14.07, Thursday 15 Jun 2006 Link to this post
Opening the day at Aula (after the yoga), Donatella della Ratta talked about Arabic media, and mentioned that it was somewhat problematic because of the cultural/religious pressure against representation. Later, danah boyd referred to MySpace as, in part, a place where people don't consume media but participate in culture.
My sci-fi brain asks: What would the internet be like with no representation? Imagine a world where no technology represents anything else: All display is unique.
To skip past the answer of "but hasn't it always been so," an alternative view of the ubicomp world of sensors and representation is to say that we're using the internet to poke holes in the earth and see all the way through it: We're not seeing a copy of some data from 1000 miles away, we're seeing the stuff itself, using our supersenses. Alternatively, in the social world, we can say that websites are never reporting on a subject--they're always just personal perspectives on it, and that's a way of getting around the representation taboo.
So given my concerns with representation, and my opinion that it leads to the mass naming of things, and to the corresponding distortions and power games that accompany names (which system I call the semiotcracy), I am happy to say that I will pursue a vocabulary that has no play for representation.
Where I used to talk about the representation of a thing, I will now either state it is the thing itself, or that it is opinion about the thing--some world-state altering response to the original (maybe something that'll alter the thing itself, just as a pataphysical map exerts force on the territory). My motto: ACTS NOT FACTS.