[NetBehaviour] How is everyone?

Daniel Pinheiro danielpinheiro.geral at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 18:00:00 CEST 2020

  Dear all,

I hope this email finds you all well and it's nice to read how this
situation is taking shape in different parts of the world through all the
different experiences, practices and individual affections.
I'm very fond of this mailing list as there are always many interesting
resources, activities, events, writings which are food for thought for my
own practice. Even if mostly silent in the threads of emails they do add up
a lot in content and expand my own context. And in these uncertain times
we're going through it is specially good to have access to all sorts of
explorations and expressions which are happening in parallel to the
evolution of this global circumstance.

So in this sense I would like to share in this thread a writing on and
about the times we're living as a means of self expression of "how am I"
right now, in Porto, Portugal where things are, fortunately, happening in a
smooth way but from here it's always important to try and look out to the
rest of the world.

I'll copy the text below which is also to be found here

Best wishes to all! :)


When Online Goes Viral.

The possibility offered by the Internet from very early on finds its
purpose while amid a global pandemic. It took a virus to trigger the shift,
to activate the transposition from IRL to the digital sphere as if we were
not already inhabiting it before. The extension of our lives became life
itself, replicating into an infinity of livestreams, online view rooms,
remote learning and all sorts of video conferencing sessions in an attempt
that life doesn’t stop its rapid and overwhelming velocity printed
increasingly over the past few decades. It is important to notice that it
all happens amid the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 in the first part
of the year 2020. Social distancing opened a *hole-in-space*1 in and from
every corner of the planet to the other. We’re probably still in the
beginning of the dilated process of dealing with the cause that imposed
this new paradigm, and in this beginning it all still seems very possible.
The same way we all were having trouble coping with the fast pace of life
itself, constantly switching between online and offline now the time has
come where we are faced to cope with just being online, where everything
happens online, where everything is elevated to the digital, raising
questions of access and privilege. *Digitization is not, as we testify in
the present moment, an equalizer of opportunities until access is a common
and social utility.2*

This invisible threat abruptly invaded our ways of living and forced every
stream of real life to be interrupted almost everyone was left where they
were; even the ones whose lives had to continue so that some order was
present within the chaos were asked to pause their own lives and live one
that was in favor of all those isolated and the infected. It is in this new
reality, uncertain in duration, that we continue to wake up to a world
where distance and time are measurable again. Measures that we’re still
questioning and trying arduously to dismiss and pretend as if they are not
real by insisting on a productivity paradigm overruling the human practice
of actually being together and functioning as an organic system which is
made of every human involved in it.

For many years already into sedentarism, we were living (also for many
years) through and with the digital with the sense of having achieved a
nomadic lifestyle where despite of our physical location(s) we could
seamlessly coexist in multiple and ubiquitous versions of ourselves being
the only species able to do so. Feeding and fighting on gentrification,
western society was the epitome of how much we had accomplished *the
transformational wish of social change afforded by technology2* thus
placing the generations living twenty years into the new millennium within
the ultimate representation of success in terms of evolution. “The Next
Pandemic” (2019)3 portrays exactly what we are going through precisely by
the reasons of our success being the cause of a great failure of the system
as it was. And yet we continue to demand high end and fast adaptation to
something that we expect to be over soon so that we can go back to some
sort of ‘normality’. *Technology was already and it is now the medium
through which we can address the crisis4* we are going through, and it
shouldn’t become a transposition of what we were already going through.

*As webcams sell out5* and the urge to be present online as a means not to
be forgotten, the *lifestream* as it happens now in complete digital form
leads us into a disembodied interaction and highlights the networks we
belong to. Now more than ever we might be left alone with the ones who
share the same tastes, thoughts and provocations. *We’re all sitting in a
room which is different from everyone else’s room and what we might be left
to hear will be a smoothed version of our own speeches.6* Our vulnerability
will grow evident, our need for affection will grow thicker, our sense of
existence will, most probably, come down to be defined by interdependence.
What good is to connect if there’s nothing to connect on the other side?

This is probably the first pandemic to be expanded in a world wide scale to
the digital and it will be part of everyone’s history. The year that a
global pandemic took place and the proof of that will be the large amounts
of digital content created through the most varied platforms. An expanded,
distributed, impossible to gather, depiction in various formats of a moment
in time where virtually almost everyone who’s privileged enough to live in
condition to do so, contributes to the *technosphere*7. The *networked
society*8 is being enacted as we live its dominion and as many times before
technology did, if we live “here” long enough, we might forget how to find
the exit… or will we become conscious? Hoping that we can get back into our
bodies again we have to reflect on how much the digital impact has over our
lives and analyze how much of it was already happening, exactly the same
way. Social media surveillance has been present in our daily lives for a
while now and it is now, more than ever, the ‘solution’ to monitor our
behaviors and to be enforcedly implemented to control and normalize them.
It is up to us, as always, to be aware and work from within, mindfully
questioning the tools that are given to us.

