Baran’s network typologies from the early days of computing (1964) are still referenced by Tecnopolitica researcher-activists at the forefront of social transformation today (see diagram below). Decentralized and distributed networks, politics and technologies are at the heart of Tecnopolitical practices, however their politics are far removed from Baran’s context of US Air Force funded research. Politically, Tecnopolitica would have more in common with the trajectory of bell hooks whose framework: emphasises ‘the centre’ (contrasted with the margin); suggests ‘the decentering of the West globally’ and a focus instead on ‘attention on the issue of voice. Who speaks? Who listens? And why?’ (p. 40, 1994); and continues to be a reference point today for people arguing for ‘decentering and decolonising knowledge’ (Moreno Figueroa, 2019).
However, the substance and vibe of the hooks’ text sends very different messages to these stylised network visualisations (above and below)….
Pushing myself to write more whilst the moment is here, but writing honestly and meaningfully requires getting through a lot of barriers and it feels like there is a lot of inner resistance right now. Resistance or just tiredness..? So hard to say… but at this stage, just trying to keep things moving, putting one word in front of another. Following on from my last post about Decentering Power, I wanted to share this drawing of my own experience of decentering dynamics (particularly given my recent experience of double caring during lockdown). With the outer world references in orbit.
I’m doing some research and creative thinking about how we reconfigure power, for real. In a way that really transforms lives, experiences and relationships. Using visual and sensory devices to keep with the material experience and achievement of change. One strategy is to think through the sticky points and divergences between two transformative projects challenging the centre and the centralised: the Tecnopolitica body of work; and a set of decentering power projects with a strong focus on decentering knowledge and whiteness.