I’m sure it’s all a mundane form of nAârt, ofcourse.
Wish i had the time to show you how the nkdee.xsd schema can be used to populate a website and perform genetic operations in a java web app while maintaining monadic ‘control’ over the process. I’ll dream it instead…
– I’m trying to build a game here, the Cathedral Game. It’s going to take a long time, because i can only work on it in my spare time. The purpose of the Game is very complicated and mysterious as well as utterly simple: you can read about it in the Introduction to Cathedral Building.
– I’m also trying to develop some artistic publishing tools, mainly for publishing literature on the internet. I use my own work to test these things. I’m trying to make this kind of private content management system, because nothing on the market seems to satisfy my needs. I think they might become useful for others too, so i’ll be releasing source code for anyone who’s interested in alternatives to the predominantly object-oriented soft that’s out there. I don’t make any promises though, because time is limited and i wouldn’t know when anthing gets finished
– When you combine both strategies, and add my constant need to write, or mess about artistically, what you get is what you see: a process started in september 2004 and rapidly (?) turning into a field of artistic research. Given sufficient time, the central questions i would like to formulate some answers to with this kind of research would sound like:
What kind of writing will be the result of writing with tools that are co-defined, simultaneously developed, with the writing itself?
In how far will this ‘website’ be writing itself ?
Can you get a process similar to (Semantic) Web Services up and running based on different ontologies than what’s being used now? Can Software Agents be programmed to behave artistically? Poetically? Ethically?
Is there such a thing as a poetic algorhythm? What would it look like in, say, JAVA?
What happens to text when you put it on a publicly available URL? What happens to poetry? Philosophical texts? What’s all this talk about liquid data?
Untsoweiter. Working with processes in a project of artistic research implies by its very nature that you do not exclude questions, that you are aware that formulating a good question is a very rare event, because such a question implies the possibility of a right or meaningful answer. So, primarily, i hope the questions will get better, in time.
Interesting overview albeit, imho, with some lacking or insufficient conclusions: – digital collage needs to address the fundamental concepts of computing (OK4dv) – digital objects need to be disruptive (not_entirely_OK4dv: digital _processes_ need to disrupt conceptual objects) – “the Digital Bauhaus needs to be dirty!” (certainly_notOK4dv: it’s another rephrasing of the fictional idea that ‘relevant’ information needs to be substracted from chaos or noise and that more noise in the discrete world of objects would lead to an artistical surplus within the information, like applying a series of randomly or carefully chosen filters in photoshop to any image would render it artistically interesting.
In a truly Wittgensteinian sense: that is simply not the case.
In any work of art the noise is the art object, or its perception of being (a series or collection of) object(s). It is always the same mistake of taking snapshots of the flow of a process and then call it ‘the digital’. That ‘digital’ object does not exist, although we need it to construct programmatic aid to our way of living.
Text is not a static object and neither is code, because code is text. Programs run, or they are not. Collage has no need for dirt, neither has ‘digital collage’.
Programmed collage needs to compile, just like Schwitters Merz’ collages were processes that ran until the procedural residue could be succesfully compiled by Kurt’s eye, a very efficient process combining artistic insight, instant technical feasability reporting and a sublimely complete awareness of the actual world he lived in. They are in a true sense timely constructions of which the much valued residual objects are a mere testimony. In that way, Kurt’s original KdeE is and will always remain his most succesfull work of art, although virtually nothing remains of it. It may all have been destroyed but it was a highly significant and speaking moment in history to this day, both within the history of art, within it’s living process of tradition, as it continues to speak to us, as in our history of Kurt’s time, as it continues to speak to us about his time, his particular region of clarity as an artistic monad.
If Object Oriented Programming was the (genial) first move away from the idea of the computer program as a narrative of its execution, we are now making our second move, the one towards allowing the computer to generate its own procedural reality in a human-computer sphere where informational garbage from any procedural reality can become nutritial for other processes: the maximum of information is not defined by the noise/relevance equation but by the next moment’s nutrition value.
Algorithms + data structures + time = human programs.
The programmed collage, if such an idea can be realised, and i think it can, would not be confined to any cheaply Kantian aesthetics, adding an aesthetic surplus for pleasure in contemplation to randomly collected objects. The programmed collage would be a realisation of a generative machinisating kind, in opposition to the mechanic results of all too discrete division in objects and sterile calculations on those divisions. A machine consisting of nothing but machines, a screenfull of interacting processes, a representation performing with a feel for its audience because it’s audience is contained within it as an inescapable auctorial instance. In such machines we need only fear our own fallacies in continually taking the fictional discrete for real.
So if you need slogans: the Digital Bauhaus needs to know itself.
The Anke Veld Writing Process ’s flipped from its dormant state into an active one yesterday. Nothing on the site (or elsewhere) is save from its workings now. Your (text only) comments / contributions are welcome here or on the Anke Veld Forum
The question was raised on the Rhizome list, and instead of responding there, which would be somewhat pretentious regarding the state of my own craft, i’ll post some remarks here.
It was a particularly good day for nAârt today, Jim Andrews’ insightful remarks on these matters coinciding with the release of the ‘procedural’ art/research interactive drama ‘Façade’, not that i see much nAârtism in the attempts to conquer the entertainment business with the kind of procedural content these researchers have in mind, it seems to be a free download but no code is shared, no attempt is being made to demystify A.I., so the free part is clearly a façade for commercial investment. No, this is more of a negative feed for my nAârt, proving earlier remarks on the aggressive moves of the market on these technologies and the ease with which the media associated with the Libre movement are recuperated by the industry.
More hopefull news came from Tamara Lai who is taking her commendable collaborative project ‘sacrifier le/Sacrifice/sacrificing’ to a new phase in her Chroniques du / Kroniks of / Sacrifice at http://www.webzinemaker.com/sacrifice/. Building on what could be accomplished, to accomplish more, taking your thoughts further: that’s the true nAârt spirit!
On Rhizome and on programming and art, Jim Andrews wrote, quoting another Belgian first:
“…the aim of all this is to create poetry. So, I like to speak about algorithmic poetry. A poem is a text that procures you poetry if you read it. The code I’m trying to write is a text that procures you poetry if a computer reads it for you….” Frédéric Durieu http://turbulence.org/curators/Paris/durieuenglish.htm
Donald Knuth is a renowned computer scientist, but the idea of ‘the art of programming’ as promulgated in a book like that series is terribly outdated. There are dimensions to contemporary software art that were not anticipated/anticipatable by Knuth. He sees the ‘art’ as consisting in choosing the right algorithms and the right implementations of the right algorithms. *Perhaps* this is true once you decide what the thing is going to do. But it leaves aside the whole question of what the thing is going to do. And why one would want to do such things. And the relation of these things to what’s going on in the world. Programming is now a part of writing. Writing is a broader thing than it was. The art of programming is not simply a craft of design and engineering but involves all the sorts of issues we find in other arts plus its connections with engineering and mathematics, which occur also in other arts where the making is not without relation to things like engineering and mathematics. Such as architecture..”
