Network Ecologies

Networked Synesthesia

The S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab’s “Networked Synesthesia” performance on October 19, 2013, showcased a multi-player, multi-sensory modular computer interface that can be described as a reticulation of parts of bodies, or better, of delimited affects, since the sensors could register effects from non-bodily sources. This was developed in contrast to Bernard Stiegler’s focus on human memory as the substrate or regime of individuation qua the technical distribution of community.

A “general organology,” an idea Stiegler picks up from Simondon, was from the beginning meant to investigate the simplest of technical objects: the technical element. This stems from two of Simondon’s premises: one being that “technicity,” the real essence of the technical object, finds its purest expression in the element, rather than the more complex technical individual or technical ensemble; the other premise being that technicity refers only to technical objects. Regarding the latter, Stiegler obviously broadens the scope of technics to a legitimate generality of intersubjective constructs like language and non-conscious techniques. But with the former, he preserves at least the sense, if not the actuality, of the simple technical element with his moral concern for a somewhat artisanal know-how (savoir-faire).

“Networked Synesthesia” seeks to disrupt Stiegler’s organology of knowledge and the Living Present by providing a platform of nodes/organisms engaged in a community of experimentation. The various networks, from the perceived network of electronic modules and screen to the realité en réseau of individual participant’s activity-surveying ends or needs, are readily apparent and not worth delineating here.

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