• Akademie der Künste / Hanseatenweg / Studio
Scales of Realtime

with Farzin Lotfi-Jam

  • Lecture
Passes only
Scales of Realtime

Realtime. The dream vision of technocratic management. A state of total omniscience, where what is known and how it is known is flattened onto the glistening surface of the computer screen. Encapsulating a suite of technologies, doctrines, and desires, the realtime paradigm is a response to consumer demands for convenience and speed as much as it is a reaction to government and corporate appetites for rich and frequent renderings of information.

Lotfi-Jam locates its long history of technological control and capitalisation by examining realtime innovations in applications such as military strikes and asset tracking. Noting how realtime is not just about deploying speed to minimise costs and increase margins, Lotfi-Jam outlines how it is a strategy for an emerging market of experiences. New human-to-machine interfaces are allowing for more intuitive interactions with spatial information and digital processes; from the scale of the smart city, where computational systems regulate movement, to the optimised home, where technologies of efficiency and monitoring produce informational subjects. This lecture lays out the consequences of these multi-scalar realtimes, and outlines the blind spots of supposedly all-immersive, all-seeing technical systems, showing how such systems foreclose urban futures outside the purview of military, security, and financial motives.

Farzin Lotfi-Jam is an architect whose work explores the politics of technology and cities.