re: the logisticalization of contemporary supply chains,

For No. 43 / Shelf Life of Harvard Design Magazine, Clare Lyster (author of ‘Learning from Logistics: How Networks Change Our Cities’) wrote Storage Flows: Logistics as Urban Choreography.

Wherein she argues

To fully comprehend contemporary mechanisms of flow, we need to explore the manner in which logistics shrewdly appropriates other external networks and spaces as a means to enhance its supply chain operations. For example, many logistical networks hijack familiar forms of urban infrastructure to further conquer the spatiotemporal gap between supply and demand. Piggybacking on other systems to optimize flow by collapsing supply and distribution into one seamless system has many implications for the city, changing how distribution typologies appear in the urban landscape and thus the landscape itself.

Note: There are a number of spots where I assume “ow”/”ows” should be read, as a typo, as “flows”…

Also, no surprise that Alan Berger comes up. I immediately thought of his writings on the infrastructural leftover spaces or dross. The spaces/places where “Storage flows” happen. Transit through.

What is different today, in particular is the role of algorithms and digital flows.


re: the illusory “profits to advertisers from mass surveillance”

Maciej Cegłowski published What Happens Next Will Amaze You, the text version of a talk given on September 14, 2015, at the FREMTIDENS INTERNET conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

He examines the “dystopian future” of total (state and corporate sponsored) surveillance, “paranoia” of privacy and “The phenomenon whereby ads are tied to the complete invasion of privacy“.

Therein writing “Today we live in a Blade Runner world, with ad robots posing as people, and Deckard-like figures trying to expose them by digging ever deeper into our browsers, implementing Voight-Kampff machines in Javascript to decide who is human. We’re the ones caught in the middle….It boils down to this: fake websites serving real ads to fake traffic for real money. And it’s costing advertisers a fortune….It’s no accident how much the ad racket resembles high-frequency trading.

Later reviews technological solutions, countermeasures and legal/regulaory strategies for addressing. All boiled down to “six fixes“.

giving high-frequency trading a face aka mapping high-frequency trading infrastructure(s)

Late last year Alexandre Laumonier started publishing a multi-part (I-V) look at high-frequency trading infrastructure(s) in Belgium. The ‘HFT in my backyard‘ series highlights the infrastructural nature(s) of information transmission between financial exchanges and more broadly financial markets. The posts included; Mapping the HFT Microwave Networks (built on the bones of old microwave networks built by the US Army and NATO), A Crazy Visit to the Houtem Tower, a third which outlines the current players in the market and their networks, a fourth about tax havens and The Latent SuperMontage, followed by a response from Latent Networks to his series and then, the finale.

In one interlude to the series, tying together his sleuthing he argues;

“All of this is a little bit confused, but I am pretty sure all the HFT firms who visit this blog know what is going on here. Two of the major (and historical) HFT firms from Chicago are working together to build a super-microwave network in Europe, joining their towers/licences and reselling all the stuff to customers who will always be slower than them.”

For more on HFT, see Donald MacKenzie in London Review of Books (Sept. 2014).

Sol Yurick – Datamation # 84, November 15 1984



Malaputa is the ultimate free-trade zone, the final offshore platform, the last lawless frontier, haven for the wildest of wildcat bankers. Mr. Mellon has anointed himself King of Malaputa. It also may be said that Mellon is Malaputa.

From Sol Yurick’s, The King of Malaputa.


Trevor Paglen re: 21st century Photography

Specifically, he writes about “how to begin thinking through the 21st Century’s emerging photographic landscape, and the ways both photographic practices and photographs themselves are changing“.

In three pieces published on blog of Fotomuseum Wintherthur, titled; I. Is Photography Over?II. Seeing Machines and III. Scripts.


