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2 Thoughts of Others to Begin With

‘The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.’ William Gibson (even he can’t remember when he first said this)

‘The term communication can be defined in a wide sense and in a strict sense. The wide sense is: a process by which a system is changed by another system’ … ‘as in medicine, there should be, in the theory of communication, no neat distinction between theory and praxis’ 
(Vilém Flusser, writings Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press: pp.8 & 20)

‘Draw a map to get lost’ (Yoko Ono, ‘Map Piece’ in Yoko Ono, Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000: unpaginated

‘Here’s the paradox. Moving-with the software means learning to move the software’ (Erin Manning, Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy, Cambridge, MA:MIT Press, 2009, p65)

‘… it has to be recognized that conditions of emergence change. Emergence emerges. Changing changes.’ (Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual Durham:Duke University Press, 2002, p10)

‘… almost anything can become technological, a platform for intensification of certain potentials that can be called technical after the fact … nature is the perfect crystallization of technics as a potential for intensification and variation; media technologies are good runners up’ (Jussi Parikka, Insect Media, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010, p76)

‘Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us … [but] who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements?’ (Neil Postman in Postman, Andrew [2017] ‘My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it’s not Orwell, he warned, it’s Brave New World’, The Guardian, February 3, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/feb/02/amusing-ourselves-to-death-neil-postman-trump-orwell-huxley)

‘ … technics is a “process of exteriorization”, technics is the pursuit of life by means other than life’ (Stiegler, Technics and Time, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1998: 17)

‘communication is a matter of structural modulation of the body and nervous system. Communication is a mutual adjustment of bodies.’ (Sean Watson ‘The Neurobiology of Sorcery: Deleuze and Guattari’s Brain, Body and Society, 4(4), 1998, 23-45, p38)

‘ … our bodies and brains are inflected and contaminated by the material supplements and cognitive prostheses which we incessantly internalize … there just may not be constant or determinate interfaces between brain, body and world [but rather] a diversity of feedback relations between objects and embodied brain … different external media hold information in quite different ways, on quite different timescales, and interact quite differently with individual memories’ (John Sutton, ‘Porous Memory and the Cognitive Life of Things’, in Darren Tofts, Annemarie Jonson, and Alessio Cavallaro (eds), Prefiguring Cyberculture: an intellectual history (MIT Press and Power Publications, 2002: 130-141, pp.131 and 141)

‘differential media are those media (now most, if not all media) that enhance and fracture differences. This includes a fracturing within the very concept of media itself. They involve media events, usually networked media events, that make the very term “media” slip so much it starts to lose its track.’ (Andrew Murphie, ‘The World as Clock: The Network Society and Experimental Ecologies’ in Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 2004, 11:117-139, p123)

‘…the world can be conceived as a medium for the transmission of influences…’ (Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, New York: the Free Press, 1978, p. 286)

‘… a cultural politics of communication … boils down to … a capacity to synthesize not so much a common position (from which to win the masses over), but a common passion giving rise to a distributed movement able to displace the limits and terms within which the political constitution of the future is played out. . . . this political mode cannot but start with affects – that is with intensities, variations of bodily powers that are expressed as fear and empathy, revulsion and attraction, sadness and joy.’ (Tiziana Terranova, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age, London: Pluto, 2004, pp.156-7)

‘We have been told that the connectedness and continuities that new media bring us also separate us from our powers of being. They produce substantially powerless public spheres, which include us in an endless circulation of opinions and beliefs, while excluding us from the real locations of power; that is, global financial markets and national state capitalisms. There is an automatism to the recursive dynamics of topological cultures that, as we argue in this introduction, can and will unleash an indeterminate potential in the world, but how can networked subjectivity become active? How can the series of unpredictable events unleashed … trigger something more, the becoming active that Deleuze-Spinoza was thinking about? What about the passions unleashed by ubiquitous, mobile communication and connected continuities?’ (Tiziana Terranova in Simon Dawes, ‘Interview with Celia Lury, Luciana Parisi and Tiziana Terranova on Topologies’, Theory, Culture and Society (web site), January 15, 2013, http://www.theoryculturesociety.org/ interview-with-celia-lury-luciana-parisi-and-tiziana-terranova-on-topologies/)

‘Our bodies and our lives are almost a kind of resonating chamber for media-borne perturbations that strike us and run through us, that strike us and strike beyond us simultaneously. This is all happening before we can position ourselves, before we are able to step back and try to rationalize the experience. We are braced into the experience, inducted into it in a very direct, bodily way, before we can adopt a considered posture towards it. That’s why I talk about “immediation”…’ (Brian Massumi, Politics of Affect, Cambridge: Polity, 2014, p.114)

‘The world as medium for itself, in its continued process of self-differing, as it extends and thereby gives rise to space and time, perspective and self-grasping, matter and consciousness. This is perhaps the starting place which perhaps can serve as the foundation for a new paradigm within the realm of contemporary thought, a movement which I believe has already begun.’ (Christopher Vitale, ‘World as Medium: Or, How Self-Differing Substance makes strange bedfellows of Whitehead, Hegel, and Deleuze’, Networkologies blog [November 15 2009]: n.p. (http:// networkologies.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/world-as-medium-or-how-self-differing-substance-makes- strange-bedfellows-of-whitehead-hegel-and-deleuze/)

‘But what if the truth is neither in the represented nor in the representation? What if the truth is in its material configuration? What if the medium is really a massage? Or actually—in its corporate media version—a barrage of commodified intensities? To participate in an image—rather than merely identify with it—could perhaps abolish this relation. This would mean participating in the material of the image as well as in the desires and forces it accumulates. How about acknowledging that this image is not some ideological misconception, but a thing simultaneously couched in affect and availability, a fetish made of crystals and electricity, animated by our wishes and fears—a perfect embodiment of its own conditions of existence? As such, the image is—to use yet another phrase of Walter Benjamin’s—without expression. It doesn’t represent reality. It is a fragment of the real world. It is a thing just like anyother—a thing like you and me.’ (Hito Steyerl, The Wretched of the Screen, Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2012, pp.5 )

‘At a minimum, the Anthropocene [the geological age in which the very geology of the earth is considerably influenced by humans] calls on critical theory to entirely rethink its received ideas, its habituated traditions, its claims to authority. It needs to look back in its own archive for more useful critical tools. Ones that link up with, rather than dismiss or vainly attempt to control, forms of technical and scientific knowledge. The selective tradition needs to be selected again. The judgments of certain unquestioned authorities need for once to be questioned.’ (McKenzie Wark, ‘Critical Theory after the Anthropocene’, Public Seminar, August 9, 2014, http:// www.publicseminar.org/2014/08/critical-theory-after-the-anthropocene/)

‘Choosing to be honest is the first step in the process of love. There is no practitioner of love who deceives. Once the choice has been made to be honest, then the next step on love’s path is communication.’ (Bell Hooks, All About Love: New Visions, New York, William Morrow, 2001, p157)