Information Commons

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We live in challenging times. There is overwhelming evidence that massive change is required in order to survive impending environmental collapse. Yet this fifth volume in the Archifutures series takes the position that the “apocalypse” is not an imminent event, but an insidious process that is already happening. Communities everywhere are facing it on a day-to-day basis. Many are already resisting and adapting. Despite the implied drama of the word “apocalypse”, the reality is actually far more mundane: surviving it is not about building bunkers, it is about building resilience – everywhere and in all kinds of ways. Contributors include: Bora ...
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There is no doubt that we live in exciting times: Ours is the age of many ‘silent revolutions’ triggered by startups and research labs of big IT companies; revolutions that quietly and profoundly alter the world we live in. Another ten or five years, and self-tracking will be as normal and inevitable as having a Facebook account or a mobile phone. Our bodies, hooked to wearable devices sitting directly at or beneath the skin, will constantly transmit data to the big aggregation in the cloud. Permanent recording and automatic sharing will provide unabridged memory, both shareable and analyzable. The digitization ...
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Publishere-flux2015
Edited together with Nikolaus Hirsch, this first part of a special double issue of e-flux journal focusing on architecture invites a number of the field’s most audacious and adventurous thinkers to consider how these invisible and intangible forces are rebuilding cities and reformatting space over and above the role that architecture once served. They are not only reducible to data streams and technocratic information pathways, but also convert ethical questions of whose hands do the actual work of building into material expressions of labor markets, economic flows, and colonial memory. They include the passage from the formal domain of building ...
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Publishere-flux2016
The freeport method of art storage presents its critics with a problem. Is it something new? Or something old? What could be less surprising than an international aristocracy hiding treasures in a cave someplace? The CEO of the Geneva Freeport might have overcharged his Russian Oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev, by one billion dollars for thirty-five paintings, according to Sam Knight’s recent, riveting account. Rybolovlev had himself acquired a large slice of the collective ownership of the means of production in 1992, when he was twenty-nine, in the form of Uralkali, a mining company developed by the State Planning Committee of the USSR ...
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PublisherStrelka Press2017
Privileging declarations, right answers, proofs, and universals, culture is often banging away with the same blunt tools that are completely inadequate to address contemporary chemistries of power. On the flip side, medium design offers no dramatic manifestos where things are new or right. Instead it only rehearses a habit of mind that has been eclipsed. Even at a moment of digital ubiquity, medium design treats space as an information system and a broad, inclusive mixing chamber for many social, political, and technical networks. And just as it inverts the typical focus on the object over the field, it may also ...
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PublisherSarai, CSDS2001
A Sarai is an enclosed space in a city, or, beside a highway, where travellers and caravans can find shelter, sustenance and companionship; a tavern, a public house, a meeting place; a destination and a point of departure; a place to rest in the middle of a journey… The Sarai Reader (which is the first of what we hope will be more such collections) can be seen both as a navigation log of actual voyages and a map for possible journeys into a real and imagined territory that we have provisionally called the “Public Domain”. This republic without territory is a ...
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What lessons can architecture learn from software development, and more specifically, from the Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) movement? Written in the form of a quasi-license, Urban Versioning System 1.0 posits seven constraints that, if followed, will contribute to an open source urbanism that radically challenges the conventional ways in which cities are constructed.

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