Monday, April 25, 2011

A work in progress...

Well, I've done a lot more work on my project. However, it's not nearly as well done as I would've hoped, but that is why I picked something I will continue to work on in the future...needless to say I am far from disappointed. This class has helped me to explore my side of creativity that has been suppressed since I began college. I'm so thankful for that. You can click here if you're interested in my work.

It's been a lovely semester y'all! :))

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FUTURE BOOKS (memory might serve us well there)

There are already colleges, such as Chicago State University, planning to be conventional-book free, opting for multi-functional iPad e-text delivery. Some may have converted already, certainly class-by-class. I have been drawing materials for my classes from materials placed online for free and therefore also, usually, unlimited access. This I do as a form of gratitude. The Creative Commons share-alike license is of particular interest (and eligibility for unsolicited praise) for its acknowledgment of both the complexity of authorship and the challenges of trying to make something without any influence (interaction, collaboration) from any sources outside the maker. To make without any influence would be such a simple and probably thin making, stripped of everything, even computers, pens, pencils, ink unless the maker also made these without any contribution from any source other than the maker who, arguably, could not even make anything involving the self the maker may have thought was claimable, but the maker was conceived through interaction, is an outcome of influence, with or without romance.

Though I have a substantial photocopying and printing allowance, I've printed nothing at the university for over five years. We are a paper-free class in our sharing of information strictly digitally, and in public blogs —in support of the Limited Fork Theory tenet of a fundamental collaborative nature of all things (where all refers to what manages, in some form, on some scale to adhere to a tine, not to what falls through tines: an all of slippage, for instance), and in support of my belief that work done by students should not be confined to professor-interaction (where it would receive primarily professor-influence in that impoverished interaction, that in some cases, such as those in which a professor might have expectation [sometimes even assigned expectation —yikes!] of student-parroting of professorial views —sort of intellectually incestuous). While slightly better than professor-only privileged student work interaction, I find even class-only interaction still too limited (especially in certain configurations of peer critique especially within certain workshop configurations); rather this work, as often as possible, should be placed boldly (—class, does not your content represent what you believed at the time of the content's generation? does not your content reveal some accuracy of [some sincerity of] thought at the time of the content's generation?) in public where we practice some minimal responsibility of social and political and intellectual responsibility by not being afraid to claim our (examined) views (—for we've attempted to understand that we've acquired our configurable views based on interactions, influence, exposure, and knowing this, we want an opportunity to reframe these acquisitions whenever some aspects of them do not seem appropriate in certain [temporary] contexts, policies, and circumstances); we accept this responsibility by having to support those views by linking them with other relevant publicly shared information, and by (even more courage is sometimes required here) demonstrating a willingness to accept comments whose content may not agree with our content, but through these ideas interacting, and our placing our ideas where they are available for interaction, we demonstrate not just a willingness, but also an interest in considering other perspectives; we demonstrate flexibility, that thinking and learning are configurable, and that we will risk influence of interaction, risk the marking of experience, knowing that information might reconfigure us, that, I'm happy to say, there is risk of belief changing. (cartoon from cartoon, where it's available for purchase without the copyright watermark.)
(image of The Library of Babel is from noel.mas at wordpress.)

I certainly appreciate having an entire library in my pocket, something Jorge Luis Borges came close to dreaming of in his stories about infinite library systems: The Book of Sand and The Library of Babel. Please click here to experience an audio iteration of The Library of Babel, and think of what it might mean for all books to have a digital equivalent, for only a single hard copy to have existed for digitization in those cases where a book was not created with digital methods. For years now, most of my work has not had any material reality; most of it does not have the volume of multidimensional space —imagine that! live that! love that! be astonished by that! question that! My work is even more intimate with binary code than it is with my materiality, the library of body.

