[-empyre-] rehearsal of a network - [week 4]

patrick lichty p at voyd.com
Tue Jun 26 03:10:31 AEST 2018

As someone who would call himself postcybernetic rather than  postinternet,
I agree with Dollyoko nd Ken.  The spaces for intereaction were highly
heterogenous and diverse, and Honestly, I find the postinternet discourse
relatively bland by comparison, as a lot of what it talks about is reference
to postcybernetic/cyberdelic.  MOOs, MUDs, Even back to nets of online
communities (Thing, Compuserve, Delphi, Fidonet, Usenet) was amazing. In
many ways it seems like the corporate stacks combined with academic FOMO has
created a tremendous amount of conservatism compared to the crash theory
days of the Krokers.

In many ways, I think our era of risk aversion and its pruning of the
rhizome is indicative of the relationship between culture and capital.  As
art fairs and consolidating gallery culture, as well as the struggle (in my
mind) to figure ourselves out more as Postmodernism fractured into the
Speculative Turn, the notion of the rhizome has turned into reality bubble
foam that generally swirls under megacorporate umbrellas.

This is why I love things like Dina Karadzic's FUBAR bunch, and Shu Lea's
work the other year at the Leonore residency, but I also wonder why the
notion of the mycorhizome is so strong these days as opposed to the
strawberry patch (Deleuze), is it a subliminal signifier of fruit and decay
and rebirth?

Also very interested in t-shroom discussion.

Love from the desert
(also apologies for the typos - my current computer has a very flaky

-----Original Message-----
From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
<empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> On Behalf Of warkk
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2018 4:13 PM
To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] rehearsal of a network - [week 4]

Alan is quite right to stress how extensive the options were for online
encounters in the 90s, beyond the handful i named. The larger point might
still be that knowledge of any of that world is fairly thin these days.
There are a few period accounts. dollyoko mentions Marshall's Living on
Cybermind. Julian Dibbell wrote a book about LambdaMoo. There's a new book
by Claire Evans called Broad Band that has good brief accounnts of Echo and
The Word and is focused on innovations in computation by women.

Of course one could ask whether the linear prose form of the book is the
best or even a necessary way of documenting such things. I think of the book
as an instance of what dollyoko calls "successionist servers." Its hard to
keep them out of Amazon, one of the biggest vectoral class enterprises of
our time, but they will at least 'run' independently of that proprietary

A book is a concentrated swarm whereas online communication tend to default
to dispersed ones....

dollyoko has some great language for an ongoing project: secessionist
servers, intentional family, open family platforms, vernacular approaches to
infrastructure. (To just pick a few that i think go together with the themes
Shu Lea suggested).

Maybe its a good thing that 90s cyberculture experiments ended up largely
invisible and excluded from history, as now it might be time to be rather
discreet about the possibilities uncovered then. Maybe it was a good thing
for mycelium that it was largely invisible for so long, as nobody figured
out how to monetize it.


On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 2:16 AM, <dollyoko at thing.net> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> dear shu lea and empyreans
> yes, finger fucking across platforms and waters, deep code luscious 
> moon brown stem the shadow of a venetian blind on summer body in 
> borrowed loft wiping sweat, not swiping left (write left alt write) 
> Floodnet!
> i'm immersing eyes into this generous mycelial conversation today 
> feeling the tendrils of one hundred minds
> 'powerful poetic gestures'
> 'alternate sentiences'
> 'the incomputable'
> 'nature is not a system'
> 'break all separations'
> 'imps fuelling the real'
> 'vernacular approach to infrastructure'
> 't-shroom as family heritage and long-living family member'
> 'i have a vast genetic network in me'
> 'we begin to think like a forest'
> how to extend the intentional families we (of a certain age) created 
> in the 90s [while perhaps reading Bruce Stirling's Dead Media list, or 
> skiving off to PMCMoo or RiverMOO when LambdaMOO was down] before 
> other 'we(s)' were born
> Jonathan Marshall's book 'Living on Cybermind' might be one answer to 
> Ken's Q about how to capture the non-linear threaded lives
> i've been returning to build at LambdaMoo since around 2013, prompted 
> by projects such as Networked Art Forms and Tactical Magick Faerie 
> Circuits - instigated by the wonderful Nancy Mauro-Flude, and (equally 
> wonderful) Furtherfield's Beyond the Interface... I'm not sure what 
> the mycelial potential of such old platforms might be, I suspect 
> there's something though...... for example, a nascent project I'm 
> doing with Virginia Barratt and Alice Farmer takes as it starting point:
> -----------------------------------
> "A multi-platform artwork comprising a LambdaMOO environment 
> (multi-user domain object-oriented), performing avatars, improvised 
> performance, experimental hypertext fiction, cryptokitties on the 
> (ethereum) blockchain, and a hand-bound XenZine. The subject is the 
> construction of intentional family beyond blood and kind.
> We revisit LambdaMOO as a site for gender non-conforming 
> subjectivities to explore the production of xenofam and xenobodies, 
> outside of social re-production, and bring those practices to bear 
> upon the "real". Only a few years after the emergence of the WWW, 
> social networking habits were harnessed and stratified into machines 
> for the production of social capital and new affective forms of 
> extractivism within the paradigm of info-capitalism. Yet the outlier 
> LambdaMOO is still maintained by a small phreak family as a working 
> experiment, an enclave among other secessionist servers (caves, 
> sinkholes, hackpads, labyrinthine clouds) carving out space to platform
lives of creative resistance, blasphemy and joy.
> The performing avatars, the unholy trinity of Witchmum, Mum 2.0 and 
> Precocious Meme Savant, have cooked, co-habited and coded as 
> becoming-kin to instantiate xenofam, building affective bonds through 
> which datablood flows. This queered approach to extensible and open 
> family platforms generates intentional spaces for the reconfiguration 
> of blood ties beyond blood types, and another mode of hexing Capital."
> --------------------
> I want to write more, but I need to buy bread as I can't wait the 12 
> hours for the wild yeasts to do their thing.
> I will try to attract some xenofeminist and other spores this way 
> while thinking about how Ken's 'we no longer have roots, we have aerials'
> might take a mycelial turn
> Warmly, to all
> doll fingers + witch thoughts, perhaps a spell cast from and to this 
> conversation, tomorrow
> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned
> > space----------------------_________________________________
> ______________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> > http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu


McKenzie Wark
*Professor of Media and Culture*
65 w11th st, NEW YORK, NY 10011

warkk at newschool.edu
T 212 229 5100 2241 / M 646 3697266 / @mckenziewark / room #456

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