l o g - i n  /  l o c k e d  o u t

A Statement on Mass Communication

Gabriele Leidloff

A Forum with Claudia Reiche, Alexei Shulgin,
Geert Lovink, Frank Fietzek

at the N5M3
De Balie
Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10
1017 RR Amsterdam
on Saturday, March 13, 14:00

The project  l o g - i n  /  l o c k e d   o u t   uses a metaphorical character to reflect the "locked-in" state of questions of communication. Medically defined, "locked-in" describes a situation in which a person is conscious, but only capable of communicating themselves in an indirect fashion. Movement and speech occur out of sync or in coded form. From case to case, however, thinking and speaking have been able to be brought back into connection with one another, e.g. via computers.
"locked-in" is a rare psycho-physiological form of existence, which also gives indication of the borders of both science and language. Diverse metaphorical aspects are core interests of the project.

l o g - i n  /  l o c k e d  o u t  is an artistic venue between art, the natural and the academic sciences in the following discourse: The theme "locked in" remains the starting point and subdivides itself into individual topics on aspects, each of which forms a topic for presentation at one location.
The type of presentation involved orientates itself toward both the institutional framework and toward the contributions of the guest participants and their working media. Ongoing exhibits are presently taking place with artistic and academic/scientific works, accompanied by lectures, network communication and public forums. These generate an exchange between neuroscientists, artists and theorists.
Documentation and publication, e.g. Website, of the presentations are the basis for each and every presentation. The composition of discussion and exhibit participants to be presented, including cooperating institutions, are both characteristic for the thematic discourse and lead to new constellations in an exemplary manner.

The Next Five Minutes conference in Amsterdam, which took place from March 12 to 14, 1999, was one of the forums within the  l o g - i n  /  l o c k e d  o u t   project from Gabriele Leidloff. The presentation focused on the aspects of speech <-> narrative structure based on political, social and cultural patterns of networked communication.

In the age of the Network Society, it is tempting to no longer question the communication paradigm. We send and receive messages. In case of failure we are being notified. Lines are busy, fax paper is missing, server access is denied, a mailbox was switched off by mistake and the mobile phone is not able to connect to nearby stations. The human-to-human misunderstandings reached an atavistic status of the left-behind wetware, are fighting in the back benches of the Techno Concerto, whilst producing little more than background noise.

Gone are the good old days of Post-Modernism. There is no time left for sophisticated studies on derailing exchanges, incomprehensive languages, stumbling discourses, the private universe of the local genius and refined sign systems - unable and unwilling of being converted to the universal standards of current technology.

The earlier advancements of self-referential systems disappear. Self-replicating differentiations turn into protected reservations, ready for commodification, victimized by the touristic, media-driven eyes of the spectators.

This is the time of interrelations. No more closed worlds. This even counts for Internet, which is hardwired to the reality of global capitalism. Escapism is becoming a luxury option for the well-offs, the cultural elites and the left-over aristocrats of vanished centuries. "Cyberspace is our land" now sounds like a romantic slogan of the marginalized cyberpunks, refusing to turn themselves into hippie entrepreneurs.

The "Business-as-usual attitude" has taken over and with it the need for interchangeable components, transparency, regulation and surveillance. The mystery of being sealed off has vanished and been transformed into a state of pitiful redundancy, ready to be pulled into the basket case of human tragedies.

Geert Lovink