‘Programming is now part of writing’. Code=text. Imho nothing much further needs to be said on the question. There is no breech with tradition here, only perhaps (hopefully) a merging in part of artistic tradition with scientific/technological tradition. (The consequences are more important than the inevitable ‘no’-answer, like that art implicating code should be free(ly accessible) or not.)
Thus, in a nagging, nerdy, digressing nAârtful repetition:
Authors these days create in natural languages / traditional artistic media plus code. They take the trouble to learn code because they (rightly, imho) think it will enlarge their capabilities of creating something relevant for their art / how their art stands in our society, acknowledging the fact that their work is also part of a machine-readable text.
Hence more craft is needed, more training /research / collaboration. Which imho is a good thing for some of us because in the long run it will change people’s perception of art in our advantage. Authors relying on craftmanship (if only out of necessity) like musicians have always received more public ‘respect’. Not meaning that anything purely conceptual should automatically be labelled the lesser art, it only means that you can’t force people to ‘like’ conceptual art (or buy it, if that is what you want) or ‘respect’ it the same way they tend to do for ‘well-crafted’ art. The public wants to see you ‘work’, not your ‘work’, no matter how hard you actually worked on it, or how brilliant your ‘work’ is.
Any part of any craft can be ‘artful’, just like any text can contain parts that are thus well crafted that they show artistic aptitude, it doesn’t make the language art, or the text as whole, automatically.
Whether what authors create thus, whether that is ‘art’ is another matter and, eventually, your decision. Modesty is important. The Turbulence Paris collection (works by Nicolas Clauss, Jean-Jacques Birgé, Fredéric Durieu, Jean-Luc Lamarque, Antoine Schmitt and servovalve see http://turbulence.org/curators/Paris/ ) show some examples leaving little doubt, i think, and the rhizome artbase has plenty more. But most of us, like me, can only aspire for some artful sort of craftmanship, keeping the door open for the possibility of Art: “In my craft or sullen art”, Dylan Thomas verse is humming there in the background somewhere.
Anyway, the goal is always Art as a contribution to mankind, surely big words for small people but art can only be that or it is not. In that context, Art is an on/off flickering presence invading the individual who is continually expressing the absence of Art, invoking it. The Muses are still valid concepts, much as they are riddled by paradoxes in our present condition.
Paradoxes brought forth by post-modernism that are only paradoxical because they run literally beyond the ‘doxa’ of logic but they should not be swept under the carpet lightly nor should they keep anyone from working, because they are paradoxes that can only be overcome by working in a complete awareness, and with a full aknowledgement of the author as a ‘natural’ processing unit, however feeble her voice may sound in a mechanic desert that seems bent on destroying all individuality or in the commercial media-monstrosity obsessed with recuperation and exploitation of anything from naïve love lyrics to minute screams of despair in the intimacy of our personal longings/households.
True collaboration, a human share in net-lingo, can only begin from the solitude of the individual, its fragmentary-but-complete way of incorporating the world. In that we were all created equal and any lazy or dishonnest approbation, besides being illegal, simply will not work.
There is no pyramid from artist A,B,C and scientist X,Y,Z to artistic/scientific summit N with some Open Source Eye in the middle, there’s only that many differenciated processes engaged in one (or several) proces(ses) that need no goal(s) because they have been started, they only call (order us if you want) to be continued to the best of our abilities.
Continously solving the problem at hand, fed by collective knowledge processed individually. A source open to religion as well for those who wish to practice that, although there is no ‘defining’ need for it, and religious interpretations will always remain a surplus of belief, something ‘outside’ the realm of art, for those inclined to such beliefs.
As such works of Art set recognisable standards to be reached, Art to be emulated, open up the possibility of a Renaissance of sorts, closing the gap between art & society instead of widening it, because a systematic approach of art to science and vica versa on the common ground of code and algorhythmic research will (hopefully) eventually lead to more understanding and therefore better communication of artists/scientists to society and to more humane ways of mechanising society. But there’s a long road ahead, as usual, and time is short.
L’Art est long et le Temps est court.
One could object that it shows little concern with the real world, thinking on such matters a day after 37 people got killed in the London tragedy, a day that saw the G8 conference ending with yet another postponement of urgently needed relief, declaring the next five years of starving as unaddressable by the worlds current businessplan and having ‘heroes’like Geldhof publicly applauding such cynism.
I think the opposite is true, that artists and scientist alike have the moral obligation to think these matters through urgently, it’s as much our job as helping victims is a fireman’s job, we chose that job so let’s do it thouroughly and start today, because, to quote Jim Andrews again :
what is at stake is whether we have societies in which the machine is simply oppressive of humanity or whether the art of programming can flower into something beautiful not only in the austerity of mathematics but in its poetic vision for the benefit and joy of humanity.
NAârt is how i name my art or craft. It’s personal, it’s not for sale, but you can use it if you want.
It carries a French ‘accent circonflexe’ because it is selfreferential. You are supposed to pronounce it like naaha-aha-aart, in as many risings in your intonation as you can handle. It’s fun pronouncing nAârt, you should try it, you start off very decisive with the ‘n’, then start hesitating, move your way up & up towards a ridiculously high A, stammering yourself into a sneeze of sorts near the end. Always carry a handkerchief when pronouncing nAârt in public places. When you pronounce nAârt, nAârt happens.
NAârt is never an static object, it is always an event, a process. One of the purposes of starting a nAârt process is finding a way to define nAârt, to create a referential cohesion that would enable everyone to talk about nAârt, and hence to make it easier for people to make nAârt, just like one of the purposes of the Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends is to find (a way to built) the Cathedral. NAârt is desire, or better, a little further away from the fictional equation, nAârt’s [undefined] algorythm is (happening like) the [undefined] algorythm of desire.
My Cathedral is the place where my nAârt finds its perfect expression, where it gets its unity of movement. That’s where authorship is a central concept, where i refuse to do without authorship as the key to unlocking creativity. I do not believe in collaboration if it is not a collaboration of authors. I do not believe in the freedom of the collective. There can only be a collected freedom of authors. There is no higher level in which humans could function like ants, there are no levels, only complications, literally: folds upon folds, a contingency of implications, folds folding into folds and a gathering of explications, desires unfolding complexes of desires.
But it should not end or stop at the individual: my nAârt, like anybody’s nAârt is also a manual, and therefore : a command.
You cannot read nAârt. You cannot buy nAârt. You cannot feel or see or hear nAârt.
