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by Christoph Brunner

Concatenated Commons and Operational Aesthetics

This article deals with the specific potentials of what I call an operational aesthetics as part and parcel of alternative online video plat-  forms. These platforms, I will argue, engage in operative logics of  programming and interface design as well as a merger of data and metadata with the aim to resist capitalist modes of value extraction  tied to the digital image. I will particularly look at the platforms 0xDB and pad.ma as projects dedicated to collaborative practices of collecting, sharing and remodeling vast databases of moving images in relation to cinema (0xDB) and to activist film making and discourse around digital film archives (pad.ma).1 Key to both platforms is the operative logic of timelines that allow engagement with the object     in an asynchronous, texturally annotated and heavily flow-based appearance. To give a concrete example of such flows and lines from 0xDB: I choose Makoto Shinkai’s animated short movie She and her Cat [Kanojo to kanojo no neko] (1999)—a cat narrating her relationship to a single woman in urban Japan while moving across the four seasons of a year full of experiences and encounters.2 I check the film information from one of the drop-down menus, afterwards I watch   the movie once in its entirety in low resolution of 96p, then I switch   to timeline view and the entire movie appears as a stream of different monochrome variations, reminding me of some of Ryoji Ikeda’s audiovisual performances and installations. The full timeline view’s colorvariation flows open up a very different engagement with the way I am used to perceiving movies while watching them. In another encounter on pad.ma, I skim through the contributions of the seminar Fwd:Re Archive, held by the artist group CAMP in 2018 at the Goethe Institute in Mumbai to mark the 10th anniversary of the platform.3 I find information, people, contexts, lines of relations and friendships, but also a community of humans gathered around digital platforms and moving images that have become digital objects imbued with activating potential for new forms of sociality. A sensation arises of shared life-lines and practices combined with the timelines available through the platform itself. It is through the relaying of different operational aesthetics as they move and amplify through digital platforms that  a different perceptual account of the present comes to the fore. It is a present that is under negotiation and open for different ways of gathering through sensation, or rather, through the varying temporal encounters these platforms create. They “accrete durations” and concatenate the present into an asynchronous yet common relational field that I term concatenated commons.4

The main difference between pad.ma and 0xDB resides in their content, the latter being mostly cinema and different kinds of professionally-produced series, whereas the former contains more amateur footage and material gathered around specific events. Much of the material on pad.ma takes on documentary forms, often interviewing people and collecting testimonials on particular circumstances. These scenes are often annotated and sometimes geo-located in the different menus of the graphic user interface. The range of material is broad, from intense workshop-like discussions such as Fwd:Re Archive footage to shopping mall surveillance cameras as part of the project CCTV Social.5 Both platforms turn the logic of the production, circulation and meaning of structures of moving images towards themselves in a (post-)digital era of excessive visual cultures. The proliferation of ‘the poor image’ provides the material and visual ground for cultural practices based on a “relational aesthetics” beyond the realm of institutionalized art. While both platforms engage with cinema and art in different ways, their main focus resides in fostering encounters through practices of engagement and experimentation. The notion of concatenated commons asks how platforms like pad.ma and 0xDB are able to engage digital objects that open up processes of relating in and through experience.


Platforms are the zones for relaying temporalities, affects, and operations through which modes of sensing and sense-making arise. pad. ma’s and 0xDB’s engagement with an operational aesthetics takes account of the infrastructural affordances which condition processes of sense(-making) and at the same time emphasize these media materialities as processes rather than products. Such media are concatenated in the sense that they generate relations between different processes, that is, between durations that differ in kind while sharing the potential of shaping experience. The question of concatenated commons challenges not only where to situate perception beyond the human scope but also pertains to the operational underpinnings which move through technical ensembles. As practiced, commons are temporalizing activations rather than groups, or places. I will attempt to formulate a temporal conception of commons as an affective and aesthetic politics of sense/making. The movement or direction of such sense courses through the sensible and inserts into processes of sense making, while itself activating potentialities: opening up modes of becoming through the actual process of experience.


Time, Affect, and  Commons

The process of concatenation is crucial for William James’ concept    of experience as the “stuff of which everything is composed.” 6 Such   a conception of experience liberates its operation from being tied to  an embodied subject of perception. Concatenation is the term James deploys to hint at experience’s pluralist ontology. In his book Essays in Radical Empiricism he states:

The world it [Radical Empiricism] represents as a collection, some parts of which are conjunctively and others disjunctively related. Two parts, themselves disjoined, may nevertheless hang together by intermediaries with which they are severally connected, and the whole world eventually may hang together similarly, inasmuch as some path of conjunctive transition by which to pass from one of its parts to another may   always be discernible. Such determinately various hanging-together may be called concatenated union, to distinguish it from the “through-and through” type of union, “each in all and all in each” (union of total conflux, as one might call it), which monistic systems hold to obtain when things are taken in their absolute reality. In a concatenated world a partial conflux often is experienced.7

In emphasizing the “partial conflux,” James provides a take on reality which can never be totalizing while being part of larger relational movements. His remarks lead me to outline three different aspects of relation that pose the concept as different from mere connections.

Primarily, as James states, “the relations that connect experience must themselves be experienced relation, and any kind of relation experienced must be accounted as ‘real’ as anything else in the system.”8 This means that the composition of experience is by nature relational and what is experienced as an embodied sensation is the experience of relations relating, rather than the recognition of form or Gestalt. Relations are ontologically prior to the formation of subjects and objects, substances and forms and thus exceed a connectivist logic.

The relational foundation of experience brings with it the second aspect, that of movement. Rather than considering relation as static or fixed, it should be conceived as a trajectory or tendency. Shifting from entity to tendency means to also underline movement as the defining feature of relations. Unbound, movement is absolute: “Motion originally simply is; only later is it confined to this thing or that.”9 The general fact of movement also means that whatever becomes partially perceived in an embodied experience emanates from a “bare activity” which permeates the entirety of experience.10 The question, I want to pose with James, concerns the specificity of relation as a movement. This means, what distinguishes one relation from another is defined  by how relations share a time of co-emergence while expressing their singular movement (or  tendency).

Concatenation means this very process of resonances of relations as movements, while differentiations occur in their unique mode of moving. In that sense, what comes to shape an embodied experience from the base-layer ground of activity through the differential relations can be addressed as tendencies, rather than substances. “The experiences of tendency are sufficient to act upon.”11 With this statement, James emphasizes that the partiality of the concatenated union which makes up the present of experience is sufficient to act upon, or as he states elsewhere: “To continue thinking unchallenged is, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, our practical substitute for knowing in the complete sense.12

A conception of a world in flux, and of concatenated union as what composes the present, requires a third aspect, that of rhythm. It is Deleuze’s work on Spinoza and his casting of the concepts of bodies and affect which provide a fruitful liaison with the relational foundation of experience. Here, a body is not a substance or a subject but a mode. “A mode is a complex relation of speed and slowness, in the body but also in thought, and it is a capacity for affecting or being affected, pertaining to the body or to thought.”13 Defining things, humans or animals not by their form, organs (parts), or functions, but by “the affect of which [they are] capable” turns them into relational composites that actively contribute to the fabric of experience by means of their capacity.14 Existence or the fabrication of the real, for Deleuze, is a poly-  rhythmic relaying of affects which shapes experience as a concatenated commons—meaning it relates “bodies” along their temporal differences without subsuming their differences under a unifying present. A commons, as I propose the term here, is a potential of relating, of resonating across different durations, a power to concatenate that can take many forms but does not predetermine the form it  takes.