If you like, go to iTunes Signature Maker where an audio clip can be made from your iTunes music library —a signature based on the parameters of the application, so there's a limit to how many songs may be stacked in the signature, and for now, the signature maker at the link skips any drm-protected music you may have. I have almost 8,000 songs in my iTunes library, so signature maker has generated for me a very partial sonic profile, one that excludes most of my audio files, even excludes some entire genres, but it is a signature of an audible fraction that managed to adhere to the tines of the programmed configuration, so accurate for that audible fraction only. Listen below:

The mass production of paper text-based information as physical objects can be difficult to justify as each item is not unique, and space for them is not infinite (—and I'm a book lover, with as many physical books in my home as I have digital audio files on a single portable drive!). Digital text-based information duplicates well the configuration of the content of conventional physical books. A single digital copy can be, once greed is overcome, experienced by simultaneous users without actual relocation of the materiality, which does not have to exist if the text-based content is created digitally. I feel confident that as methods of experiencing digital content improve, there can be some methods that provide experiences that simulate paper texture better, but perhaps the goal isn't to simulate the already-established reading practice as it exists with the materiality of conventional books. The tine of conventional reading practice in the context of the materiality of conventional books, even as it bifurcates, does so in the influence of the tine. The context of that tine. To help overcome limiting factors of that tine, even as it becomes more subtle without disappearing, it can be useful to try to explore digital possibilities, to use the digital imagination without insisting that it remain loyal to the practice of another medium. Material boundaries and digital boundaries are not the same.

That we might rediscover some benefits of being more selective in what exists materially and what does not is useful to the finite properties of our planet's system, the collaborative, inter-dependent, connected systems of the planet. Perhaps we can begin to rethink conspicuous consumption in all (the all that doesn't get away, not the all of slippage) its material forms. We have configured for ourselves, as we examine what we've made from other angles (that have probably existed whether or not we've been primed to locate, identify, and experience them), a culture of discard. A culture of single use. A throw-away culture, and we've become able, so primed as we are, to extend these flexible configurations to include people, animals, water, air, fossil fuels, food, trees, all other plants, soil, everything in that nature we're also part of (just as we are part of space; we with our planet are in space, traveling space).

Reduction in material production of books could take us to a past future, could revive a practice, at first necessary (before —remember?— Gutenberg and movable type, handwritten text, as there was no other means of viewing and experiencing the content) of book as unique object, essential object, as aesthetic object, made not with the parameters of mass production, but with some variations of the hand interacting with its imprecision as an organic machine that is successful in part because it functions well imperfectly, able to prevail in changing circumstances where perfection's inability to adapt might cause perfection to wither; the handwritten book offers more choice for every aspect: writers writing the material components of book as well as content. (image from medieval literature entry at LACS Knights.) Here's a consequence of digital-reading dominance that I hadn't considered well until reading Chris March's blog where just a few days ago (from the time of this posting) he commented on 41 states having adopted the new Common Core State Standards for English, which do not require cursive writing. A culture of no cursive. Please read this article from ABC about the end of cursive and watch the following video about medical errors that result from the misreading of handwritten letters and numbers:

As for what to do with so much duplication in the materiality of books, why not consider, as one possibility, the aesthetic practice of making altered books? Two of my favorite altered book makers are Jacqueline Rush Lee and Brian Dettmer. Take a look at some examples of their book alterations and autopsies, and dream about a geometric reconfiguration of material content (that's been digitized) in Jorge Luis Borges' Library of Babel and his Book of Sand. Click to experience a conventionally configured Book of Sand PDF.

Jacqueline Rush Lee altered book images from jacqueline rush

Book Autopsies by Brian Dettmer who, according to a blog post from 2007 on centripedal, provided the Toomey Tourell Gallery with the following artist statement about his Book Dissections:
In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the cover of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.
The book autopsy images shown here are from centripetal and from MKisStacked's flickr photostream. To experience much more of Dettmer's work, click on Toomey Tourell to visit the gallery's website.


