networks; complexity; disorganization
we were entertained with a particularly powerpoint slideshow illustrating the u.s. military’s intepretation on the situation in afghanistan…
gen. stanley a. mcchrystal, the leader of american and NATO forces in afghanistan, was shown this powerpoint slide (below) in kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of american military strategy, but looked more like a bowl of spaghetti.
“when we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war” mcchrystal dryly remarked
the image in particular illustrates the ineffectiveness of using conventional representational techniques (1d flow / bubble diagrams) in combination with ubiquitous generic software (powerpoint in this case).
the diagram did remind us however of jeremy deller’s turner-prize winning piece ‘acid brass’ which was based on a connection between two apparently disparate genres, viewing them as “two authentic forms of folk art rooted in specific communities”. the flow diagram was followed up with a collaboration between deller and the williams fairey brass band in which acid house and detroit techno was performed by the brass band through a number of international gigs.
we’ve been looking to develop our own auto-organisational networks based on agents response within a network and contextual influence. currently the agents have generic information such as boundary constraints; area boundaries and charge influence. however, we’re looking to fold additional site specific and programmatic information into model in the coming weeks.