Quotes from things I'm reading online, more or less in real time. Started in 2023. Quotes from readings 2021-22 can be found in this Google doc

Reading Notes 2023

March 2023

Kenny Schachter, “Kenny Schachter Pays a Mind-Bending Visit to Beeple’s New High-Tech Art Compound (Getting in Plenty of Trouble Along the Way)”, in Artnet News, March 14, 2023

“There were nearly as many private planes in the local airport as at any given Basel fair.”

Shumon Basar, “The Magic Kingdom. How not to think about Dubai”, in Bidoun, Issue 11: Failure, Summer 2007

“To be a critic today is to regret the exportation of ideas you have failed to confront on your own beat.”

“Dubai operates as one of these Zeitgeist mirror-surfaces for the West... For the neoliberal Right, Dubai is a phantasmagoric setting crafted in the perfect image of unbridled market capitalism (minus the democracy). For the political Left, Dubai may be just a grotesque reflection of the West’s worst endgames, manifest as that evil paradise.”

“Copies and imitations are not abstract ciphers but productions of reality in their own right. (A fake Gucci handbag is still a real handbag.) And with each imitation and recreation, the status of the so-called “original” alters.”

“In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein’s biggest disappointment was that his creation didn’t love him. His biggest regret was setting the precedent in the first place.”

​R.H. Lossin, “Refik Anadol’s “Unsupervised””, in e-flux Criticism, March 14, 2023

“It is widely accepted that propaganda makes for bad art. But propaganda is not always an Uncle Sam poster. Sometimes it is a towering, spectacular argument for the supremacy of the machine; an exercise in post-industrial American triumphalism, surveillance technology, and repressive deep-state R&D disguised as visually appealing, non-referential images.”

“commissions from museums and commercial galleries will surely continue until the next person with adequate funding comes up with a prettier alibi for testing and refining the empire’s technologies of violence and domination on cultural consumers.”

“the most boring dreams ever”

“tech boosterism at its best”

““Unsupervised” is a program for the surveillance and colonization of collective space and the expropriation and control of forms of human creativity and production by companies that cannot be practically disentangled from the military. This is hard to discern through its fun, candy-colored spectacle, and this makes it, like Abstract Expressionism before it, all the more effective.”

“In 2022 the William S. Paley Foundation... sold a $70 million collection of paintings that had been housed by MoMA in order to fund the museum’s digital initiatives. From a certain perspective, trading Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso in for some NFTs is offensive on its face.”

“It is the cultural work that the spectacular AI is doing to normalize surveillance systems, to turn environmentally devastating computation into something pleasing and even soothing, and to actively participate in the refinement of technologies that can and certainly will be used by the military that is the problem.”

Kyle Chayka, “The Uncanny Failures of A.I.-Generated Hands”, in The New Yorker, March 10, 2023

“The machine’s failure is comforting, in a way. Hands are a symbol of humanity, “a direct correspondence between imagination and execution,” as Patti Smith recently wrote. As long as we are the only ones who understand them, perhaps our computers won’t wholly supplant us. The strange contortions of A.I. hands make me feel a sense of anticipatory nostalgia, for a future when the technology inevitably improves and we will look back on such flaws as a kitschy relic of the “early A.I.” era, the way grainy digital-camera photos are redolent of the two-thousands.”

“Like any struggling art student, A.I. tools will benefit from more training. “There’s a point when the structure and the contour come together for a student,” Soucie said. “That’s usually, like, the second year of college.””

Hana Kiros, “VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence”, in MIT Technology Review, August 6, 2022

“Psychedelics are a class of drugs unified by their ability to alter sensory perception and change the way we process information. Clinical trials incorporating these drugs, which have resurged after being shuttered in the 1970s, have demonstrated that psychedelic-assisted therapy is remarkably good at alleviating symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression, which have standard treatments that fail many.”

“Self-transcendent experiences exist on a spectrum. Getting lost in a great book could be considered a weak one; the ego death that high doses of psychedelics can induce is on the opposite end... What marks a self-transcendent experience is the dissolution of our typical self-definition as a discrete individual, separate from other people and the environment.”

“What happens in VR is that sense of completely forgetting about the existence of the external world... So there is definitely similarity there to this sense of experiencing an alternate reality under psychedelics that feels more real than what’s actually out there.” Agnieszka Sekula

“Jacob Aday, a psychiatry researcher at the University of California, San Francisco... thinks VR likely can downregulate the default mode network — a brain network that’s active when our thoughts aren’t directed at a specific task, and which psychedelics can suppress (scientists theorize that this is what causes ego death).”

Gita Jackson, “How a social network falls apart”, in The Verge, March 9, 2023

“In all of these cases — LiveJournal, Tumblr, Twitter, and even Something Awful — it’s the users who ultimately decide if the sites are viable. We are all just following a horde of posters as they find new places to post, looking for the places where posting feels safest and most plentiful. Twitter is already beginning its sad half-life as advertisers leave the platform and people look for the thing that will replace it, a problem that threatened Musk so much that he briefly banned links to competing social media platforms before reversing course. He knows as well as I do that a site doesn’t have to go offline to be dead.”

Mario Klingemann, “Latent Talent”, in Desk, March 13, 2023

“there are as many different latent spaces as there are models and neural architectures, nevertheless they share properties, behaviours and rules that allow us to apply the knowledge and techniques we learned in one space in any subsequent one we encounter later.”

"The way in which models create a latent space is by trying to arrange everything they learn in a configuration that makes it the most probable and efficient in that, when queried about it later, they will give a most likely correct answer. And the most efficient arrangement to find something again is to put things closer together that share features —like in a library where you do not expect to look for poetry in the natural history shelf.”

"To me the most exciting aspect of working with latent spaces is that we are approaching the point where all kinds of media are being “understood” by these models and, just like in our brains, we will be able to freely move between different media and different modes of expression within a continuous fluid space in a form of synesthesia where a song can be transformed into a visual, that visual can be translated into a poem and the poem might turn into another song. Which means that learning to understand and play latent spaces will become one of the most versatile talents one can acquire.”

