Melting (馃摚 m臅lt | m路鈥媏路鈥媗路鈥媡路) melted, melting, MELT, melts.

Melting is a shape shifting figuration that changes what it touches. In times of climate change, melting proposes material transformation induced by heat, pressure or another friction. Melting is a computational practice in the soldering of components, and a planetary reality in the melting of ice caps and the entwined colonial, racial and ecological effects.

  • In Chemistry: chemically + socially, a state of matter change in which something more solid changes into something more liquid or less stable on the level of molecules. Melting proposes a change of state through heat, pressure or another friction. This makes it a mode of conflict. Example: Ice caps are melting.
  • In Depictions of Witchcraft: 'I'm melting!". Example: Wicked Witch of West, The Wizard of Oz.
  • In Process: Conceptually, melting is a mode to work with/through change and indeterminacy instead of deconstruction or modularity, attempts that are about breaking down a whole into parts. It is a material en/counter practice.
  • In Sandwiches: Sandwich with cheese, and another thing. Example: Two pieces of bread and cheese plus heat.
  • In Material: Deeply material process. Example: When a lollipop is left out in the sun, (above 30degrees celsius or around 98 degrees Ferenheight) it becomes sticky and melts.
  • In Forced Assimilation: Melting Pot. Example: When assimilation of migrants was enforced in the United States.
  • In Measurement: Elements have melting points. Melting itself is difficult to measure. While temperature, pressure and friction can be measured, there is little language available to describe the process of melting itself. Melting is opposed to classification and categorization. Example: When attempting to classify an artifact, if it begins to melt, the classification and categorization system that it may be sorted into becomes undone.
  • In Horror Movies: Melting zombies and vampires.
  • In Black Feminist Thinking: A way of understanding change as a process and processes as ongoing. References: Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower, Alexis Pauline Gumbs' M Archive: After the End of the World, Denise Ferreira Da Silva's On Heat.
  • In Time: Melting questions linear time. Example: The Caldera Lava Bed which errupted over 630,000 years ago is still moving. Things that have melted, do not always return to their previous, pre melt, form.
  • In Politics: Politically not neutral, it has violence within it as a concept, it is dangerous for some but life-affirming for others. Example: Rising sea levels have made some coastal islands and coast lines uninhabitable and others disappear entirely.
  • In Resistance: Resists definitional practice or quantification.
  • In Molecules: At a molecular level it requires space for expansion.
  • In Mess: High mess-making potential - potentially toxic.
  • In Jokes: Why don't people like talking about the melting sea ice? Answer: It's a polarizing issue.

  • see also: Ice Cream, Material Feminisms, Violence, Vibrant Matter, Mess, Toxic ref: Britney Spears, Toxic ref: Masculinity, Toxic ref: Nuclear Waste, Lactic Acid, my heart *you sweetie*, Crayons

    Permeating (馃摚 per路鈥媘e路鈥媋bil路鈥媔路鈥媡y | \ 藢p蓹r-m膿-蓹-藞bi-l蓹-t膿 \) permeated, permeable, permeability.

    Permeating is a material property that connects differently structured and structuring substrates. It proposes a surface with an uncertain depth and can't necessarily be percieved by human senses. Permeating frames devices that scaffold possibilities of contact.

  • In Material: Enables material practices of 鈥歳eaching through鈥 instead of just 鈥歴eeing through鈥. Permeating is a mode of leaking.
  • In Interfaces: Along an interface, that manifests for example as a membrane or between otherwise incompatible programming scripts, an exchange happens between different structured and differently structuring materials. These materials co-constitute each other through the specific configuration of their interface鈥檚 permeability. Permeating is oftentimes too small or not vocal enough to be perceived by human senses and especially by human eyes.
  • In Process. Interfaces are zones, and open-ended. Reference: With Alexander Galloway we argue that 鈥欼nterfaces are not things, but rather processes that effect a result of whatever kind.鈥
  • In Haptics: Not visual per/say, different to transparency.
  • In Reaching: Reaching through vs seeing through. This makes permeating a matter of access. Example: Reaching into a box to try and identify the material or things inside. Is it cold spaghetti? Is it a blanket? Is it melting ice? Example: Instead of calling for decision making to be transparent, ask for it to be permeable.
  • In Recognition: Not fully making something available. Example: Lace or beaded curtains do not fully close off a space, nor do they make it fully open to enter.
  • In Boundaries: Wifi-waves as permeating architectures and bodies. Permeating suggests that no body or system is closed and that there is no 'outside'.
  • In Membrane: The prosity of the membrane determines the entire possibility.
  • In Surfaces: Oftentimes is to do with the surface, mediating entity.
  • In Framing: Framing device for variable perspectives. Pearmeating undoes rectangular shapes and enclosed structures. Example: A french press has a porous aluminium structure through which coffee floats.
  • In Non-Binary: Permeating is not an either/or binary process, it proposes modes of both/and.
  • In Electrochemistry: Semipermeability is employed in electrochemical applications. Example: Batteries.
  • In Collectivities: Nothing is ever seperate, all is conditionally connected.
  • see also: Body without Organs, Informatic Opacity, Nonseparability, Sensing Practices, Jello, Cotton Fabric, Prisms, 3d scanning application, Pasta Strainer, Space-time-continum, Petals of flowers, Smell

    Leaking (馃摚 l膿k), leaked, leaking, leaks.

