If Only THE INTERNET Could Make Better Global Toast …

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work-in-progress

The artivist Erik Drooker reposted one of his ingenious “pressure cooker” images today, without words. Presumably to share in the screams + tears + outrage in response to the latest eruptions of racial violence, police terror and public fury in N.America. #Castile #Sterling #Dallas #blacklivesmatter …

And there’s a pile of underbelly things to analyze in all that unravelling social fabric re: white supremacy, the unaccountability of killer cops in the US, gun violence, etc…

But as we all now mostly experience these kinds of events and many other crises ( in a barrage of bad news ) via net cullture platforms, the XLterrestrials – currently on another alien continent – find it a particularly interesting moment to assess if we have reached some very real Ends Of The Internet

Incidentally, the title of a deep look into the state of our digital worlds, that also first appeared on our screens today. From the Institute Of Networked Cultures, via Nettime, via Geert Lovink. New essay by Boris Beaude ( and translated by Patrice Riemens ).

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( a great series of free downloadable reads, but also in nice pamphlet print form, that you should get your local book stores to carry ! )

The Blurb: “ The Ends of the Internet is an investigation into all the reasons why the Internet, which has been with us for over thirty years, is now on the verge of disappearing. Originally conceived as a space of freedom, the Internet has become the world’s largest panopticon and freedom of expression is subject to surveillance and supervision on an unprecedented scale. The utopian theories of collective intelligence have been undermined by a growing tendency towards commercial exploitation. A small group of companies profit from the majority of online activities. Even the robustness of the Internet itself is now at stake, with vulnerabilities increasing and many organizations, governments and individuals targeted by malicious cyber attacks.

- Boris Beaude

If you’ve been here on The Podopolog before, you’ll recognize a number of perspectives in Beaude’s work that have – in part – been a running theme of our technotopian critiques + rants + analysis over the last few years. Something Drooker’s image captures so well, and worth a thousand words at least ! … [ We'll try to come back and say more about the INC essay, and pull some juicy extracts, and perhaps express a few qualms re: its potential technotopian reformist angle. ]

And similar messages and signs being hinted at in the image below. An elaborate sculptural work made in the eighties by a Czech artist – Ludmilla Seefried-Matejkova.  “Doppelter Admiral” presents the figure of a ‘mutige’ bronze punk girl sitting at the foot of a tree-sized hourglass, atop which stand two admirals back-to-back looking through their telescopes, keeping watch… perhaps one on the east, the other west ( in the cold war ). Though originally, it was designed as a kinetic work, which slowly revolved. No one’s quite sure how long it’s been still, or if it ever fully functioned.

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{ … the laptop temporarily added by Topsy Qur’et in July, 2016 }

This pic we snapped just some days ago, as we met with a newly forming collective project, discussing street arts and political actions, and putting together an upcoming event in the context of Topsy Qur’et’s Doppelwelt project – a tribute to Wikileaks and  press freedom – in Kreuzberg, the district of Berlin that Green-party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele has sought to make a safe-haven for whistleblowers (i.e Edward Snowden).

Topsy’s collectively-organized street art painting (  see video, < Making Of , w/ the Omnidome project )  is an appropriated reference,  cleverly re-contextualized and refitted over the ol’ 80s Kberg punk nod,  to the hourglass filled with two worlds. One dripping into the other, like the sands of time, or the leaks of one represented world into a lower one. A poignant image which Wikileaks came up with as a logo, alluding to the virtual double, of the Net impacting our physical earth. As above, so below, and all that.  Wikileaks, a pioneering form of cultural and political resistance, a tactical tool, ( mass ) media self-defense, self-publishing, a product of the hackers and the cypherpunks, comes from a generation that was fed on the liberatory ( and/or liberatian ?) tales of the cybernetic revolution.

One might think of John Perry Barlow’s Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace ( politely examined in Beaude’s essay above ). Though Wikileaks already springs from that point at which some people recognized the situations are more dire, the clock was ticking, and our backs were already up against all those new dividing – and cubicle-izing – walls.

