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Re: <nettime> The Whole Earth -- Conference (Berlin, HKW 21/22 June
John Hopkins on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 14:10:40 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Whole Earth -- Conference (Berlin, HKW 21/22 June

Hi Mark --

a few comments:

I was instantly intrigued when I saw this show was up at HKW, and I did make the 
show but had to depart Berlin right before the conference (after breakfast with 
Barack and Michelle  {AT}  the Reichstag)...

> If this was mentioned on nettime (considering that it was once the  primary
> topic of this list), I missed it -- did anyone from this "collective"
> attend and do they wish to offer a report?

I spent an hour with Pit and Diana at HKW, and they did podcast the whole thing, 
worth listening to, as Fred et al gave a good talk.

(I downloaded the podcasts, but have misplaced the URLs -- maybe someone could 
re-post them? Pit??) (thanks Nina!!)

This past spring I had my "Meaning of Information Technology" students consume 
the last chapter of the Cyberculture to Counterculture book -- though it was 
quite deep history to them, and quite abstract in that sense -- it was hard for 
them to grasp.

>> From eco-psychedelia to Internet neoliberalism: The CONFERENCE will
> revolve around questions of the legacy of the California counterculture. How did


> of the  Anthropocene, are being negotiated, updated, or ??? in some cases ???
> forgotten.

Yeah, anyway, the show was quite good, imho, a bit hard to picture what it 
looked like, if you had not been immersed in that cultural situation as we were. 
I came into possession of a Whole Earth Catalog via my brother who was, for a 
time, the editor of a radical student paper out of UCSD, and a member of the 
Weather Underground. He's 13 years older than I, and in 1968, when the first 
Whole Earth Catalog came out, I was just 10. A few years later when the really 
big one came out, 400 pages or so, I had a copy, and pored over it for many many 
hours. days... As a nascent foray into what became a deep involvement in the 
mail art network, I recall sending to a majority of the addresses in the catalog 
for more information, brochures, etc... It all made a deep impression, though 
one which was quite foreign to my family milieu (with my father there at MIT's 
Lincoln Lab,  {AT}  the Pentagon, etc). It definitely was a counter to the culture 
that I was a part of as far as my teenage mind could measure.

I'm thinking that the next step to this exhibition would be a wide creative 
exploration of (open/living/general) systems theory from Bertalanffy to Church, 
Miller, Odum, Simms, etc etc and all those who were outside the cybernetics/cold 
war systems context.

At any rate, the show was dense on textual and media content, well 
choreographed, enjoyable, informative, and again left me wondering what it 
'looked like' to a 20-30-something German academic media artist. SO, maybe there 
are some attendees near to that profile on nettime who would care to reflect on 
it... I didn't take any notes, though I suspect that the catalog will give a 
good account of the shows actual content. I was impressed by the show -- and 
would be interested in hearing from the curators where the original idea to do 
such a project came from!

Turner's somewhat radical connecting of Stewart Brand and the WEC/WELL, & the 
counterculture generally to Wiener's Cold War cybernetics seems very intuitive 
and not as radical as it may appear on the surface. I especially appreciated his 
point how applied systems theory (taking the form of operations analysis, 
systems analysis, etc), is one formative basis for the corporate development of 
contemporary social computing (i.e., the corporate R&D & management structures 
of Silicon Valley). This for me is a powerful conceptual step in decoding the 
'effects' and the pervasiveness of the military-industrial structure within 
Amurikan society. It is my belief that the US system is still, to a large 
degree, dependent on that M-I-(Academic) Complex framework for its 
socio-economic-political structural integrity. It's only less visible in these 
recent years, but no less powerful a determinant. Unfortunately most Amurikans 
do not make the connection with surveillance, drones-in-the-neighborhood, 
security, paranoia, etc as symptoms of a defensive (and of course many times 
offensive) imperial military state.

Another book which gives some useful threads with the development of the MIA 
complex of which Silicon Valley is only one manifestation is:

Leslie, S.W., 1993. The Cold War and American Science: The 
Military-Industrial-Academic Complex at MIT and Stanford, New York, NY: Columbia 
University Press.

Anyway, Mark, get the catalog and listen to the podcasts that Nina gave the 
addresses of... it's well worth your time.


Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
ensconced on the Western Slope of Colorado

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