Whether it be information or materials, any new and faster medium of transport brings with it both the ideal promise of bringing the world closer together, and the practical reality of continuing gaps and fissures in the uneven landscape of togetherness. ARCADE has and will continue to be a venue for discussing both how changing technologies and material conditions allow for increasing exchanges and interactions around the globe, while at the same time pointing out glaring problems that stem from the increasing impossibility of ignoring regions of the world simply because they are unprivileged sites of language or material resource.
The Global Networks colloquy explores these tensions by, for instance, pointing out how certain critical schools or literatures are ignored because they come from “peripheral” regions or languages, while also assuming the possibility of being able to encompass these traditions despite significant barriers of language and geography. The very status of these posts and media as theoretically accessible to anyone with an Internet connection signals their globality. At the same time, their existence in a digital field full of holes, cracks, and bumps created by factors such as language, poverty, lack of education, and censorship, also ensure that any notion of Global Networks is not only incomplete, but also subject to extreme variations of access, legibility, and relevance. As many of these entries respond to a changing world, they also ask the important question of whether the world has really changed all that much.
—Meredith Ramirez Talusan, February 2012