Thinking ahead, in a few weeks, months, we’ll become exhausted. Digital
fatigue will soon take over our bodies (if it hasn’t already) and although
the Internet and immediate communications seem as the salvation for a
period of confinement, we must address the weariness which we will be
subject to. So far electricity hasn’t stopped and thus its vertiginous
velocity continues to be printed in the lives of all. Online has gone viral
in the sense that in order to cope and simulate normality even if working
towards new configurations of living and coping, the takeover had already
happened. The infrastructure was already activated but, fortunately, we
were allowed to choose. Jobless or not, the anxiety increases, the
repetitiveness will repeat over and over and despite the digital excess we
must aim for humanness within and beyond the emotional devices which are
now, nevertheless, granting us a sense of togetherness.

Daniel Pinheiro. April 13th 2020


1 *Hole in Space: Public Communication Sculpture*
<http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/hole-in-space/> (1980, Public
Communication Sculpture by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz);

2 *DEMOCRATIZING TOUCH Xenakis’s UPIC, Disability, and Avant-gardism*
<https://amodern.net/article/democratizing-touch/> (2020, article by
Victoria Simon for AModern);

3 *Explained* – *The Next Pandemic* (2019, Netflix Docuseries) - related

4 *“…The notion that the Internet and computers and the world wide web
somehow combine into a new medium through which we can address this crisis
of democracy is the biggest drama of all time. The question is “Who is
making the decisions?”, according to what values serving what ends? Maybe
we don’t even know what we want, maybe we need the chance to converse with
each other to find out what it is we want because this all new technology
is in fact new to us. And it takes a long time to imagine how it could
serve your life… Your life, Your desires, Your needs…”* – Gene Youngblood
interview 1996 KNME-TV- Albuquerque, New Mexico

Transcript from the footage of Gene Youngblood’s interview included in New
Museum’s livestream of *Expanded Cinema Fiftieth-Anniversary Edition Book
aired March 19th 2020 (min 38’);

5 *Webcams have become impossible to find, and prices are skyrocketing*
(2020, article by Chris Welch for The Verge);

6 *I Am Sitting In A Room*
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Sitting_in_a_Room> (1969, Sound Art
Piece by Alvin Lucier);

7 *Expanded Cinema* <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expanded_Cinema> (1970,
book by Gene Youngblood)

8 *Networked Society* <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networked_Society>

Other sources and references:

*Soiveillance: Self-Consciousness and the Social Network in Hideaki Anno’s
Love & Pop*
(2018, article by Jeeshan Gazi);

(2020, article by Tina Rivers Ryan for Artforum);

*'Beginning of a new era': how culture went virtual in the face of crisis*
(2020, article by Laura Feinstein for The Guardian);

*“Beyond the Breakdown: Three Meditations on a Possible Aftermath”*
(2020, Franco “Bifo” Berardi for e-flux);

*I Am Sitting In A Zoom*
<https://timshaw.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-sitting-in-a-zoom> (2020, Sound
Art Piece by Tim Shaw and John Bowers, adapting Alvin Lucier);

All sources were last accessed online on April 13th 2020.

#networkedsociety, #covid19, #socialdistancing, #digitalsedentarism,
#digitalnomads, #meditationsonapossibleaftermath, #francobifoberardi,
#geneyoungblood, #holeinspace, #expandedcinema, #democratizingtouch,
#technology, #alvinlucier, #pandemic, #lifestream, #technosphere,
#socialnetworks, #soiveillance, #surveillance

Daniel Pinheiro
.:+351918814598 / Skype: dapinheiro1
Print Traffic Coordinator | Queer Lisboa and Queer Porto - International
Queer Film Festivals <http://queerlisboa.pt/en/team-and-contacts>
Arts Lead | Creative Commons Portugal

*on going while in isolation due to the COVID19 pandemic:*
<https://daniel-pinheiro.tumblr.com/post/614368038703251456/dfdm>, every
Friday, 4pm GMT+1*
every Wednesday, 4pm GMT+1*
>>> When Online Goes Viral
>>> Duplexity State <https://daniel-pinheiro.tumblr.com/duplexitystate>
(a/v networked performance)
>>> Utterings
<https://daniel-pinheiro.tumblr.com/post/190948999026/utterings> (a live
audio networked performance)
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