The Digital Wasting Deception

The Digital Wasting Deception

Date: 
02.02.2014 12:00
Festival edition: 
2014
Location: 
HKW
Café Stage

This panel discussion marks the launch of AVANT, a web publication and forum for discussion around transdisciplinary ideas. In response to a culture of immediacy, AVANT strives to illuminate the complex relations underlying larger narratives and project the potential impact of research-based practices.

This panel discussion marks the launch of AVANT, a web publication and forum for discussion around transdisciplinary ideas. In response to a culture of immediacy, AVANT strives to illuminate the complex relations underlying larger narratives and project the potential impact of research-based practices. Our first series of articles explores the influence of cybernetic thought - specifically database systems - on modern cultures of waste.

Waste defines at least half the work of life on this planet, yet it is often relegated to the margins, mismanaged, or otherwise suppressed both spatially and ontologically. Databases, marrying the infinitesimal scale of computing with the enormous physical footprint of a digital lifestyle, are the containers for a new paradigm of excess, metonyms for the treatment of waste exceeding a general flow of energy and matter. By employing scale-less abstractions of systemic interaction databases enable the decoupling of information from physical constraints which would normally demand practical accord: Volume, energy, toxicity, lifecycle are all improperly psychologically reconciled, culminating in a culture of waste without the means to self-regulate.

Though the contemporary material problem of human wasting is seated firmly in industrial practices and its resultant public, peripheral landscapes, waste’s ambiguous qualitative and ontological character is primarily generated only by implication, through the making of the self and one’s own ethical sensibilities. This panel seeks to trace several intersecting narratives - the byproduct of which embody our cultural understanding of waste - thus expanding this conception toward a more accurate representation of whole systems.

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