Boris Groys, “Alexandre Kojève: Production of the Spirit”, in e-flux Journal, Issue #134, March 2023

“it is by work, and only by work, that man realizes himself objectively as man. Only after producing an artificial object is man himself really and objectively more than and different from a natural being … Therefore, it is only by work that man is a supernatural being that is conscious of its reality” Alexandre Kojève

“Under the conditions of modernity, this spiritualized dimension of the working class manifests itself as art. Art demonstrates that the utilitarian function of every kind of work, including industrial work, is merely accidental. The essential function of work is the production of the ascetic, spiritualized bodies of the working class.”

“A museum consisting exclusively of sheets covered in different uniform colors would be, without a doubt, a museum of paintings: and each of these paintings would be beautiful—and even absolutely beautiful—independent of whether or not it was “pretty,” which is to say, “pleasing” to some and “displeasing” to others, would be beautiful—and even absolutely beautiful.” Alexandre Kojève

Terry Nguyen, “The future of search”, in Dirt, March 3, 2023

“Google results don’t feel authentic, or even written by a real human because the top articles are all in this keyword-loaded language,” said Dmitri Brereton, an engineer who researches search engines and AI. “Social media, especially TikTok, solves that authenticity problem because some experiential things are just better seen. It can’t get more authentic than a video of a person dining at a restaurant.”

“In 2021, TikTok overtook Google’s 15-year reign as the world’s most popular web domain, according to data from CloudShare. Recent data from Morning Consult also found that Gen Z-aged adults are less likely to use Google search to investigate major news events, compared to older users. Instead, more are turning to TikTok.”

“Algorithmic oppression is no accident; it’s fundamental to how the internet operates.”

"This is perhaps another reason why users are compelled to search on TikTok. Their For You page makes them “feel seen” before they input a query. They are more likely to be met with a sympathetic human face, rather than a keyword-laden post. There is comfort in curated, anecdotal advice; it feels like a friend talking from experience. The response is always intimate and almost always interesting, even if it’s not clinical or factual.”

Kate Brown, “Hito Steyerl on Why NFTs and A.I. Image Generators Are Really Just ‘Onboarding Tools’ for Tech Conglomerates”, in Artnet News, March 10, 2023

“[...] the DALL-E aesthetic or certain types of StyleGAN aesthetics, which were very much used—in the case of DALL-E to the point of nausea. I think that’s a style that’s already foreclosed to artists almost because it’s just absolutely overused.”

“In 2021, we had NFTs. In 2022, we have statistical renderings. [These companies] onboard people into new technological environments; with NFTs, people learned how to use crypto wallets, ledgers, and metamasks, and learn all this jargon. With the renderings, we have basically the same phenomenon. They are onboarding tools into these huge cloud infrastructures that companies like Microsoft are now rolling out, backed by these large-scale computing facilities like Azure, for example. Companies try to establish some kind of quasi-monopoly over these services and try to draft people to basically buy into their services or become dependent on them. That’s the stage we’re at. The renderings are basically the sprinklings over the cake of technological dependency.”

“these renderings do not relate to reality. They relate to the totality of crap online. So that’s basically their field of reference, right? Just scrape everything online and that’s your new reality. And that’s the field of reference for these statistical renderings.”

Adam Gopnik, “What Can A.I. Art Teach Us About the Real Thing?”, in The New Yorker, March 1, 2023

“The range and ease of pictorial invention offered by A.I. image generation is startling; the question, though, is whether its arrival is merely recreational or actually revolutionary. Is it like the invention of the electric light bulb or like the coming of the lava lamp?”

“the power of images lies less in their arguments than in their ambiguities. That’s why the images that DALL-E 2 makes are far more interesting than the texts that A.I. chatbots make. To be persuasive, a text demands a point; in contrast, looking at pictures, we can be fascinated by atmospheres and uncertainties.”

Jerry Saltz, “MoMA’s Glorified Lava Lamp Refik Anadol’s Unsupervised is a crowd-pleasing, like-generating mediocrity”, in Vulture, February 22, 2023

“some cross between relaxation exercise and euphoric TED Talk and NSA levels of data mining

“a narcotic pudding”

“pointless museum mediocrity”

“a digital version of the dead-on-arrival Zombie Formalism of the 2010s”

“Unsupervised has the virtue of not disturbing anything inside you; it triggers no mystery. With all due respect to Kuo, it has neither dreams nor hallucinations and takes away art’s otherness. In this hypercontrolled, antiseptic setting, art and doubt maintain separate bedrooms. It’s like looking at a half-million-dollar screensaver.”

“Thanks to social media and the dictates of the market, high art and mass entertainment have never been so intertwined.”

“Anadol wants to create “poetic algorithms for new meditative experiences in the metaverse.” He should work at Facebook.”

“easily digestible digital merriments”

“If AI is to create meaningful art, it will have to provide its own vision and vocabulary, its own sense of space, color, and form. Things Unsupervised lacks.”

Lloyd Wise, “Refik Anadol”, in Artforum, March 2023

“MoMA’s prominent display of an artist such as Anadol, who arrives from a context different from the so-called art world, is surely a shock. Yet perhaps it is precisely those qualities that make the work seem so alien—its inexpressivity, its entanglement with “tech”—that bring it most in line with the historical tradition to which the museum is devoted.”

Jo Lawson-Tancred, “The Prophecies of AARON”, in Outland, November 4, 2022

“These hand-coded programs were not AI in the sense that we understand today, in which a machine is able to learn from vast troves of data thanks to powerful neural networks. Their “expert systems” would instead store the knowledge of a human expert reformatted into a complex set of rules intended to simulate human decision-making... With new iterations of the program he added more sophisticated features, eventually creating a feedback loop that utilized archival memory so that past actions could be recalled to inform future actions according to specific instructions, such as never to cross two lines.”

“If Cohen ended up just automating the stylistic quirks specific to his own practice, this was probably inevitable given the inherent limitations of an “expert system” that can follow instructions but is unable to grasp concepts on its own in the way that AI can today. Teaching a knowledge-based machine to make decisions of any complexity is an arduous task that for Cohen was the work of a lifetime, including the years spent developing his own artistic expertise. Whether convincingly autonomous or not, AARON was ultimately a proof of concept rather than a useful device to either challenge or assist the artist.”

Ben Davis, “We Asked ChatGPT About Art Theory. It Led Us Down a Rabbit Hole So Perplexing We Had to Ask Hal Foster for a Reality Check”, in Artnet News, March 2, 2023

”The glitch seems to be a linear consequence of the fact that so-called Large-Language Models are about predicting what sounds right, based on its huge data sets. As a commenter put it in an already-months-old post about the fake citations problem: “It’s a language model, and not a knowledge model.””