With the term concatenated union and the affective outline of relations and movement, I am suggesting an emphasis on the fabrication of the real as temporal processing. Commons as primarily polyrhythmic and temporal compositions conceive neither of a community, nor of a site or land as commons or common good, as sufficient for a conception of an aesthetics of the commons in relation to online and digital media practices and their platforms. The partial logic of experience and the relational fabrication of a present both hint at a commons as the relational co-emergence of affective capacities that become felt in experience as tendencies. Concatenation defines the relational making of a present that exceeds the momentary while pointing at the contemporaneous. It draws on relations as the very building blocks of experience, and on experience as the active movement enabling the formation of embodied sensation, memory and communication across different matters, thoughts, and activities. In James’ radical empiricism, the relational outline of experience of the world is always on the limit of its actual appearance, and the present, as “specious present,” defines that margin of concrete enough formation in its potential becoming.15


Platforms  beyond Infrastructures

The project 0xDB was first initiated by Jan Gerber and Sebastian Luetgert in 2007. An adaptation of the platform was conceived as base for the project pad.ma in collaboration with Sanjay Bhangar from the artist group CAMP in Bombay. In the aftermath of these first two initiatives, the media archive framework Pan.do/ra was developed and led to a reimplementation of both 0xDB and pad.ma based on Pan.do/ ra in 2011. Gerber and Luetgert also form the group 0x2620—Collaborative Archiving and Networked Distribution. Overall, the primary impetus of both initiatives, 0xDB and pad.ma, resides in enabling specific encounters with (formerly private) collections. Their ethos aligns not only with open source and libre ideas of sharing and distribution but relates more crucially to a strong emphasis on programming and software development as an activist practice. In a statement for the tenth anniversary of 0xDB Gerber and Luetgert write: “a functioning piece of software can function as an argument: one that is impossible to make if you can only refer to an idea, or a plan, or a theory.”16 And they further underline the entanglements between aesthetic desire and the control thereof through capitalist censorship:


Just like there are protest songs, there is protest software. 0xDB is such a case: an act of protest against the grotesque piles of junk that are the online film archives of almost all official institutions, against the obscene amounts of public funding that are being spent on digital graveyards, and against the perverse fantasy at the core of cinema—which has many names: censorship, commodity, copyright—that it has to be hard, if not impossible, to watch a film. If you think that you’ve heard this one before, then you know that we’re coming to the chorus now: The history of cinema is the story of the wealth of technological possibilities and the poverty of their use.17

This statement foregrounds the relation between the archive and power, viewed through the prism of film and cinema, as being highly restricted commercial spheres whose aesthetic operational powers are captured by commercial interest. Lawrence Liang points at a similar issue when he writes about national film archives which, instead of making material available to the public, often function as gatekeepers, where the “mythic value of films arise from their non-availability.”18 The imperial undertones of the archive—sharing its etymological root with the archaeon (the official house of the magistrate)—emphasize the archive’s heavy baggage as a place of power, control and the governance of knowledge. For these reasons, I want to follow the critique of capitalist modes of control and value production but detach them from a notion of the archive, even though its meaning and possible critiques are manifold. In the case of 0xDB and pad.ma, I consider the term platform as more adequate, in relation to both the late liberal modes of digital operationality of value generation and extraction, and in terms of their specific temporalizing potentialities.

Both 0xDB and pad.ma are open source platforms, databases and repositories with a primary focus on time-based audio-visual material, mainly film and filmed footage. As part of their infrastructures, they also allow for the inclusion of documents, still images and annotations. Their software basis is the open source platform for media archives called Pan.do/ra, which “allows you to manage large, decentralized collections of video, to collaboratively create metadata and time-based annotations, and to serve your archive as a desktop-class web application.”19 The base-structure of Pan.do/ra is the combination of a Python backend and a JavaScript front end relayed by a JSON API (Application Programming Interface). It serves as a server and    as a client, allowing the database infrastructure to be used for one’s own collections and plugging this structure into highly customized  front ends. The operational capacities of the API are relevant here.  Adrian Mackenzie describes the API as “a gateway for centralization and decentralization” which operates between the database with its contents and the front end in the case of 0xDB and pad.ma.20 The API is a relaying device which enables relations between data and their  sentient capacities as part of a GUI (graphic user interface). The API is a “central element of programmability,” as Mackenzie writes, where programmability “supports the social and economic entanglements” of commercial platforms like Facebook.21 The social and economic entanglements Mackenzie is pointing at refer to the decentralized logic of API programming, which nonetheless contributes to the building of a platform, such as Facebook, where universal equivalents—user data— take over. This aspect is relevant due to its operational connotations, and I will further develop the concept of operation and operative logic in the last part of this  chapter.

In the commercial sector, platforms “enact their programmability to decentralize data production and recentralize data collection.”22 The way Anne Helmond describes commercial platforms stands in stark contrast to Pan.do/ra’s emphasis on decentralization of data collections and the open handle that defines the API coming with it. Obviously, data collection as a practice of social media platforms, and the data collections made available through 0xDB and pad.ma, relate to highly different contexts while sharing the activity of collecting. The same accounts for the question of decentralization, which, in the case of commercial platforms, provides the distribution of programming activity and the inclusion of its results into a universalizing operation, and in the case of 0xDB and pad.ma engages in a decentralized sharing of content and collaborative/collective engagements with data. Put differently, data production in relation to commercial platforms refers to the open-ended logic of API programming, where “platforms engage the flexibility and mutability of programming and programmability to modulate interfaces, devices, protocols, and increasingly, infrastructures in the interests of connectivity.”23 The empowering logic behind Pan.do/ra, on the other hand, points into a very different direction:  Here we find decentralized infrastructures built on an ethos of co-production and co-emergence which defines the platform, rather than the universalizing tendencies weaving through heterogeneous elements of API programming.

