Claudia_Reiche on 27 Apr 2001 02:52:57 -0000

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[oldboys] welcome

dear all,
;  ))
to the Old Boys mailing list! (This is a homeless situation but  a space  to
be written ) A too late welcome, my postings kept returning..., but this
impossible female 'hospitality' smile must have invaded  my face  for some
time ( see Irina Aristarkhova read Derrida)
So I smile to greet myself and every new and old old boy,  - an old old Boy
myself  having been within this network  even when the Old Boys Network did
choose  its masquerade-name.  Naming to mask an expression?  No.
masquerading to create: a method is in operation.

'Boy' can indicate  a lesbian sense  - but it's ok, I understand -  not
everybody  can be  a lesbian butch or an erotically boyish element  within
the Old Boys Network. What else?  'Old Boy' - this can indicate  as well a
member of an 'eminence grise': It's the same in this respect:  not everybody
of this 'Old Boys Network' - formed of members with female first names - has
a dubious influence  like the legendary , classical old boys: notorious
criminal  'families', political leaders  etc. This classical maleold boys
power is assumed to lay in their group structure - as hierarchical and
repressive  as  some biologists have described  reality from the point of
view in animal groups - , based on strict inclusion or exclusion of members.
Why not telling this story: Such a classical male old boys network is bound
together by concurrence and fights for priviledged positions  in the group.
The price would be the obedience of the SLAVE-boys  in order to be rewarded
for this  patience  with the death of such a 'father'-MASTER, one of them
overtaking  the inheritage, (...which will not work out like imagined ...
"Before Darwin, however, Hegel had provided the ultimate theory of the
proper function of aggressivity in human ontology, seeming to prophecy the
iron law of our time. (...) Here the natural individual is regarded as
nothingness, since the human subject is nothingness, in effect , before the
absolute Master that  is given to him in death.   (...) the problem is
knowing whether the Master/ Slave conflict will find its resolution in the
service of the machine, for which a psychotechnique that is already proving
rich in ever more precise applications will be used to provide space-capsule
pilots and space-station supervisors."Lacan, Aggressivity in psychoanalysis)

Admittedly:  such a classical male old boys structure  can still be seen as
a very simple  network,  but topologically it's more or less the
hierearchical tree form with one chief and perhaps one or two circuits
formed with the most loyal branches.  The branches on the same height
perhaps 'feel' like networking, but from your point of view? These
classical 'networks'  of old boys  do not really deserve the indication
'network' any loger - in today's technical implementation: in the
mathematical  form and structure  of the internet. As to a certain degree
this structure may speak for and by itself ..., for every subject is spoken
by it's organizing  structure?  Anyhow there are still machine or other
subjects  transmitting  signals as messages within this network.

That's the point where  CYBERFEMINISM enters the stage. Because  which other
two things on earth do have more in common than  a woman and a machine? Both
are  very often considered not to be - REAL  MEN. As Alan Turing reports
in his famous essay 'Computing, Machinery andIntelligence' 1950 (on machines
which cannot be said not to think) - women do not have a soul in islamic
cultures. At least  this is a general  question in relation to the machines
(chess computers etc.) in genreral in other parts of the civilized world  as
well. An authentic ,natural  affinity between femininity and machine arises
from such similar  positioning.
The real tihing, The bell rings
"Who is speaking?, Who's there ? "-
"Me!" -
"There?" -
Nevertheless the belief that  the internet  is defined by the technical
possibility of  a non-hierarchical  flow of information without  one
MASTER/center   must have been taken  as a starting point  for the
organisation  called 'Old Boys Network', which cannot be said not to be real
or men, nor not to think.
The imposssible  and  inevitable procedure  is to undergo the  MASTER/ SLAVE
logic  ( as well as the classical MALE/FEMALE logic, and the MAN/MACHINE
logic, and the  MIND/BODY logic, and the INFIORMATION/MATTER logic  etc. -
hoping  that the influence of the internet's topology  propels this
tendentious wish.
Plus the bet of this Old Boys Network  is: not  to be able to obey an
absolute MASTER, (mathematically based technologies,  or  death). But
judgement of this point  remains  ambivalent, as was to be expected in a
If judgement day never comes?
All in all, the starting point  of the Old Boys Network' has no ground, no
foundation, no justification, no proof for it's existence, no owner, no
author - but it cannot be said  not to  exist. Or:  it's nothing   other
than a pure and paradoxical masquerade with nothing  other behind the mask.
Or:  it's like the difference between the zeros and ones of the digital
Please  consider the following offers which something like  the 'Old Boys
Network' could give to you in abundance
- lack of hierarchy
- lack of tradition
- lack of posession
- lack of identity
- lack of being
It's up to you.
I hope  to discuss possible and impossible translations of these structures
in a working practice -  artistic, political and theoretical methods.  Can
the 'lack' of form become a form? Is this terror?
How to use these negations of 'not' or 'not enough' as a productive and non
hierarchical space?  If it's possible to open up this space, how to defend
it? To me the translation of these ideas in collective forms and functions
of a network  is the essential question and subject of the Old Boys Network,
which has the rersearch/invention of CYBERFEMINISMS as its subject.

writes Claudia Reiche


Claudia Reiche
Marthastr. 31 c
20259 Hamburg

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