Dorian Batycka, “The Crypto Community Has Gone Nuts for Bitcoin NFTs. Here’s How the New Niche Collectibles Are Building Buzz and Value”, in Artnet News, February 28, 2023

“Like NFTs, which are typically linked to the Ethereum network, Ordinal Inscriptions are digital assets that are inscribed on a satoshi, which is the smallest denomination of Bitcoin. But unlike NFTs, which can be purchased via platforms like OpenSea and Nifty Gateway, Ordinals are bought and sold on Telegram and Discord channels, as marketplaces or even dedicated wallets for Bitcoin Ordinals have yet to take off.”

“Like any niche collectible, including art, the market that develops around Ordinals is only as big as the bags of those willing to purchase it. But Bitcoin, with a current market cap of $449.21 billion, is by far the world’s largest cryptocurrency, far outstripping the $199.70 billion cap of Ethereum. As it is, the momentum of Ordinals has yet to falter...”

Kyle Chayka, “Generative AI and the death of the artist”, in Kyle Chayka Industries, February 26, 2023

“when generative AI tools promise the ability for anyone to make “art,” then the definition of artist is going to radically change. We can’t define an artist as someone who is skilled enough to produce a unique thing on their own — the kind of hard-won skill that takes years or decades to personally develop, on top of a natural gift. AI generators suck up that human talent and creativity (in the form of images, sound, and data), turning it into grist for the mill of technology that entrepreneurs and investors are positioning as the next great innovation.”

"With generative AI, the artist becomes a template, a brand-name, a signifier of some specific style.”

“I don’t care if people enjoy AI-generated culture. It might be a fun solo game to play. Yet I worry about its consequences, the way it suggests we overlook where the data that the tools run on came from and the people who made it. The Surrealists used the word “automatic” to describe art or writing that came directly from the personal subconscious, unmediated. This new kind of automatic culture instead avoids messy, interesting humanity entirely.”

Brian Droitcour, “The Marketplace of Ideas”, in Outland, March 4, 2023

“A dealer showing at Art Dubai Digital for the second consecutive year told me the quality of the audience got worse. In 2022 people came to buy. Now visitors gawk and ask what NFTs are, how digital art is sold, what collectors do with it. Blame it on the bear market, but the structure of Art Dubai Digital seems designed to welcome this type of visitor. About a third of the exhibitors aren’t there to sell.”

Lee Carter, “What I Buy and Why: Digital Collectors Pablo Rodríguez-Fraile and Desiree Casoni on the State of NFT Art and Their Own Tokenized Acquisitions”, in Artnet News, March 6, 2023

“I do not envision ever parting with the collection other than as a donation to a major institution.”

February 2023

Jussi Parikka, “Operational Images: Between Light and Data”, in e-flux Journal, Issue #133, February 2023

“These changes we tend to associate with the digital turn, but operational images just remind us that moving as well as still images have many histories, not all of which pass through the cinema or belong to art history. Digital images may merely have made these parallel histories more palpably present, but operational images, as Farocki clearly saw, have always been part of the visual culture that surrounds us.” Thomas Elsaesser

Brian L. Frye, “After Copyright: Pwning NFTs in a Clout Economy”, 45 COLUM. J.L. & ARTSb 341, 2022

“some scholars believe copyright is also—or even primarily—justified by authors’ rights to control the use of their works. They’re wrong... Copyright protects commercial speech, because it protects the ability of copyright owners to claim revenue associated with the works they own. In other words, copyright is about profit, and expressive uses of copyrighted works are protected by the fair use doctrine. At least in theory.” (p. 343)

“Demand for some works is high, but for most, it’s nonexistent. In practice, copyright is a lottery, in which a few lucky authors create works everyone loves and hit the jackpot, but the rest get nothing. And because copyright protects all works in the same way and for the same amount of time, it limits access to many unpopular works.” (pp. 344-345)

“technology has eliminated many of the market failures copyright was supposed to solve. Until recently, reproducing, distributing, and exhibiting works was costly. But the Internet made it free to reproduce, distribute, and exhibit digital works. Suddenly, copyright went from a tool for solving market failures to a pure transaction cost. The Internet promises abundance, but copyright ensures artificial scarcity persists.” (p. 345)

“The art market doesn’t value authenticity per se. Rather, authenticity is a proxy. The art market values ownership. More specifically, it values the appearance of ownership. Even more specifically, it values the clout that accompanies ownership. Of course, art collectors value art for its own sake. Who doesn’t? But art isn’t scarce. Vast quantities are available for next to nothing. Only desirable art is scarce. Which is to say, only art with clout is scarce. When you buy a work of art, what you’re really buying is a spot on an artist’s catalogue raisonné. Of course, it’s usually accompanied by a dirty canvas or lumpy rock that signifies ownership. But it’s the spot on the catalogue raisonné that makes the art valuable, not the dirty canvas or the lumpy rock... In other words, the art market was always essentially an NFT market.” (p. 348)

“When you buy an NFT, you don’t buy the right to control the use of a work of authorship. You buy the right to be the owner, and the clout associated with that ownership. And when you sell the work, you sell the clout. Nothing else matters. People can use the work however they like, without affecting your ownership. Or rather, by using the work without your permission, they only prove your ownership. And by talking about the work, they only prove its value. After all, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about, and that is doubly true when it comes to clout.” (p. 349)

Sarah Cascone, “‘This Is a New Renaissance:’ Why the Pseudonymous Digital Art Collector Cozomo de’ Medici Just Gave a Major NFT Collection to LACMA”, in Artnet News, February 14, 2023

“I’m more bullish than ever about the space,” de’ Medici said. “This is a new renaissance that we’re experiencing—you can do anything on the digital canvas, which I call the infinite canvas.” The downturn “actually has been a blessing,” he added. “It removed a lot of the speculators. One of the beautiful things to see as the markets went down was that the conversations became richer—because they became even more about the art and less about the money.