Collecting and connecting, as the paradigms of APIs and platforms, bifurcate in the way that open source projects such as pad.ma and 0xDB and commercial social media platforms deploy their capacity for engaging relations. In either case, the role of data is crucial. For 0xDB and pad.ma, audio-visual data becomes an active digital object in its own right and thus is available for use and encounter as much    as being generative of new relations through meta-data. The merger   of data and meta-data cannot  be  underestimated  here.  It  makes  both simultaneously available for the processing of information and engagement with digital objects, amplifying different temporal lay-  ers in the process of information sharing and the collecting of data. For instance, in pad.ma and 0xDB each frame can receive its own URL, which becomes linkable for annotations and cross-referencing, mostly containing information such as subtitles, but also providing  further aesthetic detail, such as sense of color and tone of each frame as part of a visual timeline of the entire video at hand. In the language of James, each of these hyperlinks becomes a derivative tendency which opens up new movements while referring to the rhythm of its former context. What is being shared and collaboratively worked at  are not mere encoded information packages, as a more classic conception of language as code and data as information would suggest. It is rather the open-ended processual nature of the data and meta-data in their interplay which distinguishes platforms such as 0xDB and pad.ma from commercial platforms like  YouTube.


Contrary to this logic of shared amplification of data, commercial social media platforms turn data into an obscured resource for value extraction which equals data with information value, rendering its curation into an extractive activity.24 Alternative platforms such as pad.ma and 0xDB neither understand collections as finite nor do they strive for capture or control as key operations of commercial platforms. Their collections result from highly individual compulsion and the potential of the Internet to distribute audio-visual material in a manner that invites reworking, commentary and cross-referencing. Connecting then is nothing goal-oriented, as would be the case in interlinking APIs to the building of a platform or algorithmic extraction from big data repositories. On the contrary, it means to engage a field of potential relations and to formulate operational activations for the different expressive qualities of the material (data) to be engaged. Commercial platforms are open-ended yet enclosed systems which cater to both a potential mode of identification and thus voluntary contribution of one’s data for the sake of participating, and the need   to adapt and capture new elements which contribute to a platform’s attractiveness. The way to generate engagement in platforms such      as 0xDB and pad.ma follows a very different route, while deploying similar advantages of an open system that is crucial to platforms. An example could be the quest for openness and adaptability in Pan.do/ ra’s API logic: It fosters insertion and adaptation of specific pieces of software and their functions across different realms, such as a user  interface and a database. By inserting different elements of Pan.do/ ra’s coded (API) as well as physical (server space) into one’s own projects, or contributing one’s own films for further use to the platform, radically alters the logic of commercial platform operations. In these platforms, the distributive model aims at a final insertion and enclosure of programmed elements, contributing to the “whole” of a platform. pad.ma and 0xDB, on the other hand, remain open while providing tools for adaptation and the proliferation of different activations.



The key difference I want to stress between commercial platforms and alternative ones is the open circulation, the embracing of the indeterminacy of sharing code, in order to generate modes of value that exceed the capitalist surplus at the root of data extractivism. Beyond circulation, these alternative platforms allow for the transformation of digital objects into processes of relating. Such a shift happens through an active embracing of the relational nature at the heart of digital platforms. The audio-visual material enables a thinking of potential platform-based activations. Since we deal with sensuous material in the first place, these activations move through multiple processes of staging encounters with the material, both perceptually and semantically. The different functions of annotating or video-editing and watching through different temporal and visual representations, creates an immediate linkage between code as idea, its computational processing and the activation of bodies and thought, all of which concatenate in experience. Rather than creating identification-value, as commercial platforms do, alternative platforms create time-values of co-creative engagement as concatenated  commons.

It is therefore crucial to distinguish platforms from infrastructures: A platform, as outlined above, comprises aspects pertaining to infrastructuralization and platformization. Infrastructuralization is “the process of rendering certain technical operations widely and immediately available.”25 Platformization, on the other hand, describes “the process of constructing a somewhat lifted-out or well-bounded domain as a relational intersection for different groups.”26 In relation to pad.ma and 0xDB the concept of platform provides a useful approach, since it underlines the collaborative, modular and temporalizing aspects of both its mostly video content and its possibilities of engaging with the material working with and through the interface. While Mackenzie and others, such as Plantin et al., focus on modes of late liberal value extraction on commercial social media platforms, projects such as pad. ma and 0xDB comprise a different notion of value that is attached to the operational aesthetics of video-based material activating a sense of temporal concatenations.27

The availability that Mackenzie attributes to infrastructures requires some clarification. I would productively challenge and extend the way Laurent Berlant describes infrastructures, as “defined by the movement or patterning of social form” which she distinguishes from structure.28 Berlant writes:

I am redefining “structure” here as that which organizes transformation and “infrastructure” as that which binds us to the world in movement and keeps the world practically bound to itself; and I am proposing that one task for makers of critical social form is to offer not just judgment about positions and practices in the world, but terms of transition that alter the harder and softer, tighter and looser infrastructures of sociality itself.29

What are these infrastructures of sociality? Following a Jamesian take on experience as explored above, infrastructures need to be considered as infrastructures of existence rather than infrastructures of sociality. Or, one would have to “reassemble the social” as Bruno Latour has done, turning the social into a more-than-human and collective process.30 A third tuning of the social would then require a movement character at the base of what might come to take shape as human sociality. If infrastructures are infrastructures of the social, then it would be a society of forces and relations as the connective tissue of experience, and human sociality a sub-form of such operations. It is for these reasons that I want to address infrastructures at a more material and operational level while accounting for their inclusion of an extended understanding of the social. Ned Rossiter writes “if infrastructure makes worlds, then software coordinates it,” and he further suggests that logistics infrastructures “enable the movement of labor, commodities, and data across global supply chains.”31 These operational logics move between physically bound enablement and proprietary powers while acknowledging their movement character, which becomes apparent in the entanglements with the algorithmic outline of contemporary software.32 In resonance with 0xDB’s aim to render video a digital object, I want to emphasize this material yet certainly more-than-human sociality immanent to the fabrication of the platform and its contents. The flux of the moving image moves through the materiality and the constraints of hardwired infrastructures, while its operational capacities as a being encountered on the platform shape possible activations of sense.

Infrastructures, taken as the more material enablement of social relational practices, allow me to foreground the platform-logic as an interstice of the material and the social, or, more precisely, as their operational common ground. Following Anja Kanngieser, Brett Neilson and Ned Rossiter, I want to conceive of platforms “as social and technical apparatuses through which to experiment with institutional forms in both on- and offline worlds.”33 The authors stress the deployment of the term—way before its commercial adaptation in the heyday of Web 2.0 infinite connectivity talk—in Communist organizational structures of the 1920s as well as its wide adaptation in activist and artistic projects.34 It is the latter with which I want to associate 0xDB and pad.ma. While software might underpin the operationalization of a material infrastructure, it is the platform which renders them into a co-emergent processing. This inter-relation between the material and the operational feeds forward into specific modes of social co-production and experimentation. The open API allows for using the code to generate multiple relays between the database, its content and the different websites for potential cross-pollination. I would consider this platformatized process as a kind of process of sense/making, where the material, processual, programmable and the sensuous converge. Infrastructures need to be made available, as Mackenzie states, in terms of the server-structure and the database, as well as the source code and its open building blocks. Sense emerges in the practice and process of working with and through the materials. While this seems like a romantic “human-centered” mode of interaction with an archive or repository, I want to stress that both the infrastructural affordances and the platforms built around the digital objects on either 0xDB and pad.ma can only make sense if the processing of “stuff,” or “experience” in the Jamesian sense, are considered alongside their mutually emergent and activating capacities.