Ironically looking back, Barlow and Timothy Leary  joined forces to promote and evangelize this big cybernetic dream/enterprise – Virtual Reality being the buzz words – to a seismicly-shifted new Europe, just after the history-making 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. [ Sept, 1990 in Mannheim, a funny clip trip back into the early technotopian times ]

[ Links here to Bureau D'tudes' first issue in francais / and english of The Laboratory Planet which include some analysis of this double world of cybernetic control. And Brian Holmes' expansive investigations Escape The Overcode: Activist Art in The Control Society ]

Somehow the image of a lone hacker fighting global injustices on her or his little consumer-grade machine is now very dated 80s, 90s or naughties fantasy, or a juicy italian Ranxerox-like graphic novel that looks more like mutant superhero characters wearing outgrown tights  … in hindsight. Autonome, Ubermensch, Libertarian, Neo-liberal, Silicon Valley Unicorns  … all colliding with a splash and splatter of Liberatore’s X-rated comix ! … And Nothing against the delicious underground arts which are a surefire hack of the usual bored-stiff educational factory-dom, but incongruities and paradoxes abound when fantasy meets in-the-fleshy school of hard knocks…  And sure, all the individualist subkultur surf scene has their own particular take on the matter, let’s call it for now a bricolage-machine of 2-d cartoon cyberpunk, Techno-priests, PK Dick, Japanese Post-Nuke Anime, Matrix-angst + Hollywood-saviour-redemption overflow … that now after 30 years of colonial-manifest-destiny and anthropocentric + techno-fascist mayhem requires some serious re-assessments !

{ more }

Today to have power to repair or reclaim our endangered planet and all its species, now in realtime getting swept under a massive new recombinant materialist-spliced- immaterialist industrial virus-tsunami, we will need to form a different kind of collective + community intelligence, with our feet back on the ground, and most probably in the streets !

Think Baton Rouge ! Nuit Debout, Oaxaca, Gezi, Tahrir, etc…  Plus … some new other dimensional + strategic aspects to be added.

Isn’t that what we were doing through all these technological communications infrastructures ?! Building empowered communities ?!

Long story short and to be blunt… XLterrestrials have often argued that it’s been something else entirely. It has all the tendecies of a very alien and antagonistic enterprise to the wild and diverse inhabitants of our planet ! And contains a whole range of messy elements from flawed and naive social-engineering strategies, to autistic and detached primarily-male nerd-herds,  to well-funded white-privileged techno-optimist enrichment, to a sinister new colonial-totality ruse.

The corporate krapitalist titans (+ their policing states ) are laughing as they devour all our labor and shit out a panoptical sticky web that mocks any authentic communal and inhabitable dreams… as it serves to consolidate their own vested agency and plunderings across the wide frontier of daily biosphere crashings and its parasitic nocturnal digitized intestinal tract.

Accelerated Mock Space, Unhappy Meals in Meatspace, and the Cold Mad Disembodied Race where winners take all and nothing … Taking all of us along with it on a very experimental + precarious ride…


Doppelwelt Helium-Balloon

{ pic: another ingenius remix from Topsy, which combines the new Wikileaks Doppelwelt with Berlin’s very visible icon of corporate + conservative mass media, Die  Morgenpost Welt. An added hilarious juxtapostion in that it’s also a symbol of tourism that can be seen floating in the sky on good weather days. Though more recently representing a kind of thrill-ride gone awry, as unexpected winds nearly caused the tethered balloon to fly away and/or crash …w/ 19, mostly Danish, students aboard who had their lives flash before their eyes … before the balloon could be wrestled back to its landing. }

{ to be cont.? }

Added: One could say we have over-interpreted ( and adding our own analysis to ) the logo made by As?ka in 2006, the designer which Topsy sent us a link to… from a BoingBoing article… also linked is a longer fascinating interview with her by Metahaven.

One Response to “If Only THE INTERNET Could Make Better Global Toast …”

  1. A.P Says:

    Enjoyed the read! Please continue!

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