James Bridle re: the New Aesthetic and its Politics

The New Aesthetic is not superficial, it is not concerned with beauty or surface texture. It is deeply engaged with the politics and politicisation of networked technology, and seeks to explore, catalogue, categorise, connect and interrogate these things. Where many seem to read only incoherence and illegibility, the New Aesthetic articulates the deep coherence and multiplicity of connections and influences of the network itself“…

For more info re: the New Aesthetic read Andrew Blum’s recent profile for Vanity Fair.

internet census – 2012

“To test if we could see a day night rhythm in the utilization of IP spaces we used all ICMP records to generate a series of images that show the difference from daily average utilization per half an hour. We composed theses images to a GIF animation that clearly shows a day night rhythm. The difference between day and night is lower for US and Central Europe because of the higher number of “always on” Internet connections. Full resolution GIFs and single images are available for download here.

Using a #botnet last year some hacker folks mapped the largest and most comprehensive IPv4 census ever. More here

The extrapolated size “If you added those, it would make for a total of 1.3 Billion used IP addresses“…

via Bruce Sterling

“reflects the technological transformation of the world’s markets”

In last weeks’ SundayBusiness section of the NYT, Nathaniel Popper explored the implications of the purchase by IntercontinentalExchange (headed by chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher) of the New York Stock Exchange.

I  couldn’t help but think of it as perfect example of contemporary network culture and the New Aesthetic of algorithmic machines. For instance we read:

Does it really matter who owns the New York Stock Exchange and its parent company, NYSE Euronext? For most people, stock exchanges are probably a bit like plumbing. Most of us don’t think much about them — until something goes wrong. But lately, some things have gone spectacularly wrong…One sign of trouble came in 2010, when an errant trade ricocheted through computer networks and touched off one of the most harrowing moments in stock market history. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 900 points in a matter of minutes, and a new phrase entered the lexicon: flash crash…Since then, flash crashes in individual stocks have been remarkably common, as the centuries-old system of central exchanges has given way to a field of competing electronic systems…ICE wasn’t involved in any of these problems. In fact, it has been praised as one of the first exchanges to put limits on lightning-quick, high-frequency trading“.

Below a comparison of the two entities, architectural or physical manifestion/presence.

Credit: Rich Addicks for The New York Times

IntercontinentalExchange is based on a few floors of a suburban Atlanta office building, a sharp contrast to the colonnaded temple of the N.Y.S.E Credit: Rich Addicks for The New York Times

The contrast with the New York Stock Exchange is striking. Behind its neoclassical face, the Big Board is a sprawling labyrinth of historic oil paintings, gilded leather chairs, stained wood and elegant dining rooms — all set amid crowds of gawking tourists…ICE, meanwhile, occupies a few floors of an anodyne black-glass cube surrounded by trees and parking lots. The employees share their cafeteria with the building’s other tenants. The walls are lined with dry-erase boards“.

The New York Stock Exchange, photographed on January 12, 2002.Photographed by Luigi Novi

The New York Stock Exchange, photographed on January 12, 2002.
Photographed by Luigi Novi

An interesting side-note is the fact that Jeffrey Sprecher was featured in a recent (Jan 12th 2013) edition of the Download column in the SundayReview NYT section, wherein he updated  readers as to what he was: Reading, Listening, Watching, Following and Purchasing. At that time he was still awaiting regulatory approval to acquire the New York Stock Exchange.

A quote: “I have an affinity toward street artists who are provocateurs and can capture the essence of a controversial topic in a single image“.

Additionally, he notes for Download, that re: the three websites he regularly reads (about watches on; Porsches on; wines on, “All three sites delve into the complicated nuances of seemingly simple objects and appeal to the side of me that is an engineer“.

Sam Jacob and Bruce Sterling on the New Aesthetic

Via a G+ #hashtag I came an oldish Interview with Bruce Sterling, re: the New Aesthetic with David Albert Cox of Coxblog, published on here. Therein, Mr. Sterling suggested the New Aesthetic is a clear and “deliberate reaction against atemporality” which also emphasizes processuality.

Meanwhile, over at Sam Jacob’s site personal site Strange Harvest I read an article he wrote for COMMONPLACE, a version of Fulcrum, published at this years (2012) Venice Biennale. Therein Mr. Jacob noted that New Aesthetic “reeks of something suspiciously like nostalgia” and then goes on to analyze/link the New Aesthetic as/to “just another fastbred cultural cycle”.