BLOCKING THE FLOW.html
Ana Peraica & Darko Fritz
[UNSUBSCRIBEE!!!] .txt Ana Peraica

[MAN'S HOLES <-loop-> BACK ORIFICE] .jpg .rm .mov .mp3 Darko Fritz

C-front 2001, Plovdiv

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[On Net citizens and the new geography, a sanitation view]

dedicated to Brian, Dalai Lama and Nokia telephones... and my Delete folder

Ana Peraica

 

A friend's three-year-old child was screaming into the toilet bowl, 'graaaandmother, graandmother', while the parents sitting with guests in the living room were quite shocked, and slightly embarassed. It took them time to understand that, if a child still in nappies saw that every apartment has almost the same toilet, and they all have holes, it logically concluded - they are all connected. And what is connected are not only toilet bowls [but, sorry for vocabulary but asses, shits, and sewers...].

A year ago, during the informal lecture of Andreas Broeckman on Oreste and Syndicate, a visitor, artist Rod Summers handed me an unpublished transcribed Robert Fillou speech, 'Eternal Network', dated precisely thirty years before, and speaking on the same topic. The text [1] spoke romantically about pre-existing networks, such as solar, biological, and others in pan-psychic terms of Nature as the One; divine, sublime, glorious... Then it shifted to the even more primitive religion related terms, of 'meditation', 'feeling'... a kind of a hippy 'being well with it', at the same time covering the other part of the phenomenon: its horror element 'of being included unwillingly', 'being absorbed', 'being small', 'being only a particle imprisoned'. It was not precisely, but nearly a version of the Shreber's anus-centric version of the solar network [2].

The speech was actually about the art of mailing, finding reasons for it not in art history, but within the theory of the Sublime. Established as a chain, after the death of the author, the network itself unfortunately ended up in the closed and therefore anti-networked circle of inner mailings, still active among forty-year-old artists, who were raised on marijuana on the shores of Maastrircht, or around.

Humans can only be consumed in networks, as flies can in those of spidersí webs And usually they are absorbed without knowing, without giving their real name. As, for the network the name is less important than the name of the network itself. The name simply is only a dot that holds the tension of the link, rope, of the road. But after the time of fascination with the Network, with the own program network, a period of disappointment arrives... As in the net held by many of them after some time nothing is caught, only the garbage left behind by the activity of the network itself, its own digestion. Fragile due to holes, they all intersect, intervene each other, still holding own names. Good and bad networks; networks in the sky, sewer networks, street networks, spider networks, networks of the spreading of the pediculum pubis and other veneral diseases, spamming networks... They morph and become one another. If you are in the communal network of the city, necessarily you are also in the state system of communal activities, but also of all countries that direct the sewers to the sea.

But, the myth of the Network suddenly ended up in a variety of networks, rising and falling down. But then, as information flows, each of them at some period turns into an appendix, a footnote, a chapter of the other, in a different constellation.

Why don't you post it on the Syndicate? Did you read that on Nettime? Meeting with Faces? Well, wasn't it on the Rhizome Raw? X-change, 7-11...

Report! Report! as in the army, the network asks for constant attention, constant care... It seems that the relation is inevitable. All networks sort people; into heroes, receptors and locally politically-correct subscribers. Emancipated e-mail heroes [as a parallel to the toilet network ones Zizek was writing on] form their own territories, their own enclaves, and then send their own programs, party posters all around... Other kind of existing people are passive, not posting, only reading and trying to catch up, use, find some sense... That is why networks die becoming parties, as Internacionala did, becoming a sort of 'being politically-correct', being pre-programmed, and establishing routes that one not only cannot escape, but must not. Party marriages, party suicides...

Is there a place for Icarus in Shreber's case? It is obvious on mailing - event lists: Oreste, Balkania... Once an interesting project, the Balkania list became one of those devastated territories of paradoxical actions of commercial advertisement, spamming, petitions etc... Brian, Nokia telephones,the Dalai Lama on life [2] visit it regularly. The once-interesting curatorial project Oreste became a closed daily report of individuals still having time for such a narrative, and posting html e-mails, and attachments. Digestion...

The scenario is the same - after exchanging some decent e-mails a list starts to slowly die and serves as a sub-list of the personal announcement list, there is no communication, no addressing. Everyone escapes, and finally - an abandoned list, a heaven from spamming. Collapsed networks, abandoned mailing lists, territories of the vampire spam artists as Integer, enjoying the political incorrectness, et.al. But even without being abandoned... mailing lists are open. Just subscribe and send a 'who' command to Majordomo; they lack protection, as happened to the McLuhan-list in 1997. Evacuation from the mailing list seems to be a general move of the networked society. Who gave you my e-mail address? [Unsubscribe... Please, please remove me from this list. Stop spamming!!!]

But a spammed individual net citizen should not be shocked. Wasted contacts, redundant greetings, are normal in any kind of network, although the frequency and dimensional problems of the electronic ones only underline the principle already existing: Networks raise and collapse. They are only events. Cohesion and dispersion are its phenomena. The absence of the networked individual from their own 'forced working place' is similar to Kafka's stories. After only seven days of absence either a computer crashes or the server... 'Receiving 25 out of 765 e-mail messages'. Subscribe before the summer holidays, that is the rule, - the server will not survive. In other days, fortunately Inbox assistants encountered this impossibility: just adding an e-mail address or the heading of the e-mail if it is a mailing list can release us from pressing Delete. And those individuals, always deleted are not noticed ... [or someone says 'You are on my Inbox assistant Delete from the server list, you are in my address book under the letter S, I reserved only for the 'Shit people'? 'She told me that if you call she is not at home.'].

How to organize the universe of information and not to be killed by it. Some of the communication and total control freaks fear that something will happen when they are away and subscribe to the free SMS message solution, noting the arrival of e-mail. With every e-mail a mobile shakes, beeps, screams... Nettime, Nettime... Syndicate... Syndicate...

Once, a long, long time ago, people were still saving newspapers even those bad ones, to wrap the fish, to use when cleaning potatoes, to put in the summer shoes cleaned up for winter storage. Still then, back on the streets of peaceful towns where colporters are selling the daily city newspaper... shouting. [BRIAN. BRIAN. SOLIDARIDAE COOOON BRIAAAAAAAAN! Stop SHOUTING AT ME. Stop SCREAMING!]. With junk e-mail one can do nothing. But finally, they do not make such a waste as the plastic bags one gets in every shop as shopping is about getting rid of the plastic.

Flash, Delete... Use the Big Network, Nature, a Big toilet. Unsubscribe...

FOOTNOTES:

[1] latter published in the publication Hype_text ed. by Jean Paul Jacquet (Academy Jan Van Eyck, Maastricht, 2000)

[2] Freud's Schreber case symptomising, among others, in his attitude that his ass is inhabited by the sun ['solar anus'] is a classical example of schizophrenic dellusion.

[3] Brian [Solidaridae con Brian] is a net spam classic, along with: Nokia telephones, Dalai Lama on life, Jess Hirsh's spamming

LINKS:

Big spam http://www.irational.org/cern

Archives of spams http://www.eff.org/pub/Net_culture/Folklore/Spam/

http://pemtropics.mit.edu/~jcho/spam/archive.html

Anti-spam and net.cop tools http://www.annexia.org/spam/

http://kryten.eng.monash.edu.au/gspam.html