matthew fuller on Tue, 22 Nov 2005 16:25:08 +0100 (CET)
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[Nettime-nl] 'the queue project' Public Lecture: Gillian Fuller
Public Lecture: Gillian Fuller
(Media, Film and Theatre, UNSW, Australia)
Title: The rapture of capture: the queue.
Place: Collegezaal, Overblaak 85, Rotterdam
Date: Wednesday 30th November
Entry: Gratis, all welcome
How long and for what will people queue?
For Maria Callas at Convent Garden in the early 60s?
For check-in at Heathrow Terminal 4 in July 2004?
For Macdonald's hamburger in Moscow in 1990?
For a fistula operation in Rwanda?
A Dominos Pizza menu to download with a dodgy ADSL connection in 2005?
For a chance at Australian Citizenship in 2001?
Each of these queues form at thresholds where many become, in the
event of queueing, one. When queues form, the organised traverse from
one domain to another becomes palpable in the form of a time lag - a
shift in a temporal rhythm. In the queue one is positioned in
expectation of access of some kind of threshold encounter - just
delayed. For those off the network there is not even the 'tyranny of
To think about queues is to think about how the politics of
distribution move from one body (in the broadest sense of the term)
to another across multiple thresholds forming a technics of
connective control. Queue seems so orderly, bringing a sense of
harmony and justice to regimes of distribution. To stand in a queue
seems such an obvious and transparent act based on mythical notion
that first come, first served is socially efficient, even if,
algorithmically speaking, that may not true.
Queues remain a fundamental architectural principle for networks and
a form that, despite real-time and alternative networked models like
BitTorrent, seems to proliferating. Commensurate with the rise in
excess (and 'personal' service) is scarcity (and the queue). Some
things stream through thresholds, like commuters on the Singapore
metro, defty tapping epasses on electronic pillars, others are drip
fed by bureaucracies and NGOs - each runs to a different rhythm of
control. In queues, the relationship between intensive and extensive
time stops being transparent and becomes obvious, systems start
showing their seams, boundaries start forming in the modes of queues.
If fluctuations in time present sites of both conflict and routine
for the shiftworkers, jetsetters and global oligarchies, then queue
provides a site to ask what are chronopolitics of waiting? That a
queue is an emergent structure is obvious. But what are the
conditions, the ecological 'affordances', that enable the queue to
cohere as a form, which in the process of forming becomes index and
Gillian Fuller is an academic, writer and lapsed semiotician who
works in the area of network media and cultural politics. She is
Senior Lecturer in Media in the School of Media, Film and Theatre,
UNSW, Australia. She currently publishes in the areas of convergent
architectures, biopolitics and biometrics, and politics and methods
of movement. She is co-author of Aviopolis: A book about Airports
2004, Gillian Fuller & Ross Harley, Blackdog Press: London, and has
just begun a new project on the politics and methods of distribution
architectures, called 'the queue project'.
This event is organised by Media Design Research, Piet Zwart
Institute, Willem de Kooning Academie Hogeschool Rotterdam.
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