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Space of Communication

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (non peer-reviewed)
Author Savic Selena,
Project Architecturality: How Space is Organised by Computation
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Contribution to book (non peer-reviewed)

Book META. Tracing Unknown Knowns
Editor , de Vega Mario; , Silvestrin Daniela; , Mazon Gardoqui Victor
Publisher n, Mexico City / Berlin
Page(s) 64 - 58
ISBN 00000000
Title of proceedings META. Tracing Unknown Knowns

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Visibility haunts our idea of knowledge since early greek philosophy, and has found particularly fruitful ground in empiricism. If knowledge arrives to the mind through sensory experience, that which can be seen can be known; that which cannot be experienced is only to be doubted and debated. American philosopher Susanne Langer observed in the late 1950s how evidence derived from our senses dominated natural sciences (Langer, 1993). Reason is based on facts because they can be observed, identified: we believe what we see. At the same time, Langer continues, the space of observation in laboratory experiments has shifted from experiences directly accessible to our senses to phenomena whose behaviour is mediated with different measuring instruments. Scientists today observe objects that have never been experienced, through instruments and devices that give them access to the space of experiment, too small and dynamic to be observed by human eyes. Our experience of the environment increasingly relies on something we like to consider invisible – an omnipresent wireless communication infrastructure. Places and services are recommended to us based on the location of our smartphone. We make phone-calls on our way to work, read the news on our touchscreens while waiting in a line, chat with remote friends while sitting in a café. We buy our tickets and book hotels while walking down the street. All these are made possible by continuous and reliable connectivity across our living space. Wireless communication technology, thus, plays a large role in our experience of space, yet it is veiled in a collective illusion of immateriality. French philosopher Michel Serres observed that all living and non-living things communicate: “Information circulates through the inert, living and human world, where everything and everyone emits it, receives it, exchanges it, conserves it and processes it” (Serres, 2014). Serres presents these as the four universal rules of communication: emitting, receiving, exchanging and processing of information. What, if anything, makes wireless communication special?