This talk investigates topologies of publicness in relation to real
time networking. By engaging with H. Sackman’s “A Public Philosophy for
Real Time Information Systems” (1968) and other 1960s and 1970s
sources, I will firstly engage with then new notions of software and
network publics, articulated across a continuum of human and non-human
agencies. Indeed, key concerns for such a philosophical inquiry relate
to the microtemporalities (Wolfgang Ernst) of computer networks, and the
need for temporal synchronization, ordering and negotiation of
publicness already on the computer network traffic level.
Secondly, what this media archaeological investigation leads into is a
different sort of excavation, and the other pole of the talk: the
Weise7-studio exhibition at Transmediale 2012, and how some of the
works, including Bengt Sjölén and Gordan Savičić’s Packetbrücke, Sjölén’s Tempest and Julian Oliver’s Transparency Grenade,
address levels of network topologies and topographies that often escape
attention in discussions of publicness. This involves looking into the
public nature of datanetworks through techniques such as data sniffing,
data capture as well as ‘geo-hijacking’.
Engaged with the complex network topologies and hacktivist
methodologies in exposing such multiple publics, such art projects
represent another sort of media archaeology. This one does not go back
in time, but goes “under the hood” as critical engineering
and addresses the ways in which hacktivist methodologies can create new
relations to the public data networks, real time and temporality.\
Jussi Parikka is Reader in Media & Design at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton), and author of Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses (2007), Insect Media: An Archaeology of Animals and Technology (2010), and Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, Implications (2011).