Platforms, as Kanngieser et al. underline, are different from infrastructures because they are defined and nurtured by user interactiv-   ity and participation, creating “an environment of reciprocity, knowledge sharing and relationality.”35 This notion of platforms includes the social dimensions of co-producing and sharing while at the same time accounting for the infrastructural affordances and their potential constraints. Following the work of Olga Goriunova, the authors emphasize the affective dimensions of platforms: “The platform offers an ecology that makes possible the invention of cultural aesthetic phenomena by opening spaces in which creative praxis and co-conceptualisations can be stimulated and supported.”36 However, the differences and commonalities of commercial and alternative platforms not only revolve around open source code, decentralization, and an adaptable API-logic but also emphasize the different modes of labor immanent to the making, maintaining and use of platforms. While the making of platforms implies resources and the power of definition by the initiators, the maintenance of a platform results from active use and participation. This operational logic of engagement and participation shapes a platform’s temporal and procedural nature, while taking account of the material infrastructural affordances and capacities. Finally, the aesthetic configurations of the interface, which can be modified to a certain extent in the case of 0xDB and pad.ma, condition but also enable the fabrication of sense as being activated through engagements with the platform. The encounter with material on these platforms differs vastly, whether I switch into “player” or “timeline” view, or if I look at the timeline depicted as key-frames or as waveform. In the case of my first example She and her Cat, the former leads to seeing the animated film become a manga produced by key frames and the latter  moves into a more sonic representation in the waveform, similar to Soundcloud timelines.

I want to stress that such engagements are not a mere coming together of a set of materials and the perceiving user/subject, but rather result from the experiential ground which is commonly, yet differentially, shared between humans and more-than-human actors as concatenated. Particularly in the case of pad.ma, the embodied dimensions of content and perceptual experience of a user are moored in the thoroughgoing relaying between on- and offline spaces and practices. While the platform facilitates a processual encounter based on infrastructural capacities, the temporal activations abound across processes of sense-making. The time-sensitive aspects of pad.ma and 0xDB foreground the aesthetic political relevance immanent to the infrastructures and interfaces co-composing a platformed experience. In that sense, I want to understand both pad.ma and 0xDB as artistic and activist platforms rather than archives. As Kanngieser et al. write:

In art and activist realms platforms have been a key tool in opening up global networks of communication and organisation. Platforms provide a means to share knowledge, skills and research, to connect to possible collaborators and to propel a sense of immediate solidarity and commons over geographical space and time. Similarly, they provide a model for social networking and self-valorisation, which feeds into an accumulation of cultural capital both within global and local, online and offline worlds.37


In relation to pad.ma in particular, I would also want to stress the aesthetic dimension of this artistic and activist take on platforms.38 The image-worlds of pad.ma are augmented by documents, transcripts, additional information; rendering the platform into a workstation for collaborative practice. Instead of being a mere repository, the platforms at stake generate an aesthetic experimental zone, with  an emphasis that “vision is better from below” as Donna Haraway states in her work on situated knowledges.39 In this subjugated and “submerged” perspective the operational power of the platforms presides over a stable account of content or finite truth.40 In relation to   the situatedness that Haraway emphasizes in its partial and tendential character, as I have outlined through James, the genealogical surges from the depths of temporal contortions across the different modalities of pad.ma and 0xDB.41 As platforms they enable a commoning of sensuous encounters along the time-based capacities of the data and the way these data generate relations across fields of experience, on- and offline, between machines or technical ensembles and the sensuous making of the perceptual subject. Thus, the platform provides what Brian Massumi terms an “‘activation contour:’ a variation in intensity of feeling over time.”42 In that sense, platforms compose a contemporaneity of collective becoming while at the same time containing traces and layers of digital objects that carry an intensity of feeling  across genealogical lines. From such a time-sensitive point of view, alternative activist and artistic experiments with platforms exceed the potential of making available and making present dear to the archival desires of many art projects. For what they do is to open up the temporal orders of the material, the processual and the social, making their intensities felt over time.

Beyond the Archive

While the archive maintains an important role in critical reflections on power relations in statist and institutional contexts, it usually undercuts the question of the temporal dynamics immanent to the materials that populate the archive in digital contexts.43 It is not just the content, its ordering, classification and re-emergence through the act of making a “lost” item relevant again, but the temporalizing forces which cocompose a present beyond perceptual encounter. A platform as process of platformization relates different processes and allows them to seek a certain degree of temporal autonomy. In the “10 Theses on the Archive” the group of authors deeply involved in pad.ma propose to disentangle the notion of the archive from institutional power imaginaries and their undoing. They propose to conceive of the archive as “a possibility of creating alliances” between humans and morethan-humans, “between time and the untimely”;44 casting this altered archive into something that will “remain radically incomplete” rather than “representational.”45 Finally, and most crucially for a platformthinking of moving images and the political work around such material, an archival impulse would allow them “to create ad-hoc networks with mobile cores and dense peripheries, to trade our master copies for a myriad of offsite backups, and to practically abandon the technically obsolete dichotomy of providers and consumers.”46 The platform-logic of a well-bounded yet distributed mode of relating takes its very processual nature as defining core: it is the movement that brings infra-structures to specific modes of encounter and expression, which make the platform a potentially more engaged mode of thinking the archive as political procedure.

I see much potential in the temporal openings of the processual    and operational of the platform-specific interlacing of temporalities.   It links with radical political practices while also including some of the more contemporary digital divergencies, which otherwise easily tip over into neoliberal logics of throughput. In an interview Luetgert and Gerber speak more about repositories and collections rather than archives.47 At the same time they explain the shift in funding structures for initiatives such as 0xDB and pad.ma. At the beginning the projects received European funding, which helped to build digital infrastructures and institutions. In more recent years funding for the projects has exclusively shifted towards the art world. This shift in funding also highlights one of the problems of late liberal inclusions into speculative markets, such as the art market. The archive, despite all its militant potentialities, was one of the art theoretical buzzwords of the 2000s and 2010s. A rather broad and deliberate deployment of the term archive is itself a hint at specific power relations and the economies of the global art market, much as the term platform might be. From this point of view, I will consider the notion of archive in the context of pad.ma and 0xDB as an umbrella term allowing communication across different fields, disciplines and practices in art, academia and activism.48

The “10 Theses” address the archive in its sensuous and affective registers. In the Theses the authors write: “To dwell in the affective potential of the archive is to think of how archives can animate intensities.”49 Animating or rather activating intensities is the relational processing of a concatenated commons, where modes of expression contract from the temporal continuum of experience. In that sense, the on- and offline potentials of platforms are extended towards the timely and untimely movements traversing servers, cables, glances, and sensuous shocks. The motion and rest immanent to the circulation of intensity make an affective relaying of archival matter a question of processing without beginning and end. This does not mean that we have to celebrate the instant or the momentarily. Rather, as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari suggest, it is a question of inhabiting the contemporary as a “resistance to the present.”50 Affect is not the here and now and intensity does not mark a peak of feeling. Similarly, the time-sensitive and genealogical aspects of 0xDB and pad.ma contain  a concatenated sense of future-past that moves across the present but is never “of” the present as a reducible instant. The contemporary always is a concatenated commons of pushing and pulling intensities of material’s temporal capacities to activate and being activated, to affect and being affected.

