Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathBeyond the Archive

icon: previous page

Maps, in terms of this analysis, would be diagrams, not reproducing the «simple qualities» of their referents, but representing «the relations […] of the parts of one thing by analogous relations in their own parts.» [27] «The Diagram not only represents the related correlates, but also—and much more definitely—represents the relations between them, as so many objects of the Icon.» [28] For Peirce, the pure Diagram is merely designed to represent and to render intelligible the form of relation: «Consequently, Diagrams are restricted to the representation of a certain class of relations; namely, those that are intelligible.» The diagram equals the statistically based map, as opposed to representation based maps.

Datastreams behind the metaphors

The notion of mapping (unless used in its strict mathematical sense as mirroring a given set of data onto another) is associated with metaphorization, visualization, anesthetization, whereas the media-archaeological idea of the diagram is conceptual rather than visual, topological rather than geographical, non-narrative (data-based) rather than


narrative, connective rather than spatial, concerned with code (software) rather than images, numbers rather than sensual perception. The visual display of quantitative information (or quantifiable information) is a by-product of Cartesian modernity; the use of abstract, non-representational pictures to show numbers is a surprisingly recent invention (Edward Tufte). We are still using spatial metaphors for the representation of cybernetic processes. Why not teach the user to apply computation directly to linking data like it is already practiced in data-mining? Even in virtual communication, there is still hardware, not to be reduced to symbolic operations; the Internet topology is a structure of physical (not virtual) links between nodes. [29] The notion of ‹net,› read against the emerging Internet, has made a career as a metaphor. But hidden behind this romantic surface is the real stream of data: mapping Internet protocols, depending on IPprotocols. Should the Internet be physically or logically visualized? There is a difference in representations of the Internet as a communication tool (logical nodes) and a mapping of the Internet showing its physical nodes (cables, etc.). Internet

icon: next page