Ten Reflections on Mark Amerika’s PHON:E:ME .08

Amerika’s work is not subversive, in the ways that modernist art was once supposed to be. Instead, it is something subtler and more insidious. PHON:E:ME is a virus, or perhaps a fly in the ointment. It works in the mode of infiltration and infection. Instead of challenging the priority of the commodity system, it injects that system with a little of its own venom. It creates dubious slippages at those points where the system seems to be most coherent, and where its distinctions are believed to be most firm. Network congestion, for instance, is not for Amerika just an irritant, something that interrupts the smooth flow of information. Rather, net congestion is creative. It mutates existing patterns of meaning, continuously generating new ones. Instead of always futilely trying to dampen the noise, we might consider how better to incorporate the noise into the signal itself.

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