How does a platform become such a practical “device” to resist the present? Deleuze and Guattari refute a present that divides, orders and subjugates, a stratified present of a capitalist logic. The authors of the Theses suggest that the archive is an “apparatus which engages our experience and perception of time.”51 Rather than making perception and experience “our,” I suggest to dislodge them from the human, putting them in a submerged state of the concatenated union that is the partiality of experience marking a present through the feeling of tendencies. This differential and partial expression of a time of the present allows for the constitution and emergence of a platform and its political powers. The platform as “a scene of intervention” binds temporalities of the “contingent, ephemeral, and the unintended” that are “the challenge of the moving image as archive [and] recovery of lost time.”52 However, the experiences and perceptions which course through a human embodied relay are imbued with an affective sociality beyond the human. Such experiences are socio-technical in the literal sense, a fusion of operations of sense/making that the relational processing of a platform enables and shapes. Platforms such as pad. ma and 0xDB allow for collective experimentations with temporalities, which contribute to and shape a concatenated commons across different matters and operations. To engage in the how of commoning means to relate with the tendencies’ movement potential as processes of amplifying resonances. In that sense, the repository or collection requires tending and care, wants to be maintained and engaged, needs to be made accessible and given elbow-room for its structures to evolve. A platform is like a cephalopod, on the move,  following flows on its hunt, changing color, shape-shifting textures while being held through an entire ecology of caring and supporting material and moving relations.

Resisting the present with and through platforms such as pad.ma or 0xDB happens through the unruly operational value of the “poor image” providing this sphere with its vital powers.53 The 10 Theses, also Ravi Sundaram and Hito Steyerl attest to the proliferation of poor images and that “these mundane images attain value, not in and of themselves, but as part of a database and as information.”54 pad. ma contains manifold series of engagements with CCTV footage and draws them into small research projects, not only of interviews in control rooms but also in sticking to the redundant and residual image worlds of surveillance cameras operating in empty shops. What comes to the fore in these images is less an acknowledgment of infinite image dumps occurring across the Internet and its kinds of storage devices, but more a conception of these images as a “vast swathe of residual time.”55 The dimension of time and temporality in archives often refers to militant practices as “making present” some knowledge or historical fact that was left irrelevant by the elective engagements and setups of archives. Eric Kluitenberg opposes this linear treatment of temporality, building on the tension between Tactical Media and the “archive”:

Tactical Media, activist practices and gatherings find their vitality in moments of crisis, through the participation of the body of the protestor in them, and the affective resonance patterns they generate. The “archive” (as a system of rules governing the appearance of definite and clear statements), in its function of capturing living moments and turning them into historical events, constitutes the very opposite of this dynamic.56

The author further underlines that the former treatment of media in activist contexts pertains to a logic of the present as instantaneous and immediate, while the latter creates a temporality that is actually atemporal. Both, he argues, require a readjustment to what I would call a concatenated commons of the poor image in the case of pad.ma and 0xDB. The platforms’ image resolution never exceeds 480p, both as an infrastructural affordance (slow Internet connections) but also an aesthetics that aligns with the digital affordances of mobile media images and their circulation. In a similar vein, Ravi Sundaram points out that such a doubling of circulation and infrastructures is part and parcel of an increasingly saturated mobile media landscape of the late-colonial (he uses the term postcolonial) global South (another auxiliary term).57 Neither residual as lost time nor hyper-present, the poor image is not a remnant but appears as “liberated from the vaults of cinemas and archives and thrust into digital uncertainty, at the expense of its own substance.”58 In that sense, these poor and wretched images resist a presentist order of time, an order of the unified present while carrying manifold engagements with subjugated knowledges that come to the fore on experimental platforms such as pad.ma.

The poor image tends towards abstraction: it is a visual idea in its very becoming. Steyerl’s reflections on the digital conditions of the wretched image are important for a differential temporality at stake in 0xDB and pad.ma. She points out that the poor image becomes a moveable time-capsule that can be individually stored, edited, and circulated. As digital objects, these images and files are imbued with activation potential beyond the classic archival orders and their atemporal logic. The poor image transports a former conception of “originality” into a “transience of the copy,” which also means a transformation of single coherent time into a multiplication of temporalities. Finally, Steyerl suggests that “the networks in which poor images circulate thus constitute both a platform for a fragile new common interest and a battleground for commercial and national agendas.”59 It becomes clear that the poor image takes on a potentiality which lies in its abstraction as visual idea in its very becoming. It is a speculative device exceeding not only orders of time and place as finite but also challenging commercial refinements of processes of platformization. The poor images constitute a mode of temporal multiplicity whose circulation and openness engage a commons of potentialities rather than imagined futures. Such a differential temporality is contemporaneous, but its contemporaneity is a fragmented, heterogenous, and heterochronic assembling of sense and sensation for which platforms such as pad.ma function as activating infrastructure.

The poor image cannot be detached from its geo-political contexts and the availability of online infrastructures in less urbanized areas of the world. Sundaram draws on the artist group CAMP’s film From Gulf, to Gulf, to Gulf, which is available on Indiancine.ma (a sister platform of pad.ma). The film consists of mobile phone footage of sailors travelling on cargo ships in the Indian Ocean between Somalia, Aden, Sharjah, Iran, Pakistan, and Western India. The images shift between material processes, from the building of the ships and their loading and unloading in different ports, to vernacular practices aboard such as playing games or cooking, and they frequently depict other boats caught on fire and sinking. The images are nothing specific on their own but create a consistency in the way they are assembled and brought into resonance. The circulation of the poor image becomes also a critique, as Sundaram points out, of dominant forms of logistical value extraction of the high-end and high-speed logics of contemporary media. This brings us back to the activist roots of platform logics as means of organizing along the operational capacities of technological and social potentials in becoming together. Sundaram writes:

These expanding media infrastructures have formed a dynamic loop between fragile postcolonial sovereignties and informal economies of circulation. Indifferent to property regimes that come with upscale technological culture, subaltern populations mobilize low-cost and mobile technologies to create horizontal networks that bypass state and corporate power. Simultaneously, we witness the expansion of informal networks of commodification and spatial transformation. This loop shapes much of contemporary media circulation, where medial objects move in and out of infrastructures and attach themselves to new platforms of political-aesthetic action, while also being drawn to or departing from the spectacular time of media events.60

