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Re: <nettime> review of George Monbiot - The Age of Consent
tobias c. van Veen on Tue, 30 Sep 2003 21:20:32 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> review of George Monbiot - The Age of Consent

hi Geert,

Nice review. Mind if I pick up on a little tidbit?

> In the network age ideas are carefully designed 'memes' that
> travel far out without losing their core meaning.


If, in the age of the subculture, concepts travelled as memes through the
fledgling networks‹as concepts to be remixed into new contexts, and where
the concept was about the application of the content‹then today the concept
is the network. In fact the network is both concept and context, and the
meme is only the static concept within the network's transactions. The
active idea that expresses itself as a force is the seme. What matters is
not the meme, but the point at which the meme becomes inverted, where the
idea is no longer sampled into different contexts, but the context is
sampled into different ideas, and where the context itself is already the
network. The seme is the point at which the meme is forced to undergo a
translation and an extroversion at the limit of its identity by the force of
its trajectory‹the act of its self-sampling. The inversion of its innards
now expresses the trajectory of its form. The seme thus comes to express the
force of form in the stitching of the network to the content of the meme.
The seme is the meme of the power of dissemination. It's the name we give to
the transformational properties of the network, where the network forms the
content. The seme is the theoretical framework in which the practical forces
of contemporary microcultures express themselves. It is not an idea-thing
that travels, like the dualist concept of meme, but the point at which the
thing, at the moment of its translation or transformation at becoming
something other to itself, undergoes a forceful expression of the path of
its movement‹its network. The seme demonstrates the digital network of
transduction. If we may sample Brian Massumi: "There is no inside as such
for anything to be in, interiority being only a particular relationship to
the exterior to itself (infolding)" (115).

</sample. source: van Veen, tobias c. "Hearing Difference: The Seme.
IASPM-edit." IASPM International Conference Proceedings (2003). (CD-ROM).>

.PDF posted online:


>No matter how hard ignorant newsrooms editors are trying, ideas cannot be
>turned in lies. Until recently they could be just be ignored and condemned as
>marginal, academic or irrelevant, but the present demand can no longer be
>denied. Ideas easily withstand misinterpretations caused sloppy research of
>journalists and evil-minded reviews of grumpy commentators. The main reason for
>this is that we live in the post-deconstruction age.

I'd like to propose an understanding of deconstruction that has less to do
with negative critique--the Adorno mutant that masqueraded as
"deconstruction"--and more to do with understanding the network of meaning
as that classic word, "différance." By simply negating deconstruction as
both history and effect, the process of sublimation is once again set to the
wheel. By opening deconstruction to the more sexy understanding shared in
"becoming-", there might be a chance to understand the ways in which
meme-based patterns are no longer the dominant force.

<sample 2>


The content of sampling is no longer the issue; what is at stake is not the
content‹the traditional territory of politics‹but the form, or method, of
distribution. The fight today is primarily not over sampling and copyright,
but the transference of information-music into a different form and its
global dissemination‹ie, from sampling a '70s funk record to ripping MP3s
via peer-to-peer filesharing.


If the TAZ was a meme in late-80s cyberculture and '90s rave culture, then
the TAZ today finds itself living up to its acronym‹Temporary Autonomous
Zone‹as the context of today's ideas, rather than being the idea itself. It
thus becomes a problematic of how to disseminate the context in an
expression that fosters anti-capitalist networks. In other words, how to
expose the movement of the seme itself, in its multiplicity of difference.

</sample - source=same>

best, tV

tobias c. van Veen -----------
------------- tobias {AT} rhizome.org
---McGill Communications------
ICQ: 18766209 | AIM: thesaibot

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