The Institute of Unchartered Waters, a C-KiNO #51 afterward…

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Looking in search engines for an image of “unchartered waters” unveils a predominantly hideous eye-gouging collection of cheap graphic designs for a popular corporate game product. Interesting and disturbing how this title in the net world could render all other meanings of the phrase as secondary or insignificant.

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One might imagine these infantile + torturous game images being projected on the dingy wall of some Abu-Ghraib-like secret prison on the outskirts of Silicon Valley, where some poor art professor strapped to a chair is being forced to denounce his fellow resistance comrades for teaching traditional skills in a New Media recruitment college. There where a recent raid had uncovered a “radical cell” of the unconverted, who were attempting to subvert and evade the Great Digital Cultural Revolution.

Last week’s CiTiZEN KiNO #51 : Unmapping Existence and Unchartered Waters was a little bit like an analytical fruit plucked too soon from the tree. With less than a month to prepare, we didn’t have time to flesh out some more precise expressions of what it might mean to seek out those territories which go against the current tide of being swallowed up into the vast business vortices of the ubiquitous new tech.

And in Part 2 of the event, we got into some complicated discussions about the new DiEM25 movement launched by Yannis Varoufakis and many others. Pragmatic strategies and a political counter-force to the fractious divisions that will arise in Europe if the EU project becomes mangled by the financial winners/managers ( from above )  and fails to evolve as a democratic body, made transparent and held accountable by its constituents and an informed public.

Both are topics we hope we’ll find time to revisit again.

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But here we wish to elaborate on schooners in the stormy seas, cause only by zooming out to some potentially poetic lens can we escape the grisly details of the challenges we face…

One of our recent deep encounters was learning about the work of Keller Easterling and her new radical angles on #extrastatecraft – the title of her new book published by Verso. Exceptional insights from a soft-spoken but penetrating sociologically-minded architect who forces us to think anew not just about the vicious urban space of the 21st century, but perhaps also (an XLT extrapolation to our recurring theme?) another way of seeing how our lives are caught in the now palpably volatile NETstream. And about operating systems, far outside the realm of any even-pretending democratic process or regulatory bodies. Deep, and creepy as hell.

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{ a painting by Charles Napier }

When the XLterrestrials were kids, we had a guest room at a relative’s house. In a mostly barren space, on the wall above the bed was a schooner painting in high seas. A static image, it never changed… Year after year it was always in its place, a little window through which to dream …

to be cont.

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