Joshua M Brown, “The AI Bubble of 2023”, in The Reformed Broker, February 7, 2023

“When I see a bubble forming I rush in to buy, adding fuel to the fire. That is not irrational.” “I have developed a theory about boom-bust processes, or bubbles, along these lines. Every bubble has two components: an underlying trend that prevails in reality and a misconception relating to that trend. A boom-bust process is set in motion when a trend and a misconception positively reinforce each other. The process is liable to be tested by negative feedback along the way. If the trend is strong enough to survive the test, both the trend and the misconception will be further reinforced. Eventually, market expectations become so far removed from reality that people are forced to recognize that a misconception is involved. A twilight period ensues during which doubts grow, and more people lose faith, but the prevailing trend is sustained by inertia. As Chuck Prince, former head of Citigroup said: we must continue dancing until the music stops. Eventually a point is reached when the trend is reversed; it then becomes self reinforcing in the opposite direction.” George Soros 2009

Joe Stadolnik, “We’ve always been distracted”, in Aeon, 2 February 2023

“Believe me, this is not nourishing the mind with literature, but killing and burying it with the weight of things or, perhaps, tormenting it until, frenzied by so many matters, this mind can no longer taste anything, but stares longingly at everything, like Tantalus thirsting in the midst of water.” (Petrarch)

“For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practise their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” Thamus in Phaedrus

“New regimes of memory and attention replace the old ones. Eventually they become the old regimes and are replaced, then longed for.”

John Herrman, “Why Bing Is Being Creepy”, in New York Mag, February 16, 2023

“If you understand these chatbots as tools for synthesizing material that already exists into answers that are or appear to be novel, then, yeah, of course they sound familiar! They’re reading the same stuff we are. They’re ingesting our responses to that stuff and the responses to the responses. They’re reading coverage of chatbots and of AI in general — they’re getting Tay’d, in other words, by tweets and Reddit posts and the mainstream media, whose collective texts it has been asked to recompose in the style of chat transcripts that it has also ingested, many of which surely contain the raw materials and patterns necessary to seem manic or depressed or angry or cheerful.”

“the most consistently unsettling thing about AI isn’t what it can do — it’s how it makes us feel.”

Tate Ryan-Mosley, “The fight for “Instagram face””, in MIT Technology Review, August 19, 2022

““Instagram face” is a recognized aesthetic template: ethnically ambiguous and featuring the flawless skin, big eyes, full lips, small nose, and perfectly contoured curves made accessible in large part by filters... Beauty may be subjective, and yet society continues to promote stringent, unattainable ideals that—for women and girls—are disproportionately white, slender, and feminine.”

“Solari thinks technology itself is not to blame in the first place. “It is not the filters that are making this [problem], but society is like this,” she says. “These are the values that society has and sees as beautiful. And that’s why it goes viral.” Creators observe a consistent and shockingly high demand for deformation beauty filters that fit a particular aesthetic.”

Will Douglas Heaven, “ChatGPT is everywhere. Here’s where it came from”, in MIT Technology Review, February 8, 2023

“ChatGPT was trained using reinforcement learning on feedback from human testers who scored its performance as a fluid, accurate, and inoffensive interlocutor. In effect, OpenAI trained GPT-3 to master the game of conversation and invited everyone to come and play. Millions of us have been playing ever since.”

Isaiah Poritz, “Hermès Defeats MetaBirkins in the First NFT Trademark Trial”, in Bloomberg Law, February 8, 2023

“The jury determined that the NFTs are more akin to consumer products subject to strict trademark laws that protect brands from copycats and those looking to capitalize on their goodwill.”

Ted Chiang, “ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web”, in The New Yorker, February 9, 2023

“This analogy to lossy compression is not just a way to understand ChatGPT’s facility at repackaging information found on the Web by using different words. It’s also a way to understand the “hallucinations,” or nonsensical answers to factual questions, to which large-language models such as ChatGPT are all too prone. These hallucinations are compression artifacts, but—like the incorrect labels generated by the Xerox photocopier—they are plausible enough that identifying them requires comparing them against the originals, which in this case means either the Web or our own knowledge of the world. When we think about them this way, such hallucinations are anything but surprising; if a compression algorithm is designed to reconstruct text after ninety-nine per cent of the original has been discarded, we should expect that significant portions of what it generates will be entirely fabricated.”

“Is it possible that, in areas outside addition and subtraction, statistical regularities in text actually do correspond to genuine knowledge of the real world?”

Henry Mance, “Shoshana Zuboff: ‘Privacy has been extinguished. It is now a zombie’”, in Financial Times, January 30 2023

“It is possible to have surveillance capitalism, and it is possible to have a democracy. It is not possible to have both.”

“Today tech companies “are becoming much more reluctant to patent their discoveries, because they don’t want the public to know exactly what they’re doing. They’re no longer in most cases making their own data available to researchers.” ... One of the huge problems that we have is that most of the information that comes out of the companies is intentionally designed to be misleading. Gaslighting is a rhetorical art form that is genuinely practised by these companies.”

“Our political stability, our ability to know what’s true and what false, our health and to some degree our sanity, is challenged on a daily basis depending on which decisions Mr Musk decides to take. I regard this as fundamentally intolerable . . . These spaces cannot exist solely under corporate control . . . We’re two decades into the digital era but we have never, as democracies, taken stock of the meaning of these technologies.”

“This is a world in which privacy has been extinguished. Privacy is now a zombie category. None of us have privacy, even as we thought about it in the year 2000.”

January 2023

Cory Doctorow, “Tiktok's enshittification”, in Pluralistic, 21 Jan 2023

“Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die. I call this enshittification.”

Kevin Buist, “Curation under Constraint”, in Outland, February 23, 2022

“As web3 explores how curators can mediate and contextualize this new boom of digital art, the NFT world runs the risk of repeating and accelerating a grave mistake of Web 2.0: emptying the word “curate” of all its meaning, destroying its associations with care, research, and collaboration; and rendering it a near-mindless activity of rapid image association and exchange.”

“The best exhibitions aren’t containers for artwork. They’re radical propositions that force us to confront art in light of new contexts and possibilities. Curating involves pushing against the very structures that support exhibitions and setting artworks on a collision course with the material, social, and political realities of the world.”

