I walked the streets of Montreal on Tuesday, May 22, like at least 250,000 other protesters. We were down there in the streets but our ghosts were synchronically haunting the parallel, oblique and transversal lines running on today’s ether. I followed their movements in cyberspaces – the movements of the crowd on GPS fuelled real-time mappings, the movements of pseudo-authored ideas, slogans and other impossible exchanges on Facebook and many other electronic meshworks. I was storing my impressions in the digital format of a 2GB SD card, eight million pixels at a time with the rhythm of clicks on a Coolpix camera; I was recording the songs and chants in MPEG1 layer 3 streams on my red Voice Tracer, on yet another 1GB of available memory space. I was not walking while reading newspapers, at the risk of stepping on a rake. I read the papers, most of the time, most of them, anyways, to get a glimpse of the reigning confusion, when it is not simple disinformation, propaganda and lies. To do it while walking would probably mean ending on my ass. I was reading the city instead, my eyes free to watch ahead, only interrupted by an occasional glance sideways to the small screen of one of my prosthetic recording, locating or meshworking devices. I was alive and kicking, and my ghosts followed the tempo of my feet on the pavement.
Available as part as a special issue of Wi: Journal of mobile media titled Out of the Mouths of “Casseroles” : Textes qui bougent au rythme du carré rouge.
Available on Wi: Journal of mobile media’s website.]]>
Car Montréal, cette ville, ma ville, s’enflamme, mais n’est pas en flammes du tout : les pluies paradoxales des douches de données numériques éteignent les feux avant même qu’ils n’incendient le réel, quoi que cela puisse bien vouloir encore dire.
Non, après tout, cela aussi est un reflexe du vieux monde, un symptôme d’infection par l’agent Baudrillard, plus besoin d’ajouter quoi que cela veuille dire. Vous savez ce que cela veut dire quand vous en faites l’expérience. Vous savez ce que cela veut dire de se sentir vivant lorsque vous pourriez vous plaindre, vous lamenter ou même porter le deuil. Vous devrez probablement faire une pause et vous pincer de temps en temps en vous disant, quoi, pas de morts ? Où sont les cadavres, où sont les corps à corps meurtriers ? Comment est-il possible que les flics exténués ne tuent pas, comme il arrive toujours dans ces cas-ci, malheureusement ? Comment est il possible, pouvez vous vous demander, que Montréal ne soit pas en flammes ?
Le texte est en version intégrale sur le site Profs contre la hausse.]]>
Because Montréal, this city, my city, is burning with life, but not burning at all: the paradoxical rain of the data shower extinguishes the fire before it incinerates the real, whatever that means.
No, this is an old reflex, a symptom of a baudrillardian infection, no need to add anymore, whatever that means. You know what it means when you experience it. You know how it feels to feel alive when you could be complaining, lamenting or even mourning. You might have to pause and pinch yourself once in a while, thinking, what, no death? Where are the corpses and the clashes? How come the cops do not kill, as it always happens in such times, unfortunately? Why, you may ask, is Montréal not burning?
Complete article on CTheory.net.]]>
The symposium focuses on the question of how the age-old notion of beauty can regain an importance appropriate to the 21st century.
Our need for beauty has not diminished, as hard as modernism tried to erase it from art and life and supplant it with the sublime. It was a sublime that increasingly associated itself with negation and deconstruction. In contrast, vital beauty, as defined by John Ruskin more than 150 years ago, is a beauty of sympathies and affinities with life forms. Yet vital beauty must be reinvented, since life forms today can be technological as well as natural. The concept of vital beauty raises the question of how we should design our environments, our objects and even our lives, and of how we might one day invent a politics of beauty.
“Beauty is the one aim which by its very nature is selfjustifying.” – Alfred N. Whitehead
Thierry Bardini’s prensentation Hints of a Junk Aesthetic will develop on the idea of “junk beauty” by showing how beauty has to do with the capture of code in a specific insect-flower sexual relationship.
Other participants are : Wendy Steiner, Arjen Mulder, Tim Ingold and Philip Beesley.
The symposium on Vital Beauty will be held at De Balie in Amsterdam, Nederlands this coming Wednesday, May 16h 9:00am to 5:15pm.
More infomation on V2′s website, on DEAF’s website and on De Balie’s website (in dutch).
Thierry Bardini’s biography is available on the organizer’s (V2) website and on Université de Montréal’s website (in french).]]>
Événement du 25ème anniversaire du programme de doctorat conjoint en Communication
Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT)
1201, boulevard St. Laurent
25 avril 2012, 13h00-20h00
Pour plus de détails.
Texte en anglais, présentation en français.
McLuhan’s legacies: An animal studies perspective
Shaping the world is generally understood from an inorganic point of view. Sand becomes microchips, stones are turned into homes.
What I suggest is to broaden these conceptions and look at the shaping of our world from an organic point of view, with an emphasis on communities composed of humans and their other technologically modified companions: domestic animals. Can overproductive cows, bored encaged tigers, neurotic cats, landscaped dogs, synthetic bacteria and every kind of guinea pig be thought of as ever-evolving media?
Using media ecology-oriented apparatus, I would like to discuss McLuhan’s legacies from an animal studies perspective. Although his analyses applied to press, TV or radio, can we adapt them to reconsider the existences of some biotechnologically altered organisms?
Culturally and symbolically used as a medium for man (both as a means and a mediator of meaning), the animal has often – not to say always – occupied a position of otherness, defining human culture and ensuring its perennial character.
I wish to examine the nature of this position, constructed through discourse as much as artificial selection, with a few biographical and ecological examples taken from the history of biology and political economy. By considering these animals as components of an overarching system, rather than entities that can be solely described by their biological nature, I strive to focus on the mutagenic potential of humanimal interactions and question the communicational processes that inform and affect the plasticity of (animal) existences.
Université de Montréal
Département de Communication
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
Département « Hommes, Natures, Sociétés »
UMR 7206 Éco-anthropologie et ethnobiologie