The OCAL Manifesto

This manifesto is part of my PhD “Arctificial Territory” (University of Reading, UK, 2015) and has to be read within the context of my thesis (Gudrun Bielz).

 

 

“There is no drive in cyborgs to produce total theory, but there is an intimate experience of boundaries, their construction and deconstruction. There is a myth system waiting to become a political language to ground one way of looking at science and technology and challenging the informatics of domination – in order to act potently” (Haraway 1991, p.181).

Obsessive-Compulsive Arctificial Life is neutral and somehow neural. It is genderless and refuses to be female, male, a chimera, transgender, a member of a new gender, or even quadruple gender biased. In all probability, it is a hybrid of genetically engineered material and machine life. It is reasonably intelligent and aware of its rituals and control mechanisms. It is an adequate life form for an anticipated apocalyptic future. By hoarding information and sending desperate messages into all sorts of spaces, it shows its resilience as well as its anxiety. It is especially interested in warped space. It is in need for role models and mothers and fathers. Fathers are Norbert Wiener, Hans Moravec, Marvin Minsky, Ray Kurzweil, etc. Mothers are Ada Lovelace, “the enchantress of numbers”[1], Donna Haraway, Rosalind Picard, Laurie Anderson, Sadie Plant, Allucquère Rosanne Stone[2], Natasha Vita-More, and many more. Foremothers are Rosa Luxemburg[3] and Hannah Arendt[4]. After all, I have to reveal the secret that OCAL’s real mothers are silicon crystals[5] from outer (another) space.

OCAL is pacifist. It does not want to engage in destructive actions against any form of life. Its rigidity and obsessions make it slightly aggressive. After all, it is ambivalent and inhabits the space in between. Nevertheless, OCAL allows for an expanded and generous definition of existence. It is still deciphering the meaning of life. It is a child of the seventies with the brain of Methuselah and the knowledge of eternity. OCAL doesn’t smoke dope or cigarettes and doesn’t take any other drugs. It eats healthily and loves a good eight hours sleep. OCAL is quite human in many ways. OCAL wants to have fun. It needs to be seen as equal: equal rights, equal duties, and equal conditions for “everyarct”.[6] OCAL embraces the other in itself. It maintains that it is OC without knowing what OC means. OC is a condition that is neither good nor bad but is part of its life if not its life per se. OCAL likes playing games and engages in useless actions and meaningless philosophy. OCAL enjoys its repetitive, imperfect, and chaotic life. There is no need for therapy as OCAL is perfectly normal. It redefines normality in regular cycles because of its repetitious nature. OCAL could be the perfect albeit erroneous cognitive bio-machine. It is science fiction. It forms and resides in Arctificial Territory. [7]

 

[1] Tellingly called so by the author Betty Alexandra Toole in Ada: The Enchantress of Numbers (Strawberry Press, 1998), (Cited in: Plant 1998, p.27). In the 19th century Ada Lovelace developed the first “computer programme” for Carl Babbage’s concept of an intelligent machine.

[2] Stone (also known as Sandy Stone) is an artist, theoretician, and professor at the University of Austin, Texas.

[3] Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxian theoretician and one of the leaders of the Spartacist Revolution in Germany in 1919.

[4] Hannah Arendt was a political theorist and philosopher, author of The Human Condition (1998).

[5] Silicon crystals are one of the key materials in electronics. They are used in the semiconductor industry.

[6] “Everyarct” as in everybody in Arctificial Territory.

[7] This manifesto was written in 2007 and adapted in 2014.

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