Network Practice

The Tactical Technology Collective has a great interview with the artist Sascha Pohflepp as part of its Nervous Systems Interview series. There is a great discussion about the nature of the network, and how more and more of our technology is driving towards a “network platform paradigm”. Some nice quotes form Sascha below:

It is a good example of something I have not really talked about much, which is that, at some level, you are possibly never really taking a photograph. You are not image-making, you are recording metadata. Which leads to the other, deeper point that photography by now is actually a fully realized networked practice…Photography as a networked practice now exists to the point where, especially in popular use, the value of the communication value of a photo has outstripped the memory value of photographs. Look at Snapchat for example, which is an explicit communication technique, not a memory technique, all based on images. And there is Instagram of course. Those are not image-making practices but networked communication techniques that are used billions of times per day. This is a definite shift in the history of photography.

So it is kind of obvious what is next – any thing that can be emulated by a Universal Turing Machine, which for cameras is easily imagined, will be. It’s the same for cars. Not that the car will become digital, but it will get sucked into the same sort of platform paradigm. You may believe that you have a smartphone holder in your car, but it actually is a car holder for your smartphone. The key thing I am getting at is that the network – and the knowledge that is embodied in the networked – is paramount.


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