Essay about Hito Steyerl Too Much World

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Hito Steyerl

e-flux journal #49 Ñ november 2013 Ê Hito Steyerl
Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?

Too Much
World: Is the
Internet Dead?

11.07.13 / 02:50:22 EST

Is the internet dead?1 This is not a metaphorical question. It does not suggest that the internet is dysfunctional, useless or out of fashion. It asks what happened to the internet after it stopped being a possibility. The question is very literally whether it is dead, how it died and whether anyone killed it.
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊBut how could anyone think it could be over? The internet is now more potent than ever.
It has not only sparked but fully captured the imagination, attention and productivity of more people than at any other point before. Never before have more people been dependent on, embedded into, surveilled by, and exploited by the web. It seems overwhelming, bedazzling and without immediate alternative. The internet is probably not dead. It has rather gone all-out. Or more precisely: it is all over!
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊThis implies a spatial dimension, but not as one might think. The internet is not everywhere.
Even nowadays when networks seem to multiply exponentially, many people have no access to the internet or donÕt use it at all. And yet, it is expanding in another direction. It has started moving offline. But how does this work?
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊRemember the Romanian uprising in 1989, when protesters invaded TV studios to make history? At that moment, images changed their function.2 Broadcasts from occupied TV studios became active catalysts of events Ð not records or documents. 3 Since then it has become clear that images are not objective or subjective renditions of a preexisting condition, or merely treacherous appearances. They are rather nodes of energy and matter that migrate across different supports,4 shaping and affecting people, landscapes, politics, and social systems.
They acquired an uncanny ability to proliferate, transform, and activate. Around 1989, television images started walking through screens, right into reality.5
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊThis development accelerated when web infrastructure started supplementing TV networks as circuits for image circulation.6
Suddenly, the points of transfer multiplied.
Screens were now ubiquitous, not to speak of images themselves, which could be copied and dispersed at the flick of a finger.
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊData, sounds, and images are now routinely transitioning beyond screens into a different state of matter.7 They surpass the boundaries of data channels and manifest materially. They incarnate as riots or products, as lens flares, high-rises, or pixelated tanks. Images become unplugged and unhinged and start crowding offscreen space. They invade cities, transforming spaces into sites, and reality into realty. They materialize as junkspace, military invasion, and botched plastic surgery. They spread through and beyond networks, they contract and expand, they

CAVEman is a 3-D virtual patient projected onto a holodeck which allows doctors to visualize and diagnose ailments in high-definition. Here scientist
Christoph Sensen is pictured looking at his creation.

11.07.13 / 02:50:22 EST

The market briefly lost $136 billion on April 23rd, 2013, when the Associated PressÕ Twitter feed was hacked and tweeted that the White House had been attacked and that President Obama had been injured.

11.07.13 / 02:50:22 EST

For a long time, many people have felt that cinema is rather lifeless. Cinema today is above all a stimulus package to buy new televisions, home projector systems, and retina display iPads. It long ago became a platform to sell franchising products Ð screening feature-length versions of future PlayStation games in sanitized multiplexes. It became a training tool for what
Thomas Elsaesser calls the military-industrialentertainment complex.
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊEverybody has his or her own version of when and how cinema died, but I personally believe it was hit by shrapnel when, in the course of the Bosnian