Knouf, Nicholas A. "Transnetworks and the Fluid Nexus Project." In Dis Connecting Media, edited by Ulla Autenrieth, Andreas Blättler, Regine Buschauer and Doris Gassert, 199-206. Christoph Merian Verlag, 2011.
This paper engages with the practices surrounding the two fadaiat encounters that took place simultaneously in Spain and Morocco in the summers of 2004 and 2005 (see http://fadaiat.net/ ). The fadaiat project focused on the question of immigration to Europe, specifically from northern Africa, and the “Fortress Europe” responses by European Union governments. Participants in fadaiat included academic scholars, free software developers, artists, and activists, forming a meta-network that created bridges across disparate communities and practices. In particular, the participation of the Spanish collective hackitectura was key; they describe themselves as a “posse of architects, hackers and social activists experimenting in the merging territories of recombining spatial cyborgs composed by physical spaces, ICT networks and bodies”. hackitectura led the development of both a temporary civil, non-commercial wireless link across the straits of Gibraltar between Tarifa, Spain and 15
Tangier, Morocco, as well as an entirely free software audio/video streaming system, that enabled participants on both sides to come together independently of the restrictions normally placed on such movement by immigration laws.
The importance of free software for fadaiat extends beyond its purely instrumental use as an agent for disrupting state control. Indeed, the imagery of computation and free software—networks, links, patches, nodes, penguins—pervades the documentation of the project. Rave parties simulcast across the straits are as important as the discussions and software produced. I suggest that this can be understood as developing new forms of subjectivity, in the sense given by Felix Guattari, and therefore link the fadaiat project to earlier pirate radio practices, especially Radio Alice in Bologna, Italy, in which Guattari was involved.
That we continue to hurtle our bodies in hunks of metal down roadways at extreme speeds with margins of inches is simply barbaric. And it will be accepted as such, someday. The erotic potentials notwithstanding, following Ballard. (But in my reading of his work, this is not something to be valorized.) If we want to see accelerationism of capital at work today, then we only have to look at China. (To pick one example of many.) Edward Burtynsky’s photographs and film, Manufactured Landscapes provide visual confirmation. And Coco Fusco’s performances and texts on the exploitation of latinas in maquiadoras provides a braking force to those who want to accelerate capital. Whose bodies are run over, left mutilated at the side of the road, as capital accelerates without control down the highway? As far as I can tell this is a subject that is not broached in the competing posts about desiring the acceleration of capital.
A sociologist should do a study about how so much of the work (at least that I read) comes from those in the UK. Is there something about the contemporary milieu of the UK, and of London in particular, that draws out these kinds of responses? What would this theory look like if it were situated from Detroit, New Orleans, Juarez, Chongqing, Mexico City, or elsewhere?
My interest in this comes from my reading of speculative realist thought, as it is so called, and my desire to engage with the libidinal aspects of Land, Lyotard, Irigary, D+G, and others. Yet I have a profound worry about any project that would seem to not ask the question “Who is run over?” from the start. And what happens to those who are not prepared for the coming acceleration?
These days I am examining the trope of noise, not only as it is thrown about (problematically, and not in the good sense of that word) within sound studies, but also in the expanded sense used by Michel Serres in Genesis. How is noise capitalized, how does it exceed its bounds within information theory, how does noise perturb capital? How does it create its own perturbation theory that can be harnessed (without complete control) to create productive dysfunctions? Would the thrown wrench that stops the machine, the pulled emergency cord be a better way to engage with the present acceleration of capital? This is one of the key questions for me at the moment. To understand how noise (and its ability, in a combinatory fashion, to call forth the sacred) can never be fully controlled, never fully divorced from the signal, but rather only guided, sent down other channels to recombine with the “signal” at some future point. What is this becoming-dysfunctional that guides the noisy other than the work of the Yes Men? We are beginning to see the cracks in this methodology, of course, which only means we need to lower ourselves into them to see where they lead. And perhaps inside are options that do not leave too many, unheard, on the side of the road.