Brian Droitcour (ed), “Brian L. Frye & Primavera de Filippi”, in Outland, April 5, 2022

“With regards to NFTs... it is unclear which rights, if any, are being licensed when someone acquires an NFT. When the copyright is explicitly being licensed, it’s usually done via a centralized platform that defines the rights in their own terms of service. These rights are not embedded in the token and therefore can be changed at any time. So there is a lot of legal uncertainty as well, but for very different reasons, and the NFT issue is easier to solve. It’s just a matter of crafting proper techno-legal solutions that enable the licensing of rights to follow the transfer of the tokens.” (De Filippi)

“Copyright is not only about rewarding artists, it’s also about providing control over how your work can be used, displayed, or exploited commercially and non-commercially.” (De Filippi)

Brian L. Frye, “Clout and Control”, in Outland, December 23, 2021

“What if NFTs mean we don’t need copyright anymore? Ever since the printing press enabled mechanical reproduction, “owning” an authored work has meant using copyright to control it. Copyright makes works artificially scarce, and scarcity creates economic value. But NFTs created a new kind of digital scarcity that relies on clout, rather than control. Collectors value NFTs because they represent the prestige of ownership, copyright be damned.”

“Anyone who creates an image owns the copyright for the image they created. But NFTs have nothing to do with copyright. When you own an NFT, you own a unique copy of an intangible work. But you don’t own its copyright. You own the right to sell it.”

“Anyone who creates an image owns the copyright for the image they created. But NFTs have nothing to do with copyright. When you own an NFT, you own a unique copy of an intangible work. But you don’t own its copyright. You own the right to sell it.”

“The NFT market turns copyright on its head by reconceptualizing all authors as artists. If authors can sell their works, rather than copies of their works, maybe copyright just doesn’t matter anymore. Everyone assumes the art market is unusual. But copyright is just a side effect of mechanical reproduction. Perhaps NFTs are a back-to-the-future technology that will enable all authors to take advantage of art world economics.”

“The NFT market is booming because people want to own the kind of nothing NFTs represent. The art market has always been a market in nothing—a trade in ineffable clout. The appearance of new markets in nothing should come as no surprise.”

Brian Frye, “NFTs Are Securities and It’s Great”, in Coindesk, Dec 28, 2022

“The Supreme Court’s well-known Howey test states that an investment is a security the SEC can regulate if it is an investment of money in a common enterprise with the expectation of profit based on the efforts of others. Every investment in artwork or NFTs is an investment in an artist’s career, with the expectation (or at least hope) of profit, by virtue of the artist becoming famous. It couldn’t be more obvious that art and NFT collectors are buying a security interest in an artist’s career.”

“What if Kim Kardashian could sell NFTs effectively representing a fractional interest in her clout? People who think she will be even more famous in the future could speculate on just how famous she will become and people who think she is a flash in the pan could short her clout. The point is, it would give celebrities – even authors – access to the capital markets they’ve never had before. That could transform the market for knowledge goods, by enabling authors to sell investments in their project, rather than expensive copies.”

Rhea Nayyar, “What Does TikTok’s “Corecore” Have to Do With Dada?”, in Hyperallergic, January 26, 2023

“Corecore TikToks layer or flicker between clips from viral videos of people admitting loneliness or depression, nihilistic dialogue scenes from popular films or TV shows, deep-fried memes, and other staples of “chronically online” web culture in a curated supercut that hits the nail on the head in terms of our collective feeling of hopelessness and anxiety as we hurtle through continuously “unprecedented times.””

“Corecore utilizes the moving image and capitalizes on the infinite capacity of TikTok’s algorithmic curation to evoke similar feelings of existential dread from those who come across it. You’ll see flashes of viral ASMR content, fast fashion hauls, dating or weight loss advice, influencer drama, and other TikTok trends throughout Corecore videos as a form of metacommentary on how the app itself is a large contributor to the generalized anxiety and addictive overstimulation we’re experiencing in the digital age.”

John Herrman, “The AI Magic Show”, in Intelligencer, January 18, 2023

“The companies making these tools could describe how they were designed, how they were trained, and on what data. But they couldn’t reveal exactly how an image generator got from the words purple dog to a specific image of a large mauve Labrador, not because they didn’t want to but because it wasn’t possible — their models were black boxes by design. They were creating machines that they didn’t fully understand, and we were playing with them. These models were inventing their own languages. Maybe they were haunted.”

Ethan Mollick, “The practical guide to using AI to do stuff”, in One Useful Thing, January 24, 2023

“AI lies continuously and well. Every fact or piece of information it tells you may be incorrect."

“Despite of (or in fact, because of) all its constraints and weirdness, AI is perfect for idea generation. You often need to have a lot of ideas to have good ideas. Not everyone is good at generating lots of ideas, but AI is very good at volume. Will all these ideas be good or even sane? Of course not. But they can spark further thinking on your part.”

Joshua Citarella, “There is No Alternative”, Jan 26, 2023

“Many of these projected futures contain counter-intuitive terms, like “Fully Automated Luxury Ruralism” or “Promethean Christian Socialist Reset”. While these absurd labels are certainly part of the humor, I also began to think of these pairings as a form of permutation and potentially as a way of hedging risk. If you live in uncertain times, you probably want to prepare yourself for the worst. The more terms jammed together, the greater the chance that some part of it might just be right. Perhaps the early e-deologies were not as silly as they first appeared. Maybe they were a rough attempt to calculate the vast spread of possibilities for what comes after the “end of history”.”

Joshua Citarella, “From Techno-Libertarianism to Eco-Fascism”, January 24, 2023 (2019)

“For many of us who grew up online – as nerds, gamers, or introverted creatives – the internet was a place you could go to “be a loser with your friends”. Before Web 2.0, fandoms and message boards were something of a safe space for the IRL socially awkward. But today’s internet is overrun by social media, set to the ever-accelerating pace of technocapitalism.”

Kieran Press-Reynolds, “This is corecore (we’re not kidding)”, in No Bells, November 29, 2022

“Whether intentionally or by accident, corecore is an anti-trend: it doesn’t ask anything of you; it’s simply a montage of random vibes.”

“Erfani described the subgenre’s unspoken manifesto succinctly as “essentially the abstract concept of taking random videos, and editing them together to the point that it makes sense to the viewer. Or at least have the viewer interpret it in their own way.” It’s arguably transcendental, the way these videos stitch cultural detritus and weirdo media into 15-second wonder-blasts. An oasis of unthinking vibes amid the hellscape of dreary stimuli.”

