From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.
This site documents the process and the results.
The spread of virtual networking technologies—the web, email, instant messaging, cell phones, wireless messaging, inexpensive international phone service, and so on—together with the growth of physical nomadism during the last quarter century have radically restructured how individuals relate to each other. When people do see each other in person today, it is generally in spaces of consumption such as the shopping mall, the multiplex movie theater, or the late capitalist art museum.
My article entitled "Cyber-Urban Activism and Political Change in Indonesia" has just been published in Re:Activism issue of the Eastbound. Eastbound, a peer reviewed journal published in print and online, aims to create an international platform for Western and Eastern European researchers engaged in the multidisciplinary field of media and cultural studies. It features articles, reviews and interviews dealing with social and political implications of the rise of entertainment media and mediated popular culture, the appearance of global media players, and the spread of new forms of politics and information technologies.
My own article deals with the politics of space and spatiality of politics by looking at the interaction between cyberactivism and urban activism and how cyber-networks are extended to social networks in urban setting.
Jill Walker and Noah Wardrip-Fruin are editing a new edition of Ted Nelson's Computer Lib/Dream Machines. They asked me to write a little essay for the "Stuff You May Run Into" section near the back of the Computer Lib side. The book came out before my time, but the lore about it was still in the air when I started nibbling on the edges of geekdom in the early nineties. So it was fun to get invited to this project. Luckily Scott had held on to his first edition so I could see the book in its original glory. The new edition should be a run update with lots of folks contributing pieces to augment and update Ted's manifesto. My contribution is appended here.
THE SEDUCTION OF THE FUTURE: FANTASY WORLDS FROM THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Friday, November 18
The Mountain Bar
473 Gin Ling Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Preview to a vast exhibition and database novel on the seductions of the future from 1893 to 1926 at the Mountain Bar in Chinatown. A journey through the dense megacity of 1900, the imperialist visions that became early science fiction, the first premonitions of “total war,“ techno-therapies for the body of the future. Dozens of illustrations, photographs, sounds, architectural models, and rare early cinema.
Shahram, Julian, Anne and I just submitted a grant proposal to USC's Urban Initiative to explore microlocal urban media in South Los Angeles. To illustrate, I wrote a microlocal story about this spot.
That page includes an ICBM geotag. How would I go about displaying it on a googlemap?
I've posted my essay "The City Beyond Maps," originally published in Pasajes de Arquitectura y Critica, September, 2003,
to varnelis.net. This article is the final of four articles commissioned by Pasajes to re-examine the relationship of architecture and capital at the start of the millennium. The other three are: Hallucination in Seattle, on Gehry's Experience Music Project, Cathedrals of the Culture Industry, on OMA's competition entry for LACMA, Disney Hall, and Eli Broad, and A Brief History of Horizontality: 1968/1969 to 2001/2002, on 9/11, Archizoom, and FOA's Yokohama Terminal. This essay considers downtown Los Angeles from the perspective of a critical theory of network technology and suggests that, as we search for new theories to understand architecture and culture after postmodernism, it is not the Disney Concert Hall that succeeds Fredric Jameson's Bonaventure Hotel, it is carrier hotel One Wilshire. Read it [here] You may also want to look at Marc Tuters's essay Locative Space: Situated and Interconnected" on this very site. Marc and I are working together this semester and I think it's worth juxtaposing these pieces.
What are the consequences of Web 2.0 for Networked Publics—not this academic group but rather our object of study? Web 2.0 is based around the model of consumers becoming active producers, not only creating their own content but actively remixing content themselves. In that, Web 2.0 splendidly embodies Roland Barthes's concept of the writerly text replacing the readerly text. Depending on your epistemological paradigm, the web has moved from the classical era to the modern era, or from the modern to the postmodern. But the jury is still out on Web 2.0's consequence to social structures. In a response to an essay by danah boyd, I suggest that if Web 2.0 will lead to greater bonds between dispersed localities based on interest and lifestyle communities, it may well also lead to a greater disconnect between individuals in close physical proximity.
“The Network City: Emergent Urbanism in Contemporary Life
At the World Summit on Free Information Infrastructures, Community wireless network activist, Julian Priest (of informal.org, and author of the seminal State of Wireless Networking in London) speaks here (in the attached Quicktime movie) about Alexi Blinov's project Hive Network in which he has modified an off-the-shelf ASUS, Linux access point to become a stand alone streaming media device, capable of organizing with other sich devices into authomous ad-hoc networks.