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Marginal Networks: The Virus between Complexity and Suppression

Roberta Buiani
Fibreculture Journal Issue 4 - contagion and the diseases of information
ISSN 1449-1443
2005

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Abstract

In a recent article, Sampson suggested that the metaphoric relocation of the contagious properties of biological viruses into viral technologies has produced the assumption that computer viruses are "imbued with an alien otherness" (Sampson, 2004). However, it is arguable that such alterity can be ascribed to all viruses, as long as they are analysed as cultural notions or as discursive forms instead of being forced within clearly defined disciplinary boundaries, and being classified as separate and incompatible entities, organisms, or mere strings of code. Suspended between life and death, myth and reality, abstract and concrete, viruses are perfect candidate for the champions of marginality.

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