“Protocol” emerges from a problem. The problem is an historical one: What is the system of organization and control that is endemic to the distributed networks that currently encompass the globe? And further: How do the specific transformations within material life bring into being a set of participatory techniques and behaviors? The concept of protocol is an attempt to “give a face” to this hitherto faceless form. But in giving a face to the formerly defaced a new cycle begins, one in which–I hope–the very asymmetry of historical transformation can be met and understood within one’s own discourse without glamorizing one component or the other (the tree or the rhizome).
See also: Essay on Galloway’s book Protocol (PDF)