This class has taught me a lot about the idea of Limited Fork Theory but I feel more importantly about my own creative processes. To be more precise: So many of the aspects of Limited Fork, when they were explained to me, seemed very intuitive, which is not to say they were not useful or that they were obvious, only that once I understood them they seemed to fit regularly and quite easily into my own conception of the world. The reasonable conclusions and explanations of limited fork seem to fork together with my own preconceptions of epistemology and philosophy in general. And so my work to be done in Limited Fork appeared to be more application than theory. I dove head first into the limitless bifurcations of limited fork theory's applications, as well as using the concept of exploring an idea-environment (ideaonment?) rather than pursuing an idea in a linear fashion. The most useful thing I gained in this class was the power of a tool, the fork, using many tines to gather many diverse pieces, and stuffing them into my brain in order to chew them up. The result is something I could not have scooped with the spoon of conventional research or study, and the mix is something that will stick with me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Future of Publishing

Go get a coffee and have that checked out book in your hands when you return?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Technology and the Humanities

I am sitting here working on my project reflecting on what I've learned from this Technology and the Humanities class. It also provoked thoughts on my expectations of the class when I signed up and whether or not my expectations were accurate. Then this triggered other things in my brain so here it is.

I've learned that...

Nothing is ever complete.
Something is always interacting with something else, human or nonhuman.
Environment can be narrowly or widely defined.
The presence of you, as a human being, influences your work.
Unexpected interventions influence your thoughts.
Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate and express ourselves.
Bifurcating systems are extremely complex and cannot be defined in space or time.
Inspiration can come at any time during the day or night.
Conventional essays lack dimension.
Unconventional essays are multidimensional, but can include conventional themes.

And I could continue on, but frankly, I'm tired and need some sleep.

As far as my expectations for the class coming in, I didn't have any except to be using my iPod and learning how to blog. Both of these expectations were met, obvs.

But it goes beyond that. I was able to take what I learned and create an interactive system linking two very different things, rowing and sustainability.

Technology has allowed me to apply my love of rowing, as a sport, and apply it to my love of sustainability and connect with the larger society, even those who have never even heard of rowing. By using sensory details in my project, mostly sight and sound, I added dimensions that non-rowers never experience. It would not have the same effect if I simply wrote about my ideas for project.

Now that I've shared all of this,
I think it's time for bed.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's projects tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

JOURNEYS in humanities & technology (assemblages of experience)

Limited Fork Theory, the study of interacting systems, led me to explore some of the possibilities offered by investigations of configurations of mergers between the humanities and (digital) technology
—even though technology was/is already part of the humanities, already both an outcome of human cultural practices and a vehicle through which human cultural practice occurs. Technology, in fact, is a primary enabler of social and cultural interaction; technology offers tool systems for expressing cultural practice.

Since I first wrote a story when I was six, I used technology, the technology of loose leaf paper manufactured with the blue lines that I thought of as over-disciplined veins, the kind possible in households more common than my own where I was surprised sometimes that my own veins weren't curlicues; I used the technology of a #2 graphite-cored pencil (a Laddie pencil), and, as another example:
the technology of my mind within the parameters of its flexible configuration to which both genetic and environmental (which includes social and cultural elements) factors contribute. I used a manual typewriter by fifth grade, first a Royal, much like the one pictured here (courtesy, and then an electric Smith Corona.

Some of the nature of mergers I continue to explore involve ways of reconfiguring information in order to extend its accessibility and in order to expose more possible configurations of systems of being and systems of meaning, simultaneously extending possible access to those systems, assuming some existing or some acquired means to connect to or otherwise retrieve web-based information, which at the moment is the best location to share that which is an outcome of collaboration that is necessarily an outcome of (form of) interaction.

Perhaps this is also a cautionary approach to try not to prematurely assume accuracy of opinion, or correctness of conclusion; a cautionary approach not to prematurely assume that a configuration of information has revealed permanent knowledge, or anything more than a temporary fact that is only a consequence of everything collaborating (interacting) in order to produce the outcome configuration of that moment of interaction.

