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Designing Geopolitics 2. Saturday, June 2, 2012. UC San Diego

Designing Geopolitics 2 An intimate interdisciplinary symposium on policy and projects visualizing a recomposed global landscape of sovereignties, infrastructures and identities. Convened by D:GP, The Center for Design and Geopolitics University of California, San Diego Benjamin H. Bratton, Director See www.designgeopolitics.org … Continue reading

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The Persistence of the Grid

I just downloaded the Minimalist Augmented Reality iPad app, Configuration Space, by D:GP researcher and UCSD VisArts MFA candidate, Sam Kronick. Get it here. It superimposes a denuded grid over the perceptual environment, giving the impression that one is in … Continue reading

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Jurisdictional Tabula Rasa: Charter Cities

That utopian thinking prefers tabula rasa is well known. The impulse for something utterly alternative to present options demands messianic opportunities: empty zones and continents, New Europes, desert islands, new clearings, natural preserves, revolutionary purification, year zero. Fredric Jameson offers … Continue reading

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Territories Without Borders by Stewart Elden

Stewart Elden, Geographer, and author of Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty, recently posted the essay Territories Without Borders as part of symposia at the Harvard International Review. The piece touches on many of the same issues we’re … Continue reading

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Grandpa, the Wandering Morlock of The Cloud

Beneath Cloudy mists toil a legion of temporary logistics laborers, making the smooth surfaces of supply chains gleam. Wal-Mart and Amazon deterritorialize the factory through a network of subcontractors. See WSJ on Amazon and HuffPo on Wal-Mart “A spokeswoman for … Continue reading

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Hyperbolic Cosmograms are Go

CAIDA is the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis based at UCSD, and for many years a tremendous resource in the deeply fascinating world of internet cartography. We recently attended a lecture by CAIDA’s Dmitri Krioukov whose paper, “Sustaining the Future of the Internet with Hyperbolic Mapping” has been influential well outside presumed disciplinary partitions. The abstract captures some of what is at stake in this novel approach to conceiving internet territoriality. Continue reading

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Adaptation on the Roof of the World

At 11,500 ft, between the Himalayas and the Karakoram, the city of Leh is Ladakhʼs commercial and government hub and home to more than 30,000 people (about a quarter of the regionʼs total) who trace their ancestry through the Silk Route. The high-altitude desert landscape is also home to a unique ecosystem, with 13 animal species indigenous to the region including the rare Ladakh Urial and the endangered Snow Leopard. Both human and natural systems are in the front line of rapid environmental and socioeconomic change. Continue reading

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“Critique of the Free and Open”

The ever-active Geert Lovink’s Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam continues to be the key venue for the articulation of a very important, very generous democratic critique of the real and imagined openness of digital media. The Economies of the … Continue reading

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On Geoscapes and the Google Caliphate: Reflections on the Mumbai Attacks

When advanced technologies of globalization that are closely associated with secular cosmopolitics are opportunistically employed by fundamentalist politico-theologies for their own particular purposes, an essential irresolution of territory, jurisdiction and programmatic projection is revealed. Where some may wish to identify an ideal correspondence between a global political sphere into which multiple differences might be adjudicated and the visual, geographic representation of a single planetary space, this conjunction is dubious and highly conditional. Instead multiple territorial projections and competing claims on space are also generative of the very qualities of the spatial as a political medium altogether. For example, the well-publicized use of satellite-based mapping and telecommunications tools, such as Google Earth, by the terrorist group that attacked Mumbai in November 2008, raises several knotty and important questions about how contrary comprehensive images of the world can make use of one another in ways that undermine the ‘unitotality’ of global territory. It is not that Google and Jihad are ‘equivalent’ or even ‘translatable’, but rather because they are not, they are in practice interoperable. Instead links between urbanism, cosmography, and the socialization of planetary software networks demonstrate the centrality of design to the ongoing fashioning of the territory of territories, the geoscape. Continue reading

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Benjamin H. Bratton “Surviving the Interface” Lecture at Michigan and Parsons/New School

D:GP Director, Benjamin H. Bratton recently gave a lecture entitled “Surviving the Interface” at the Taubman School of Architecture at the University of Michigan and for Ed Keller’s Design and Existential Risk lecture series at Parsons/ The New School in … Continue reading

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