Multitudes, Creative Organisation and the Precarious Condition of New
:: Dawn of the Organised Networks ::
Geert Lovink & Ned Rossiter
At first glance the concept of "organised networks" appears oxymoronic. In
technical terms, all networks are organised. There are founders, administrators,
moderators and active members who all take up roles. Think also back to the early
work on cybernetics and the "second order" cybernetics of Bateson and others.
Networks consist of mobile relations whose arrangement at any particular time is
shaped by the "constitutive outside" of feedback or noise. The order of
networks is made up of a continuum of relations governed by interests, passions,
affects and pragmatic necessities of different actors. The network of relations is
never static, but this is not to be mistaken for some kind of perpetual fluidity.
Ephemerality is not a condition to celebrate for those wishing to function as
Why should networks get organised? Isn't their chaotic, disorganised nature a good
thing that needs to be preserved? Why should the informal atmosphere of a network
be disturbed? Don't worry. Organised networks do not yet exist. The concept
presented here is to be read as a proposal, a draft, in the process of becoming
that needs active steering through disagreement and collective elaboration.
What it doesn't require is instant deconstruction. Everyone can do that. Needless
to say, organised networks have existed for centuries. Just think of the Jesuits.
The history of organised networks can and will be written, but that doesn't
advance our inquiry for now. The networks we are talking about here are specific
in that they are situated within digital media. They can be characterised by their
advanced irrelevance and invisibility for old media and p-in-p (people in power).
General network theory might be useful for enlightenment purposes, but it won't
answer the issues that new media based social networks face. Does it satisfy you
to know that molecules and DNA patterns also network? [..]
Read the whole at Nettime