Perhaps this approach is indicative of a kind of intellectual gluttony and a desire for kaleidoscopic seduction in my wanting to configure from as many angles as I can imagine on as many scales as I can imagine —I love the geometries of outcomes, the temporary clusters of geometries that emerge as outcomes are configured and reconfigured into possible systems of (fleeting) meanings. These meanings are like promises from something well-intentioned, sincere at the time of promising, yet eventually unable to keep those promises, but I've enjoyed the commitment to attempt. The meanings and promises are also assemblages and systems. (image of Ukranian Disneyland by Dmytro Szylak as seen at Swipple)

The myriad beautiful assemblages of various forms of dimensionality (perhaps becoming increasingly unsteady temporarily and/or [on various scales] becoming increasingly steady temporarily as they are assembled/reassembled); the myriad beautiful assemblages are (usually) temporary structures that are outcomes of arranging and shuffling clusters of geometries into super-clusters, perhaps arriving at configurable forms of umbrellas that can temporarily function as large-scale or microscopically revealed universes, as in, for example, this image, called: "Cellular cosmos: A microscopic universe" from chronoscapes and aquascapes of bubble films, that, as thin as they may seem, have multiple surfaces; each bubble film has multiple surfaces.

Consider for a moment the sandwiching of surfaces that occurs in the interaction system of oil in a puddle of water. I photographed this puddle sandwich near where Miner bifurcates from Miller Road, a location near my favorite branch that was forfeited a few years ago for an inappropriate curl (like a rib) of the branch around wires of an electrical power system. The bottom surface of the puddle is in contact with the top irregular asphalt surface of Miner Street, so the bottom surface of the puddle is also irregular, matching irregularities with the asphalt. The top surface of the puddle is in direct contact with the bottom surface of the motor oil. The top surface of oil is in direct contact with air and light, some of which is reflection of part of a branching system of a tree.

It is possible to mix these interacting layers so that the surfaces are disturbed. A rumpling of this sandwich of surfaces can occur; a temporary mingling can happen, say, as these surfaces are stirred into each other for a more complex relationship of interaction, the pattern of oil obviously dynamic, obviously shifting during the aesthetic and intimate trauma of the stir. With a stick (a single-tined fork) I stirred, but did not film, a temporary little vortex into what may have behaved as a center of the oil (I treated it as such). And although the sandwich also reminded me of my fourth book in which I wrote that oil in the puddle was still ghetto stained glass, still rainbow remnants in rock bottom ghetto sky, I wondered what the oil, in small enough quantity to be pretty without also being disastrous, looked like from underneath, looking up at it from in the water, as fish might, as aquatic mammals while submerged might, as sea turtles might; I wondered about the tips of aquatic plants dipping into the oil as into paint. I wondered about opportunistic qualities (configurations of collaborative potentials) of poetry, wondered about, questioned, and needed them, nourishing myself with such wonderings, the glamorized puddle presenting as a portal to a metaphor-induced transformation of surface, an overlay that fit well —sandwich garnish— next to a down-home serving of unsettling occurrence arriving too soon for those of a certain kind of conscience to transform into the range of possibilities waiting to be enacted from under water in the gulf, in Louisiana looking up at an oil-painted ceiling riding the water, a tainted chapel, spoiled colors of glory. (image credit: Matthews/AP, as found at the New York Daily News site.)

Perhaps I would not find beauty so necessary to growth and repair were it permanent, were it possible to make something that can endure all possibility of event, specifically a beauty in how things connect on so many scales, the choreography of connection, the energy, intensity, so that sometimes it's brutal, but I wouldn't want beauty to have to be only weak. I expect things to unfold in all the ways possible for unfolding. I accept the range. The spread. I adore it. The Limited Fork keeps bifurcating and bifurcating, sending out tines and sub-tines to attempt to locate and connect with the elements of spread, the inhabitants of range.