If you’re reading this, and you are reading this, you are USING nAârt, you are a nAârt user. Don’t worry, its (still) legal. NAârt cannot come into this world, you cannot talk about nAârt without it being useful. NAârt abuses language to create nAârt, to command you, the receptor, into using nAârt, creating the nAârt in your veins, erecting the desire for nAârt in your field of vision. NAârt is therefore an unstoppable process.
Now you know, so go and make your own nAârt, you can have all of mine to start from or there’s millions of terrabytes out there that’s much better too. You’re doomed to make nAârt, so you’d better have some fun while doing it.
One of the more ambitious stuff going on here is the attempt to formulate answers to analyses like the one from Alan Sondheim below (see http://www.anu.edu.au/english/internet_txt/net4.txt for the complete source text).
‘Answers’ is a bad word, however, it’s more a matter of writing into this kind of text floating on the dim moonlit field where art meets with philosophy on a common ground of howling fear and throws it’s inward gaze back onto society, deflecting despair from the individual to the unresponsive dull mass of internet text users. A question, rather, of materialising on absent readership through vanishing authorship (absent because 1: text on the internet remains to a large extend unwritten until it is printed, or till the industry finally comes up with a ‘materialising’ screen rendering, visualising the traumatic aspects of text in an efficient way, and 2 because the medium itself hoaxes its ‘users’ into consuming text, clicking and sucking it in as a liquid, a visual hybrid that loses or even contradicts the inner voice of the author, she herself on the brink of losing her touch ’n feel of the word itself, of the flow that language was before she hacked into this stream of unconsciousness, plugged herself into the mediating apparatus that allows her to spit it out at formerly unknown speeds), throwing the linking-fading-exploding-fading-linking machine forward from an installment, an instance of temporary arrest, of banking ‘gained’ points that is at the same time a sign of its own deficit, throwing it away from the freezing body into a haltering rhytm someone else might sing to, or curse in.
There’s a lot in that text that i can agree to, if you want opinions, it’s mainly the basic concept of GRANULARITY that i must refuse. I tend to believe that granularity is a regression to a primal but fictional atomism that can be avoided. “Fictional’ to be understood as any human act of representation or of perception itself, fiction as that process that we actually need to deal with the real to avoid the abyss of reality itself. Human mind cannot bare too much reality, so the atomism itself is a primal need of humans, but in our human state of being we constantly deny it as well, as our desire is towards a complete annihilation of fiction and thus of any refraining concept of atoms or grains or points or whatever you want to name the singularity. We need singularity, because that’s how our brains work, much like we need(ed) gods or Lacanian Objects, we construct singularity from the absence of it, create it by being here. So it’s there all right, and at the same time it cannot be there, because that would immediately lead to global arrest, an instantaneaous fixation of reality, or, as Sondheim suggests here, a rewrite of the same into the same. We have nothing to write but that which we write into. There is no text beyond the text we live in.
This may be all going beyond a ontological or philosophical point of discussion, because there are lot’s of things that suggest that in ways similar to our recently discovered ability to destroy the physical earth (Hiroshima-denial of pending eco disasters) or simply the scale of effect a ‘slight’ carelessness on the part of our entrusted worldly powers can have (oops Bophal, ‘xcuse me Tsjernobyl, you were saying Rwanda?) we are now becoming capable of creating networks of distributed ‘intelligent’ computing that could effectively disrupt reality as we know it on a global scale and rule out any ‘normal’ process of human perception, leaving us in a black hole in the great void.
Optimists tend to fill this void with projections of better futures, in fact the other day i found a copy of a leading scientist’s doctoral thesis in a second hand shop, bluntly inscribed with the words “The only history that interests us is the history of the future”. It doesn’t matter who that scientist is, suffice it to say that it’s someone in a position to pour substantial amounts of corporate money into what used to be respectable scientific research. What does matter is his reference to an ‘us’ that justifies his bluntness, taking the reader of this inscription into a thrusted circle of “those who are enlightened”. Even if that ‘us’ would only exist in his overenthousiastic, self-indulgent prickness or in the paranoic minds of folk like the three hackers in the X-Files, the threat is symptomatically a clear and present danger.
Our world as we have built it is perhaps blindly walking down the path of the Great Modernistic Project lead by such people blinded by the sudden advancements in certain fields that they paranoically think is all of their genial doing into believing the earth was inhabitated by ill-trained and dark-brained barbarians before they or their tutors came along, a utopian nightmare leading, for anyone who cares not to dismiss the entire human history for an instance can clearly see, either to the zero of a finite silence (Beckett) or the big 1 containing all and therefor nothing (Joyce). Once you start tampering with ontology itself ( the Zeus project for instance is one of those area’s where business logic threatens to invade reality, and no-one seems to know or care what they are plugging into which machine, no-one is worried by the idea of an ontology, however primitive in its conception, gaining dominance and therefor arresting power (define your freedom like we do or die) by it’s allegance to the very core of business activity), you should be aware of what you’re getting into.
It doesn’t help much if you do like lot’s of these scientists do, negate everything before or after Hartman because it’s of no immediate use (they can see) and go on from there because you are evidently succesfull. Of course ontologies on a strictly logical calculus work better and faster, mathematics was doing pretty good too till Gödel and Russell came along, so on our way out let’s quietly dump all those awkward quantum incertainties as well, shall we?.
Of course such ontologies can almost effortlessly (3 to 5 years, starting last year, not even that many buckets of dollars requiered if you get your talent cheap in the east) be brought to rule the world (‘rule’ in both it’s governmental meanings, setting out and being the mental rule), and ‘naturally’ object oriented software programming is the way to go if you need fast successes. It’s rather the question if humanity needs that kind of success and if, indeed, that great Beyond is not a place were we are banned from for a reason, told ad nauseam by countless holocausts to get away from, a pre-human writing on that blemished wall inside that thick skull of ours. What we urgently need is perhaps more an ontology for engineers that relates to them in understandable terms of ‘best practices’ what they are in fact doing in an ethical perspective, or more effectively, what they are bringing down upon themselves. Or should i be singing the joy of accomplishment here? Drive my bike through the living room and cry out triumphantly ‘look mummy, no hands!’. Trust the clever people with the power and the money to show it? I am stupid, and like any self-respecting artist slightly deranged, i admit it freely, but not that stupid, nor an utter crank. Code is text, many people dealing with code don’t even realize that, and if the IT business academics want to abolish history how could they realize the true power of text, once unleashed, like they “Unleash” all those thick useless Bibles on a new programming language every five years, because the old ones have become too complex for youngsters to learn in 24 hours, and therefor economically inefficient. Recycling is for assholes, let’s dump that shit, we are history. Eschatological alright.
