An Aesthesia of Networks: Conjunctive Experience in Art and by Anna Munster

By Anna Munster

This present day virtually each element of existence for which info exists may be rendered as a community. monetary information, social networks, organic ecologies: all are visualized in hyperlinks and nodes, strains connecting dots. A community visualization of a company infrastructure may well glance remarkably just like that of a Revolutionary Organization 17 November. In An Aesthesia of Networks, Anna Munster argues that this uniformity has flattened our event of networks as energetic and relational techniques and assemblages. She counters the “network anaesthesia” that effects from this pervasive mimesis by means of reinserting the query of expertise, or aesthesia, into networked tradition and aesthetics.

Rather than asking how people event pcs and networks, Munster asks how networks experience—what operations they practice and endure to alter and convey new sorts of adventure. Drawing on William James’s radical empiricism, she asserts that networked adventure is assembled at the start via family members, which make up its so much instantly sensed and perceived point. Munster severely considers a number modern creative and cultural practices that interact with community applied sciences and methods, together with databases and information mining, the domination of seek in on-line task, and the proliferation of viral media via YouTube. those practices—from artists who “undermine” information to musicians and VJs who use intranetworked audio and video software program environments—are fascinated with the relationality on the middle of today’s community adventure.

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Gary Genosko too thinks that Peirce’s musings on icons are more diagrammatic than might be assumed if they are simply gathered under the sign of the icon: “In Peirce’s work, too, diagrams can be deterritorializing because they are iconic—icons do not lead one away from themselves to their objects, rather, they exhibit their object’s 26 Chapter 1 characteristics in themselves” (2002: 179). There is a tension, then, in Peirce between the iconic status of the diagram and its energetics—its tendency to want to generate something else, something novel out of itself.

Rather than read these remarks as the ultimate conflation of signifier with signified, we might see Charles Sanders Peirce’s overlay of map and terrain diagrammatically. This is tricky because Peirce also brought the diagram under the auspices of the icon. The icon was itself subsumed under the second category of his trichotomous classification of signs, in which signs were to be ordered by the ways they denoted their objects (Peirce, 1932: 243–263). Icons are a kind of sign, which share the qualities of their objects, such as resemblance.

But the switching of packets of information, weaving their way hither and thither, need not follow a systematic course. 2 “An Array of Stations,” from On Distributed Communications, Paul Baran, 1964. Copyright RAND Corporation. Image courtesy of RAND Corporation. 28 Chapter 1 media) but, additionally, are accompanied by data about where they need to eventually end up, that is, a computational address that signals some particular station in the array. But they do not have a predetermined route for reaching that address.

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