Against the spectacular time of media events, the poor images as shared, relayed, annotated, or reused through 0xDB and pad.ma foreground the temporal creating of concatenated commons in and  through the differential rhythms which resist immediate value extraction and capture in late liberal economies colonizing the senses. The timeline logic at the heart of pad.ma and 0xDB functions as the key operation for different rhythms of sensing and making to intersect.    As outlined throughout, the poor image is actually bearing potential because of its agility and fractured nature. It affords habits of cinematic perception trained by high quality experience to contend with low-resolution worlds of color patches, fuzzy light influxes and out   of focus elements populating the screen. As a temporal lure, the poor image not only accelerates because its processing cost is low, but also creates new ways of valorizing the image as tied to a time beyond spectacle or the celebration of the vernacular, which receives much appraisal both in ethnographic and documentary film as well as voyeuristic reality TV shows. The poor image is the conductor of a commoning process where the concatenations of experience meld into temporalities underneath the capitalist structuring of time, which populate both spheres: the visible and sensible distribution through media platforms and the algorithmic foreclosure of sorting date leading to predetermined effects.


Premises of Lost Time— Rhythms of an Operational Aesthetics

In an interview as part of the research project Creating Commons, Luetgert and Gerber describe the engagement with the platform 0xDB as creating a certain rhythm that differs decisively from the mode of consuming a movie. The timeline logic of the platform foregrounds what I call an operational aesthetics. Such an aesthetics takes account of the open API structure of Pan.do/ra as much as it includes the different ways of “perceiving” a film as digital object. Such digital objects, the way I have developed through the analysis of pad.ma and 0xDB, not only interlaces data and metadata but also opens up the audio-visual continuity of the film towards a multiplication of temporalities that occur when frames receive a unique URL and can be cross-linked    or cut together with different materials, or when commentary on pad.ma provides vital information about the actual situation of a violent scene of protest. The forensic character of such tools foregrounds the procedural nature of a polyphonous truth that bears continuously shifting engagements with the real. This operationality moves through experience; it co-composes experience with the material, spatio-temporal and potential realms of a concatenated commons. In pad.ma and 0xDB timelines allow for both specific modes of representation, visualization and expression while at the same time taking account of the operational nature of the poor images these platforms harbor. These timelines are the operational core of 0xDB and pad.ma: contracting and concatenating temporalities in the actual experience of working with the platform, they define the operation logic of the  platforms.

Operations and operational logic are rather counterintuitive terms when it comes to media practices of resistance or “protest software.” Brian Massumi defines an operative logic tied to a politics of perception as “forces for change.”61 These forces are not merely present or confined actants—they belong less to a logic of agency, susceptible to subsumption under the extractive rhythms of late liberalism. The operative logic has transtemporal capacities of modulating a specific engagement of forces over time. Massumi’s writings primarily analyze military strategies of the twenty-first century and how they bank on the active modulation of the entanglements of “time, perception, action, and decision.”62 In the context of alternative video platforms, I want to shift the term operations towards a temporal practice of commoning.

An operative logic hints at the envelopment of abstract relations into the actual fabrication of the real as concatenated in the present—as experience. This complex contraction, as I have argued throughout, refers to temporal layers and relations intersecting beyond any pregiven stasis or essence. In other word, it concerns the relational aesthetic process of feeling tendencies along their composition of experience. The real, or what comes to materialize in perception, is never only what is felt in the here and now. It includes many  dimensions of prior and future experience which are not merely ordered into discrete elements or moments, but which co-compose a present as concatenated. Foregrounding the concatenation of the present through perception can become one of the key potentials of alternative media platforms such as pad.ma and 0xDB. The operational aesthetic that is both—part of the programmed and coded structure, as much as the confluence of material, embodied, perceptual and conceptual infrastructures of sense/making—bear the power of resisting late liberal modes of extracting from experience and its assumed data.

The operative logic of platforms is their very capacity of contracting specific data and their different informational layers as relays of activation of sense. The platform nature is operational since it combines a specific logic of relating openly, in the case of 0xDB and pad. ma, through the temporal reconfiguration of data. In their different  take on the space and time of cinema these platforms “lay down rhythms” as Deleuze writes: “One never commences; one never has    a tabula rasa; one slips in, enters in the middle; one takes up or lays down rhythms.”63 This is a pragmatic and operational understanding beyond the infrastructural giveness of matter and its constraints, or  the user adapting to these constraints or bending them. In their openness the analyzed platforms offer a temporal account of operative logics which interlace the fabrication of the present through a platformative operational logic. Such an operation is not merely emancipatory, but also part and parcel of the temporalizing politics of commercial social media and their algorithmic hunger for surplus extraction. For   a creative engagement with an operational aesthetics, one has to take account of the temporal power of platformization that banks on the open structure of the poor image capable of fostering new perceptual encounters. These encounters are concatenated temporalities that can be felt collectively through the rhythms they  produce.

The operational aesthetic power of the poor image and its capacity for accreting temporalities resides in seeding rhythms capable of suspending capitalist refrains. These rhythms are operative in the way  that they allow for abstraction to actually inhabit the making of the real, inserting a modulation of sense, while actually not having to concretize in a finite object—a “visual idea” in Steyerl’s words.  The operative logic of the poor image is informative of a “becoming of  continuity,” as a felt potentiality.64 Such a felt potentiality becomes affectively contagious; it moves between database, the digital object, metadata, timelines and the perceiving body/mind engaging with the video platform. The formation of a continuity through becoming is the processing of heterogeneous elements into a conjunction which makes the present a potential common ground in   experience.

pad.ma and 0xDB not only provide the potential of people collaborating through the possible features and functions, but they engage operative logics as relational aesthetic activations, capable of creating time relays of a commons. It is here, where the concept of protest software becomes a relational operation, that reconfigures the means of engagement with aesthetic material, such as film and video. These shifts occur through concrete operational elements of software and the fabrication of a space, the web-interface, which allows the composition of new concatenations of the present. Concatenated commons interlace the operational capacities of a platform with the sensuous dimension of an affective engagement with the digital objects made available through the database. The archive as platform is not only dynamic or open, but it comprises operational values and potential rhythms as integral to its vault.

