[-empyre-] rehearsal of a network - [week 2]

Shu Lea Cheang shulea at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 14 03:31:19 AEST 2018

Dear all

thanks for joining in.... we should continue this thread on invasive 
species. (great to hear so many voices and beyond the spores....)

Meanwhile, allow me to bring us back to JJ's self-questioning propositions-

 >>How do we create forms of life that no longer reproduce the machines 
of capital. How do we desert the system that has no outside. How do we 
refuse to become the fools in the palace, providing the progressive 
masks to the institutions whose very life blood is in the corporate 
military industrial realm…

 >>How do we not separate our ethics and aesthetics ( as wittgenstein 
urged us not to do )

 >>Do we refuse to collaborates ?

 >>Can we hack from the inside ?

 >>Do we desert and build counter powers ?

 >>Or do we just cook up the poison mushrooms and feed them to those 
making money from death ?

Thanks also lots to Ricardo's bringing up the glorious days of 
Electronic Disturbance Theater, the targets, objectives seemingly 
clearly identified at the time of calling for actions. His insider 
report of War on Terroe Universities that brought DOD's tactical pursuit 
into school curriculum, involving students' research in greater hidden 
agendas of the Pentagon. Do we then all willingly participating in 
network rehearsals? that of MAVEN?

So, to bring back FRAUD's arguments-
What is deemed an acceptable compromise/sacrifice? How does one begin to 
discuss the simultaneous cultural livelihood and destruction of a nation?
.....an interesting tension between the incomputable, the uncapturable, 
as a method of resistance and survival, as well as 
disappearance/extinction from the network.

REPEAT and CYCLE... repeat the cycles??

Trying myself to work through these....


> On 12 Jun 2018, at 15:37, Ricardo Rene Dominguez <rrd54 at cornell.edu 
> <mailto:rrd54 at cornell.edu>> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hola Tod at xs,
> I have been learning a great deal from the gestures and conversations 
> this month. And thanks Shulea for inviting me to participate.
> Rehearsing Networks of E-contagion (the Shrooms Next Door), or from 
> Cold War Universities to War on Terror Universities
> rehearse (v.)
> c. 1300, "to give an account of," from Anglo-French rehearser, Old 
> French rehercier (12c.) "to go over again, repeat," literally "to rake 
> over, turn over" (soil, ground), from re- "again" (seere- 
> <https://www.etymonline.com/word/re-?ref=etymonline_crossreference>) + 
> hercier "to drag, trail (on the ground), be dragged along the ground; 
> rake, harrow (land); rip, tear, wound; repeat, rehearse;" from herse 
> "a harrow" (seehearse 
> <https://www.etymonline.com/word/hearse?ref=etymonline_crossreference>(n.)). 
> Meaning "to say over again, repeat what has already been said or 
> written" is from mid-14c. in English; sense of "practice a play, part, 
> etc." is from 1570s. Related: Rehearsed; rehearsing.
> #Repeat #ToKnow
> Electronic Disturbance Theater has always already been rehearsing the 
> re-harrowing of the digital grounds towards a practice of coming to 
> know. Then repeat. This process is one of networks being on repeat 
> cycles that are unbound and rebound to networks that prepare the soil 
> and wounds for something that will always be a rehearsal. A 
> post-mycelium production that is never fully known and can never be 
> fully staged and presented.
> Rehearsals build on rehearsals that are not strategic (the gaining of 
> fully structured performances that no longer need rehearsing) vs. 
> tactical gestures that seed networks for more rehearsals to come 
> without any final performance on the horizon.
> #ReCycling
> About a month ago I was invited to do a “Tactical Poetics” workshop 
> for a wide area academic and research communities at Cornell 
> University, where I am a Society for the Humanities fellow this year 
> and the theme for the groups general research was on “corruption.” In 
> order to prepare for the workshop I sent out email asking those who 
> would attending what were the current concerns they would like to 
> focus on? The majority sent back notes saying they wanted to consider 
> what could be done to stop networks like Facebook and Cambridge 
> Analytica from data scrapping and using the data for the 
> micro-management of elections and its use of emotion contagion or 
> affective political channeling.
> As I started to think about what tactical gestures could be staged or 
> what past tactical actions could be touched on to help the gathered 
> communities rehearse the question, “What is to be done or could be 
> done to counter these data-capturing networks” After a bit of 
> counter-toiling the question. I did some ungrounding the local soil 
> and to find the wounds at home.
> The concerns of those network-things beyond was residing and were 
> being rehearsed right at here at home. Cornell was part of the DOD 
> (Department of Defense) research trajectory named Minerva since 2009 
> that used Facebook as a testing ground and collected the data:
> “The DoD’s initiative is currently funding another study at Cornell, 
> called Tracking Critical-Mass Outbreaks in Social Contagions. This 
> study will examine the “tipping point” in social media conversations 
> surrounding four recent global events — the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, 
> the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis 
> and the 2013 Gazi park protests.
> Cornell’s role in the 2012 mood manipulation study is still unclear, 
> though a statement released by the University Monday said neither 
> Hancock nor then-university affiliated researcher Jamie Guillory, who 
> was involved in the study, had direct access to the collection of 
> private data.” (Or did they?)
> https://ithacavoice.com/2014/07/new-questions-answers-cornells-facebook-experiment/
> https://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2014/jul/01/facebook-cornell-study-emotional-contagion-ethics-breach
> Cornell stated in 2014 that because of ethical breaches the studies 
> would stop and so would the DOD funding. But of course it has not. 
> Minerva is still listed here:
> Research - Cornell University <http://sdl.soc.cornell.edu/research.php>
> sdl.soc.cornell.edu <http://sdl.soc.cornell.edu/>
> We study the interplay between network topology and the dynamics of 
> social interaction, using computational models, data from on-line 
> networks, and laboratory experiments with human participants.
> Rehearsing networks of e-contagion marks a shift in the networks of 
> knowledge production from Cold War Universities to War on Terror 
> Universities. Just as the Cold War university was constructed in what 
> was named a ‘strategic alliance’ between scientists and the military 
> after World War Two, today universities are being re-militarized and 
> re-integrated into the national security state in order to serve the 
> US government’s perpetual and unbounded ‘War on Terror.’ The War on 
> Terror university is characterized by military and defense-contractor 
> funding of research, the orientation of research and teaching to 
> serving military, intelligence agency, and corporate goalssurveillance 
> of faculty and students, and repressive policing of campuses:
> “The problem, then, was not whether some sub agent of massive 
> government funding espoused problematic political designs. The danger 
> lay in the monolithic source of funding — always federal, despite its 
> different channels. The autonomy of science hinged upon the existence 
> of multiple non-governmental funders and sponsors. Academia, much like 
> the mythical market place, thrived when guided by an invisible hand.”
> From the “Minerva Controversy”:
> http://essays.ssrc.org/minerva/2008/12/11/robin/
> Multiple networks are always being rehearsed and it is always good to 
> not only eat local but see what poison shrooms are also being grown 
> next door.
> Next rehearsal network MAVEN.

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