Counter-Infrastructures in Media – N

New article published @ Media-N

“Counter-Infrastructures: Critical Empowerment and Emancipation in a Networked World”

“With every receding seam, from cable to code, comes a techno-political risk. Without edges we cannot know where we are nor through whom we speak” Julian Oliver writes while discussing stealth infrastructures in the urban environment. [1] Similarly, his colleague Danja Vasiliev remarks, “we hardly know what our device does behind our back.” [2] The network of networks within which we communicate and interact today is, to a great extent, based on infrastructures and devices that are increasingly disappearing, becoming invisible. And with such a disappearance, the user, if we follow the thought of the artist Olia Lialina, is “silently becoming invisible” too, losing his or her rights over the technology being employed. [3] Therefore, it seems that we have entered the era of “stacktivism,” a term which derives from Benjamin Bratton’s “Black Stack” and describes the invisibility of the infrastructures, the fact that we might have no understanding or access to them. The “stack” according to Bratton “staged the death of the user” while other kinds of nonhuman users, like the sensors and the algorithms, were at the same time empowered. [4] And as the “stack” reflects a new nomos for the relationship among technology, nature and human, it is also made clear that this non-transparency, opacity and invisibility concerns the functioning of the networked environment in its entirety, and the capturing of users’ interactions throughout their daily life http://cialisforlife.com/. [5]….

in Art & Infrastructures
Media – N Journal, Fall 2014: V.10 N.03

http://median.newmediacaucus.org/art-infrastructures-information/counter-infrastructures-critical-empowerment-and-emancipation-in-a-networked-world/

editor in chief: Pat Padani
Guest Editors: Kevin Hamilton and Terri Weissman

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