In coming to India, there are two things I really wanted to do this summer but can’t: Futuresonic, which is hosting the PLAN’s Social Technologies Summit, and ISEA 2006, with its Interactive City Summit. Both are events that everybody seems to be a part of. Both have had outstanding precedents
and it pains me to miss them. But to attend either means missing not doing my research in Bangalore, on one hand, or to leave too early, on the other. I chose to be here for the experience of spending a longer-than-a-vacation period of time in India. But ouch! So many things I’m missing.
About the last PLAN conference… I attended the February 2005 PLAN conference in London, where I heard the most stimulating talk I heard that year.Eyal Weizman spoke about the Deleuzian brigadier-generals in the Israeli Army– the Frieze article linked here is very similar to the talk he gave in London at that time. Weizman talks about
how the army studies ways to subvert space (if you see him speak, he’ll show interviews on video). Shimon Naveh, the founder of the Operational Theory Research Institute says,
We are like the Jesuit Order. We attempt to teach and train soldiers to think. […] We read Christopher Alexander, can you imagine?; we read John Forester, and other architects. We are reading Gregory Bateson; we are reading Clifford Geertz. Not myself, but our soldiers, our generals are reflecting on these kinds of materials. We have established a school and developed a curriculum that trains operational architects.