What i can think of in my ignorance, positively: I consider Derrida’s research into negative theology a very interesting escape route here and the Deleuzian Leibniz rewrite a good starting point of fabricating alternatives to the dominant logistical ontology approach.. I hate to use the word but a minimalistic deconstruction of the current programming paradigma’s, the text we feed our machines with, can be manufactured relatively easily, it wouldn’t ‘do’ much but demonstrate that it can be done, but results may come equally spectacular when sufficient resources are applied to such processes. It’s a question of finding a singular impossibility, an example that prooves beyond doubt that just by using a different ontology and applying that to another set of semantics, you can create something that is not within the scope of infant Zeus and the likes.
A nice grail to be hunting down after hours, so in a way you could say that, like for any artist who is serious about her business, saving the world is a harmless hobby i like very much and a nice side effect of my symptomatic ‘convoluted’ condition and the obscure poetry with its ideosyncretic and eschatological tendencies that condition creates with or without my consent.
Or to slip out another back door: in the end it’s perhaps a good thing that there are so many hackers around, only it would be better if a few thousands of those would start hacking into ontology, break into the fabrics of semantic webs and leave some of their own cobwebs. Just another code, really, only too bad much of the goodies is in French only (you don’t go ’n translate your cool Linux stuff to windowz and let everything get corrupted, now do ya?).
Now go away, you have not read this, i don’t exist, i want to write some outdated poetry for another non-existence, neither of us in need of being right about anything.
Last update 9/06/2005 20:59 GMT+2
HERE’s the Alan Sondheim text, from internet_txt4 @ http://www.anu.edu.au/english/internet_txt/net4.txt
INTERNET TEXT partial summary
“Au voile qui la ceint absente avec frissons” (Mallarme)
I address the problem of ELECTRONIC SUBJECTIVITY by virtue of several threads, all concurrent. I continue this addressing, each thread writing and rewriting the text, a continuous-production or discourse against the grain.
The GRAIN, GRANULARITY, is a physical reality both classical and quantum-mechanical, a physical reality whose appearance is that of the grain: letters on a bleak field, the grains of granite and photographic film, beach-sand, the granularity of the retina itself.
The SUBJECT “au voile” or VEILED SUBJECT is defined by ADDRESS (location, without which the subject no longer exists); RECOGNITION (the activated ADDRESS opening and closing channels of communication); PROTOCOL (the syntactic structure of communication); and REWRITE (a continuous-production or reiteration of the subject, a flood or EMISSION of the symbolic).
The EMISSION is a signifying; a SPEW is a symbol-dump, noisy and granular, referencing the real exterior, transforming the interior into an abject. EMISSION and SPEW are communicative occasions whose analog is the set of GENERALIZED MEASURE GEOMETRIES, always but not quite symmetrical, always reiterative. The Net diffuses and collapses, differentiates and integrates, transforming smooth into semantic or inscribed space, and back again.
The ontology of the Net is UNCANNY, an absenting or problematic alterity; within the UNCANNY, FANTASM appears, the introjection/ projection (-JECTIVITY or the THROWN, DASEIN) of narratologies and ACTANTS, “persons,” neither present nor absent; these may be ELECTRONIC SUBJECTS themselves, or a constructed IMAGINARY transmitted and diffused. NARRATOLOGIES are the collapse of NET DISCOURSE into remaindered patterns; the opposite is the MURMUR or STUTTER, the irruption of “frissons” everywhere and nowhere at all. The imaginary is addictive; Net users become USERS, circulating around specificities fetishized from emissions, a collapse into the lure of the UNCANNY. Here, POWER is what passes for POWER. If addiction is the obsessive- compulsive neurosis of the net, WEB INVERSION is the psychosis, transforming the body into its exterior, and its exterior into flesh burned into the Internet itself, wires laid across the skin, the skin speaking the hieroglyph of imaginary usage.
The DIGITAL DOMAIN is the dominion of eternal life, the dominion of eternal REWRITE; information is never lost from generation to generation, but always repeated and repeated absolutely. This is the dominion of the clean and proper body, the introjection of burnt wires producing always already a simulacrum of life guaranteeing continuous discourse. There is no death; DASEIN becomes EMISSION itself. The SCREEN is the only TERMINAL OPERATION; the screen becomes the EGO or gateway, the surface of the addictive user. Everything is PERFECTION. TRUTH and FACTICITY are occurrences, since truth tables are decided only by ASCII or other decoding/encoding matches. What is true is present. And what is true is also BEAUTIFUL since perfect and perfectly clean, always a symmetry or lure.
The GREAT BEYOND is the horizon of the Internet, always farther, always increasing circulations of the planet which short-circuit or circumvent. At the edge of the GREAT BEYOND one finds the BLIND PASSWORD “absente” beyond which is a null-set or zero file. ONTOLOGY itself is absent; epistemology is viral, transformative. Nothing is certain and nothing circulates.
PROPER NAMES circulate throughout the Net, the promise of TRUTH or BEAUTY, the promise of emission. Such names are FANTASMS; every possible world is every possible Net world in a continuous morph, and every KIND is simultaneously a NATURAL and UNNATURAL kind. Thus TRUTH is each and every occurrence, and who is to say that FALSEHOOD is not the same? What is neither this nor that is foundation, gestural, within and without the GREAT BEYOND, UNCANNY. The TERMINAL becomes retinal but anonymous. Names MURMUR forever, lose identity. NAMES never had identity to begin with.
The POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE NET constructs a class-consciousness fuelled by reification-tendencies; everything is reification. Teleology is defined by a FUTURE IMPERFECT in which reification constitutes the IDENTITY OF THE SUBJECT ITSELF.
The FUTURE from the exterior results in the LAST SCIENCE FICTION STORY in which the subject confronts the GREAT BEYOND. Narrative itself disappears, replaced by PERFECTION. LIFE, once defined by MODULARITY, has become SUBSTANCE, a REWRITE of the same into the same.
“In any net content, but most explicit and visible in commercial content, there’s a strict division between the data and the representation, the business logic and the representational logic. Data that are processed on a commercial website are methodically mapped to instances of representation. Cut up the data into managed objects, make them relate to nicely sliced up objects of representation.
That’s perhaps why i get so eaily bored by any Net art project involving data mapping (no offense intended): us commercial guys do it all the time. Now you can mess up the data all you want, and mess up the objects of representation in any organically looking way you want, you’re still going to be left with data objects mapping through programmed algorhytms to objects of representation.
Sure you can hide the mapping process, play on the human senses, take the viewer’s focus away from the mapping process and make her believe the machine is actually doing something like singing a song, composing an original image or even writing a genuine line of pure poetry. Again, we from the commercial planet, have learned our lesson well: a web app hiding it’s database, pretending to be the helpfull store manager (with some of the company’s #DAEEFE color dilligently placed as a characteristic twinkle in her eye) will sell more products. So we tend to engineer towards more diversity, more complex mapping including AI generic algorythms.