The specialness and preciousness of that which, in a particular form, will be lost is an outcome of interactions with apparent inevitability of demise of a particular iteration attached to a particular moment in the timeline and timescale of an entity's existence. That form, this form, that other form can be appealing to me; that form, this form, and that other form seduce me into wanting to engage with those forms, my engagement itself a configurable outcome of an interaction. A collaborative event. And it may be mutual. I too am a collaboration of many forms functioning as a community, an environment of identity. Mutual seduction of form by form. The sensual appeal need not be definable as a certain category of beauty; line and shape are suggestive, recur on various scales, offer locations of possible temporary connection, suggest parts that when combined can be experienced as whole subsystems of something even larger. Shape and angle offer potential, each a solution of an equation, points of entry into an interaction and points of departure from an interaction in which there's been a priming (courtesy the marking that occurs on some scale for varying duration, perhaps, in the romantic version that may or may not happen on some scale somewhere, including dream and imagination, infinitely dissipating) for participation in (collaboration with) transactions with other entities.
(Hiroshi Sugimoto's mathematical form as seen in the New York Times portfolio slideshow.)

A general lack of completion (one way to configure the acceleration of the universe, the continuing dispersal of cosmic information) invites an understanding (wish) of the journey as a seeking of connection, perhaps even a seeking of a reunification that could be an evolved form of an initial condition of unification (just before whatever banged, banged and/or just before the moment of creation, for instance) that Limited Fork Theory prefers to posit as an initial condition of incredible intimacy (profound density, profound gravity holding what will be components [when it bangs/blossoms] into what could appear to be a single entity under intense pressure) that for some reason (invitation to the speculative) banged or blossomed in the violent manner (until engaged with on a timescale revealing even a crude form of gracefulness associated with that scale) of a puffball that in some understandings becomes graceful in the violent release of spores, a beautiful violence of trying to persist, violent joy of possibly successfully fighting extinction.

Though the source puffball explosion footage from High287 on youtube was not captured with a high-speed camera, I have nevertheless slowed down the footage, first to 5fps, then that video outcome, shown below, was slowed down to 10fps, resulting in a 2:35 version of a 31-second video capture that more properly should be called a 2:35 version of a 21-second video capture as the slowed down version begins 10 seconds into the 31-second source video.

In this approach, acceleration does not have to be understood as speed, but may be configured as a lengthening, an elongation of distance between cosmic components, moving apart unto the limits of space in which to move apart, space created by the moving apart, space in which to move necessarily a part of the event of moving. Assuming a limit of generation of space to accommodate movement, then what? —a caving into generated space, components attempting reconnections? comets apparently particularly aggressive in their periodic attempts? icy cosmic suicides? One of them will do as my unorthodox version of an already unorthodox (not exactly in the new testament in this capacity) Gabriel, meteor showers subbing as visual iterations of his horn of judgment. (Perseida lesen Iimage by BZd, Pilis mountain, Hungary. Time lapse movie of 4.5 hours of meteor hunting., a collaborative configuration of an outcome of an interaction system that includes: BZd, time, Perseid meteors, a camera, opportunity, the Pilis mountain, and now, in some small reconfiguration: this post.)

Why necessarily bother to engage now with that which will not, that which cannot change? An inflexibility more pitiable than admirable in interaction. This would exclude faith which can waver though my mother, for one would probably deny this. Perhaps more thorough investigation, at scales not currently accessible, might reveal tiny bits of flexibility, maybe a form of evolutionary memory of having been more flexible. Forms of diminished urgency [energy] can be outcomes of interactions with the permanently unchanged and permanently unchanging (I do not know what that is, by the way), including unending stability as form of diminished urgency, even though stability may be quite appealing to the precarious, for instance, and to those entities and circumstances in which flux and uncertainty function more prominently as burdens, challenges, and hazards, or just as milder forms of annoyance.

For me, engagement tends to net a wow of the moment of interception of something with any of my senses, a wow that fades, as probably nothing can be, so far, sustained indefinitely in any particular iteration even as it powers, more successfully when the wow is most intense, an engine within me that hungers to connect with evidence of thriving creative humanity, a creativity that makes something to feed the senses (and by extension what the senses feed), something that gets tangled easily with worth and purpose of senses, configured here as genetic and environmental technology that allows us to connect with what is outside of us, making what is connected with, part of us. The above image presents some of the geometries assembled in Hamtramck (near Detroit, part of extended Detroit, Detroit as an interacting system) as Ukranian Disneyland; it is an ideal illustration of a key principle of Limited Fork Theory: the collaborative nature of all things, or, stated differently, reconfigured, that is to say, a notion that interaction is responsible for most (pretty close to all, I'll dare say, though I know the fallibility of a forking system that has holes between tines) iterations of that which exists.

