I have been invited to be a guest blogger at FLEFF 2010‘s Open Space Project (I will be cross-posting the content here in my regular blog). This project asks: “How do we find open spaces in geography, community, melody, materiality, digitality, virtuality? How do we identify, locate, question, create, and imagine open space(s)?” My blog is called Disassembled Spaces. Below is my first post.
Opening spaces through the disruption of networks
Networks are powerful determinants. They condition the ways we think and interact with the world. I’m not talking about the network just as a material structure, but as a way of thinking. From the design of living spaces to the design of information spaces, the network episteme has emerged as the dominant model for assembling the social, organizing knowledge, and mapping reality.
As with all dominant structures, the network episteme needs be questioned. The network has become a template actualized and enforced by code, by the circuitry of electronic devices. Everything can be connected, we are told. But as Kothari and Metha remind us, total inclusion allows for total exclusion.
In my work, I am interested in exploring the network as a machine for increasing participation while simultaneously widening the gap between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ nodes. Networks produce inequality. The larger the scale, the more efficient the network will need to be at creating and managing disparity.
So I guess this blog will be about open space as an un-thinking of the digital network. Obstruction, defection and disassembly will be explored as opportunities for transcending the network as technological determinant. This theorizing is in itself ‘open,’ so I hope you join me in this inquiry.
cc photo credit: wauter de tuinkabouter