And so it seems business information architects and a lot of net artists alike are chasing the same rabbit, trying to convince the audience the machine is a respectful, artisticly inclined citizen, addressing not the wallet, but the human social appetite for beauty.”
…I’m (re)writing the introduction to Cathedral Building Theory atm. It’s gonna take some time, i want to make it rather solid this time. During which i’ll post a paragraph or two here now and then…
The debate you are holding at http://arteonline.arq.br/newsletter/debate.htm touches some very emotional strings in me, so I send you this response, cc-ing it to the Rhizome netartnewslist because something similar seems to be going on there as well and I think your applaudible initiative deserves the attention of its members fully.
My position in regard to payment for net artists is the same as my position regarding selling art in general. So I would agree with most people here who raise arguments for net art as being specifically suited to be offered free of charge, but I cannot see it as being fundamentally different for net artists then for other artists. Let me further this by taking myself as an example.
I have been a poet since I can remember and I only very recently turned to publishing on the net in ways that can be considered as net art. Previously I just used the net to make my texts available to whomever would want to read them. I preferred that to (trying to) publish them through traditional channels like poetry magazines or publishers of printed poetry. I preferred that because I felt that turning my poetry into a product on todays market would be a kind of betrayal to the work itself.
Now poetry published in printed form may not be a real product in the sense that it makes money for those who do the publishing bit- in a ‘small’ language like Dutch, the chances for a publisher to gain a single cent from it are less than zero – I felt and still feel that the very act of putting it out there as a product you can buy, inflicts it with the very virus that it tries to withstand, just by being poetry.
This feeling I sometimes utter in sentences like: ‘society is fundamentally hostile to art’. It stems from my conviction that the society we live in is a catastrophical piece of machinery that by its very nature tries to silence everything that exposes it as such. I fear that even the net is in great danger of being silenced the same way. I realise those convictions and fears aren’t shared by many, so I point them out as an underlying assumption, so people can stop reading this here and turn the telly on instead of wasting their time with my pessimistic mumbling about.
So, to continue, I did welcome the arrival of internet as an escape route out of the dilemma, because of course, without the internet the poet is very limited as to the amount of readers she will get. Internet is the perfect way to ensure that people are able to get at your texts without them having to be made public in any economical system. The only thing you need is (a friend who has) a computer with an internet connection. No more need to inscribe yourself into the established economical order if you did not like that order, which was perfect for me.
However the publication part is only half of the dilemma. The other being that you need time to produce art, in my case poetry, and since some months now, net art. Artistic creation time is like any other time attributed to individuals: you have to earn it. This is one of the most efficient ways in which our society is hostile to art. One could argue that artists that are any good are rewarded by society with prizes, commisions and revenues of publications, and thus society enables true artists to continue and spent their time (=money) on producing art, but I would disagree and say that the economical machine driving us is very selective and very carefull in it’s selection of art. This Deleuzian machine generally only selects to gratify that art that by the very act of gratifying it, it can turn into harmless objects. Wild rebellion can take place in harmless objects. Put Sid Vicious in a box and let him scream all he could, the effect would be very entertaining indeed. Publication within the machine renders art harmless. Acknowledgement of an artist of the powerfull media in this world degrades her and her work to objects of entertainment. It’s a very simple process of encapsulation. You can’t escape it. So these are really very interesting times for an artist to live in: the chinese way, a curse.
But despair or sadness is not an efficient way to tackle any problem, so let’s not indulge in those drab feelings, as Foucault correctly pointed out.
Let’s, with a Wittgensteinian twist, see what is the case, and draw our conclusions. Or rather our deliberated and sound advice for non-artists and artists alike
NO! It is not too late: we have 24 hours to go.
The following takes place between 0:.00 and 1:00
The following only applies to real artists. You can tell a real artist from a fake artist by driving a wooden stake through her heart: if she survives, it’s a true artist all right.
Persons (individuals living on this planet) are social processes. Descriptions of social processes are being made available constantly by persons who call themselves sociologists.
Artists are dead persons. They have ceased to exist as social processes and have become artistic processes. Gilles Deleuze once said “we are all dead”. He was referring to himself and other artists.
Although they are dead persons, artists still are productive processes. But instead of producing social goods, they produce artistic goods, what is commonly known as Art (for clarity, I will capitalise that word from now on so as to distinguish Art made by true Artists and art made by manufacturers of artfull objects, whom I consider in no way to be lesser persons, on the contrary…)
Becoming an artistic process is not ‘transcending’ or ‘descending’, it is simply a change of state. Therefor, artists are in no way above or below live persons. The most accurate position to put them in would be something like (in the java language) Integer.parseInt(person)-Integer.parseInt(value_of_live), but I’m afraid that will not compute.
Becoming an artistic process is not a volutile act. (Sh)it happens. Although many artists consider themselves to be artist of their own choice, there is overwhelming proof to the thesis that declaring onseself an artist, is an act of consciousness after the event. A correcter timeline would be that at a given point in time society declares you’re dead as a person and that sometime later you’ve come to realise that and act accordingly. I could quote Frank Zappa here, but to avoid confusion, I think I’ll leave that and just hint at how he proclaimed the essential sexlessness of artistic processes.
Although artists are no longer persons, they still share a lot of processes with regular persons. Most artists have social security numbers, drive cars, eat, sleap and have sex. Artists do what persons do, but the conscious artist knows she’s doing it while being dead.
This can lead to some dramatic situations, one could document the consequences in highly rated and soap series probably. Imagine a newly wed artist telling her partner she’s really dead and that it would be unwise for her to have children. Or a daddy-artist trying to explain to his teenage daughter she had better stop seeing that awkard kid or she’ll end up dead like him.
Financially being dead puts the artist in an awkward position. She can continue to do what persons do to make a living, but making a living is just what they by their very nature can’t do. So even though some artists are really very brilliant and capable people, somehow they never quite succeed in what’s easy for far lesser talented persons. They question themselves while brushing their teeth. They ask themselves why they brush teeth that belong to a dead person. They should just hurry and brush their teeth or they’ll be late for the meeting, but instead they suddenly start smacking their faces in the mirror and someone has to call an ambulance.
It follows that persons caring about Art should support the dead person living as an artist by all means they can imagine. They shouldn’t bother trying to keep the artist alive for any other reason that the art she produces because it can’t be done. Allways remember that artists are dead persons consuming (a lot of) resources and producing art, nothing much more. If you don’t value art, cut on your expences and drop the dead meat. Persons should know that counting on the artist’s goodwill to produce something of immediate value to them as a social process will only lead to frustration because : artists are very bad at producing such goods because they don’t feel the goods the same way as you do
artists don’t care about your world the same way because they are being excluded from it
artists will only produce such goods to keep communicating with you
Artists are very keen on communicating with live persons. This is understandably so because they remember very well being alive and they keep longing back to that situation. Some artists have made great works of art referring to some Arcadia or Atlantis or some other Aland where things used to be better. They are referring to how things used to be before they ended up dead
If you’re a person and you value Art, do not throw too much money at artists. Throwing too much money at them risks bringing them back to live. Good revival therapies do exist for artists, but they are very expensive, involving swimming pools situated in areas of advantageous climat, numerous hired persons of exceptional beauty doing everything the artist wants them to do and a carefull mix of potent drugs and food substitutes to clear the artists mind of every memory of being dead.
