Living with the everyday life of digital archives: The techno-social ambulations of 3… or more… online archives.

This is fundamentally a paper about the movement of techno-socialobjects which we call digital archives.  It is about the effects of those movements considered transversally.    The Center for Digital Discourse and Culture hosts several archives that are changing, becoming, and revising the relations between themselves, their users, and other communities. The archives that we host are to some people  unknown, but to others world reknowned. They include the Feminist  Theory Online archive http://www.cddc.vt.edu/feminism/, the Situationists International Online Archive http://www.cddc.vt.edu/SIOnline/ , the April16archive http://april16archive.org/, a mirror of The  Marxist Archive http://www.marxists.org/, and a mirror of the the  Bureau of Public Secrets. Those are just the more major archives   These archives are in part alive and in part dead, some are constantly updated and upgraded by their communities, others have not been  updated for ages. However the knowledge and meanings of these  archives construct relations to moving beings and their artifacts. This paper attempts to tell some of the stories of time, place, and movement of these archives within and through the beings and artifacts  in which they become embedded.  In doing that, the paper describes the  everyday life of the archives themselves as they are ambulant in  everyday life.

Using short narratives, this paper center several events and relationships that changed the archives and mobilized them in some relation to everyday life. The stories used will deal with the ambulations of the Marxists archive in 2007 when it was attacked by computers in China, the movements of Feminist theory websites as it becomes embedded in and migrates through textbooks and academic papers  becoming something new, while remaining unchanged, the Tragedy of  April16archive and its relationship to the Northern Illinois  University shooting, and possibly the trials and tribulations of  Situationists International and the Bureau of Public Secrets in  relation to their original print existences.

Through telling the stories of these techno-social ambulants as archives in everyday life, I hope to show their movements and embeddedness in everyday life; their capacity for change and becoming  in relation to all varieties of institutions and communities, from  local users to nation states and to show how their existence allows  for a transversal analysis of cultural relations in relation to the  archives as they migrate through and among those institutions and  communities.

Excess non/Knowledge and the Production of Evil in the General Economy of the Organization

Founded in Bataille’s theory of the general economy as descriptive of a general theory of organizations, this paper relates Bataille’s conceptions of knowledge and non-knowledge to his conception of evil in order to reconstruct the importance of excess to the production of subjectivities, both good and evil, in organizations. In reading contemporary organizational thought through the body of Bataille’s works, I find that Bataille provides us with several innovative ways of understanding the organization as an aspect of society. In On Nietzsche, Bataille locates evil as symbolized through the negation of Christ, a component of good, and a necessary component to human life in the forms of egotism and freedom. These constructions of evil compliment the ecological model of production found in the Accursed Share in that evil functions as part of the Western model of subjectivity, and thus is fixed by both the human and non-human elements into its representations of knowledge and non-knowledge. The idea that the production of excess in organizations, not just excess commodity, but also excess subjectivity is the idea that unites the general economy to the production of evil because evil arises both from the overproduction of symbols and the inadequate faculties of interpretation to confront the interpretations. of those symbols. This exasperation of the organization’s capacity to interpret the world in which they exist produces non-knowledge, and opens up the space for the production of evil. Thus the logic of my argument reduces to:

Organizations produce subjectivities, commodities, knowledges, and non-knowledges as parts of symbolic systems.

In a general commodity, production of subjectivities is the production of knowledges and non-knowledges in excess.

The overproduction of symbols in the system combined with a differential production of subjectivities creates a critical space for non-knowledge, or the unknowable to exist.

As parts non-knowledge become othered and alienated they enter the realm of the individual’s ego or freedom.

When individuals act upon those non-knowledges in organizations, they become the outsider, or the evil from within the organization.

Thus the overproduction or excess production of symbolic systems creates evil.

In conclusion, this Bataille-based thesis is comparable to Baudrillard’s argument about the origin of evil in society, as found in the Transparency of Evil. Thus, we can see the need to build more deeply into the realm of semiology in order to understand the functioning of evil in organizations.

this is interesting, actor network

What is Actor-Network Theory: various ANT definitions. The possibility of applying the actor-network theory and its methodology to different disciplines and fields of study is evident by the many senses in which it has been used. The What is Actor-Network Theory? site provides various definitions. These and many other colors and flavors of ANT represent a very… [infoSophy: Socio-technological Rendering of Information]

however, the fixation on the actor is still present. get rid of it, stop thinking about it, think about networks, only networks, and then think about how it constructs the actor, then i think you have a theoretically interesting actor-network theory.

actor construction

actor construction?. In too many topics, too little time of June 29, 2003, regarding the role of the actor in the actor-network theory and methodology, jeremy writes: “however, the fixation on the actor is still present. get rid of it, stop thinking about it, think about networks, only networks, and then think… [infoSophy: Socio-technological Rendering of Information]

i replied to this on his blog too, but ultimately my position is to rid oneself of the heirarchy of ontology involved in differentiating actors, and just look at the networks. there really are no actors, because then there is no differences amongst actors, only nodes where networks conjoin.

keeping in mind though that this is just my interpretation of several texts, mainly latour, law, then adding some norbert wiener. most people really want to differentiate between actors, I’m unconvinced that it is as important as kant tells us.