Cultural Techniques: Grids, Filters, Doors and Other Articulations of the Real (2015) Bernhard Siegert proposes that “culture is a humanoid-technoid hybrid” and advances media theory as posthumanistic practice. The chapter on Door Logic works great for drafting an understanding how build environments author behavior. After defining doors as ideological apparatuses, which construct a distinction between the inside and outside, Siegert branches out to read logic gates (in computing) and religious processes which carve out a distinction between profane and sacred, as belonging to the same genre of binary categorization.
Adorno places gesture and mechanism, human and nonhuman actors into a relation in which both sides are invested with agency and in which the nonhuman actor has the power to decenter and disable the very being of the human subject.
Doors and door sills are not only formal attributes of Western architecture, they are also architectural media that function as cultural techniques because they operate the primordial difference of architecture—that between inside and outside.
The text feels wild because it presents doors both as metaphors and physical barriers. The materialistic reading of metaphors Siegert offers feels comfortable. For example: “[…] the closed door is both closed and the sign of this closedness” is particularly true in relation to horses, who respect fences and gates even thou they can pass them at will.
The Greek nomos, usually translated as ‘law’, is connected to the concrete operation of land division. […] it separates a circumscribed space from an outside, thus creating a difference on the basis of which political, social, and religious orders can be established. […] law is constituted in the first place by an opening that grants access to the law. A door is a place where the difference that constitutes the law has to negate itself in order to become effective.
The last part feels like an utter abstraction but I think this “negation of law” is something we can witness in computer game speed-runs: Players outsmart game intelligence’s by idling between rooms (staying right at the threshold of a door frame) to confuse the game AI’s which are programmed to confront the player when they enter or leave a space.
As long as doors functioned as operators of difference between inside and outside, they also helped to create, in line with the public-private distinction, an asymmetry of knowledge.
Thinking about this makes it easy to read reindeer herd separation acts as a process where the animals are coded. The reindeer as a species, with all its species specific trades had been authored.
Their (and our) genes are a receipts of transactions. #ॐ