servus.at / Christina Gruber & Davide Bevilacqua

TALK RE:TALK [session 4]
Friday Night
01:30-3:00 (90min - TALK)

The fourth section of the STWST48x5's night conversation revolves around the unpredictable edges of the unfinished networks that connect ecosystems of matter, creatures, statuses and values of different kinds. One first reflection emerges from the quality of being “unfinished”, when applied to networks.
Regardless if labeled as “un-finished”, “non-yet-finished” or “almost-finished”, incompleteness should not be considered as a coherent feature or a state of being. Each structural “unfinishedness” has its own unique characteristics: maybe as a certain degree of sloppy DIY spirit combined with a specific will to embrace imperfection and chaos; or other times as a perpetual, infinite attempt to reach a conclusion which is hindered by a fundamental impossibility of being complete. Here we want to imagine a sort of pre-written destiny of unfinished, rather than a conscious choice of aborting a process of development, as in technological and relational networks.

Thinking about networks, the idea of “unfinishedness” might bring into light specific qualities of connective tissues and exchange structures. For our constantly-growing technological infrastructures is probably exactly their state of being “still” unfinished that allows their constant but irregular and multilayered evolution. One can see this by observing the junctions and the geologies of media from different ages that now coexist and symbiotically function together forming a schizophrenic machine with the size of the world and bigger. We might consider this due to their status of unfinished, the only one the allows the technological desire for evolution and perfection.

And it is probably the turn towards relational networks that can help us in making clear that temporalities and “un-perfections” need to stay and need to be constantly fostered and taken care of. Networks grow, networks shrink, networks disappear and emerge again. Is a network entirely new when a new node is created or deleted or is it slowly changing? What is the identity limit of a growing network before becoming another network?

The superimposition of identities, natures and technologies will guide an unfinished conversation on power, lacks and deviances of our hopefully unfinishable networks.

servus.at is a net culture initiative in Linz. As an association it operates an independent cultural data centre and is connected to the worldwide network via the ACOnet (Austrian Science Network). Our members include artists and cultural practitioners, alternative educational institutions, independent radio stations, university institutions, NGOs. Christina Gruber and Davide Bevilacqua are organizing this session for servus.at. Together with Antonio Zingaro they form this year’s Research Lab at servus.at dealing with the connections between ecosystems, environmental protection and Internet technologies.

Image: Christina Gruber, Network Club