Thursday, October 27, 2005

Transduction & protocol

Since my presentation in Edmonton was about pervasive computing, transduction and protocol, and I still haven't managed to get it online, I thought I'd quickly point to some related reading:

Steven Shaviro writes on Simondon on technology and individuation

Mark Hansen on Deleuze and Simondon on internal resonance

Multitudes 18 (2004): Politiques de l’individuation. Penser avec Simondon.

Adrian Mackenzie at Lancaster

Glen Fuller reads and comments on Mackenzie's Transductions

Mackenzie on Protocols and the irreducible traces of embodiment: the Viterbi algorithm and the mosaic of machine time (pdf)

Alex Galloway at NYU

Steven Shaviro reviews Galloway's Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization

Jason Lesko also reviews Protocol

Village Voice: This Is Freedom? NYU prof Alexander Galloway unmasks the inner workings of computer networks

4 Comments:

Blogger Glen Fuller said...

hi anne, thanks for the mention!

The protocol stuff looks interesting. I'll have to check it out. Gillian Fuller's (no relation) stuff on queueing as a control and distribution technology may be useful in light of some of Galloway's arguments.

I have some follow up comments to make at a later stage on Mackenzie's book, as he does briefly mention some of the issues I raise (albeit in ways specific to his central thesis).

Although on a related issue. One tendency I have been swimming against in much work on 'technology' is the fascination with contemporary info-technology, rather than technological ensembles of the everyday. Of course, I am going to say something like that because of my focus on cars!

I guess one of the reasons I am working to pull apart 'enthusiasm' in the sense of 'car enthusiast' is that I want to be able to place my own prejudices in the frame of reference.

For example, it is parts exasperating and funny to read Shapiro's blog comments on Simondon (you link to in the post):

"More fundamental, Simondon says, is the fact that factory workers are not able to participate in the active construction/invention/reconfiguration of their machines, but are only allowed to be their passive operators. In a truly technological culture, where invention and operation would be combined, this alienation would not take place. Decades before the fact, Simondon is here theorizing and advocating what today would be called hacking and hacker culture. Indeed, I think that the culture of hacking still has not caught up with Simondon, in the sense that hacking is mostly justified in pragmatic and/or libertarian terms, whereas Simondon adds a third dimension, a depth, to hacking by showing how it is essentially tied to technology as a basic component of human beings’ presence in the world."

I like Shapiro's stuff, and it is not really a big thing in the scheme of things, but the reduction of a creative engagement with technology to one of 'hacking' requires a info-tech myopia. Decades before Simondon's book was published there were the salt-lake racers of So-Cal during the inter-war period. Even before the technologically induced alienating mass-individualism of Fordism was critiqued by the Frankfurt School, the hot-rodders were already living a creative relation to technology. Yeah...

Anyway, I am reading that info-tech myopia in Mackenzie's work. That is cool, like whatever, computers are 'it', but I would like to see it rendered explicit.

17:59  
Blogger Glen Fuller said...

what an idiot...

shaviro... not shapiro...

18:01  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Glen - At the cultural studies conference I was just at, Richard Sutherland from McGill gave a paper about cars and music (a reworking of some of these ideas, I think) and I thought of you :))

But I agree that we tend to overlook the "technological ensembles of the everyday" in favour of sexy info-tech, although I do think it is increasingly difficult to separate the two... And as for hacking, well, surely we ought to include tinkerers of all bents, no? This is in keeping with Simondon, radio hams, model railroaders, hot rodders, computer hackers and, perhaps the ultimate in everyday technologies, the cook in the kitchen feeding a family on a budget...

06:20  
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05:01  

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