Ben Davis, “An Extremely Intelligent Lava Lamp: Refik Anadol’s A.I. Art Extravaganza at MoMA Is Fun, Just Don’t Think About It Too Hard”, in Artnet News, January 23, 2023

“It’s striking to see MoMA tacitly let a new high-tech formalism through the door, one even flatter and less historical than Barr’s—as if the curators were so excited by the wonders of A.I. that they didn’t notice. What the endorsement of “Unsupervised” as an alternative-art-history simulator insinuates, for its audience, is that art history is just a bunch of random visual tics to be permuted, rather than an archive of symbol-making practices with social meanings.”

“At most, the installation conveys a generalized awe at the machine’s superhuman capacity of visual analysis.”

“It is because Anadol has created such a purely decorative, cheerleader-ish style of A.I. art... that he received so much support along the way from the tech giants. Indeed, his positivity is probably an unstated condition of that support.”

“Sadly, the melting of commercial and non-commercial borders strikes me as more prophetic of “what might be to come” in art than any of the images summoned up by the machine in the gallery.”

Ryan Broderick, “Dumb and shameful until it's not”, in Garbage Day, January 23, 2023

“This stuff is already moving very fast, but the fact it’s becoming open source just as quickly, to me, means we’re not going to wake up one day and find out it all just disappeared... I don’t think we’re going to see another large-scale attempt at taking cryptocurrency mainstream for quite a while. The use case for A.I., however, is much more clear. Which is why I find it as exciting, as I do dangerous.”

Joshua Citarella , “Raw eggs, pink pills, and embodied identity: Online communities create their own proof in a vacuum of truth”, in Document, December 19, 2022

“In the 2010s, society ceded its main communication network to an advertising platform. The incentives of this online economy have driven our cultural and political discourse ever since. This cacophonous horizontality has given rise to many new forms of snake oil salesmen.”

“Today’s cultural and political chaos is no longer the result of corrupt institutions, but of a lack of trustworthy institutions.”

“The task of creatives and intellectuals today should be to collect these uncommon points of alignment. We must weave these narrative threads into a newly coherent social fabric. In this final chapter of postmodernism, we will find new ways to reconstitute consensus reality. We must build new truth-seeking institutions for a society that has lost its way.”

Victoria Powell, “AI Art: Will It Make Artists Obsolete?”, in The Gallery Companion, January 4, 2023

“I can see how this technology as it gets more advanced might pose a problem for the livelihoods of illustrators, graphic designers, digital animators and photographers producing commercial work... But there’s a difference between commercial creative output and fine art. Statements that suggest the possibility of artist obsolescence lack real understanding of the role of artists in our world.”

Ruby Justice Thelot, “On Furries and the Limits of Trustlessness”, in Friends with Benefits, January 12, 2023

“Day after day, we encounter the limits of trustlessness in a world that is still anchored by interpersonal relationships. Trustless systems don’t just create an environment where we have little recourse if something goes wrong; they can lead to increasingly radical behaviors focused less on mending conflict and fostering long-term community growth than on forking protocols and communities over disagreements.”

Brian L. Frye, “NFTs & the New Creative Economy”, in Bankless, January 12, 2023

“the art market is a market for ledger entries. When you buy an artwork, you’re really buying an entry on an artist’s catalogue raisonné, the list of works attributed to that artist. Of course, you typically get a physical token that symbolizes your ownership of the ledger entry, usually a dirty piece of cloth or a lumpy rock. But the physical token is worthless, without the ledger entry.”

“Copyright was a great policy tool in a world beset by scarcity. But it sucks, in a world of abundance.”

Leo Kim, “AI is the new Animal”, in Dirt, January 12, 2023

“what we need is a more nuanced way to relate to these other minds—to foster a relationship with these AIs grounded in the limits of their inhumanity and their unknowability. Luckily, this isn’t the first time that human technics have sculpted an intelligent, alien mind independent from our own. Today, we simply know these creatures as our dogs, cats, and furry friends: what Donna Haraway calls our “companion species.” These creatures not only instruct us on how we might live alongside thinking beings that possess a mind radically different from our own, but also reveal just how porous the lines between technology, humans, and animals can be.”

Dan Hicks, “How NFTs and 3D Printing Are Changing Restitution”, in Frieze, January 03, 2023

“a copy is never merely a copy, and the act of reproduction can affect the original as much as the simulacrum. Casts and copies can change an artwork, its authenticity, its aura, its meaning but also its coherence.”

“these new mimetic technologies are far from neutral. And they may even risk doing far more damage than older techniques of making plaster casts or taking photographs or making museum documentation. The ethics of restitution begins with the admission that a case-by-case approach is essential...“ Making copies is no silver bullet for restitution. Sometimes, perhaps, the museum case should be left empty – as a space for reflection and remembrance as well as return.”>

Mathew Dryhurst, “AI Art and the Problem of Consent”, in ArtReview, 10 January 2023

“I do not believe that artists are in too much danger of being replaced by AI. Artistic practices are so much more complex than a style that can be mimicked. What we value of art is more social than we often acknowledge... Great art is socially determined, and is often found when and where that happens. There are great AI artists just as there are great painters, which will become clear as more become fluent with the field and its alien possibilities.”

“A human piecing together a new work from snippets of older works is fundamentally distinct from the automated ability to spawn infinite works in the style or likeness of someone from training data. As such, it demands new ideological frameworks of consent and attribution. The polar ideologies of free culture or rigid IP protectionism of the last century feel insufficient for tackling an issue that promises to mutate into a long culture war.”

Benj Edwards, “AI image generation tech can now create life-wrecking deepfakes with ease”, in ArsTechnica, 12.09.2022

“As awareness grows, our culture may eventually absorb and mitigate these issues. We may accept this kind of manipulation as a new form of media reality that everyone must be aware of. The provenance of each photo we see will become that much more important; much like today, we will need to completely trust who is sharing the photos to believe any of them. But during a transition period before everyone is aware of this technology, synthesized fakes might cause a measure of chaos. While it's tempting to think that our sense of media reality—even if currently misplaced—may suffer a fatal blow at the hands of synthesized photography, many people already know to be skeptical of photos that could be manipulated or taken out of context. Still, we tend to believe evidence when it supports what we want to believe. In that sense, nothing has changed but the scale and speed at which the fakes can take place.”