The caption accompanying the set of Dmytro Szylak's Ukranian Disneyland images at Swipple says that: Mr. Szylak was born in 1920, in the village of Lwiw, Ukraine, and came to the U.S. in 1949. He began building this work around 1990, after retiring from the General Motors Hydromatic Factory, where he worked on the assembly line for 32 years; 32 years working on a communication system between engine and wheels, a system of collaboration to enable a vehicle to enable a journey, a configuration of a collaboration with space, time.

(map from wikimapia.)

Without knowing other information that, when interacting with what is being said here will necessarily reconfigure (somewhere in a range from the subtle to the profund) what's being said here, I will venture to say that 32 years of assembling transmissions primes a person to continue to put things together. A history of assembling probably without flexibility of component manipulation and/or of configuration creativity could interact with a longing to depart from parameters of GM assemblage (a departure that did occur via interaction with a devastating fire in 1953 in the Livonia, MI plant).

Four of my maternal uncles worked on automotive assembly lines in Ohio, and not once have they mentioned downtime in the factory where workers could take discarded parts to play with, making other structures of aesthetic and/or practical purpose, outcomes displayed privately in a plant show and/or also publicly. Perhaps Dmytro Szylak was aware of such possibilities without being able to act upon them other than in his mind as a factory of idea and imagination. Perhaps there were dreams of alternative building with materials he worked with for 32 years. Dreams perhaps involving repurposing of what was local, what he could get his hands on, producing intimate reconfigurations.

There's something rewarding about assembling, about building rather than demolishing, taking the outcomes of demolition to rebuild in other realizations of form; there's so much limited forkiness in his understanding of the cooperation of parts, their essential role in a larger enterprise of structure, maintaining that enterprise while retaining some integrity of part, transitioning at the boundaries, the locations of inter-part connection, from self to community, the hybrid form taking root in those connections between parts. Dmytro Szylak assembles a community structure from parts found in the community, discarded parts, parts available for repurposing, for transformation.

I like how the Ukranian Disneyland structure isn't solid; the eye can follow the lines and angles, can use openings to temporarily partition the sky, can corral constellations, can enjoy the patterns of connection, can fall in love with locations of union, can understand how Dmytro Szylak finds a place for newcomers. His structure system is not limited to growth in a single direction or on a single plane; there are many options for where and how a newcomer can join. In this way, there is no predetermined structural destination with which parts must conform (form of interaction/collaboration); structural growth patterns are shaped by contributions from the nature of the part joining the community structure. This open construction allows components (residents of the structure) to seem to play in their own playground. It is easy to begin rearranging the parts visually as the eyes play with the assemblage. Ukranian Disneyland is rescued from an inevitability of form, while being totally consumed with an inevitability of making and assembling.

The shuffling of information in any of its solid, fluid, virtual, digital, etc. forms is expected to occur in the practice of Limited Fork Theory. Many, many investigations of interactions, without theory-mandated boundaries; braking established instead by an investigator's interaction with integrity, scruples, ethics, and so forth, as defined by that investigator. Because interaction is a form of collaboration, participants in the interaction are at risk of influence, at risk of being marked by the interaction, changed in some way, from mild, barely perceptible, apparently no change to gross change, nearly complete transformation or domination. Interaction works best when participants enter the transaction with some opening at at least some of the contact points. Interaction works best when participants enter it with a willingness to be changed. It is to appreciate the threats and possibilities of many forms of journey. After exposure (form of interaction) to configurations of information, it may not be possible to maintain beliefs exactly as they were before exposure.

