[NetBehaviour] The Work of Art in the Age of Network Reproduction: on Virii and What We Don't Know But Need To
maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 2 22:06:20 CEST 2020
A virus is a simple statement: "I copy myself." It has no ability to move, but drifts along in watery media.
When it drifts into the vicinity of something creative which doesn't know it yet, it convinces that creative process to, in a way, act as if it is the virus: to copy it. We don't yet know the virus is not us. We haven't met it yet, learned it yet, and learned to "say" "I'd prefer not to make copies of you." We haven't yet learned any answer, and often don't even know there's a question.
A virus is a network of the very most narrow type. It is network reproduction of the most limited quantum, a near-zero network that reproduces infinitely nevertheless.
When virii arrive, the host's internal chemistry starts reading up. What has gone before? What have I seen and said? The fabric of the past-present-future activates, from dynamic resting to dynamic response. A true intelligence-field distributed across time and space, like what the ancient Greeks called a fumos or mist which carries divine intent, the immune system begins formulating responses. It asks itself: is this something I want to reproduce? If not, why not? Then we learn to attach a name to the virus: "something I don't want to reproduce." Our own system learns, our immune system.
Learning, in order to preserve well-being, is a network aesthetic.
"When a virus infects a person (host), it invades the cells of its host in order to survive and replicate. Once inside, the cells of the immune system cannot ‘see’ the virus and therefore do not know that the host cell is infected. To overcome this, cells employ a system that allows them to show other cells what is inside them – they use molecules called class I major histocompatibility complex proteins (or MHC class I, for short) to display pieces of protein from inside the cell upon the cell surface. If the cell is infected with a virus, these pieces of peptide will include fragments of proteins made by the virus."
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