Feelings Are Always Local

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Editors: Arjen Mulder, Joke Brouwer
Issued: 2004

With: Arjun Appadurai, Mike Davis, Alexander Galloway/Eugene Thacker, Tijs Goldsmith, Christopher Kelty, Arjen Mulder, Karim Nader, Loretta Napoleoni.

Interactive art is organized as an open system: it is able to exchange matter, energy, and information with its environment while maintaining its coherence. Interactive art is art in a state of rest that must be disturbed: it is a system that has to become network before it becomes art at all. In order to come to grips with the phenomenon of interactive art, one must first understand the relationship between systems and networks.

“To find form or to see form arise, seek the systems in the network.”

Feelings Are Always Local analyzes the ways in which networks organize, expand, come together, and rearrange themselves from the inside out. With the help of specific examples, the authors investigate how we live in networks, how possibilities are created within them, opportunities seized, escape routes chosen – and how things sometimes go utterly wrong. The first question is scientific in nature: How do networks function? The second is political: How are networks made manageable at the concrete, everyday level?

Feelings are Always Local was published on the occasion of DEAF04, the 2004 Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, which focused on interactivity as an open system and interactivity in open systems. The book looks at projects with a social and political slant as well as those with a technological or biological character. It includes a series of essays, interviews and projects by international theorists and artists.

"This valuable work explores highly consequential themes that ensnare all of us."
 Dayna Crozier (Res Magazine)


Essays and Interviews

  • Arjen Mulder/Joke Brouwer: Introduction - Feelings Are Always Local
  • Arjun Appadurai: Minorities and the Production of Daily Peace
  • Mike Davis: Planet of Slums
  • Alexander Galloway/Eugene Thacker: In Defiance of Existence: Notes on Networks, Control and Life Forms
  • Tijs Goldschmidt: Every Species Is The Embodiment of Experience with the World
  • Christopher Kelty: Opening the Brown Box: Networks, Science and Infrastructure
  • Arjen Mulder: Body and Soul: Ludwig von Bertalanffy's Biological Worldview
  • Karim Nader: Memories are Constructive in Nature
  • Loretta Napoleoni: The New Economy of Terror


Artist Projects