Chad Scoville on Sat, 11 Dec 2010 04:25:27 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Nanowar.


I wrote this piece a few years back, but wanted to share it in light of recent events in the global theatre. Nettime is as lively digital community as I have seen and I am very happy to participate in it. 



War is the principal adjudicator and arbitrator of conscience in the domain of human affairs. It is the omniscient justice of historical consequence, the legislator of power, and the administrator of radical societal change. The forces of war dictate at a most mundane and fundamental level the implications of information and the emergence of technology. War is the parent of cultural progeny, and inasmuch as it pertains to the nature of conflict and confrontation, the temporality of War is implicated in a condition of diminishing latency. The images of war are infinitely mirrored the moment the activity is executed. There is no hiding the barbarism, the inhumanity, and the death. It is a spectacle extraneously appropriated to technical reflectors who inimitably broadcast vast destruction across the hemisphere. It is coterminal, it is resistant to slowness, and it is a function of instantaniety.

Instantaniety is a property referent to the autonomous immediate communication of image and sound across the terrestrial precipice of earth. Information in the virtu-real is a analog of quantum entanglement, traveling faster than the velocity of light. This instantaneity facilitates the exponential, non-linear propulsion of data inundating the stratosphere. It is a phenomena both resultant as well as being endemic to computational ubiquity and network ambience. We are all constatantly and inextricably linked. By circumstance, instantaneity is pandirectional and electronically vectorized. It is meshed with informatic content twittering in nanosecond samples into the observant field of agency. It produces a new dimensionality of awareness. An au courant strategem to confrontation. Violence, the mastering and the skillful execution of it, becomes bitwise and hypermediated. Itâs methodology is superceded by the panoptical actuality of extenuated virtu-reals, geographic and extraterrestrial dispersal, supercomputing, digital cryptography, mass media and artificial intelligence. The framework of violence is embedded in information potentiality and the capitalization of parametrically encapsulated points of reference. Dictating the terms of debate, sequestering voices of protest. Hypermediating the marginalizing of opposition. Implanting and enforcing a centralized conception of the real by engineering perception. This is the bitwar.

The taxonomy of images, sounds, and diction utilized by the class of institutions and individuals able to propel on command supranationally scalar violence is the language of bitwar. And it is this content which defines this perception.

The constant inundation of superedited video clips purporting global events simultaneously multicasted across the transnational dynamic of identities and cultures fractures the historical ideology of war. Hypermediated conflicts espouse a duplicitous and sweeping aesthetic by mirroring a real authored in laboratorys and conference rooms, cultivated by advanced designers and digital arts professionals in the employ of the military beaurocratic directors.

Constant twittering of events urbanize the temporality of experience, and overpopulating the mental plane of consciousness with staged experiences reflected on the surfaces of matter as far as the biological retina can percieve. The war is a livid theatrical spectacle engaged in technicolor emotional detail as imbued and imprinted upon the astral lens of the human mind. It is a torrent of images symbolically defining the language of war, the configuration of polarities, and the relegation of force. The departure of concern transitions from an event horizon no longer allocated to the engagement matrix of military fields, but rather, the thought plane of the uninitiated masses. Inundating bitwise the neural machinery of the production/service class in society, the illusion of impending diseaster, the anxiety of insecurity, and the technological fission of ethics. The onslaught of apocalypse, torturecore cinema and contextualized with Pastor Rick stigmatize the uninitiated towards a wretched conclusion of paranoid technigo. Defusing any level of individuation and self-awareness, furthering a consumption demography which makes possible ever more advanced militarism. A gratuitious, self-involved cyclical magnet. Fear creates consumption. Ultimately, compressing the field of engagement not in Afghanistan, Iraq, or West Africa, but the belief system embedded in the inner sphere of each person susceptible to and witness of the manufactured half-dimmed virtu-real dream.

The questions remains, however, because we arrive at a sceneario whereas two impending forces collide. The top-down model illustrated above, and the bottom-up spectator model which we consider below.

On the spectator side, the prevalence of personalized electronics gauges the impact of high intensity technologically advanced military engagement. The digital images presenting the ramifications of collateral damage is the theatre of the macabre and the grotesque. Severed heads and limbs of civilians eviscerated from cluster bombs. Stillborn radiation children, lacerations to the body on the civilian population of Afghanistan and Iraq. These are well inculcated into the cognitive fabric of the western mind, and it is a incredible break away from the formerly tightly controlled hierarchical narrative. The domestic machination of populist perception of war directly confronts the reality made viral through the advent of global ip networks and rapidly proliferating jpeg/mpeg accessibility. Abu Ghirab is a stark example. The bombs falling on Gaza are seen in realtime on the television screens of the suburbanite. Even the terror narrative becomes difficult to enforce by the appointed mouthpieces of war pigs in spite of the video images mirrored ambiently. The psychological impact is stupefying; because the split horizon of the real inundating the mental countenance of the spectator manifests cognitive paralysis of extreme proportions. The relegated state-controlled message
diametrically opposes the images being seen. Who are the terrorists and who are the civilians. The destruction of reason coupled with grand scale irrationalism is furiously mad, beyond mad. 
With the omnipresent networks and computational ubituity, war becomes the weaponization of images and sounds. It is an exercise in aesthetics; projecting the emotional life of the taxpayer into an architecture of state-approved visuality. Aestheticization of war, one that is immoral, dark, destructive, and the arbitrator of civilization. A super agression maleable at itâs worst towards a increasingly brutal human experience. Are we more civilized or are we civil lies?

It is this specificity, this psychotronic execution of weaponized aesthetic, which has been covertly withheld from the public mind. The control of information had always been tightly manipulated by the military-industrial complex in order to minimize exposure to the court of publicity. But now, with the vectors of informationalization extenuating reach to ever square picometer, evey temporality, every I-phone, every spatial construct, infinite awareness becomes a function of processing capabilities and less a function of political or social class. It is this hypermediation of war, the images of war, which not only manifest a fracture in the language of war, but the very means by which war is engaged. War becomes less kinetic and more potential. The images of war become the weapons of war. Weaponized as psychological progenitors of kinetic actuality. It is a operational capacitation of the imaginary future â capitalizing on the mediation of the opposition and their consequent exposure to the field of images documenting the possibillities. A cognitive battle, an engagement with abstracted technology, triggered completely on the ability for an aggressor to manipulate the neurological circuitry wiring the fabric of the oppositions thinking, engendering memetic resonance through the network of pre-meditated and tactically specific imagery. Instrumenting viral ideas and injecting them surgically into the social stratus of the oppositions culture. Engagement and confrontation not through architecture, but archetype. The subliminal communication and rapture of unconcious symbolic association made available through commercial democracy the root nature of human civilization.

The mind, a fragmented mess sculpted together by glued segments of unadulterated eviscera traced through soft drink utopia and Facebook populism, is the ultimate vector of war. Inundated with images, mpegs, and wave files delineating the virtu-real perception of the subjects emotional life. They are not personal, they are corporate.

Computational ubiquity has proved to be the equator, bringing data to all with the capacity to connect. All of us, equal in ability to participate in the panoptical circumference of cluster bomb purchasing power.

Chad Scoville
January 2009

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