This approach and its consequences (the system of this approach) is difficult for my mother, difficulties to be explored in a variety of visual configurations, two in progress now, one of which, in an early emerging time-based form, you may watch:

Digital handling and manipulation of information is becoming increasingly easy to accomplish by those without sophisticated and specialized training via applications with user interfaces becoming smarter all the time, leaving the user having to make mostly creative decisions, bypassing complexity of use that would limit access to comfort with using the applications to produce some object of some form of information. As easy as word processing! —And becoming easier! Entry-level applications provide features that promise pro-sumer outcomes, outcomes of sufficient polish that aesthetic merit can be successfully defended. Indeed, Tarnation, made on a Mac with iMovie, the basic movie-editing application native on all Apple computers (with versions available now for both some generations of iPhone and iPad), won Best Documentary from the National Society of Film Critics, the Independent Spirits, the Gotham Awards, and the LA and London International Film Festivals. Here's the Tarnation trailer:

Part of a reason to use more digital approaches in producing academic objects of information involves answering questions about the purpose of an academic object of information. As most academic objects of information are text-based, some of the questions involve forms that text can take (however brief the taking), locations that can host text, and how text can be shared with a wide range of humanity, including some constituents with varying sensory function. Each form has its own rules governed by the existing boundaries of possibility within that form, boundaries that can change as what's possible changes in some other moment, or some other aspect of a moment. The information in an academic object of information can expect to adapt (as the form can also expect) in a collaboration with form, the collaboration (or interaction) temporarily (for the duration of the interaction) adjusting what is possible for the hybrid form, drawing on the parameters of possibility that each participant brings to the interaction.

—This is a primary location of excitement for me in the study of interacting systems, watching, causing, participating in hybrid forms that emerge in collaboration or interaction, some forms of which are forms of collision, forms of obliteration, but also forms of beauty that seem to exert no harm on scales to which I have access at the time of consideration.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011



Telcosystems - BALTAN goes NATLAB 3 from Baltan Laboratories on Vimeo.


After a discussion with Professor Moss, the idea of feed back loops came into fruition. It was interesting to think about feed back loops as a regimented system of behavior-- how does one get out of a feed back loop? Is it the attempt to respond to same situations in a different matter? I wonder what others think in relationship to this.


I've started a new blog to showcase parts of the exploration I've been undergoing in class this semester.
The site is:

I've also updated my Video essay a bit, adding features and effects from Motion as well as some new audio components.

I'm also going to use this space to try to explain some of the specifics and choices of the "Libyan Democracy" video essay. The main two speakers you hear in the essay are Hillary Clinton and Noam Chomsky. Being the current Secretary of State, Clinton offers the official US Government stance on our actions in Libya and her comments were broadcasted internationally through many major television/radio/internet media sources. Professor Chomsky on the other hand, a highly respected Linguistics professor at MIT as well as probably the most outspoken public critic of the United States foreign policy, is virtually unknown in the American Mainstream, shunned by every major TV news outlet and only very occasionally mentioned in print publications. Chomsky is extremely popular in Europe, the Middle East, and pretty much every where besides the US, spending much of his time touring the world giving lectures and interviews. The NY Times has said Chomsky is "arguably the most important intellectual alive" despite regularly ignoring his comments and critiques of US foreign policy along with the rest of what we commonly call "Mainstream Media". Chomsky is a regular guest on Democracy NOW! as well as a variety of British, Middle Eastern and many other media outlets. I chose to use Chomsky's voice in this essay since his opinion is outside the main stream of thought on foreign policy despite being unbelievably well supported by decades of news reports and declassified government files. Chomsky brings up the attitudes of Libyans towards the West in terms of intervention. He recalls a massacre of Libyan's at the hands of Italians between WWI and WWII. "We have a short memory for atrocities" Chomsky quips, "but the Libyans have not forgotten." The concluding quote from Chomsky details a report commissioned by US President Eisenhower in the 50s into why there was such widespread hate for American policies in the Middle East. Our government has been supporting brutal, autocratic regimes and bloody coups for decades in order to maintain a semblance of control over the exportation of oil in the region. It is obvious that the events of September 11th were not only a retribution or "blowback" (as Ron Paul suggests, courtesy of a CIA report) but as we know actually perpetrated by people trained under our own regime tampering activities (i.e. Osama bin Laden having been trained by the CIA to combat the Soviets in Afghanistan). The catastrophic and tragic events of 9/11 were simply the first 21st Century reverberation of activities that have been occurring between our state's government and the "sovereign" nations of the Middle East for a very long time.