    Leaking is a material phenomenon in different fields such as chemistry, computation/electronics, whistle blowing, crying that always point towards an opening of an already porous body or system. This shifting computational (and not) process opens a contingent space that undoes the solidity of non/human artifacts and frameworks.

  • In Electronics: happens when electrons leave the path they are supposed to flow on because a conducting material meets another conductor. Example: When the isolation of a wire breaks, it touches salt water, which is also a conductor. A leak results in the loss or corruption of electrons or data.
  • From Faces: When crying. Example: "I'm leaking!", said the Grinch.
  • In Social Relations: Occurs when people leak sensitive or private information, for example unreleased game footage or classified information. A constant maintaince of keeping people from 'spilling over'. Example: Chelsea Manning released information on war crimes to be public.
  • In Computation: a constant performance of refreshments of bits in memory to prevent a leak (1). Example: DRAM memory is refreshed at the rate of milliseconds. Reference: In Habits of Leaking: Of Sluts and Network Cards the theorist Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and the filmmaker Sarah Friedland argue that 'new media are not simply about leaks: they are leak鈥.
  • In Sluttiness: Chun and Friedland describe how network cards connect computers with networks in a default mode that is called 鈥歱romiscuous鈥 since it is specifically the openness of network cards towards any and all internet traffic that makes it possible to interconnect computers. These basics of network technology are, according to Chun and Friedland leaky, and 鈥瀟echnically speaking, initially 鈥瀞lutty鈥溾. Through this lense, slutiness is celebrated as leaking (7).
  • In Kitchens: A messy spill with a sicky fluid in your fridge. Example: The jam from my friend had a small hole in its container and now my entire fridge has liquid jam on its surface.
  • In Elemental Relations: When the mercury cries (a kind of sound of it crying/leaking). Example: When mercury is frozen with nitrogen oxide it makes a cracking noise when it is broken in half.
  • In Networks: A way of relating between internet nodes. Example: The p2p Gossip protocol is inspired by how people 鈥瀞pill over鈥 and thus leak social data.
  • In Political, Electronic, Artistic contexts: It has a subversive potential because it is about leaving the connection from a to b. Example: By leaking out of disciplines T*FTS (Trans*Feminist TechnoScience) undoes the boundaries of previously worked with intersections.

  • see related: Leach, Botulism, Sharks biting Internet Cables, Snowden, Telegraph Wires, Soy Sauce, Melted Ice Cream, P2P, Radiation, Nuclear Power Plants, Joy, Leaks and Stings, Noise

    On: Heat / Breathing Fire / Cleanliness / Unmastery / Programmability

    Invitations while reading include:
    Paying attention to feelings.
    Imagine yourself as a material or element and pay attention to state changes that happen by reading the texts.
    Consider the stakes of instability when something instable comes up.
    Notice what perspectives are present and missing.

    On: Heat

    "Let me briefly illustrate what I mean by material transformation, with heat as a guide for thinking through the colonial, the racial and capital as deeply鈥攎aterially鈥攊mplicated. The warming of the planet is caused by the excess emission and accumulation of greenhouse gases鈥攃arbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide鈥攚hich raises the temperature of the troposphere, the lower layer of the Earth鈥檚 atmosphere. Five things that we know are relevant to how excess accounts for climate change: (a) that temperature is a measure of heat; (b) that heat is the transfer of internal kinetic energy; (c) that the total energy in a system, such as the cosmos, remains constant; (d) that the expenditure of a certain form of energy is basically its transformation into another form of energy; and (e) that matter and energy are equivalent."