Min Chen, “In an Ironic Twist, an Illustrator Was Banned From a Reddit Forum for Posting Art That Looked Too Much Like an A.I.-Generated Image”, in Artnet News, January 10, 2023

“Even if you did ‘paint’ it yourself, it’s so obviously an A.I.-prompted design that it doesn’t matter.” “If you really are a ‘serious’ artist,” the message went on, “then you need to find a different style because A) no one is going to believe you when you say it’s not A.I., and B) the A.I. can do better in seconds what might take you hours.”

Elaine Velie, “What’s in Store for NFTs in 2023?”, in Hyperallergic, January 3, 2023

“My pessimist view is that the days of NFTs being a chance for any outsider to make it big are long over. You need a connection to an established institution again, just like before... There was a real but temporary moment of decentralization, but it was just part of a longer process of recentralization.” Kyle McDonald

“I think that it’s important to view the NFT for what it is — which is just a platform for speculation... The goal is for people to be able to make money off that, and people don’t care about what the actual image is.” Molly White

December 2022

Eric Glen Weyl, Puja Ohlhaver, and Vitalik Buterin, “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3's Soul”, in SSRN, May 10, 2022

“the economic value finance trades on is generated by humans and their relationships. Because web3 lacks primitives to represent such social identity, it has become fundamentally dependent on the very centralized web2 structures it aims to transcend, replicating their limitations.”

“Web3 aspires to transform societies broadly, rather than merely financial systems. Yet today’s social fabric — families, churches, teams, companies, civil society, celebrity, democracy — is meaningless in virtual worlds (often called the “metaverse”) without primitives representing human souls and the broader relationships they support. If web3 eschews persistent identities, their patterns of trust and cooperation, and their composable rights and permissions, we see, respectively, sybil attacks, collusion, and a limited economic realm of wholly transferable private property—all of which trends towards hyper-financialization.”

Geert Lovink, Extinction Internet. Our Inconvenient Truth Moment, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2022

“Now, the possibility of internet extinction is raised. This is our Inconvenient Truth moment. Not only have infinite possibilities imploded into platform realism, but we also face the existentially confronting horizon of finitude. Not of TCP-IP or packet switching. Extinction Internet marks the end of an epoch of collective imagination that in many ways demonstrated how alternative vertical and horizontal technological arrangements were possible. Not one stack but many plateaux.”

“Extinction Internet is the end of an era of possibilities and speculations, when adaptation is no longer an option. The mourning of the disappearance of the becoming internet started earlier; when the platform closed off the collective imagination. It feels like another internet is no longer possible. The user-as-programmer is condemned to live on as a zombie, mindlessly swiping and scrolling, no longer aware of their own activity. While in the recent past I have described this behaviour as subliminal or subconscious, in the next phase the medium is brain-dead. While a profoundly soporific state is rapidly emerging, our habitual information gestures continue to function in an automated style.”

“what’s really at stake here is a collapse of the collective imagination of a technology that is playing such a pivotal role in the everyday life of billions, one that nonetheless can be shaped, steered, designed, bent towards unofficial purposes. The closing of the possibility of change has been going on for a decade or more, replaced by smooth user interfaces and cat videos.”

Chus Martínez, “Towards Life”, in Art Agenda, July 8, 2022

“The pandemic has revealed that disciplines based exclusively on fact and scientific data are coming, in their modern sense, to an end. Millions of people decided against the vaccine, for example, showing that trust cannot rely only on scientific proofs. Anxiety, and all the paranoias that grow in a hyper-sensitized social body, produces fantasies. And the only way to counteract them is to channel them through other fantasies. I believe it is completely possible to imagine a technology and a science that is diverse and also attentive to how other species see and perceive. Imagine machines that could menstruate, or with sensorial devices mimicking the organs of animals rather than humans.”

“I imagine art as an imaginative, evolutive substance capable of observing both itself and life. An evolution that made art acquire morphic traits so that it can take, ahead of time, the form our time requires. Like stem cells, art is able to join the organ that the body currently needs. As in a bird flock, art is the intelligence that allows us to pirouette together in the skies, even if we can’t perform such moves on our own. Art activates the collective intelligence present in complex organizational systems. It’s difficult to reduce this to exhibition-making or the market.”

“the big international exhibitions are still conceived under the orders of presentation or the nostalgias of process-experiencing, rather than with the desire to juxtapose very different worlds. I imagine an exhibition of machines with turtle-eye cameras and deep-learning devices talking to whales, I imagine an exhibition reimaging what it means to be social, I imagine an exhibition proposing fantasies of political organizations that grant rights and embody the values of co-creation. I imagine children.”

Guy Debord, “A Sick Planet”, 1971. In e-flux Notes, November 28, 2022

“the problem of the degeneration of the totality of the natural and human environment has already ceased to present itself in terms of a loss of quality, be it aesthetic or of any other kind; the problem has now become the more fundamental one of whether a world that pursues such a course can preserve its material existence.”

“This science can do no more than walk hand in hand with the world that has produced it—and that holds it fast—down the path of destruction; yet it is obliged to do so with eyes open. It thus epitomizes—almost to the point of caricature—the uselessness of knowledge in its unapplied form.”

“A society that is ever more sick, but ever more powerful, has recreated the world—everywhere and in concrete form—as the environment and backdrop of its sickness: it has created a sick planet.”

“Alienated industrial production makes the rain. Revolution makes the sunshine.”

Joost Vervoort, “Imagination Infrastructuring for Real and Virtual Worlds”, in e-flux Architecture, October 2022

“Using the power of games to help publics be more imaginative in real life settings holds far more potential, especially if there can be active, imaginative engagement with people’s identities, values and desires for change.”

Cade Diehm, “The Para-Real: A Manifesto”, in New Design Congress, 9 December 2022

“Between the digital realm and our physical world is a third space — hybrid, ephemeral and poorly understood. You may have encountered it recently: an uncanny or unreal sense of almost touching something in a VR scene, an impossible fatigue during a Zoom call that leaves you floating like a balloon full of lead, or an eerie unease at the accuracy of a targeted advertisement. For decades, this in-between space has influenced the digitised society unseen. We call it the Para-Real, an emotional and transformative state that emerges when the electronic and the real collide, and — just for a moment — creates a space that can only exist at the exact second where platforms and atoms operate in absolute parallel. The para-real occurs inside this time-space, a form of perception and interface de-realisation whose boundaries can no longer be perceived—and whose affects are longer separated. The para-real is at once conditioned by computational forces, yet also immune to the parasitic intrusion of practices of extraction. The para-real is thus a paradoxical state of subsistence within the fissures of the digital and the analogue. The para-real is what occurs before the cybernetic digestion.”

