XLterrestrials on Transmediale 2016 || v.2: Welcome to The Errors Of Tomorrow …


If one could say it one image…

No time yet to write down all our impressions of Transmediale 2016 so far… a little overwhelmed by all the insights and the entangled festival formats … 1.5 more days of programming and workshops …. stay tune … the XLterrestrials will attempt to analyze all the straaange, unsettling and/or inspired trails we’ve managed to absorb …

While we’re processing all the #TM16 threads… Anxious To Act, Anxious to Share, Anxious to Make, Anxious to Secure,  etc…

We’re also strategizing what topics to analyze for our next CiTiZEN KiNO #51 … which will inevitably revisit some ideas triggered by TM16 … a work-in-progress, and suggestions still welcomed… a possible title:

< 17.02 > CiTiZEN KiNO #51: ” Un-mapping Existence ” at Spektrum, Berlin

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Random insights

(that we can perhaps evolve later into an essay/review, when the storm + info overflow has subsided )

1. Three sessions that we’ve attended in the “Panic Room” seem to make an attempt at re-configuring or re-taking infrastructures in which we are trapped. Post-digital Anxiety + Re-programming the Internet of Things + Market Uncertainty

In each case, it felt as if the primary ideas to cultivate a cultural resistance in these abusive systems is to make those systems democratic and/or controlled by the people and communities… to make them elements or zones of autonomy.

But the infrastructure logic and architectures may already be an adversarial language and mechanism to societies…

i.E in the Market Uncertainty, alot of discussion was about developing alternative community currency and share economies. But it may be a far more radical departure to go about detaching from the systems that produce the very financialization of our existence. And it’s one of the roots that keeps us locked into the money game in an accelerated rent mechanics ( neo-liberal, hyper-krapitalist, and gentrified cities ) that forces us to play.

In short, rather than doing the tech infrastructure differently, we must perhaps develop the option to refuse the game that forces us to pay (market rates) , i.e. for housing ( and food ). We must play with and re-structure the essential physical + human landscapes that are required for survival. Through these necessities, we are locked into having to secure an economic intake, which usually requires jobs in destructive, unsustainable and meaningless enivironments.

Can these types of  root enclosures be hacked ?! ( squats, communes, cooperatives land trusts )

Something we might try to flesh out further for #moneylab v.3 conference in Amsterdam in Dec 2016… and/or a future CiTiZEN KiNO.

( that’s a very rough sketch )

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2. Very interesting debate ensued at ” New State Of Mind”, in the Anxious to Secure keynote lecture … regarding the whistleblower tact and subsequent mass media phenomenon around it …as to whether it remains inside the state’s info territory, and we require more outside the state gameboards to move forward, as opposed to a deluge of bad news, a politics of fear, heroes and oppressors.

The debate was mostly between James Bridle and Geoffroy de Lagasnerie about how exposing and making things visible (only ) remains within a ” rule-based information-based structure” …  dominated by what the XLterrestrials have long- considered a corporate framework of communications [ mass media + the data war ] .

Bridle states:

This idea of exposing the invisible or kind of making visible what is dark, or whatever, has a long long history that predates this kind of technical operation, predates journalism. This is inherent within art and within any number of other disciplines. And it has a very useful and very specific place. It’s incredibly powerful journalistically and politically, this idea of shedding light upon the thing, bringing it into public consciousness and therefore enabling change in various forms. And that’s not going to go away. That remains incredibly useful. But it shouldn’t be our only technique. If we become obsessed with this idea of transparency, then that’s really just the dark mirror, or the lighter mirror, of the kind of intelligence agency’s desire for surveillance data. This idea that, if we could only capture more information, we’d build this kind of better model of the world.

It’s useful for countering certain instances of state or corporate abuse, perhaps. Very useful in fact. But it doesn’t necessarily move us forward, because it keeps us within that paradigm of this rule-based information-based structure that, for me, feels incredibly backward. That feels almost 19th century in its desire for rationality. This may be a wild artistic hope, but I think that it possibly exists beyond this opacity-transparency binary, something that is perhaps a little more interesting that, for me, the internet is trying to kind of show us by making this stuff visible but not necessarily capturable.

From a fantastic interview with Tactical Tech - their Exposing the Invisible series.

This seems parallel to what we’ve expressed in other XLterrestrials critiques of the whole technotopian arena from other angles.

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3.  In relation to TOR, netzpolitik and Digital Activism, Digital Citizenry in general … re: an art installation project featruting a Tor Node by Jacob Applebaum, Trevor Paglen, and others.

We critique this from a rather tangent off-hand idea at the Autonomy Cube book launch:

“As an ardent atheist i’d love to see utilization of church infrastructure for #autonomycube.make them work for us” J.A. aka @ioerror # tm16

Similar to the questions raised by Bridle’s analysis we might ask: Is this More evangelical and romantic notions of where + how digital citizens can still supposedly re-appropriate the cybernetic regime ?!

We, somewhat cynically, answer :

In theory and praxis, reclaiming church spaces from anachronistic, defunct, manipulative and/or corrupt religions ( though not assuming that all spiritual centers are in such a sorry dysfunctional and already-hijacked state ) for community purposes is a great idea ! … But…

Isn’t the digi-cult already a church, which (still) promises (an ethereal, disembobied and uninhabitable) heaven in the corporate krapitalist inferno-sphere ?

While some parts of digital communications + culture might be recuperable, we have pointed out before that in it’s current manifestation , it exists as an acceleration of krapitalist consumerisms producing a massive, if not total,  ECOCIDE. The hope or intention net culture might have had to de-materialize human interactions has not occurred and may be some religious-like delusion that such a transition or exodus can occur. The physical world is where we as bodies+minds reside. While that might be an interesting question for some esoteric metaphysical inquiry around the nature of our existence, an interconnected virtual technosphere has still resulted in growth economies exploiting our needs and pushing us all over a cliff ( finite resources ). And pushing the developing world citizens ( refugees and colonial subjects ) over it first!

Not to mention, it’s trajectory of usurping and colonizing many creative livelihoods and intellectual content production ( communicative capitalism) . Consolidating + Entrenching power, privilege, wealth. Methods of hyper-managment + control.

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4. Border Visions at @transmedilale might have better been front + center, but is an early sunday session ?#?tm16? http://2016.transmediale.de/content/border-visions

Lots to write about this session, and about the context for the complex new border crises and border politics… brought on by decades or centuries of resource wars and colonization… fairly obvious… but not being commuicated in the converstaions around refugees and assisting them and accountabilities.

to be cont.


( things we recommend + things we missed )

RT > “After the Sharing Economy” is now archived: http://bit.ly/20NVT8F @leashless @hexayurt @OuiShareFest @francescapick @jaromil @benvickers_
w/ Vinay Gupta, Jaromil, and …
- In a world in which 17 percent of the world’s resources, the notion of a “sharing economy” offered, at least for a short period, a glimpse of hope for rebalancing the distribution of wealth. Yet despite its rhetoric of putting people and the planet first, the sharing economy has rapidly become more akin to a servitude economy, with the likes of Airbnb and Uber undermining existing services, enforcing their own labor regimes, and reshaping social infrastructures in their own image. Learning from these unfortunate developments, new initiatives, infrastructures, and practices have begun to emerge, seeking to address gross imbalances through a fundamental reconsideration of what ownership means. This panel will bring together a number proponents of new systems capable of “sharing” in wholly different ways, to discuss the lessons learned and unearth their emergent potentials.
more soon


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