Putting Together, Pulling Apart, Finding Ourselves

2 May

As we continue to move into the second decade of the twenty-first century many questions are starting to arise, in the Media especially, about how we will or should organize ourselves socially. With all this new and open sourced information becoming more available, more often as we’ve seen in politics, what we actually do is manifested in all areas of life, especially in the social. In Thomas Jellis’ article on disorientation and micropolitics we see an overall transversality manifesting itself in the “affective potential of the interval between feeling and doing.” (Himada and Manning, 2009:5) Himada and Manning see by operating transversally we are activated. We are activated and we are enabled to do. Thomas notes that micropolitics put simply is a way we can all stretch and risk instead of following “a tendency in the political to present itself as fully formed.” (Himada and Manning, 2009:5). What is interesting for the Media in micropolitics is that it is a “creation of techniques for collaboration”. (Thomas, 2009) This means more open sourced materials, more sharing of knowledge and resources, and more potential to create. Thomas states that micropolitics is anything that “involves experimentation and an openness to be experimental.” (Thomas, 2009) This is functions around affect and the way something for somewhere else outside of ourselves bodily affects us, yet is not embodied in the subject. Meaning we can receive and share, without holding on to. We are experience and learning and then giving to another, everyone learning more and more as they go. We then able to learn, put together, fall apart and keep going having learnt for experiences and sources of knowledge. In fact we go out more ‘ourselves’ from the experience. What I am saying is Media through transversal micro-politics enables peoples to work together for the purpose of evolution. Yes, there is competition, but that competition only moves us to work harder, to be more effective, to be and invest more.

In his article of the socialization of evolution, Douglas Rushkoff sees that unfortunately “peer-to-peer networking is overshadowed by hierarchies of the status quo.” (Rushkoff, 2011) So yes on the internet people can work transversally, in a micropolitical way, but he sees this is over shadowed by the power of big business. It is true most content is affected by hierarchies, by I would argue that this top-down government control and domination of the Internet is something we all have put in place, whether apart of government or not. Yes, all over information is controlled, but we allow if not promote that control. Control can be a positive experience, especially on the Internet. It enables the growth of creativity, the product of new business that can be built upon. New infrastructures people who previous didn’t have the means can create. Douglas also argues that “a peer-to-peer network protected only by laws – that exist but for the grace of those in charge – is not a p2p network.” (Rushkoff, 2009) I see p2p networks do exist in this way, however if there was no laws in place, the structure of the Internet would fall apart as people would be hesitant to share in an environment with no laws. The laws allow for a shared sense of community in p2p networks and also a sense of responsibility. Something that breathes constant change in the Media as in the Social as in life.

In a chapter of the book ‘Network Culture’, Tiziana Terranova talks about how a social media, like the Internet, is positive for societies growth. Terranova’s states that “innovation and creation” (Terranova, 2004: 106) are the outcomes of having a society that is tranversally connected which will “engender, multiply and spread mutations.” (Terramova, 2004: 105) Knowing this Terranova sees that the great thing about p2p network, unlike Rushkoff’s exploration, is that even if top-down structures control the system ultimately there is a distribution of power stating “you can collect as much data as you want about individual users, but this won’t give you the dynamic of the overall network.” (Terranova, 2004:104) Individuals contribute and are valuable users in an open source environment. The more the contribution the more you your value it would seem. Terranova sees the Internet as a social environment that much like Wikipedia for a common example, users can production structures that are open and more importantly replicable. This is important, if socially we are to maintain new communities, we must allow for replication. Creativity will enable creativity, that has to be part of the process. Recently I heard a friend comment that they were part of an “underdog” group of artists. I really do not believe that to be true. Buying into such structures is just that. Buying into something that is pointless. We in society should not be putting labels to ourselves, more giving ourselves the potential to achieve, the openness to invest in something new, whether new Media, p2p networking, open sourcing. We should invest, not fear we are being controlled, because ultimately the only ones who are controlling is us. To invest means to be open to both successes and failures and both are important to the overall forward movement of the Media and of a society that will constantly find new ways to organize itself, which is a good thing.

Here is an example of a festival in Taiwan where movement is valued overall. Structure is let go and through a community working together, something beautiful emerges.


Jellis, Thomas (2009) ‘Disorientation and micropolitics: a response’, spacesof[aesthetic]experimentation, <http://www.spacesofexperimentation.net/montreal/disorientation-and-micropolitics-a-response/>

Rushkoff, Douglas (2011) ‘The Evolution Will Be Socialized’, Shareable: Science and Tech <http://www.shareable.net/blog/the-evolution-will-be-socialized>

Terranova,Tiziana (2004) ‘From Organisms to Multitudes’ In Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age London: Pluto: 101-106

One Response to “Putting Together, Pulling Apart, Finding Ourselves”

  1. charlotte farrell June 10, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    absolutely beautiful and relevant video, Alex. You got it! 🙂

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