that follow the item discuss the relative merits of Vortex  concerning themselves less with cyber warfare and surveillance than the question of whether we really want irrelevant ads.
> 
> I am interested in Terry Flaxton's new, "incoming" or "developing" paradigm. I'm surprised that it requires behavioural adjustment, the end of theory and careful attendance to that learnt trick of the mind where clarity of thinking is preferred over obscurity of intuition, or enlightenment.
> 
> And I felt the need to apologise by expanding a little on my last note, the point of which was not clear: bad abstractions are inadequate critically or analytically. They are not up to the task in hand and, even as we experience them falling short, we identify the failure with a further and more distant layer of abstraction or false problem, language, theory, cognitive habit, bourgeois individualism, the body, the mind, technoscience, marketing - or we identify with it ourselves, closing a circuit of personal fantasy and fictionalising the results - rather, their lack - through reflexivity: that's my story. A fantasy of traversal without encounter.
> 
> Is there a link between the Borg Complex, brilliantly exposed by Michael Saracas (via Simon Biggs), and Big Data and the "distributive cognition" of next paradigm sociality described by Terry at Glastonbury or the "physical shared event, a kind of dance, but also expression of political will" described by Johannes in Houston?
> 
> Reading your latest post, Terry, there seems to be foregrounded what was behind "distributive cognition" from the start: networks. Glastonbury arises "out of the alternative networks of the 60's, where Buckminster Fuller, Stafford Beer, Edmund Carpenter, McLuhan etc were leading thought and early user generated ecological and cybernetics oriented ideas were networked at early festivals such as this." From a colonial perspective that it become emblematic of an ideal Albion and embody Arthurian virtue sounds a sour and quaintly nationalistic note. But resistance or liking different types of network to me links the Borg, Big Data and the observation in mass events of an emergent political will, again, either resisted or liked. Unless the last is mere projection.
> 
> As to the requirement that this emergence - welcomed as a new paradigm or resisted - ring also the death of theory, I think the refusal of encounter or enclosing theory kills it more effectively than opening it on to an outside which this phase-shift in networked phenomena, whether human, molecular, or geophysical instantiates.
> 
> Big Data has, however, no self-organising characteristics. Algorithms are blind to describe it. Consultants invoke it as a shibboleth to inflate their fees. Big Data is generated not generative and companies invested in its problem ramify by extending the graph functions from which it is derived.
> 
> Is the Social Graph productive of Social Capital? and isn't this a newly emergent form of networked capitalism? Isn't this a new money because it is a new measure of human sociality?
> 
> If this is the case, then there is neuroscientific 'hard' evidence to support the idea that networking is 'hard-wired' into human behaviour - here<http://www.sott.net/article/263639-We-are-wired-to-network-with-others-How-the-brain-creates-the-buzz-that-helps-ideas-spread>.
> 
> Or, having abstracted from a false problem to an abstraction layer of enclosed and calcified theory - called code - is the convention that resistance to capitalism is futile only being amplified?
> 
> I would add that a bad abstraction is one which not only is not empirical - open on to an outside - but also not transcendental - drawing a line one may add to, making a new connection. The revolution is elsewhere.
> 
> Best,
> Simon Taylor
> 
> www.squarewhiteworld.com<http://www.squarewhiteworld.com/>
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> 
> 
> Terry Flaxton
> Professor of Cinematography and Lens Based Media
> University of West of England
> http://www.visualfields.co.uk/flaxtonpage1.htm
> + 44 (0) 117 328 7149
> +44 (0) 7976 370 984
> 
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