Tag Archives: technology

Love and Waves

“There was always a child left behind, or the face of a distant friend translated sonically into a call.”                                                                                                          —Avital Ronell

“But this reticence might signify that all, of  love, is possible and necessary, that all the loves possible are in fact the possibilities of love, its voices or its characteristics, which are impossible to confuse and yet ineluctably entangled: charity and pleasure, emotion and pornography, the neighbor and the infant, fraternal love and the love of art, the kiss, passion, friendship…to think love would thus demand a boundless generosity towards all these possibilities, and it is this generosity that would command reticence: the generosity not to privilege, not to hierarchize, not to exclude.”                                    —JL Nancy

They are the same thing, this love and this call from beyond.  Ronell discusses the telephone in relation to technology but always there is this maternal caring in her writing, this concern for this estrangement (not alienation) of and to technology, an always already something else in every relation we take.  Through the technology of the telephone (and its bastard, prolific children the computer, the internet, the social networking site, Google, the smart phone) we move—and must, are impelled to move— in many different times, and many different times move to us, move us, in a constant ebb and flow.  Knowledge, awareness become fluid, constantly undergoing a change, a call to change, whether we accept the call or not.

And this reticence of Nancy’s, this hesitation to define, to state, to categorize that which he understands to be a constant ebb and flow, this is an imperative for him, to have the temerity to stutter, to observe a hesitating, stammering silence in which all love is possible, in which all things are not only possible, but, and this is key, are.  Allowing all thing to be means that we can never state this is, because immediately when we say that this is, we also say then—automatically—that this isn’t. To see things from the standpoint of physics, that is from the standpoint of a wave, is to come close to this; define a single wave in the ocean, a solitary swell; where it begins, where it ends, what it is composed of.


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Bruce Sterling Speaking at The European Graduate School

Bruce Sterling. Atemporality & The Passage of Time. 2009.

Critic, science fiction writer and noted Net theorist Bruce Sterling speaking on atemporality and the passage of time as reflected in images at the EGS in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in May 2009. Sterling spoke about computer security, post modernity, time, the digital frontier, the nature of the archive. Sterling attempts in his lecture to “get away from words” in order to focus on an atemporal sensibility in order to get the audience to see images in the way he sees them.  Using a different approach to a human standpoint of time, Sterling attempts to examine futurity, history and the present from the standpoint of “contemporary temporalism.” Looking at the archive and our relationship to objects from Leonardo Da Vinci to contemporary fetishes, Sterling examines each subject from the standpoint of atemporality. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland.

As well as being a leading science fiction writer, Bruce Sterling has been involved with numerous projects and written several books of futurist theory. He was the founder of the Dead Media Project, an on-line reliquary, or archive, to forgotten, or dead, media technologies.  In this way, he looked to the past through the future, anticipating, almost, in the shininess of new media, its utter destruction.  He also founded the Viridian Design Movement, an environmental aesthetic movement founded on the ideas of global citizenship, environmental design and techno-progressiveness. His numerous book length essays both question and promote how the future is shaping our concepts of self, time and space. In “Shaping Things” (2005) offer a history of shaped objects, moving from the most rudimentary hand-made artifacts through to the complex machinery which defines our current existence. In “Tomorrow Now; Envisioning the Next Fifty Years” (2002), Sterling examines how today’s technologies will affect our future lives.  Written in a wry, intelligent style, Sterling’s book makes bold claims on the future, examining scientists use of medicine to extend our lives while examining at the same time our seemingless bottomless thirst for oil. Sterling’s most acclaimed book, “The Hacker Crackdown; Law and Order on the Electronic Frontier” (1993) is a deep history of the birth of cyberspace, following the periphery of the development of technology from the first telephone hackers to the government’s attack on several prominent hackers in 1990.

Bruce Sterling’s novels incluce Intuition Ocean (1977), The Artifical Kid (1980), Heavy Weather (1994), Zeitgiest (2000), and most recently The Caryatids (2009). His essay collection and non-fiction books include The Hacker Crackdown; Law and Order on the Electronic Frontier (1993), Tomorrow Now; Envisioning the Next Fifty Years (2002), and Shaping Things (2005). He currently blogs at Beyond the Beyond for Wired Magazine.


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