Walker Art Center

How can we get beyond this initialization of time and space? I think translocal is a strategy, and ideas such as Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zone, being nomadic, can be omnipresent, depending on the situation.[12] Regarding the IO_dencies project, it was very important that no one could have an overview of what was happening, as the totality of the information flow was happening only invisibly at info-level--on the server. Each participant had a different experience. No one could share the same reality.

With the Tokyo version of IO_dencies, what the user sees at the interface depends on the information "tendencies." Each participant can visualize the flows as he or she wants and modify them in many ways. Also, there is a kind of "ghost" of other users remotely influencing the flows of the person's interface. You operate your own interface locally, as do others, but some interaction or influences occur, which can happen randomly, unexpectedly.

Tendencies and density of flows operated by each user form a kind of info-agency, which creates an applet that starts to seek similar tendencies and connects to them to make stronger tendencies. Info-flows are always in dynamic flux in these info-spaces. Over time, links between local data grow to influence the whole; in other words, global information.

I use the term local not in a sense limited to Tokyo people, or exhibition visitors, but rather as including any local participants accessing from any place in the world, which I think could be called translocal.

KR+cF (Knowbotic Research) raised the question of urbanism and urban planning to make the local participants face (invisible) realities and possibilities--to have them start thinking of themselves as one of the flows of Tokyo.


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From: Gunalan Nadarajan <gunalan@lasallesia.edu.sg>
Date: Tue Mar 12, 2002 0:11pm
Subject: Re: Why "translocations"?

Shuddha and the Raqs Collective,

I am particularly impressed with the position (or refusal to position) that conceptually grounds the concept of your Sarai initiative. The etymological and historical references of sarai upon which you have developed a form of strategic nomadism have interesting resonances, as you rightly noted, with notions of the translocal and translocation. I wonder, however, if you had thought of the limits of nomadic strategies such as yours, since there is a tendency for such strategies not to have a life after their initial interventions and effects. The strategic advantages of nomadism seem to issue exactly from its mobility and lack of institutional baggage. However, this also seems to limit the capacity for such nomadic strategies to have long-term effects and sustainable structures to maintain the dynamic of change they initially bring about or point to. Does Sarai see itself becoming more rooted, or are roots always dangerous? Location may have become less important, but the locatedness you suggest as being crucial for your work may need to develop some kind of roots, not for grounding but for a sustained relationship to a location.

I am also a little puzzled by the notion of translocal being presented in these discussions as somewhat antithetical to operations of globalization. It seems to me that the "trans" in translocal is driven by what Okwui Enwezor has called the "will to globality," which is a desire for connectivity and access to what is perceived to be global.[13] If translocation is a movement, and therefore a moment of globalization, despite being attentive to

12 See Hakim Bey, T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Autonomedia, anti-copyright 1985, 1991). This text is also available at http://www.hermetic.com/bey/taz_cont.html.

13 Conversation with the author.