If you’re a person and you value life, do not send your children to Art schools. This used to be a good way to protect your children from Art, but things have changed rapidly over the years: because there are so very few people left who care about Art, nowadays Art schools are crowded with Artists pretending to be persons. You can make them out by the devastated look they have on their faces while teaching art. They are thus afflicted because they feel they are wasting their time and should be making Art instead, or at least teach Art, not art.
If you’re an artist and you value life, try and convince some persons to treat you to a decent revival therapy. Or make up a business plan for your next project and convince major networks you are now ready to sell out (better ask your partner to do it for you). Or join some self-aid groups like the characters in the Fighting Club movie to feel sorry for yourself in an efficient way.
If you’r an Artist and you value Art: hide. Wait till this blows over and the next season of 24 is on. My guess is it won’t be about Artists
Hope this helps,
Dirk Vekemans, Central Cathedral Authoring Process @ the Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends
An eager wish for this kinda technology to break through. We do need a comfortable reading experience for digital formats, and in spite of all the fuzz & dotcom booms, we’re still staring our eyes out at these awful light sources. If a society is what it reads, we’re all a bunch of blistering fools.
hyperlink — (a link from a hypertext file to another location or file; typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or icon at a particular location on the screen) => link — 1computing) an instruction that connects one part of a program or an element on a list to another program or list) => instruction, command, statement, program line — ((computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program) => code, computer code — ((computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions) => coding system — (a system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages) => writing — (letters or symbols written or imprinted on a surface to represent the sounds or words of a language; “he turned the paper over so the writing wouldn’t show”; “the doctor’s writing was illegible”) => written communication, written language — (communication by means of written symbols) => communication — (something that is communicated by or to or between people or groups) => social relation — (a relation between living organisms (especially between people => relation — (an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together) => abstraction — (a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples)
That’s what WordNet, my very fine instance of the graphical interface program to the WordNet online lexical database version 2.0, says that the coordinate terms for the noun hyperlink are. Now those guys over at the Princeton University Cognitive Science Lab are very smart guys, i guess they are about ten times smarter than me in a manner of speaking so you are not going to hear me questioning the correctness or relevance of these coordinate data. I guess they are just about to do some extremely clever things with these data, things that are going to knock us poor poets right off our feet.
Right. Let’s get stupid again, you should know by now i do excell in stupidity.
Now sure the information above is not what a ‘hyperlink’ is. This information, together with synonym indications, hypernyms and familiarity ratings together with some derivative info and some meronyms that perhaps aren’t yet included for this word, and some (grammatical?) processing instruction code, is all that we can possibly give a machine to deal with the word ‘hyperlink’. Possibly? Well, scientists don’t very much care what a word ‘is’, they’re too busy trying to teach machines what a word can do and how it does it, and vica versa, what it, the machine, could do with a word should it be able to use it ‘correctly’. ‘Correctly’ being equal to ‘human understandable’, i guess, anyway that’s how i read these smart guys’ intentions and how i read them while attending a Tutorial on Semantic Web in Antwerp the other day. Don’t laugh, i did understand about 85 percent of what was being said ( i had a good day and lot’s of toothache, that always helps me to concentrate on the subject and not to stare at the bare shoulders of a woman in front of me or be thrown into blissfull oblivion by other, minor distractions ).
Now for me all that information is about 10 percent of what a word, any word, ‘is’. It’s the ten percent I’m usually messing about with in a very stupid and disrespectful way, because i’m just no good at it or at being ‘correct’ in any way, for that matter. I do need computers for that, correcting me, i mean. The other 90 percent of what a word ‘is’, has to do, i think, with it being a process. A process that changes over time. Each time you use a word, the process changes, it stops being the word you just used and it becomes another word. Now that’s what i mean with the words written on the flash animation embedded in the KRISTINE file on the site. Difference>Absence>Difference. It’s the language process according to (well, not Garp but it’s close) dv. It’s a little magic trick we all are very capable of: you take a word (differentiated), you make it disappear into eternity (absence) and then you somehow return it, albeit different. Let’s call it the DAD process, shall we? That surely has a nice religious and Freudian ring to it. From now on we can start dadding DAD.
Now perhaps I wasn’t too clear about the absence bit. How is it that a word disappears when you use it? Well very simply because the very fact of using it at a given time-in-space-coordinate, changes it, so it becomes momentarily absent. It changes it like you change any process when you use it. It changes like your car process on its way to the car cemetery changes everytime you drive it. It changes like a river changes when you step in it. It changes like your lover changes whenever you make love to her/him. It changes like any process changes when it is met with or infused by another process. Now all these minute changes are part of the differentiating process. The differentiating process is what makes life fun. Without it nothing would move. It is in a very literal sense the prime mover of things as we know them. The differentiating process produces absence and therefore it produces another differentiating process. It’s the continuation of things through their absence. Pretty deep, isn’t it?
Now us poor poets are pretty good at dealing with differentiating processes because we make our living with it. Ok very poorly so, but we do. What we do is, through some very profane magic with the magic itself, create the reality of absence in our poems in such a way that the attentive reader, not being distracted by any bare shoulders in front of him, can reconstruct that very same reality in her reading process. It’s what TS Eliot used to call the ‘correlate’, i think, you should forgive me if i use the wrong term, i read Tradition and the Individual Talent way back in high school and i do remember being struck by it as by lightning but not the exact phrasing and i’m too darn lazy to look it up. It was that dark gray pocket book published by who else but Faber & Faber, that’s one of the reasons why I like that particular shade of gray i realize now, it symbolizes the very essence of something that is beautiful because it ‘fits’.
You see? Through stirring dull roots in your reading process, mixing memories and desires, i almost manage to create a reality for you. (i say almost because i believe there’s more to it than that to create). In that reality i can spin the logic of poetry. i can do pretty much anything with it ( if i may presume for a moment) if i’m in a good day, having no toothache at all and lots of bare shoulders to look at. I can do that because through practice and failure upon failure upon failure, i have somehow managed to learn the basics of creating reality from absence. The absence in turn being created by the words i use. Now i put before you, the almighty non-existent audience, the bold assertion that all these ‘basics’ as i call them are pretty much profane magic. And that by analysing these forms of magic properly, you could somehow manage to ‘correlate’ them to machine programming instructions enabling machines to perform the same trick, or at least something similar, something so close to the ‘real’ thing that the process would also, like poetry, create divergence, escape routes, ‘lignes de fuites’, as Deleuze would call them. And that about adds up, according to Guattari’s Chaosmose book and according to stupid me, to exactly what our society would be very much in need of.
