Friday, June 3, 2011

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Boundaries

dear yasminers,

responding to the larger issues addressed in all three of 'how the virtual
can redirect us to the non-virtual' in teri's post, the issue of embodiment
which roger raises, and the image of 'small units' which is brought up by
stanza in the interview by rob. very intriguing emergent framework for the
psychological, possibly physical, and certainly, aesthetic regions of this
issue of boundaries.

i'll only cite a few instances of the late Bill Mitchell's who, of course,
wrote so vibrantly and technologically, of cities. in "Me++: Self, Cyborg
and the Networked City", which I exhausted in my dissertation, he gives a
history to data, and the movement of data from fixed place (one's own "file
cabinet" harddrive) to centralized server models (office plans) to the
mobile data we have today. i believe that the reason that many artists,
including myself, are beginning to think about data, nearly as a substance,
although this was done in MetaCity/Data town, the Dutch project,
is due to the fact that it is mobile, we are data, on our person, etc. but,
surely, also because if we are truly networked nowadays we have more than
one gadget at home; the desktop being but one screen in addition to a few
others which lie around, sit around or stand around. this being the case of
contemporary workers, artists, academics, and professionals, there are a few
points i'd like to look at. the first stems, again from Mitchell, who did
his best in this 2003 book to illustrate major arenas for boundary-making as
we approach the wireless city. Because my own dissertation, completed with
the assistance of the late Stephen Wilson, and an Australian media scholar,
Terry Flew, is on wireless cities and mobile culture, and the emergence of
mobile communications, Mitchell's work resonated with my own interest in
boundaries, architecture, and the impact of micromobility. Mitchell talks
about lines of defense drawn historically from medieval history and into the
present. He writes about access points. Now with the interior littered with
screens of all sizes, most of them "wirelessly enabled", the idea of a
firewall, has become a, hopefully, protecting labyrinth of electronic access
points, all of which are "accessible." the shape of defense changing at the
level of the individual communications. identity is dividual.

and certainly, in the area of maps and boundaries, responding briefly to
jeremy's questions, for me, maps are certainly about inclusion and
exclusion. what data is in? what data is out? who is steering the data into
the map? what information gets mapped and what does not? maps are essential
today for filtering the web; for constructing newly distributable stories
about what the web represents, in terms of cultures. i think about Rob
Kitchin's book, Mapping Cyberspace, which filled this gap in looking at the
internet, back in the early nineties.

history of searching, filtering, web blogs, as attempts to bracket, now,
like the map

and then I thought i would share a link from polis, on recent work of eric

because i think his notions of "empty signifiers" and his disscussions of
planning offer some insight to planning, maps, etc.


> Roger wrote:
> whats not clear to me is whether these kinds of work
> can really change our behaviours or relationship
> to the world= to the extenthat they occupy our
> mediated spaces they can perhaps "re thicken" our
> connection to phenomena that we only have
> abstract awareness of) but without embodiment
> do they remain un=intimate ? that boundary
> between the virtual and physical is multi layered
> Teri wrote:

Another example from the subway . . . we seem to be informal experts at
> managing furtive glances or even outright stares as a form of observation
> through which we become attuned to social contexts and communications at
> verbal and non-verbal levels. These are highly localized, yet powerful
> sources of affective knowledge that extrapolate to more abstract levels of
> behavior and decision making. The information we are gleaning in these
> moments and how we make sense of it may remain relatively inchoate, even
> over long exposure or extended experiences with the same conditions, yet
> still they form a sense of place and identity at less self-conscious levels
> that may be more important than we think. Yet just to point to it isn't
> very
> compelling, and may even be self-defeating if the goal is to foster diverse
> levels of attention and affective experience. Is this kind of knowing and
> experience eclipsed by "data layers" that promise to add other dimensions
> to
> our social interactions in public space, even as they may dull our capacity
> for deeply attuned and embodied forms of social exchange?

Rob and Stanza wrote:

*RvK: The key (or one of the keys) is the granularity of input for these
> 'smart' systems. How do you see this?*
> "Yes, small unit blocks, simplified then re built , re-cored re-formed into
> an understanding that can re-communicate the complexity of the larger
> system. Strip the city down and re- configure it as a real-time
> visualization and plug it into other cities.".

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