In a short text Stefano Harney refers to Frantz Fanon’s final passage of The Wretched of the Earth, where Fanon raises the question of rhythm in relation to colonization and capitalism. Developing a conception of the assembly line, “a line cut loose,” that exceeds the boundaries of the factory, Harney argues for an operational understanding of modes of subjectivation in late liberal capitalism.65 In this operational account the main target is not the human subject anymore but rather logistical processes. The principle Harney draws on refers to “operations management” as the key conduit of a logistical mode of value generated by movement and “throughput” rather than finite products. Following a kaizen-principle, processes take precedence over products and human embodiments are mobilized to   “channel affect towards new connections” where the worker “operates like a synapse, sparking new lines of assembly in life.”66 I want to emphasize how an operative logic can take different forms, similar to the way Steyerl and Sundaram depict the poor image. The question for a politics for concatenated commons has to activate modes of encounter with the operational aesthetics as potentials for sensing and feeling transindividually. The rhythm that “breaks” and “kills” can be transformed into very different rhythmic assemblages, opening up both ways of engaging with potential and concrete modes of expressing it.67 Sundaram depicts such an operational aesthetic shift when he writes that in digital platforms such as pad.ma the signal has replaced “the abstract labor/money, dis-embedding the ‘mass’ in the process of circulation.” This signaletic shift links to “media that has become the infrastructural condition of living” in “affect-driven post-colonial media modernity,” creating “new forms of unauthorized publicity.”68 Sundaram explicitly emphasizes the different platformization processes which revolve around the circulation, but also storage and archiving of poor images imbued with minor gestures, vernacular practices and different modes of political struggle. pad.ma and the example of From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf are both infrastructures of sensemaking and commoning. Such commoning depends on the temporal activations immanent to the poor image. As Steyerl writes, “the circulation of poor images feeds into both capitalist media assembly lines and alternative audiovisual economies. In addition to a lot of confusion and stupefication, it also possibly creates disruptive movements of thought and affect.”69

The assembly line reverberates throughout the logistical and operational logic of late liberal capitalism. However, the assembly line is but one model of a timeline; it preempts continuity rather than embracing the becoming of continuity. The deep engagement with polyrhythmic timelines at the heart of pad.ma and 0xDB actually exposes the temporal poverty of capitalist temporality while offering veritable alternative proliferations of time-sensitive commoning. For Harney, the assembly line is detached from the factory, cut loose, to implement   a temporal order of its own, beyond the confinements of specific spaces of production and reproduction. In other words, the assembly line has become fully operational. The social factory becomes a processual operation through and through, in which material infrastructures, bodies and series of interrelated acts are temporarily patched together, always adaptable to more throughput and operation value. These operations are the operations that the dark side of capitalist platformization banks on—as an extensive line that mobilizes activity. In that sense, experience, the actual emergent quality enabling modes of existence to compound and constitute embodied expressions, is the territory on which the new modes of operationalized platformlogics dream their appropriative nightmares. Harney points out that from the plantation to late liberal capitalism, the line of improvements of processes has been extended to and implemented in all domains of organic and inorganic life. With this polyphonic yet universalizing rhythm, however, other rhythms and lines co-evolve. These are the lines of “arrhythmia”; of a different operationality beyond the capitalist platforms of throughput and improvement and their capture of the sensuous and sense-making.

An affective account of experience as pre-personal, relational, and building on tendencies, allows the sphere where an affective politics is most needed to be addressed. Resisting the operational managerial lust for surplus, and its subjugating and oppressive modes of appropriating life way beyond the human scope, means to engage at the level of relational formation of expression. It is here where I conceive of the arrhythmic potential of the poor image and of platforms such as 0xDB and pad.ma as potential platforms of critique. The critique that these platforms expose acts on the synaptic and sensuous, affective but also infrastructural and operational level. The general operationality which platform logics express is here turned into a counterpower along the relational aesthetic capacities of the poor image: “The poor image is no longer about the real thing—the originary original. Instead, it is about its own real conditions of existence: about swarm circulation, digital dispersion, fractured and flexible temporalities. It is about defiance and appropriation just as it is about conformism and exploitation. In short: it is about reality.”70


How is such a reality of the poor image in an “affect-driven postcolonial media modernity” capable of seeding arrhythmia as a counterpower to capitalist capture of late liberal platformization? The aesthetic question is less how to bring something into a specific form, but rather pertains to an aesthetics of operational rhythmicality resonating across relations and their varying tendencies. Such an operational aesthetics concerns the manner of concatenating that shapes the fabrication of a commons in reality. Operational aesthetics engage bodily capacities of sensing, but extend these capacities into an ecological situatedness that is material, processual and transtemporal. pad.ma’s platformatized staging of From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf not only allows the user to engage with an image world produced on the move, but  moves the way perception is usually conceived. It creates a different optics that exceeds the realm of the visible, through a layering of data sets and their proliferation from geolocation, to commentary, to crossreferencing specific frames. The images themselves present a sense of contemporary forms of logistics and circulation of goods which actually intersects with the circulation and distribution of images, minor gestures of feeling, globalized processes of labor, and how they might resist the infinite capture of throughput while nurturing other becomings of continuity. Alternative platforms as open structures for sense/ making engage the temporal fabric of the present as a polyrhythmic relaying of affects. Experimenting with these times-sensitive operations through the counterpowers of the poor image might lead to further amplificatory resonances of situated practices of resistance and struggle, a veritable “creating commons” through the concatenations  of an operational aesthetics.

A slightly different version of this text first appeared in Aesthetics of the Commons,
ed. by Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stadler and Shusha Niederberger, Zurich/Berlin: diaphanes, 2021, p. 241-269.



Christoph Brunner (he) is assistant professor in Cultural Theory at Leuphana University Luneburg. In his research he deals with media aesthetics in artistic and activist practices. In doing so he draws on theories of affect, decoloniality, and critical theories of subjectivity. Since 2016 he directs the ArchipelagoLab for Transversal Practices and has been the PI of the DFG-research Network “Other Knowledges in Artistic Research and Aesthetic Theory.” He is currently working on a manuscript entitled Activist Sense: On the Politics of Aesthetics of Experience and has been commissioned to write a critical Introduction to Cultural Theory. His writings have appeared in AI & Society, Conjunctions, Third Text, transversal and Inflexions amongst others.