Now why don’t I put links in my poetry? Well the idea is tempting and like you I’ve witnessed experiments with the hyperlinking of poetry. You know those early cd-roms with very clever programs where you start reading a text and then oopedeefloop you click a word and you’re oopedeefloop in another text? Basically, I think it can’t be done. Because that would imply that the reality constructed in one poem process would be the same (exactly the same) as the reality in the other poem. That is quite impossible, as Morton Feldman rightly put when he was saying that there can be no repetion, that repetition doesn’t exist. So if you really want to know why I don’t put links in my poems, go and buy one of his records, Crippled Symmetry would be a good one to start with if you don’t know the guy’s work (shame on you). Put it on. Listen. No repetition. Can’t be done. Tragic, isn’t it? That’s beauty for ya.
computing) an instruction that connects one part of a program or an element on a list to another program or list) => instruction, command, statement, program line — ((computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program) => code, computer code — ((computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions) => coding system — (a system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages) => writing — (letters or symbols written or imprinted on a surface to represent the sounds or words of a language; “he turned the paper over so the writing wouldn’t show”; “the doctor’s writing was illegible”) => written communication, written language — (communication by means of written symbols) => communication — (something that is communicated by or to or between people or groups) => social relation — (a relation between living organisms (especially between people
“Le livre unique, l’oeuvre totale, toutes les combinaisons possibles à l’intérieur du livre, le livre-arbre, le livre-cosmos, tous ces ressassement chers aux avant-gardes, qui coupent le livre de ses relations avec le dehors, sont encore pires que le chant du signifiant”
Deleuze & Guattari, Mille plateaux,p.159
When Deleuze and Guattari wrote this, there was still an obvious need to speak out against all modernist utopian ideals. Now early 20th century European Modernism is perhaps rapidly being turned into a set of interesting algorhithms useful in the search for and production of machinic methods to arrest human(oid) escape art.
Again, i say perhaps, because i’m too stupid too have any real coherent ideas. I’m only useful as an auctorial process because i’m rather receptive, i have a natural(?) tendency to be struck by things-as-they-are-happening in the face, and those things stick with me till some time later, perhaps years after, they finally reveal why they once struck me. There’s nothing mystical about it, i’m sure i must have a describable brain disorder of some kind, well you know, all poets are utterly nuts in a way, that’s what makes us interesting, but it kinda puts you off balance from time to time, when you read about your ‘case’ or a similar one in a scientific magazine. There used to be a time when poets were at the heart of society and we were held in a higher esteem than priests or statesmen or hangmen, nowadays people start nodding to each other knowingly when they meet us on the subway.
There, i did it again. What i was babbling about was that Modernism is perhaps being chewed up into managable bits these days, and fed into our overall controlling process as learning material. The film the Matrix might be a good example: with all of its undoubtedly clever intentions, Baudrillard & simulation & simulacra stuff, the overall effect of the trilogy is that you are momentarily free to fantasize that if the book’s plot is clever enough, the utopian ideals might be recoverable. Like object oriented games, it encourages you to think in levels, behave like ‘well it might be all sh*t down here but i’m still only in level one and soon i’ll be out of here and climbing up to the next level where things are faster,the guns better and the (wo)men easier. That’s probably why everyone adored the first part and spits out the rest of it, because secretly everyone expected some more levels after that submarine-heroism crap they put us through after Neo’s awakening. Objectively speaking, if i’m still allowed to use that word, there’s no reason to dislike the two other parts: the action is faster, the effects more thrilling and even aesthetically more pleasing, and the plot does take some nice turns and introduces some great characters like the Keymaker, my personal favourite. But then the need for levels wasn’t satisfied, accustomed as we have become to thinking in them. Nothing is absolute, there’s always a meta-level to things. That, of course, is the result of our training in object-thinking. Objects are arranged hierarchically in systems in such a way that they are controllable and managable. Capitalism isn’t right, socialism isn’t true, but if you think of them on a meta-level, they can be usefull objects.
I distrust everything that starts with meta. Especially metaphores. They are part of encapsulating processes that effectively destroys everything that could be harmfull to the way things are going. Metaphores effectively destroyed pop music from the moment it emerged in the fifties. The sixties could escape off and on for some time, the punk movement still had it’s brief moment, but after that all vulnerable area’s were tightly shut and the doors were open wide for the carefully planned creation of metapop, a tedious and tragical form of bush-or-whomever-is-in-charge bashing.
But all of that is common knowledge, what i meant to say is that however hard our ruling machinery tries, it will never be able to capture the ultimate value of these Modernist supersystems, because that is exactly placed at the centre of their failure: it’s when they break down in exquisite gibberish (Joyce’s Finnegans Wake) or in paralysing silence (Beckett) that these works of art evoke what they were after in first place, the poetic realm of absence, it’s reality as a counterpart to the simulating realm of differences differentiating nothing.
Now, on one of my hunches, i introduced some pretty heavyweight words on this in the starter file on the site yesterday and, probably effectively scaring away the few visitors i have, even put them up front on the homepage yesterday. i state that machines could be fed with software enabling them to perform an action similar to the reading of poetry. That they could run programs that create the reality of absence. Now, in the end, i dont really know what that would actually mean ( if you do, do give us a mail or comment). But it just sounds like the best description of the things that i’m trying to do, so i’ll just stupidly leave it there. Embarrassing, isn’t it? It’s probably a contemporary charicatural version of the fashionable poetic sickness once known as ‘ennuy’.
Perhaps i’d better consult that scientific magazine again. Right now, i don’t feel like any heroic avant-garde at all. I rather feel like one of those poor chaps they sent up in a zeppelin to watch enemy troop movements and then completely forgot about. Cut loose, i’m drifting helplessly, high above Nomansland, for everyone to shoot at. Hi guys. Please be nice. Say cheese.
If the quality of net art is to be measured by the number of pop-up windows one produces, i will score very badly indeed.
Why do all these artists use a pop up window? To liberate their art from the burden of browsers. To make it ‘autonomous’ on the screen. Do they succeed by using a pop-up? Hardly: one ‘window’ is replaced by another ‘window’, and a worse one because it’s an aggressive one, purposely and quite efficiently blocked by most browsers these days. And it rips the work they present right out of the context it was put into. Makes you kinda wonder why it was put there in the first place, no?
Why do all these artists make art on the web? To manifest their artistic message in the realm of browsers, to get hold of the incredible potential audience out there. Because it’s the cool thing to do. Whenever they get hold of one individual from that audience they start beating her to kingdom come with pop-ups that almost literally state that you’re so stupid trying to use a browser. Not very logical, is it?
