Milano, Monday May 6th 2002 at 18:00 PM
Until today any acknowledgement of the abnormal possibilities of
computer viruses has been impeded by conceptual and ideological
barriers, although these may very well be instruments of communication
inside and outside the Net.
Even though it is an issue of unfounded opinions (it will soon be
necessary to register the need for gratitude rather than for
acknowledgement),it hinders the deep-rooted conviction that viruses
are always and anyhow pathogenic agents and the emissaries of damage,
whereas the etymon of the Latin lemma refers both to VIS (force, vigor,
to VIRESCO (to be verdant, to flower, to be vigorous).
The virus of Pliny the Elder is sap, substance, the sap
and substance of life.
But the propagation of viruses does not necessarily imply mortality by
contagion, indeed, the 'bocconi.vbs'
virus recovers the vitality of the Latin root, inasmuchas it was
conceived as the first exemplar of brandvirus. 'bocconi.vbs'
is, in its genre, the most authentic and sincere application killer
of viral marketing in the educational sector.
This is therefore to be considered a first test of the proactive performance
of a sophisticated text like the source code of a virus, in the area of a
brand communication, tailor-coder-made, one to one, edifying project.
'bocconi.vbs' constructs relations with all potential stakeholders
of the Universitas and also touches the unwilling without violence.
As a classic form of "worm" based on the Microsoft Outlook© service,
'bocconi.vbs' sends itself, as an attachment, to every e-mail
address available on the guest system, inviting the user to visit
'bocconi.vbs' creates a textual document (bocconi.txt) in the
startup directory, and a print in ASCII characters of the Bocconi
logo will be appear on the monitor at every startup of Windows©.
We do not know whether the 'bocconi.vbs' source code will be able
to be utilized to become a further, decisive element in the marketing mix
of Bocconi University. Although we favor the institution of a virus
committee, we will leave the decisions regarding the use of such an
instrument up to others, in particular to competent bodies, while urging,
however, that opportune measures be adopted for its efficiency.
Nonetheless, it is necessary to open one’s eyes wide onto the 360° horizon
of telecommunications, and once again look at what the Net has to offer,
that is, to look without fear, which for the most part is unjustifiable
and inappropriate, and to move nonchalantly in that virtual space where
the majority of emotional, communicational, informative, and economic
transactions flow together.
The initial shock will be overcome by the benefits that the elimination
of a prejudice of this type might generate. And this will not be so much
because it will bring about the return of an image to the Bocconi brand,
in its use as a means of alternate communication, but above all, because
of the experimental aspect and the positive relapses that it will exercise
starting from its own birth.
The bocconi.vbs brandvirus will become a status virus in
just a few hours’ time: not everyone will be able to boast the distinction
The forms of collectable art continue to be based on an ancestral mechanism
that forms a value, that of privation. Just as it becomes an object to be
collected, taken out of the world and the vulgarity of circulation, the
object loses its original function and useful value.
It is deprived of it in order "to speak about its owner," and often only
"to its owner." The loss or suspension of its original function and useful
value are proof of the owner’s exuberant resources and the enviable
possibility of keeping them unproductive.
The exact opposite happens here: there is no wish for power, but rather for
temporary impotence, not for expectation but rather for surprise, there is
no speech but rather a contemporary and collective coaction for silence:
a virus is to a status virus like the cookies of a site of highly
interactive erotic content (http://www.xxx.com)
are to the mailing list of Christie’s top clients.
For these reasons, singling out the Bocconi University observatory as the
paradigmatic place for research on the mechanisms and laws that can generate
a growth in brand values is, in a certain sense, a necessary act.