Will Douglas Heaven, “Generative AI is changing everything. But what’s left when the hype is gone?”, in MIT Technology Review, December 16, 2022

“Most text-to-image models today are trained on a large data set called LAION, which contains billions of pairings of text and images scraped from the internet. This means that the images you get from a text-to-image model are a distillation of the world as it’s represented online, distorted by prejudice (and pornography).”

“People say it’s not very good at this thing now, and of course it isn’t,” says Cook. “But a hundred million dollars later, it could well be.”

Samantha Ayson, “On art as a playground of ideas”, in The Creative Independent, December 16, 2022

“identity isn’t a late or disposable addition to crypto—a cryptographic key is an identity for a particular value of “identity.” And to borrow Isaiah Berlin’s concepts of liberty, crypto gives us both negative freedom (freedom from control through privacy and commitment) and positive freedom (freedom to experiment in a new space and to pay for those experiments). Those freedoms support self-realization which includes identity play, identity discovery, and identity exploration.” (Rhea Myers)

Joshua Citarella, “Politigram & the Post-left”, September 2018.

“The irony of being an anti-tech radical on the internet is not lost on these teens. Everyone in today’s society lives in constant contradiction of their ideals. In these young corners of the internet everything is simultaneously ironic and genuine.”

“What begins as a casual engagement with funny memes can rapidly metastasize.”

Zachary Small, “The Innovators: Curator Tina Rivers Ryan on Getting Over Her NFT Skepticism and What’s Next for Blockchain Art”, in Artnet News, December 22, 2022

”NFTs have not fully solved problems in the art world, though they can represent a step in the right direction. But issues like a lack of transparency, faulty provenance records, art flipping, and artist royalties need more work. I hope the outcome of these conversations will be that people who have been empowered and enfranchised by NFTs will realize the importance of these points.“

Zachary Small, “The Innovators: Art Blocks CEO Erick Calderon on Crypto Speculation, the Bear Market, and Building His Kids’ Future on the Blockchain”, in Artnet News, December 19, 2022

“The whole reason that NFTs gained traction in the art world and beyond was because creators were getting the opportunity to participate in their own success. Preventing that relationship from growing would be antithetical to the ecosystem we have created.”

John Cassidy, “Washington Needs a Crypto Rethink”, in The New Yorker, 20/12/2022

“if this year’s crises in the crypto sector have indicated anything, it’s that much of what passes for crypto “innovation” involves encouraging people to speculate, often with borrowed money, on digital assets that have little or no intrinsic worth and can swing wildly in market value.”

Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen, “Excavating AI. The Politics of Images in Machine Learning Training Sets”, The AI Now Institute, NYU, September 19, 2019

“What sorts of politics are at work when pictures are paired with labels, and what are the implications when they are used to train technical systems? [...] the automated interpretation of images is an inherently social and political project, rather than a purely technical one. Understanding the politics within AI systems matters more than ever, as they are quickly moving into the architecture of social institutions: deciding whom to interview for a job, which students are paying attention in class, which suspects to arrest, and much else.”

“While the efforts of companies to build more diverse training sets is often put in the language of increasing “fairness” and “mitigating bias, ” clearly there are strong business imperatives to produce tools that will work more effectively across wider markets.”

“The training sets of labeled images that are ubiquitous in contemporary computer vision and AI are built on a foundation of unsubstantiated and unstable epistemological and metaphysical assumptions about the nature of images, labels, categorization, and representation. Furthermore, those epistemological and metaphysical assumptions hark back to historical approaches where people were visually assessed and classified as a tool of oppression and race science. Datasets aren’t simply raw materials to feed algorithms, but are political interventions. As such, much of the discussion around “bias” in AI systems misses the mark: there is no “neutral,” “natural,” or “apolitical” vantage point that training data can be built upon. There is no easy technical “fix” by shifting demographics, deleting offensive terms, or seeking equal representation by skin tone. The whole endeavor of collecting images, categorizing them, and labeling them is itself a form of politics, filled with questions about who gets to decide what images mean and what kinds of social and political work those representations perform.”

Maya Ganesh, “Between metaphor and meaning: AI and being human”, in Interactions, XXIX.5 September - October 2022, Page: 58

“Metaphors are figures of speech that help to convey experiences or observations that are difficult to describe because they may be unfamiliar, new, emergent, or complex. Metaphors slip into common parlance, easily making us forget that they are indeed just metaphors; they can be misleading, and they can also work as self-fulfilling prophecies because they fully occupy an unfamiliar phenomenon even after it becomes less so. This is neither unequivocally good nor bad, but requires attention because language matters, and is political because it structures and brings worlds into being.”

“Human relations with other humans, and nonhumans like animals, the planet, and machines, are largely incomputable, not because they are mysterious, but because they are complex, affective, fragmentary, and difficult to frame as computationally legible formulations. To live with such illegibility is what has always made human life a profound and poetic struggle.”

Philipp Schmitt, "Introduction to ‘Blueprints for Intelligence’”, 2021.

“What is at stake with present-day AI is not a robot invasion, but which concepts of intelligence get prioritized and how they relate to and frame the world at large. Looking at the history of artificial neural networks through its diagrams lets us trace key tendencies in the technology’s evolution. Unconcerned with what a diagram might tell a researcher, this book asks what it says about them. It is an archaeological speculation of sorts, drawing connections between the visual representations of neural networks and AI researchers’ conception of cognition.”

“It seems we lack the vocabulary and imagery to think and talk about intelligence without either invoking the animate or the spiritual.”

Jussi Parikka, “Preface: Operational Images, All the Way Down”, in Jussi Parikka, Operational Images, University of Minnesota Press 2022.

“the history of photography, technical images, and visual media could be told in the same key: instruments built upon instruments, upon infrastructures, upon practices, upon techniques, upon further instruments and infrastructures, and so on. Operations built on operations that include elements that are material and semiotic, forms of knowing, and forms of mattering.”