www.nettime.org
Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> f(re)edom?
wade tillett on Fri, 24 Aug 2001 02:39:54 +0200 (CEST)


[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> f(re)edom?



> there will always be designed life, just as there will always
> be life that
> behaves and interacts unpredictably with environment. this
> doesn't mean it isn't
> being controlled.  control is not the handing down of a
> life-binding directive,
> it is the subtle coercion and inflection of quotidian
> trajectories, a thousand
> times per second. life is case-law, not statute. even
> unpredictable code-given
> beings are subject to this continuous mediation (assuming
> some degree of will/
> ability/readiness).
>
> can you elaborate a bit? i do not understand - why is
> interacting "escaping"
> control? i would've thought 'interactions', particularly
> those (like digital
> ones) that leave a trace, are the *pre-eminent* instances of
> being-controlled...
> (which is why i mentioned Foucault)

what i meant by 'genetic design can only produce
probabilities of interactions with environs'  is that
genetic design is only half of the equation, aka the nature vs.
nurture argument. life is both an interaction with an environ *and* a
product of interaction with an environ. genetic design controls the
code through which production occurs, that is (re)production. it does
not control the *actual* production.
so genetic design 'success' can only be measured by probabilities of
production that will occur within certain environments. genetic design
'success' is measured by the (re)production as compared to the model.
the economy it sets up then is this
production = reproduction
reproduction = production
the design is only a form of control in the amount that it reproduces
the model. this is a rather crude power structure, compared to the
ones evolved within society.
there are numerous ways in which one tries to overcome this dilemma,
such as an expansion / redefinition of the model or tightened control
on environment and interaction.
if code is the power (the action upon actions of foucault) which
presents sets of possible interaction with the environ. it is the
modification that the interaction with the environ projects back on to
the reproduction, 'degrading' it, which is the 'escape' or 'flaw'
within the design, which has the potential to provide possibilities
not intended by the code (reverse engineering, mutations, etc.). thus.
but it is this very modification of the environment back onto the self
which *is* life (half of it anyway, and by no coincidence, this is the
nonproductive half). adaption is treated as if it is anterior to life
and genetics because adaption is not a (re)production (and has the
potential to spin out of control and out of the economies of power
which 'produced' it.)

>
> a little quantum of unpredictability does not amount to a
> radical freedom.  our
> interactions are controlled all the time. those of
> Genetically Modified People
> will be all the more controllable, not because they *are*
> information, but
> because their information is recorded, held, and made to
> circulate by external
> but distributed powers. life is more legible.

i disagree with this. just because you have modified someones genetic
code does not make them walking zombies, pre-programmed to buy nikes
and mcdonalds. we learn that. we all have genetic code. freedom is not
a freedom-from genetic code and its mapping. freedom does not exist as
a relation to limits. that is, freedom does not exist as within nor
without objectification.

> > ...
> > The underlying argument of this (re)production thinking being that
> > power lies in the control of (re)distribution rather than
> in the act of
> > (re)production? Freedom  _within_  circulation?
>
> isn't the point more that power is unecessary when all is
> re-production and re-
> distribution? power administered the mode of production.
> something else will
> administer the mode of reproduction.  the good old days of
> repression or
> incitement are over. forget foucault. and forget "the act of
> (re)production" -
> (re)production is not an act <anti-oedipal sigh>, it is an
operation.

this is the point at which baudrillard performs the (under)cut. he
removes (re)production from production and we are left with only the
(re).
but what is (re) without production, when does this occur? where is an
example? (re)production only exists as an economic form of production.
the seductive theory of (re) does lead us to a theory of nihilism.
production cancels itself in the economic equation. i just haven't
seen it happen. we still need to eat. genetic (re)production does not
exist without its product(ion). the reproducers and redistributers
would like nothing better than for us to believe it is all a matter of
aesthetics, and that there is no power anymore, there is no structure
anymore, there is no responsibility anymore, there is no production or
consumption anymore, it is all a simulation of itself and we can only
watch it fade away. yes, the tendency of reproduction and capitalism
is that production consumes and cancels itself. the economy (the
industrial / digital) whereby
production = reproduction
set up within / as capitalism does consume itself and implode.

but this does not leave us with a void of freedom.


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net