Sometimes a sentence serves as a hook, point of friction to rub over while taking note of the smoother surround.

Take for instance a segment in a McKenzie Wark signed text. An excerpt from Paragraph 212 of A Hacker Manifesto is grandly eloquent and ready to rip for mind bending:

Hacking brings into existence the multiplicity of all codes, be they natural or social, programmed or poetic, logical or analogical, anal or oral, aural or visual.

Gingerly re-reading the very sharpness of the statement becomes clear. It is not claimed here that Hacking brings into existence codes or any code for that matter. The generative power of Hacking is to bring into existence the multiplicity. The sentence that expresses this statement goes on to list by means of contrasting pairs a number of codes. The listing serves the very useful purpose of reminding readers that existence / non-existence is itself coded.

The point of arrest is expressed in the following sentence which draws upon the classic figure of the dancer and the dance.

But it is the act of hacking that composes, at one and the same time, the hacker and the hack.

Draws upon but does not ape. The act of hacking composes. This can be taken to indicate an act that uses materials at hand, pre-existing stuff, to explore rearrangements of the material stuff and formulate an expression for the repetition of the arrangements. In this rich sense of the activity, composing aims at the algorithm.

The act of hacking in that it is an act of composition is a recombinant site. As a recombinant site, the act of hacking can be described as a moment of doubling and splitting. The coding (which is not to be confused with the code) goes into both hack and the hacker (and of course the “act of hacking” is not to be confused with “Hacking”).

Hacking recognizes no artificial scarcity, no official licence, no credentialing police force other than that composed by the gift relation among hackers themselves.

A composed artificial scarcity is recognized. Recognition is not endorsement.

To restore the integrity of Paragraph 212, return to the first sentence:

What a politics of information can affirm is the virtuality of expression. The inexhaustible surplus of expression is that aspect of information upon which the class interest of hackers depends.

and reskew the relations between “inexhaustible surplus of expression” and “information”. Is the surplus merely an aspect? In the spirit of Hacking cannot the interests of a class rest upon minimal expression of a maxima of information? That which is most portable is likely to cover a very large domain.

And so for day 16

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.