Minima Memoranda: a note on streaming media

Tetsuo Kogawa

Walter Benjamin's idea of "philosophical salvage of scraps" gives us a basis to strategically utilize the prevailing technology toward a different way to deconstruct the power system that the technology supports.

Today's electronic devices consist of modules that soon become inexpensive junks. Given the hybrid potentiality, even such junks can be redeemed as totally new modules that could be brought into different contexts and functions. This really happened in the Mini-FM micro transmitter.

Mini-FM starting as a Japanese counterpart of the Italian and French free radio in the late 70s was also an analogue counterpart of the fashionable 'new media' in the 80s in Japan, which were unable to bring its digital ability into full play yet.

The free radio was free from the exiting state-controlled or mass-oriented radios in the 70s. However, they started absorbing the element of free radio into themselves. In the 90s, the Internet has ended the authentic function of the free radio.

Advertising techniques such as "market segmentation" had preceded the method of narrowcasting and multi-channels.

When Mini-FM found that nobody listened to it, Mini-FM learned its really radical potential of "micro revolution".

Radio is also an invisible architecture of airwaves and creates a 'public' art in the post-public age.

The paradox of technology is that it erases *bodiness* and at the same time revives it. This difference refers to the difference between "hi-tech" and "low-tech".

The meaning of 'low' of 'low-tech' must be inexpensive. It shouldn't have nothing to do with inferiority of the technology.

Inexpensiveness will ultimately refer to non-profit system--a post capitalist society where profit as "excess of returns over outlay" alternates itself to an "eternal circulation" of information. The Informational Capitalism today is the beginning of such a stage and the end form of Capitalism.

Hi-tech is not "high-touch" but wants to exist without human body.

*Bodiness* does not consist of organs but exits "without organs". It is invisible just as air and airwaves while body and organ are visible.

The re-interpreted body from the perspective of the invisible *bodiness* should be heard rather than seen.

To hear this *bodiness* needs not voice. *Bodiness's* 'voice' is silence. Gesture and 'gestus' are more intimate with the *bodiness* rather than voice. Voice is mere a representation of the *bodiness*.

Each bodies can communicate in the resonance. Resonance does not exchange information but synchronizes between bodies.

The resonance media will not exchange anything. It will create a new emotion, that is change the prevailing emotional space.

Every person has his/her feeling. Emotion is a resonance of various feelings. But too many feelings cannot create themselves into a good resonance. Be careful of a 'powerful' resonance because it should be fabricated by integrating variety of feelings of numerous persons into a monotonous feeling, 'resentiment'.

Mass media is a device to fabricate 'resenmtiment'.

The resonance cannot take place in too large radius of feelings. If communicative community does matter, the resonance must decide the size of community.

As "global" media have developed, local media have had to become more local.

In the age of satellite and internet, every local medium has to be potentially global. That is why it is called *translocal*.

"Sender"-"medium"-"receiver", the popular model of communication has become obsolete as late as the Internet has started. The medium is not a "tube". As Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela wrote, there is no "transmitted information" in communication. Communication is a "structural coupling".

Sender and receiver can be separated only in a theoretical abstraction and a forced operation in the power system. Sender and receiver should get together. The separation between transmitter and receiver is mere a political operation. Technologically, there is no separation in them.

"Message' is also problematic. Media don't transport message but do refer here to there.

Airwaves relate to casting and resonating. As a casting medium, airwaves spread information upon the audience. As a resonating medium, however, airwaves create various enclaves of emotions in the audience.

The Internet and cable media depend on lines. Lines relate to binding, weaving, and streaming. They can bind audience up into a tightly integrated "network", a marionette-like circuit. However, lines are not always tight but loose. Loose lines weave webs. In the weaving-weaved web, the signal does not cast itself but streams by itself. Casting is an one-way process while streaming is interactive: streaming in and back.

Collaboration between airwaves and lines will create *polymorphous space*, the space that consists of *poly* (many and diverse) + *morph* (form and shape). Given that the concrete model of polymorphous space is our body, electronic media can only re-find and rethink the authentic character of our body.

Originally for the Next 5 Minutes 3 (12-14 March 1999, Amsterdam/rotterdam)

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