1 See oxdb.org and pad.ma.org (All URLs in this text have been last accessed October 20, 2020)
2 https://0xdb.org/0373960/info
3 https://pad.ma/grid/title/fwd&project==Fwd:_Re:_Archive
4 Amit Rai, “Here We Accrete Durations: Toward a Practice of Intervals in the Perceptual Mode of Power,” in Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death, ed. Patricia Ticineto Clough and Craig Willse (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2011), pp. 307–331.
5 https://pad.ma/grid/date/cctv_social&project==CCTV_Social
6William James, Essays in Radical Empiricism (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), p. 4.
7 Ibid., pp. 107–108 (emphasis in the original).
8 Ibid., p. 42 (emphasis in the original).
9 Ibid., p. 145.
10 Ibid., p. 161 (emphasis in the original).
11 Ibid., p. 69.
12 Ibid (emphasis in the original).
13 Gilles Deleuze, Spinoza, Practical Philosophy (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1988), p. 124 (my emphasis).
14 Ibid.
15 William James, The Principles of Psychology (New York: H. Holt and Company, 1893), p. 609.
16 Pirate Cinema Berlin, “10 Years of 0xDB,’ https://pad.ma/documents/AJY/100
17 Pirate Cinema Berlin, “10 Years of 0xDB.”
18 Lawrence Liang, “The Dominant, the Residual and the Emergent in Archival Imagination,” in Autonomous Archiving, ed. Artikis¸ler Collective (Barcelona: dpr-barcelona, 2016), p. 106.
19 Pirate Cinema Berlin, “10 Years of 0xDB.”
20 Adrian Mackenzie, “From API to AI: Platforms and Their Opacities,” Information, Communication & Society 22, no. 13 (November 10, 2019): pp. 1-18, https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1476569
21 Ibid., p. 1.
22 Anne Helmond, “The Platformization of the Web: Making Web Data Platform Ready,” Social Media + Society 1, no. 2 (September 22, 2015): 205630511560308, https://doi.org/ 10.1177/2056305115603080
23 Mackenzie, “API to AI,” pp. 3–4.
24 Nick Couldry and Ulises Ali Mejias, The Costs of Connection: How Data Is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism, Culture and Economic Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2019), pp. 88–108.
25 Mackenzie, “API to AI,” p. 6.
26 Ibid.
27 Jean-Christophe Plantin et al., “Infrastructure Studies Meet Platform Studies in the Age of Google and Facebook,” New Media & Society 20, no. 1 (January 2018): pp. 293–310, https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444816661553. It is worth mentioning the filmmaker Harun Farocki and his conception of the “operational image,” which shares some of the techno- social aspects of an operational aesthetics.
28 Lauren Berlant, “The commons: Infrastructures for troubling times,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 34, no. 3 (June 2016): pp. 393–419, https://doi.org/ 10.1177/0263775816645989, here p. 393.
29 Ibid., p. 394.
30 Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory, Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
31 Ned Rossiter, Software, Infrastructure, Labor: A Media Theory of Logistical Nightmares (New York: Routledge, 2016).
32 On operations, see Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, The Politics of Operations: Excavating Contemporary Capitalism (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2019). On the materiality of infrastructures, see Nicole Starosielski, The Undersea Network, Sign, Storage, Transmission (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2015). On proprietary powers and infrastructures, see several contributions in Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski, eds., Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures, The Geopolitics of Information (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015).
33 Anja Kanngieser, Brett Neilson, and Ned Rossiter, “What is a Research Platform? Mapping Methods, Mobilities and Subjectivities,” Media, Culture & Society 36, no. 3 (April 2014): pp. 302–318, here p. 305, https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443714521089
34 Ibid.
35 Ibid., p. 306.
36 Ibid.; Olga Goriunova, Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet (New York and London: Routledge, 2012). See also this volume.
37 Kanngieser et al., “What is a Research Platform?,” p. 312.
38 Hito Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image,” e-flux 10 (November 2009), https://www. e-flux.com/journal/10/61362/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/
39 Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” Feminist Studies 14, no. 3 (1988): pp. 575–599, here p. 583, https://doi.org/10.2307/3178066
40 Macarena Gómez-Barris, The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives, Dissident Acts (Durham NC and London: Duke University Press, 2017).
41 On partiality, see Marilyn Strathern, Partial Connections, updated edition, ASAO Special Publications 3 (Walnut Creek, Lanham, New York, Toronto and Oxford: AltaMira Press, 2004).
42 Rai, “Here We Accrete Durations,” p. 309.
43 On digital memory and temporality, see Wolfgang Ernst and Jussi Parikka, Digital Memory and the Archive, Electronic Mediations, vol. 39 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), pp. 95–101.
44 Lawrence Liang, Sebastian Luetgert and Ashok Sukumaran, “10 Theses on the Archive,” (text co-authored during the ‘Don’t wait for the Archive – I’ workshop, Homeworks, Beirut, April 2010), https://pad.ma/documents/OH
45 Ibid.
46 Ibid.
47 See http://creatingcommons.zhdk.ch/expanding-cinema/ and https://pad.ma/documents/ OH
48 On the archive in relation to artistic research practices, see Christoph Brunner and Michael Hiltbrunner, “Anarchive künstlerischer Forschung. Vom Umgang mit Archiven experimenteller und forschender Kunst,” Archivalische Zeitschrift 95, no. 1 (May 2017): pp.175–190, https://doi.org/10.7788/az-2017-950110
49 Liang et al., “10 Theses on the Archive.”
50 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What Is Philosophy? (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014), p. 108.
51 Liang et al., “10 Theses on the Archive.”
52 Ibid.
53 Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image.”
54 Liang, “The Dominant, the Residual and the Emergent in Archival Imagination,” p. 103.
55 Ibid.
56 Eric Kluitenberg, “Commons and Digging Tunnels,” in Autonomous Archiving, ed. Artikişler Collective (Barcelona: dpr-barcelona, 2016), pp. 153–154
57 Ravi Sundaram, “Post-Postcolonial Sensory Infrastructure,” e-flux 64 (April 2015), https:// www.e-flux.com/journal/64/60858/post-postcolonial-sensory-infrastructure/
58 Ibid.
59 Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image” (my emphasis).
60 Sundaram, “Post-Postcolonial Sensory Infrastructure” (my emphasis).
61 Brian Massumi, Ontopower: War, Powers, and the State of Perception (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2015), p. ix.
62 Ibid., p. vii.
63 Deleuze, Spinoza, p. 123.
64 Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology: Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh during the Session 1927–28 (New York: Free Press, 1987), p. 35.
65 Stefano Harney, “Hapticality in the Undercommons,” in The Routledge Companion to Art and Politics, ed. Randy Martin (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), p. 173.
66 Ibid., p. 176.
67 Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 2004), p. 238.
68 Sundaram, “Post-Postcolonial Sensory Infrastructure.”
69 Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image” (my emphasis).
70 Steyerl, “In Defense of the Poor Image.”

Go back

Issue 54

documenta fifteen—Aspects of Commoning in Curatorial and Artistic Practices

by Ronald Kolb and Dorothee Richter

by Unchalee Anantawat, Ariane Sutthavong, Lara van Meeteren, Bart Wissink

by Anna L. Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena and Feifei Zhou

In Conversation with Anastasia Baka, Leilani Lynch, and Anna Wälli

in Conversation with Leilani Lynch and Maria Mumtaz

in Conversation with Sophie Brunner, Marinella-Sofia Gkinko, and Maria Mumtaz

in Conversation with Rosela del Bosque, Olena Iegorova and Veronica Mari

Hajnalka Somogyi, Eszter Lázár, Nikolett Eross, Katalin Székely, Bori Szalai, and Eszter Szakács in Conversation with Anna Konstantinova and Giulia Busetti

in Conversation with Smadar Samson and Giulia Busetti

An Interview with Morten Goll, Trampoline House in Conversation with Nadine Bajek, Thamy Matarozzi, Alejandra Monteverde, and Anna Wälli

In Conversation with Chiara Borgonovo, Rosela del Bosque, Marina Donina, and Lotte Van Ermengem

In Conversation with Marina Donina and Regina Tetens