The Earthly Community (2021) Achille Mbembe. I think they are framing war as a conservative project and I agree: Its an old mans game, manifestin desires of a past world. Russia started the war to prohibit change and to restore the cold war era patriarchal power dynamics.
This double moment coincides with the rise of heavily-armed, paranoid powers that claim to abolish risks and minimize uncertainty and indeterminacy by protecting their people from all contingencies and dangers. They propose a mode of existence dominated by fear, anxiety, and a search for safety and repose. In reality, what is hidden behind this quest for a stable life is the refusal of a world in motion and the determination to preserve life, to stay alive, and to be biologically safe at any price. The body that these powers seek to manufacture is a body haunted by the ever-imminent possibility of being no more. One of the properties of such a body is to refuse its approaching death and to permanently disavow its precarity and its essential fragility.
Back in 2018 I noticed that Facebook had autogenerated a “Community Page” in my name (it had 21 likes). It showed my face which they had sourced from a Wikipedia article and they had categorized me as a “local business”. I wanted them to remove it (21 likes felt like a burn) but soon learned that there is apparently no way to contact fb directly, I then ended up chatting with an array of service bots who designated me with the complaint number 244899592919672 and after writing a few candid messages to an AI higher in the ranks of the corporate ladder the page in my name was removed.
A few months ago I noticed that it had reappeared and the old links for contacting fb were not working. I contacted the Office of the Data Protection in Finland, who advised me to send my complaint to dpo(ät)fb.com. They removed the page within a week. The reply fb gave reads:
We reviewed the content you reported. Since it violated our Community Standards on image privacy, we have removed it.
Which is weird as the image on the page is licensed CC BY 2.0.
Are They Human? (2016) Eyal Weizman links climate change to racism. Serres backs this idea too and I think also Mbembe can be read this way: Climate change is a deliberate process, the planet has been made a gas chamber.
Seen from the point of view of eighteenth century colonial history, however, climate change is an intentional project: colonial administrators did not only seek to take control of and tame the physical reality of newly discovered lands, but to engineer and change the environments, including their cyclical climate patterns. […] The term “climate change” was born not with the recent discovery of the devastating effects of global warming but in the late eighteenth century as a potentially positive consequence of the human husbandry of nature.
The world is a tea: The taste of water is the taste of the world. #ॐ
Digging Onyx Ashanti’s 2019 presentation for Eyeo festival. He wants to turn computerizing into a spatial and temporal activity. As an interface he focuses on hands, because “they do stuff before asking the brain”. He echoes a believe that humans can be programmed trough the hand-interface: The tools we use shape the way we think. I believe there is truth to this. I feel rejuvenated after working with crafts projects or construction. I think writing is a development of our desire to do thinking with our hands. Ashanti’s interest on hands has a solid connection to Tetsuo Kogawa/mini-FM transmitter stuff (mentioned earlier) as both artists are using gesture-based wireless systems.
LOW←TECH MAGAZINE is operated from a solar powered server. Access to the site is depended on weather! The design of site is perfect: Brutal and bandwidth efficient. The premise of the design is the same as with our Ore.e Ref. website (notes on the design here) but the LOW←TECH implementation of image dithering and coding optimization is way more advanced. Their design premise: “Default typeface / No logo” is elegant and they also offer “print-on-demand copies of the blog.”
The Internet is not an autonomous being. Its growing energy use is the consequence of actual decisions made by software developers, web designers, marketing departments, publishers and internet users. With a lightweight, off-the-grid solar-powered website, we want to show that other decisions can be made.
Installed an alternative firmware (Beta3) by Ralim to my ts80p soldering iron. Sending bug/testing notes to the [Long] TS80P Thread development channel. Soldering iron with an alternative firmware and a development community feels like the pinnacle of modernity.
Visited the Makamik squat for the Makamik-fest. The artist lineup was great and there were gigs and performances for three consecutive days. I heard a few gigs on Saturday and visited Salla Valle’s performance on Sunday. Valle worked outdoors and focused on smoke. She hid in the grass and send smoke signals by vaping, then she attempted to store smoke in jars (critique on live-art archivism?) and played a ringtone/mating call mixtape.
We had our final Achille Mbembe reading group session last week. The process was well organized and I enjoyed meeting new people. As a side quest, we met with the Helsinki based group, at the Malmi cemetery for a necro-touristic tour. I escorted folk to the pear-tree garden, a concrete-fence-stage and a relocated mass grave. The visit ended at the discarded gravestone disposal facility, where we saw old gravestones which had been grinded into rubble. Some fragments of letters and numbers could still be identified. The rubble pile felt like a monument and a very fitting summary for the Mbembe reading group sessions: Rubble mesh of identity signs which is used for construction and the underpayment of roads.
Started working at the Malmi cemetery. I’ll serve as a gardeners aid for two months. Manual labor. Its ten years since I had a punch-card (side)job. Colleagues lineup at the machine at 15:23 and wait for the clock. People rush in to meet the 06:59 punch-in que. Thursdays we get off at 14:53 and Fridays at 14:52. The odd schedules are due to the KIKY (economic competative ability contract?) which our previous shameful rightwing coalition government forced on working folk. People obey these schedules rigorously. Getting off a minute earlier gives a minute more time to be who you are.
Preparing texts, new mineral water works and Horse & Performance course for the autumn. There are some fun exhibition things scheduled too. After covid pressure, I have two-jobs pressure from where I jump to a teaching (and other) gigs pressure. Feels unfair. Got accepted to the Aalto University Doctoral Programme in Arts, Design and Architecture. Joined a Achille Mbembe reading group.
The Society of Enmity (2016) Achille Mbembe. A very broad and complicated text dealing with movement, (past&present) apartheid and death. The text introduces interesting concepts such as “algorithmic reason” and argues that the triumph of mass morality (social media?) is an emergence of fundamentalism which in itself is “no longer considered as antithetical to rational knowledge”. An other interesting concept is “Nanoracism” (or “pocket-knife racism”), a mollecular level technique for marginalizing others (trough personal martyrdom?). I also spotted a strong critique from the text: The re-emergence of racism in Europe is in fact a return to how things have always been. The text ends in a useful dismissal of the apocalypse.
Pushed to its logical conclusion, the phantasy of annihilation or destruction envisions not only the bombing of the planet, but also the disappearance of humans, their outright extinction. This is not an apocalypse as such, if only because the notion of the apocalypse presupposes the survival, somewhere, of a witness whose task it is to recount what they see. It is a form of annihilation conceived not as a catastrophe to be feared, but rather as a sort of act of purification by fire. However, it remains the case that this purification would be the same as an annihilation of present humanity. Such an act of annihilation is supposed to open the way to another beginning, the inception of another history without today’s humanity. It is, in this sense, a phantasy of ablation.