    Denise Ferreira Da Silva in On Heat, Canadian Art

    M Archive: After the End of the World

    "if you treat it like a small and fragile light, vulnerable to wind and whatever, easily extinguished by the weight of our steps, then everything becomes a dance. you have to release the heaviness in your body and get gentle with darkness on the move. those were her second instructions to the candle calisthenics class. the first instruction was hush. they met in the woods at first, and later in basements. and no one knew they were walking around all day with their mantras. breathing is burning and burning is beautiful. they were learning to move as if the world was hot and melting. which it was. but this was no hot yoga trend. they recruited each other silently, new initiates follow- ing students to meetings of their own free will. not knowing that a cinnamon could only be perceived when she wanted to be perceived. and so each initiate chose and was chosen. they were using candles to train with, but their real object was air, life, light, they were learning what heat and impermanence had been trying to teach our species since the first woman made friction into light to watch her sleeping selves. they remembered each other through burns and breath training and no one left, so the contingent only grew. and they grew to know each other so silently that the partial movement of an eyelid, less than a blink, could lead them all in changing directions. they grew so quiet and so gentle they could hear each other鈥檚 ancestors saying, left here baby not right. whole groups of them could move in stealth. and so the second and third goals were achieved. both in service to the first. develop the capacity to live underground, as close to the core of the earth as necessary. learn to move above ground and return undetected."

    "they became heated. more volatile. inside. and while everyone thought of global warming as an external phenomenon, it was happening on the same timeline within. the people on the planet were stars burning out. which explains the general urgency, most of the cancer, and the importance of the transubstantiative impact of dreams. something can turn to anything if you get it hot enough. we watched as the water in their bodies turned to steam."

    "what we wanted was to want to. not to have to do anything. and the problem was we forgot after all these years of force what wanting was. want was not getting, nor was it having. wanting was not needing. wanting was not having to have or needing not to need. it was not. and there was a wideness in wanting that didn鈥檛 quite fold in on itself. it deepened and rose up and radiated out and touched softly to itself with warm warning."

    Gumbs, Alexis Pauline (2018), Archive of Fire: Rate of Change, in M Archive: After the End of the World, Duke University Press: 95-97.

    Digital Rubbish

    "Outmoded commodities are fossilized forms that may鈥攖hrough their inert persistence鈥攗ltimately unsettle notions of progress and thereby force a reevaluation of the material present.26 While commodities might guide us to a space of speculative promise, the vestiges of these promises are all around us. These fossils persist in the present even as the assumed progress of history renders them obsolete. Within and through these forms, more complex narratives accumulate, which describe technologies not only as they promise to be but also as they materialize, function, and fall apart. In this Benjamin-inspired natural history method, such an approach to fossilized commodities becomes a way to circumvent 鈥渘aturalized鈥 histories, which typically assume that technological progress is automatic and inexorable or even a 鈥渘atural鈥 event, on par with evolution. Histories of technological forms are often narrated through the logic of 鈥渙nward and upward,鈥 of crude early devices eventually surpassed by more sophisticated solutions. But rather than examine technology as an inevitable tale of evolution, I take up the notion that these fossil forms are instead evidence of more complex and contingent material events. This natural history method, then, signals a distinct approach to materiality鈥攏ot just as raw stuff, but, rather, as materiality effects.
    Electronic fossils are in many ways indicative of the economies and ecologies of transience that course through these technologies. Electronics are not only 鈥渕atter,鈥 unfolding through minerals, chemicals, bodies, soil, water, environments, and temporalities. They also provide traces of the economic, cultural, and political contexts in which they circulate. To begin to develop a more material account of these dematerialized technologies requires accounting for the multiple registers of what constitutes materiality鈥攏ot as the raw matter of unproductive nature made productive, nor even as 鈥渟econd nature,鈥 but as a complex set of material processes and relations."

    Gabrys, Jennifer (2013). Digital rubbish: A natural history of electronics, University of Michigan Press, Chicago: 7

    Unthinking Mastery

    "This always inquisitive, always revising, always expansive 鈥渨e鈥 is as hopeful as it is necessary for survival. In the midst of global climate change, of vanishing rain forests and melting polar ice caps, of 鈥渘atural鈥 disasters across the globe, our masterful practices are perversely plowing the soils of our extinction. Mastery in this sense is a diagnosis of a certain form of human living that is鈥攁s Unthinking Mastery has sought to pressure鈥 woven tightly into the fabric of our worldviews. Rather than to live by seeking out forms of mastery to correct damages done, or as though we have reached a palliative stage as a species, I am driven by a utopian hopefulness in the activities of unfolding mastery in all its aspects. To survive mastery, we must begin to deconstruct our own movements (intellectual, activist, corporeal) that remain entangled with the violent erasures of other lives, and of things we declare insensate. Survival depends on new forms of living together, gathered in collectives that promise to astonish us.
    When we open ourselves to the ways that texts can teach us, what we begin to learn is our own undoing. If it is no longer au courant to claim as intellectuals our 鈥渕astery鈥 over our disciplines (and I鈥檓 not sure that it is not), this change of language does not undo the drive to think of ourselves as the active subjects of reading and the texts we read as the inanimate objects that confirm our declarative knowledge. To distance ourselves from mastery is, first, an act of reframing our relations to all things, regardless of whether in the moment we bestow them with something currently called 鈥渓ife.鈥 From this point of departure, directionality becomes infinite and failure a process we might begin to meet with pedagogical delight."

