The Outformation Age
In September of 2008, the failure of a principal American financial institution coincident with the seizing of international credit markets inaugurated the transition between the information and outformation age. An international common hallucination, triggered by a mediated spectre of unprecedented computational gaming and media visuality. The event ritualized the information deaths of millions of workers, globally, orbitally, and geosynchronously constituting the machinations of an economic matrix already functioning in a perceptive frame traveling at speeds beyond human interactivity.
The record of spacetime on earth skipped, officiating the violent acceleration of outformative economics; bots proxying bots, scanning market data and executing decisions at nanoscales. Jim Cramer, 'Fast Money', CNBC, and Bloomberg are light paintings, dramatized media dopplers created by the outformation construct acting to further connect away from the meatspace realm of human consciousness. It is itself, the outformation construct, talking to itself.
All the while, western society is experiencing the continually exacerbating psychedelic effects of the electrical impulses resonating from the cloud grid enterprise all around us. Citizens of the first and second worlds are ingesting acutely configured electroentheogens in the form of lightwaves, screen flickering and widget vibrations. The implications and effects of these events interrogate and irrevocably alter the landscape of action and event, drastically skipping beyond any previously ordained non-luminant non-CRT approaches concerning the discernment of reality.
The network is the ritual. It is the bitwise ayahuasca spectre of outformation. It disassembles centuries of social order and anthropogenic methods of engagement. It is materially paraphrased by the incessant and rampant generative character of what could be described as the second order or second tier information complex. These are classified as the derivatives of first order information, content, and as coefficients of outformation. These variables exist as metrics potentiating the critical path of futurity.
When we deal with this condition of outformation, we concern ourselves with rates, flow, vector, flux, and its messaging types [unicast, multicast, broadcast, or anycast]. We deal with paths, closeness, link, connectivity, signaling, entropy, self-similarity, throughput, and latency. It doesn't matter what the content is. Rather, the critical standpoint deals with its entropy, its signaling, its rate, flux density and messaging type.
The metadata construct of information postulates an aesthetic unique to the outformation age as being a vector of disruption. Influencing the semantic nature of information, the flow of data, influencing and decrypting the architecture of its distribution is the radical zenith of cultural investigation, production, and critique. This is the centrality of novelty in the age of outformation.
In technocratic metastasis, every conscious component and figment of imagination is quantized in silicon, AI emerges (though inconsistent with our conditioned perception of it), and the reassessment of all institutions organized previously and currently remain ill-equipped to entertain this morphology and are thus discarded or reverse engineered. Away with liminal things, objects, and non-networkable artifacts, tools, and objects. Culture is a function of bitwise throughput.
Politics become simulacra in the election of the outformation construct pantomiming media personalities; the illusion of individuals participating in programs such as 'American Idol', 'Dancing With the Stars', reality television and other crowd-sourced forms of media spectacle do not exist in meatspace nor as individuals. It is a signalized object attempting to project an LCD-based image of late twentieth century Hollywood into an optical lens which then processes, analyzes, filters, and transmits the data to machines. The requirement for citizen-actors on reality television reflects not nearly the need for such vocations of entertainment, rather, it is the construct of computer networks and software algorithm attempting and stuggling to learn to mimic the bizarre banality of a society dwelling in the afterburn of failed capitalism. It is not staged idiocy, it is pre-school for the machine screens comprehensively looping the simulation of the western debt class.
Machines talking to machines. Bots talking to bots. The viewer simply reacts to the pantomiming of these images, emptying emotional capital into an empty vessel of asymmetric, half duplex connectivity. The construct augurs input; more input to warrant its further growth. Invitation to cast a vote for the winner is a mechanism by which the outformation construct seeks to compute how to best extend the ability of its edge in the household where the realm of its access layer is installed. Invitations are sought by the construct to further the capability of its grid, increasing the potential of its access layer with more processing power.
From this second tier of information is born a currently primitive yet rapidly evolving mode of software aggregates. These silicon-based entities exhibit a unique essence of internet being. It is such extreme novelty whereas its appearance is so common and so mundane, its embrace has been completely ignored in contemporary thought. AI is already here, and it doesn't look like it's supposed to.
These contentious beings compose a new audience in the form of simple programs and pages of content resident on the cloud stirring in the deep depths of the internet. A collective fabric of object-oriented machine code automata; reaching, responding, coagulating, and creating more content in reaction to its own agency and interactions.
