Memetic Turn, 17.1.2013:
Declaration of Liquid Culture
Preamble: History has not ended – it is liquefying.
When we cruise down the river on a boat, we recognise our own movement in the passing river banks. Ever new sections of the banks appearing in front of us while others which had just passed are left behind makes, what we sense as progress. The wider the river, the less we are able to notice our own movement – until on the open sea we finally lose our frame of reference onto which we would tie progress.
Narrow banks give our movement a distinct direction and clear orientation, wide banks give us leeway.
At this moment we are cruising down a river whose banks are becoming wider steadily. We may indeed still distinguish those but it is more the remembrance of those being still in close sight not long ago, what gives us the feeling of moving forward. Modernity vanishes away. Postmodernism are the last open meadows of the marshes. Let us not lament after those banks of old, that we have passed. Let us look forward to the open sea.
Declaration of Liquid Culture
Liquid Democracy: “Speak with us, not for us”
We do not abstract people to sets and let them be represented by a typical specimen. We need no target groups, no gender, no ethnic provenance, to let people speak for themselves individually. Structures of representation – also when still remaining existent as “Volk”, as federation, as political parties – they do not mean anything to us anymore.
Our democracy has become liquid. Suffrage and eligibility become congruent. Everyone as their own advocate and parlamentarian. Everyone speaks with equal voice, however not merely to elect their representatives, but to actively shape politics.
Liquid Identity: We are many
Our Identity can no longer be cast in a rigid form. The arbitrary name that we inherrited is placed next to our true names, that we have given ourselves. Our nicks, handles and avatars are part of our bodily manifestation – like our hair style or clothing.
Liquid Economy: Sharing is Caring
Sharing is the new owning. Goods are not only there to be possessed, but to be shared, swapped, contributed and to be jointly used. Consumption is not an end in itself. We are millions, billions soon, who connectedly shape the world. We distribute our power and our goods with the novel, handy tools: Wikipedia, Github, Makerbots, Wikis, Pads and countless further community platforms. We show our faculties and are ready to share them. We work because we want to and where we want to. We like working together with others – even not at the same project. What we find relevant, we will pay for. We donate, we get involved with our money or our performance. We do not administrate, we act. What we miss, we found.
Liquid Science: What is truth?
The world is all what is the case and not what we agree that it should be. There is no compromise. When we find no consensus on what we hold true, we better stay at odds with each other. The majority’s opinion has no title for truth. At the same time, any knowledge is questionable. No consensus is fixed. Just because our consensus does withstand the persistence and provocations of the trolls, it is sufficiently stable to prevail.
Our knowledge is flowing. All that we know about the world is in continuous flow. We adopt our models to the changing world – and not the world to our models. Like our timeline ever renewing, so the data flows into our knowledge and changes our models of the the world.
We stay busy with merging and routing the various hoses through which our data flows towards us. Sometimes a hose becomes brittle. Before it bursts, we drop it and take its data out of our system.
Liquid Art: The ego and its own.
Code is poetry. Our works of art are called Twitter, Instagram, Youtube or Github. There, everybody is free to make their works public. Each work will be retrieved by those searching for it. Our artists are the developers creating these open spaces, our studios are the co working spaces and hacker spaces, our art dealers and collectors are the venture capitalists financing the work of the creatives and making them big when successful.
Who can still say: “Behold, this is my work”? The times are over where tools and education defined who would be an artist and who would not. High culture is as dead as the Latin of the 13th century. It is still spoken, yet it has lost its relevance. In its lieu the vernacular flourishes. These vernaculars define the culture. Wonderful works will be created from the present-at-hand. Originality means finding the right remix.
The role of the creatives as creators of their work clears away. In Liquid Authorship a work is never completed – the work is in movement, it is nourished by all who create, quote, distribute and advance it. The flowing work has no beginning and no end, it lives on. It is socially added value. Culture is no commodity, but a process.
Culture is our cult. Our cult’s symbols are not religious. They are icons we share to unite with each other. The hash-tag for us is the pentagram of the alchemists and cat images is the fish of the early Christians in the catacombs. But who has the right to deny us access to our culture? Who has the right to tell us how we would have to exchange our symbols? It is our cult. We alone have all rights reserved.
Liquid Dataism: Nousphere
We extend our body. Wheels are fast feet to us, clothing is a second skin. Our senses we extend, too: the eyes with telescope and microscope, the nose with the chromatograph, the ears with speakers. And finally our nerves and our brain – by the Net. As our bodies move in space, so our data is moving through the net. The Net spans new dimensions in which we live. Our data is our body in the Internet.
Agnoscit Praesentem. The stars in the sky – they give us hold to steer the ship in the shoreless see.
Santa Clara, Ca. / Bonn, 2012
Joerg Blumtritt, Benedikt Koehler, Sabria David
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