Week 2 (Jan. 13)

TECHNE: the everyday through the technologies of late capitalism


Perec texts and NEOLOGISMS! (Drop all your neologism slips into the hat…)


The Way Things Go – Fischli and Weiss (excerpts)

DISPOSITION in the information age

THE BACKGROUND (how to attend to it?)

MOBIUS DIAGRAM : how an individual becomes system immanent

eg. surveillance, psyche-delic adjacencies etc.

eg: slow arsenic poisoning, Roman Empire fall through lead poisoning, causing gout (and not by Christianity, or the barbarian invasions), the frog in the boiling water that is cooked the moment it realizes the water is heating…

moment-to-moment, present-to-present, incremental changes, insignificant in themselves but with a cumulative effect such that one day you realize you have flipped to the other side of the Möbius strip

CYBERNETICS: Norbert Weiner and First-Order Cybernetics: control and communication via predictive computing – THE FUTURE CAN BE PREDICTED AND CONTROLLED

The Macy Conferences (1940s/50s) – laying the ground for modes of SOCIAL CONTROL

Gregory Bateson’s maze: “How would we rig the maze or problem-box so that the anthropomorphic rat shall obtain a repeated and reinforced impression of his own free will?


MUZAK as modulation of space (preemption, “nudging” of desires)
Stimulus Progression (in Fordist times) to Quantum Modulation (in Post-Fordist times
a means of “producing space” in post-Fordism
minimization of dynamic range, amplifying continuity of mood, homogenization of everything
“music is art, but Muzak is science” (“Muzak is much more than music“)


2 EXAMPLES OF NEGATIVE FEEDBACK (as regulation): Dan Graham – Performer Audience Mirror, Max Neuhaus – Public Supply

POSITIVE FEEDBACK – 2008 economic crisis (near catastrophe)


microprocessors enable quicker attenuation / absorption of NOISE
users are nodes, doing capitalism’s work for FREE
eg. Amazon Referrals, cookie grabbing, machine-encoded responses finetuning input, system monitoring, scheduling etc.
Webstalker (Matt Fuller I/O/D as example of an alternate browser showing invisible information exchanges)

NEUROMARKETING : affective technologies, BRANDING as a kind of MAGIC (next week)

post-Fordist labor: communicative / informational / mobile / COGNITIVE capital

PRIMING (ideomotor effect – the influencing of an action by an idea – Florida experiment)

laying the ground for the later introduction of figures

eg. Saddam Hussein + 9/11: ideas made adjacent (Before “priming”, a small number of Americans believe Saddam was in some way connected with 9/11, after weeks of making casual associations (if not causal), 70% of Americans believed in a strong link between the two.)

Becoming “primers”! – Preparing the ground for other figures to emerge.

TECHNOMAGICAL CORRELATION as daily method – technologies transform the way the world is accessed, often without our knowledge


Externalized memory for tactical evasion: Institute for Applied AutonomyiSee (evading surveillance networks in NYC)

The Yes Menfake WTO site

OPERATION WANDERING SOUL (1960s/70s – Vietnam War) – Broadcasts from US fighter planes of ghostly recording of “dead Vietnamese ancestors”, to induce fear (preying on superstition)

The War of the Worlds: leveraging communication breakdown as harbinger of disaster

Surveillance Camera Players - free cctv broadcast system!

William Burroughs Invisible Generation: restaurant story, also technomagical correlation

 What are the situations today which one can apply mêtis in?


ZOOM sound recorder usage / OKM binaurals

READINGS for next week

Grant Morrison: Pop Magic!

William S. Burroughs – The Invisible Generation


Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. What could this sentence mean?

EXERCISE for next week

Through the use of recording technology, organize a PSYCHEDELIC ADJACENCY by playing back sound in a public space which is familiar to you (off campus).

Psyche (mind) + Delos (visible, clear) = made manifest to the mind.

Choose the sound material carefully, based on a deep familiarity with the space in question.

Make a connection which is not already obvious. What sound material might you choose that would create a dissonant relationship with the space and the individuals in it?

This playback does not need to be disruptive (loud) on a sonic level, but more on a semiotic level.

Try to dissimulate your playback device as much as possible. Do not reveal the nature of your action beforehand or afterwards. Take notes on reactions.

The point of this exercise is not so much to create a perceptible rift in the environment but to let loose in the world a connection of your own making.

the BAKER’S DOUGH analogy: distant objects become adjacent through a number of folds (which can be mathematically calculated)

Documentation: Bring in the recording you used in the intervention, while describing the context this recording was made adjacent to.


Learn how to NOTICE connections between things. For instance what is occurring on your mobile device and how it might be connected with what you’re experiencing in the actual spacetime you are located in. How much effort does it take to unearth synchronicities? How much projection is involved? Have you discovered a preferred method for making connections?

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