Taipei, October 24th 2008, 16:00 - 16:30
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Insulation is the silent twin of "mediation".
It is the wrapper of refusal that surrounds and protects an act of transmission, of exchange, or of transport. It is then a systemic, "objective" part of the ways in which we distribute ideas, information, and materials.
When visible, insulation provides an image in outline, of the symbolic order: shapes that tell the story of distribution, mark the boundaries of commodities, their flows, and provide a surface for continuous conflict... a Wall across which to imagine and produce an outside, and an interior. But then, do not these very materials also produce the shelters, camouflages, isolations, prophylactics, inductions and touch-me-nots that mark the conceptual limits of an era of advancing "networks" ?
Could there be a political possibility here, a line of defence?
Lenin once made a proposal to melt down enough church bells to provide the copper conductors necessary to wire yet un-electrified Soviet villages. In a contemporary response, we should be melting down and reusing things with quite the opposite properties, offering a different articulation of what is urgent, and a different order of sacrifice.