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  • P

Protocols facilitate change. They are, more precisely, enabling constraints: they enable one connection by restricting others. In its earliest form, a “protocol” was a short document attached by red wax to a larger document; the protocol smoothed the progress of the principal communication by specifying the particular procedures to be observed by all parties. Protocols thus establish the rules and conventions for exchange, but they do so in a dynamic fashion: they can assume different formats and they can travel. When protocols migrate from one scene of communication to another, the rules and conventions they specify may operate virally in a codependent relation with those changing scenes—and may thereby alter the protocols themselves as well as the connections they make possible. Protocols are thus, importantly, design agents. Their agency lies both in providing the formal language of and for connection and in serving as strategic insertions into connectivity. Knowledge protocols, for example, may both break connections within and among different kinds of knowledge (thereby addressing stuckness) and reorganize connectivities (thereby altering the organization of knowledge on an established platform). By supplying the syntax for movement from one conceptual architecture to another, protocols participate in creating newly knowable spaces.  In our present situation, protocols are thus useful strategies for promoting de-disciplinarity (movements from the disciplinary organization of knowledge): the introduction of unfamiliar or differently designed protocols to a platform is likely to create unforeseen connectivities.

SUGGESTIONS FOR REVISION?
SUGGESTIONS FOR REVISION?