    Singh, Julietta (2017), Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements, Duke University Press: 173 - 175.

    Silicon Valley of Dreams

    "This postindustrial, post-smokestack, campus-like suburban planning made it easy for developers and industry owners to claim that the electronics sector was 鈥渃lean鈥 and 鈥減ollution free.鈥 The clean image of the electronics industry was touted by executives, politicians, and newspapers everywhere. Harold Singer, an official of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, once stated, 鈥渢he horizon above San Jose is unmarred by smokestacks, and people here are proud of that. They have worked hard at making the valley a base of the computerelectronics industry and an unpolluted place to live.鈥 As recently as the year 2000, the Smithsonian Magazine described the 鈥渃lean rooms鈥 where microchips are made as 鈥渢he most fanatically clean, most thoroughly sanitized places on the planet,鈥 where 鈥渙ne could eat one鈥檚 oatmeal off the floor.鈥 The highly toxic wafers from which microchips are cut are viewed by industry promoters as 鈥減ristine,鈥 and the chemical-laden water that washes semiconductor components in the electronics 鈥渇ab鈥 plants is described as 鈥減ure.鈥65 Even former U.S. President Bill Clinton rubbed shoulders with CEOs in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, publicly proclaiming that the high-tech industry 鈥渨ill move America forward to a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and technological leadership.鈥 These accounts leave the uninformed reader with the impression that high-tech firms are the paragon of hygiene and safety, sanitation and environmental responsibility."

    "Whether from depletion or pollution, Santa Clara County industries seem always to have been intent on maintaining a dependence upon 鈥 and a lack of respect for 鈥 water, land, immigrants, and people of color. Environmental racism in the Valley meant not only that people of color were being exposed to toxics and pollutants at home and work, but also that this process was part and parcel of a broader context of general ecological degradation in the region. European contact, the missions, mining, farming and canning, and computer/electronics production each brought the promise of economic prosperity and new social liberties springing forth from the bountiful wealth of natural resources that only California could offer. But in each case, economic gains were concentrated among a few while poverty and immiseration were shared among the many; racial and ethnic cleavages reemerged and deepened; and the integrity of the natural environment suffered as yet untold assaults."

    David Naguib Pellow and Lisa Sun-Hee Park. The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-tech Global Economy, 2002: 72 & 84

    Software or the Persistance of Visual Knowledge

    "The problem with Manovich鈥檚 notion of transcoding is that it focuses on static data and treats computation as a mere translation. Programmability does not only mean that images are manipulable in new ways but also that one鈥檚 computer constantly acts in ways beyond one鈥檚 control. To see software as merely 鈥渢ranscoding鈥 erases the computation necessary for computers to run. The computer鈥檚 duplicitous reading does not merely translate or transcode code into text/image/sound or vice versa; its reading鈥攚hich conflates reading and writing (for a computer, to read is to write elsewhere)鈥攁lso partakes in other invisible readings."

    Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, On Software, or the Persistence of Visual Knowledge, January 2005, Grey Room 18(4): 46.

    From Being Material: Standing Rock: Selma Moment for the Environmental Justice Movement

    "We鈥檙e choking on hate and nobody seems to care. 鈥擜ttorney Angela Bibens
    Was this project about 鈥渆nergy independence鈥 or hate and profits? Standing Rock Reservation is the homeland of the Hunkpapa Oceti. If you close your eyes, you can remember the fifty million buffalo the single largest migratory herd in the world. The pounding of their hooves would vibrate the Earth and make the grass grow. There were once two hundred and fifty species of native grass. Today the buffalo are gone, replaced by twenty-eight million cattle, who require grain, water, and hay. Many of the fields are now of a single GMO crop, full of so many pesticides that the monarch butterflies are being wiped out. In my memory, that old world remains.
    The health of Mnisose has been taken for granted. Dammed in the Pick Sloan Dam projects, each project increases contamination and reduces her health. Today, Mnisose is the seventh most polluted river in the country. Agricultural runoff and now fracking have contaminated the river. During our time at Standing Rock, my sister and I went fishing. She caught a gar -a giant pre-historic fish鈥 only to find it covered with tumors.
    In January 2015 saltwater contamination from a massive pipeline spill reached Mnisose. The belief that 鈥渄ilution is the solution to pollution鈥 has long been discarded by public health and environmental professionals. Not in North Dakota though. In the baffling way of state and federal agencies, North Dakota鈥檚 Health Director David Glatt did not expect harm to wildlife or drinking water supplies because the water was diluted. Blacktail Creek and the Little Muddy River were contaminated by nearly three million gallons of saltwater with elevated levels of toxic chloride."

    Winona LaDuke, Standing Rock: Selma Moment for the Environmental Justice Movement, illustrated by Sarah LittleRedfeather: 121 - 122.