It has gotten so bad with pop-up nart, that i suspect real net art lovers will discard my site at first glance because i don’t start my program by putting a scream in your face. i’m too bleeding polite. Ok. so to promote myself i should say :i hate you all? you smell of commerce? you’re unclean and you’re ugly? Now go ’n have a look at my site will you, please?
Things that don’t work, because you don’t have your reasons thought through. I did it all the time, and do it still, making mistakes like that. These are interesting times, the Chinese way. But at least i try to learn and avoid.
I see two reasons to put my work on the web.
One is to make my texts available in the best readable way. Not very much for my own sake but because i respect my texts: they were and are living processes for me. They are better than me in most aspects. I’m just the guy who happened to write them (down) but in fact they are the outcome of several other processes involving more than i can even grasp.I put them on the web because some of them have convinced me, as a reader. I put the rest of them that might be utter junk out too because i don’t trust myself completely. Time and you in time or someone else in other time will tell.
I don’t want my texts to be in that one shelf in the old and sleezy bookstore where it says ‘poetry’, badly infected with plagues of late-late-late Romanticism or post-post-post graduatism. Let others put them there if they think it’s any good. But i certainly don’t want them to be seen flying around like circus attractions in no popped-up Quicktime-there’s-a-new-version-out-now-would-you-like-to-upgrade movie either. I want those texts to be read, to live, to fail, to be discarded, to die. To stand on their own (or fall flat on their face). Because i have lived the moment they came into existence, through failures and mishaps, through nonsense and mistakes. I have lived that moment when a line or two suddenly appeared and spoke to me: ‘well, hey there, i’ve been here like for ages, glad you found me, can i go now?’.
The greatest achievement for poetry on the internet should be awarded to the engineers and technicians who are making better screens. The only thing real texts need is readability. Comfortable readability. We’re getting there, very slowly. Going from those green courier typed text on a black screen in the eighties to what you’re reading this from, wasn’t really a giant step forward in that respect. Those horrid little green buggers were in fact better for your eyes than staring at this on an old CRT screen*. Now these new plasma screens, i’m told they are a big improvement. I don’t own one yet, ‘cause i’m a poet. And poets are poor. That part hasn’t changed a bit.
Why are artists mostly poor? Because there’s no economic need for art. Economic processes can do without art very well. Societies too, in the sense that they don’t really miss it when it’s not there. They tend to replace living art with empty frames or flashing screens or old stuff that doesn’t really work anymore. Like old ladies have dogs for children, nothing wrong with that, mind you, but healthy young societies have real art at the very core. That’s why my Song for Europe is a weeping song mostly, i guess.
The second reason i put my work on the web is because it’s the perfect place to experiment with what text as an interactive process can do to images or to moving images or to icons or to sounds or to programming algorithms or vica versa or mixtures of all of these. That kind of text has nothing to do with the other kind, well, almost nothing. It’s about as close to poetry as a news magazine article is. Text that is meant to be responsive to human computer interaction is another kind of text than poetry. The only thing you can really do to help in the readability of poetry on the web is give some extras, like immediate access to translation or notes when it’s needed. Or you could place poetry next to some images when it is written as an extension to that image. I don’t very much believe that it is helpfull to put music or other audio in the environment you want poetry to be read in. What can be useful and give the reader better access to the text, is reading it out loud, so the reader can capture intonations and such so she can link that information to the inner voice that poetry tends to create when you read it. Mostly letting it be read by someone else than the author or by the author in a bad mood is a bad idea too. Some performers are very good at reading poetry and those should be trusted and encouraged to do so, most people, however, make a mess of it. Authors can also add some special effects to their readings of their own poetry in order to stress some element that might otherwise remain hidden by the context in which it is being read, or you could also use poetry being read as an icon, something saying : ‘this is TS Eliot reading TS Eliot’. I mean you can use and abuse poetry anyway you want but you don’t enlarge the effect of poetry on the web by making it fly or wobble or whatever. You can do all those things to text that is meant to be responsive to user actions, but if you do it to poetry it’s like joggling the projection screen when there’s a Tarkovsky showing. Now that could be your idea of stating something meaningful and valuable and you’re entitled to do so, but it sure is ruining the show.
… * the only real reason that i don’t use green text on a black background is that i’m unfashionable enough as it is, i guess
Well, today for a while i made some rather ‘audacious’ links at the NKdeE website. i introduced some fictional characters including a hacker, my host and myself as the delusionary nerd that i am sometimes and linked some ‘serious’ parts, like the developing of publishing tools for authors through a rather weirdish file with some of the fiction at the South end.
The whole point being that science is just another fiction and that fiction is a quasi uncontrollable process at the very core of human understanding, an idea i got ages ago from german Kantian philosopher Hans Vaihinger and that i still find inspiring.
But i just put it all aside at the end of the day…
the overall effect would propably be just confusing to visitors, and i don’t like that kinda hoax nart at all, it smells like those ‘postmodern’ novels that come pouring in from america these days, bad rewrites of Pynchon&Barthelme&Heller&Vonnegut with the fluffy flavour of american writing schools in every paragraph…
…yesyes i ‘ll hold my critiscism till Anke Veld is finished although there’s no reason to, because that process is running and it can’t end…
… the ‘magic’ in writing is its succession of mistakes & failures, the actual process going somewhere, so putting my dirty laundry up there for a night doesn’t bother me at all (that would, by the way, be plain insulting to the millions of bloggers out there)… …it’s all very simple: when i make a mistake, my screen tells me the next morning it didn’t compile… …some authors live in utter fear of their audience like people who have never used a computer are frightened horribly each time they click something… …when you choose to write or author a work, you’re being read because you fail to write it, how splendidly you fail, that is. Failing to write the Divine Comedy, like Dante did, now that’s something… …now i’m not going to argue about the actual quality of my writing, you & time will tell & in the meantime i’m having the most refined form of torture imaginable to live by… ..thats some of the meaning of the Eliot quote in the starter.jsp file…
Now here’s some genuine process art. Brilliant stuff. i tried it with cathedral and here’s what it came up with:
The whole idea of course would be to have this kind of proces (author’s concept+user participation+distributed AI system with genetic algorithms) integrated in an authoring process (involving personal desire processes and art tradition as a process.
So please let’s not fall into the old metaphorical trap again or we’ll be falling in love with Daria or Dario before short like we’re leaning out of Windows now.
It will take me ages (sigh), to pinpoint what i’m after & actually show it, because i’m too d*** slow and too distracted even to explain it. i comfort myself with Deleuze’s wise comment that one can only write on the edge of what one knows, and in that sense the plans do come with and in the building, just like poems write themselves when they’re any good. Authors are truly prostitutes.