[iDC] Re: iDC Digest, Vol 22, Issue 12

Joseph Rabie joe at joetopia.org
Wed Aug 16 09:45:10 EDT 2006

People have been referring to Adobe a bit in this discussion, I suppose 
that the common feature that comes out of all this is that of layers, 
as one finds in our favourite software.

In the preindustrial, pretechnological days, the most profound and 
emotional Psychogeographic experience might have been waking up in the 
morning to a thick layer of snow, which always guarantees, even in 
today's sophisticated times, an immediate effect. Riotious springtime 
growth coming thereafter wasn't so bad either.

This is the first time I have encountered Constant's New Babylon, but 
it seems little different from other "Utopian" mastadonts, like Yona 
Friedman's constructions, or for that matter Le Corbusier's Plan Voisin 
de Paris (I used to live just up the road from where that would have 
put it's mighty footprint right into the heart of the city). All these 
projects place a layer of structure over the preexisting city.

Locative Media, a subject I know only vaguely about (and please excuse 
my ignorance if I state the obvious or ridiculous, I am unable to keep 
up with the discussion, shackled as I am by the constraints of a Brick 
and Mortar world - which in the case of the Entertainment Hollywood 
Age, one might call the Prick and Slaughter world). What appears to be 
the constant of this is that the old fashioned layer of structure of 
less refined times is replaced with a layer of data, which is totally 
interactive of course, it allows "them" to feed us with all the 
consumer goodies that the holy alliance between R&D people and business 
school graduates have squeezed through a business plan into some killer 
app, while keeping "us" under permanent surveillance of course.

What is interesting is that this new total uber information layer is 
totally useless against the most avant-garde layer of all, that of 
terror... all those GIs in Bagdad with their Pentagon power toys are 
incapable of stopping the carnage that each day rips apart different 
parts of the city. All it takes is for some warlord to keep a stock of 
fanaticised or desperate subjects willing to wear a dynamite belt and 
wait for the cell phone / detonator to ring.

Joseph Rabie.

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