When Fungus punched Anthropos in the Gut: On Crap, Fish-eating Trees, Rhizomes and Organized Networks

Patricia de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Today’s internet has become like Deleuze’s societies of control, media scholars argue. The network’s invisible infrastructure, with near global reach, has amplified hierarchies, and is owned, exploited and surveilled by internet, advertising, and data-analytics companies, and by state security institutions. With the digital data produced by the often banal and quotidian activities of millions of internet users – or dividuals – a monopoly of a handful of Tech Giants accumulate massive amounts of wealth, and influence. The world wide web, various media scholars contend, has degenerated to a serpent’s coil. This article argues that the rhizomatic Wood Wide Web provides a basis from which to rethink today’s debate on the present and future of the internet, and challenges a predominant understanding of the societies control. Beneath our feet and beyond our perception, a subterranean meshwork of trees, mushrooms and fungi forms an ecology of trans-species solidarity, singularities, and creative, collaborative interactivity that could carry us outside the entrapments of the supposed totality of the societies of control.
What can the World Wide Web learn from the Wood Wide Web?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalRhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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