bnr#88 =>

Network Diagram

Object: 35
Date of origin: 1962
Author/inventor/context: Paul Baran
Historically, this diagram came out of military research on the survivability of communications under simulated attack. Subsequently, it was widely used to promote distributed organisations from businesses to activist networks. Politically, it mapped a movement from patriarchy/royalty to peer-to-peer. Poetically, it prophesised stretched-thin bodies and hive minds, but also a silence about all that white space in there. Formally, these lines and dots were similar enough to banal, mostly-functioning networks such as roads and electricity, that they obscured how much work all this was, and that we could think of each link as radically unique, just as each node is.