Monday, October 1, 2012

Intersections of Mapping Spatiality and the Network

Terranova's conceptions of information travel and power structures within dynamic networks rely heavily on labeling and locating the different components of network communication. This week's lab shows the necessity of unique labels for these integral components so network signals are received coherently and to the intended recipient(s). Labeling is also tied to spatiality as seen through IP addresses and route tracking reports. Where is one's network in relation to a web interface and where is oneself in relation to other's connected to the same network? Both questions are mediated through distinct markers of location within the network.

This marking mirrors physical spatiality in a way that exposes what Terranova calls "the artificiality of the natural world" (98). If the ebb and flow of the social drives in the natural world are more or less artificial means of network communication, then how do artificial spaces produce successful interaction? Terranova says that the "process of channelling and adjudicating (responsibilities, duties, and rights) is dispersed to the point where practically anything is tolerated" (96). So rapid structuring must occur so that anything can come about from the multitude of information. Establishing value to some communications and non-value to others is key in creating the "free labor" that Terranova says emerges from an influx of communication. What emerges from the masses can only be determined through some amount of measurable control, but what structures are responsible, and how is power within large global networks established?

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