“Critical infrastructure”, a reminder the Internet is not amorphous

Within the last year there have been 16 so-called fiber cuts in the San Francisco Bay Area. According to the F.B.I., someone or some group has been going through manholes to sever fiber optic cables that supply telecommunications to large sections of the region…It’s something that’s been largely forgotten in the lather over cybersecurity. The threat is not only malicious code flowing through the pipes but also, and perhaps more critically, the pipes themselves

More via NYT


US Long-Haul Fiber Map By Paul Barford UW-Madison via https://www.predict.org/default.aspx?cs_Category=2


You can also read more about such “Critical infrastructure” and attempts to make more resilient at the DHS website

Regarding Deep maps

A deep map goes beyond simple landscape/history-based topographical writing – to include and interweave autobiography, archeology, stories, memories, folklore, traces, reportage, weather, interviews, natural history, science, and intuition. In its best form, the resulting work arrives at a subtle, multi-layered and “deep” map of a small area of the earth.

As popularised by the work of author William Least Heat-Moon. More at Wikipedia

h/t @Places

a brief list of questions useful as a starting point for some map-making:

The Process:

  • Who will be mapping, why and for what purpose?
  • Does the group have common interests, values or desires?
  • Is there a pre-decided theme, or will it be worked out as part of the process?
  • Who and what will be invited and included, or perhaps implicitly excluded, and on what grounds?
  • Is the space physically accessible to everyone who might attend, and can childcare be included if necessary?
  • Are there any formal or informal hierarchies in the space, and how might these be addressed?
  • Does the process itself produce any emotions or affects? Is it psychologically transformative?
  • Who is the intended audience of the map?

The Map

  • What will be mapped and why is this important?
  • What materials or technology will be used?
  • What will be made visible, or hidden, and why?
  • What will be drawn, in what style, what colours?
  • Are there any practical considerations for the map’s intended use; e.g. should it be waterproof or capable of duplication?

The Life of the Map

  • How will the map continue its life outside this space?
  • How might the map function as a tool? Does it have any practical use?
  • Who will be able to access, or might be excluded from using it, and how will it be used?
  • What kind of knowledge is produced?
  • Might the map trigger other cycles of learning/critique/mapping elsewhere?
  • What are the political/ethical/social implications of these decisions?
  • What changes or desires might the map bring into the world?

via Rhiannon Firth in The Occupied Times of London, regarding Critical Cartography

re: “The Dark Matter of the Security State”

The forms that need to come to light are the lived contours of the security state — the moving edges, vectors, and territories that have an everyday presence…What elements of the security architecture could never be summarized on a powerpoint slide? For the security state is not only a scalar leviathan—that which would never be domesticable anyway, even if Congress did put its little minds to it. It is a series of relationships

In light of recent news re: NSA and Snowden’s leaks, Demilit argues for the mapping of the “dark matter” of the NSA + security apparatus

Mapping littoral urbanism

Over at Data Pointed Stephen Von Worley’s mapped the vulnerability of major U.S. cities to climate change and sea level rise. He did this by combining 2010 Census and USGS data to show where people live and the height of the land underneath them.

For NYC and nine other coastal metros, including Boston (image below), Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

originally Stephen Von Worley

“You have to have, as Ernst Bloch said, revolutionary hope”

Hakim Bey, Oscar Wilde, 2010, mixed media.

Above image from an old e-flux interview ft Hans Ulrich Obrist In Conversation with Hakim Bey. The two discuss mapmaking, the Empress of Iran’s support of modern art in the 60s and Hakim’s recent interest in “queering the landscape”.

Hans Ulrich Obrist closes by acknowledging his own debt to Bey in developing his approach to curating wherein art exhibition becomes TAZ. Obrist asks him whether or not Bey believes exhibitions and institutions can become these sorts of pockets of anarchy, temporary, flexible and with a predefined short lifespan.

Bey notes “I think it’s an excellent idea. Of course, it sounds absolutely ghastly to anyone who has to think about the budget. If you’re talking to your accountant about this, better not mention your plans to stop after five years, because it’s going to be a nightmare to raise and administer the money. That’s mostly why it doesn’t happen, because capital doesn’t work that way…But now, you have an advantage. You can tell people you’re a curator and that what you’re doing is an art exhibition. And then they understand it in a certain way, say, as a temporary project. But if you told people that you’re founding an institution, then their reactions are going to be very different, right?

Discovered via Arthur Magazine’s new(ish) tumblr here