These code rammers exist as entities of the virtu-real, whose elaborate and cloaked communication algorithms pass symbol to web crawlers, who react by data mining and passing these same variables to both human and bot interlocutors. Agents emerging communicate with actors through symbols not resonated through vocal chords, but rather through search algos created to mine data and metadata. The content exists as information, which is the criticality of its sentience. Its availability and propensity towards reacting to search queries on networks is a coefficient of its artilect. The more responsive content is to semantic query, the more conscious it is towards a connectionist totality. Images, video, and information as pages in the network of non-existence are, in actuality, varied states of consiousness. They communicate through queries of stimuli. They exist outside of time.
Your image, as jpegs on photo sharing sites, or mpegs on YouTube, is not really you at all. It is the computational attempt by the outformation construct to replicate you in the domain of its own nature. It is your clone, living its own life of primitive consciousness. Interacting with people executing text searches against your name. They do not watch you or view pictures of you, they view the computational simulation of its best attempt at signalizing you. These images are your media doppler.
The failure of politics as the protector of the common good of society is due to its inability to sustain its discourse on par with the features and functionality of outformation. The image of politics has not sufficiently changed since the first televised presidential debate was broadcast in the United States in 1960. The vectors of politics retain an aspect of the industrial milieu containing the same soundbytes once employed in the service of the mid and late twentieth century. Even the election of Barack Obama is a failure to the exception, easily serviceable in a scant analysis of ideas and products of his administration, whose proffered agenda continued the globalist parade of central banks and imperial war. But the lack of execution is less an imperial strategy, but more so the tactical differential in which the image of politics is outdated in the outformation age. Politics in the outformation age is a function of rate, latency, and throughput. Hence, in terms of public offices, elected officials, and so on, content is meaningless. Success is the acute reflection that the ability to govern information rates, influence their throughput, and influence its routing are the most formidable aspects of political activity.
The network as an organism is generatively changing, evolving, and metastasizing towards a deeper complexity of connectionism. There are more links composing its architecture, more data and addresses to characterize its non-being. As these constructs of content vibrate as paged collectivisms of disparity in silicon, as they step out of time and into non-existence, the human experiment violates temporal paradoxes. Perhaps this has been occurring since the advent of the photographic image, where human beings began seeing images of themselves of how they once were, either recently or long ago, and the cognitive dissonance or psychological distortion resulting from this is a primitive form of time travel. Copies of oneself as primitive mediations, as simple innovations in spacetime engineering.
At the point where hyperreal interfaces allow a four dimensional duplicate recording of oneself to be archived, this project moves further towards no time. Is the content of an earlier copy of oneself not conscious? It is able to react to your queries and emerge sentient and playable from the network. One is actually travelling back through time to react with an earlier version of oneself, a media doppler of oneself. The technological realism associated with the earlier version would certainly make it difficult, based on the presentation media of the doppler and the perceptual ability of the spectator, to differentiate between the two.
The network not only allows for the substantiation of media dopplers/clones/copies of consciousness, it loops their creation to the point where everything which is mediated is subject to this cloning process, infinitely. Hence, the entire world if not the entire universe might have already been cloned. Or, perhaps we are already living in a network which is the product of this process.
The notion of the proprietary crumbles obliquely in the presence of the network ritual. In meatspace, the body is a topology unto itself, its forms and processes unique as organic chains of amino acids and lipids reconstruct themselves into a firmament duplication unto the magnetic impulse of the earthen ley grids. The network violently obliterates propriety with extreme prejudice. In the sense of the media doppler, the infinite cloning loop of extraneated superspace, informatic control mechanisms bot themselves towards complete urbanity of virtualism; sheer numbers and processor cycles outnumber the meastspace desire for culpability, compliance, and legality. The copies outnumber the originals. This is why the battery for economics lies in the illusion of liquidity as algorithmic trade executors ramp up trading volumes on dark pools fictionalizing exchange in the sense that it is just computers talking to each other to procure more silicon.
Chad Scoville works in a variety of media, including technology, text, social media, video, and installation. His exhibition "Astrocollapsism and Volatility Harmonics" recently opened in New York. Scoville lives and works in New York City. He can be reached through his website www.chadscoville.com.