In Carl Schmitt’s political philosophy he makes a distinction between the real enemy and the absolute enemy. This latter enemy is the one that negates your own position, questions your very existence. The real enemy denotes our possibility to act, we can react to challenges and threats. The absolute enemy appears on thresholds to new realities that are being born out of revolutions, not out of easy transitions Heidegger foresaw the road that Techne (craft or art in Ancient Greece) was travelling, yet was articulating the notion of Techne itself. Can we see technology still as helpful in the current strategies for sustainability, energy infrastructures, and communication protocols?
In Bandung (Indonesia), artist think-tank Common Room is working with designers hoping to develop a “talking three forest” in within five years. They hope this can develop a new relation- ship between people and environment. Usman Haque, the founder of Pachube, one of the defining start-ups in the very young field is “quite excited by a site that Mauj (an artist think-tank in Karachi) is working with, of unofficially reclaimed mangrove area, that has much potential for analysis, speculation and actual on-site workshop action; involving both social and ecological issues, environmental as well as economic.” He “would love if we could consider how some kind of citizen-oriented data collection and sense-making process could inform wider community-oriented activity.”
Throughout Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America, projects are being considered of pushing trials for the inclusion of RFID in banknotes in order to fight corruption and tax evasion that greatly hamper the growth of genuine public space, public institutions and generic infrastructures of energy, transport, IT infrastructure and lifelong education. Maybe it is very simply because things can only get better in a lot of places in the world. Given the current economic situation in Europe, we may have to say that things will probably get worse, not better in the terms in which we have been defining ‘better’. Yet the European Union cannot lead if it cannot engender and muster a wave of positive interest and a genuine longing for more or better connectivity.