The resurgence

"Dandyism appears especially in the transitory periods when democracy is not yet all-powerful, and when aristocracy is only partially unsettled and depreciated... Dandyism is the last splendour of heroism in decadence... Dandyism is a setting sun; like the star in its decline, it is superb, without heat and full of melancholy." - Charles Baudelaire

The resurgence of modern day Dandyism is no new fashion trend. As Baudelaire states Dandyism is "the last splendor of heroism." I've been examining this resurgence in the Modern Day Gentlemen (Dandy) by group in the Congo who are called Les Sapeurs. Se saper is the french verb to dress elegantly and the SAPE stands for Société des Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants. Through my own research I've gone deeper into what is being signified and who exactly is the signifier for this group of fascinating men. My first point of contemporary analysis is to juxtapose the British fashion designer Paul Smith's Women's Spring 2010 collection that was inspired by Les Sapeurs.

The interaction between this British designer and this group of fashion-obsessed Congolese dandies signifies the importace of being elegant.  The two converge and navigate different spaces when wearing their clothes. How did Smith find and begin to follow this trend? Are the two interacting reversely because of the different motivations? Can the lines of ambivalence and fluidity be crossed without it becoming a spectacle?

For the models in the runway show, they interact with the clothes completely different than the Sapeurs. The models get paid to walk in the designer clothes with an artful swag. The Sapeurs dress as a discourse to  embody their moral code, their mentality and their community. They have a sense of negotiation between their settings and a much stronger emphasis on spoken clothing. These men dress to assert a different type of social identity. It wasn't a role assigned to them, but very similar to the 19th century dandies, it is a "chosen" lifestyle.

A Sapeur [photo from Gentlemen of Bacongo]

Paul Smith, the designer and a model []


Read Story

I was listening to a friend today discuss this article. What is interesting is that the French government tried to electronically monitor boredom through finding out how many French citizen play solitaire or every how many of them google search- nihilism. Ultimately, google rejected their request. I find this interesting as it relates to the way in which digital media- the internet- has become part of the world's idea system. The government is now commissioning information from - google. I find that to really inflate the institutional power that google may have over a countries government.

Jessica Suzanne Stokes

When considering the kind of imprint our own time period might have on the next one, I hone in on language. What words invented now will be fully integrated within the next generation and what words will seem like relics? I decided to put my facebook profile page through a site that makes images out of the blocks of text submitted by the user giving prominence to the most used words. I expected to see "unlike," "friend," "post," and even months and times among the words, but the three words that stuck out weren't any of those. "Jessica," "Suzanne," and "Stokes" appeared with less frequency than "March' while tying with "like" and "unlike." My name appears on facebook far more than anything I would ever assert in the world. Does that make for better conversation?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In the Beginning

We began with the idea of bettering conversation on the internet. Since then we have focused in on creating at least part of a collaboration machine: a website that facilitates the creation of collaborative poetry and prose. To track our trip from there to here to somewhere we have this blog deal:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Publishing Game...

So over the last week I have been thinking about the world of publishing as a sort of game as Professor Moss suggested last class. I have determined that because of the state of flux of the industry as of right now, there are multiple scenarios that could potentially play out and thus the game can have multiple winners and losers according to what the chain of events is. Below, I composed one possible scenario for the chain of events that could potentially occur:

The exercise is extremely instructive in that it organizes the chaos that is the industry right now. I will continue to work on other scenarios that could possibly occur as my research evolves.

[Image at left of Jeff Bezos taken from Time Magazine, 6/22/09] I also found 3 extremely enlightening articles from Time Magazine today. They are, Are Libraries the Next Napster? , Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature, and Is Amazon Taking Over the Book Business?. Each of the articles was extremely thought provoking in terms of their vision for the industry. Particularly the article concerning Amazon, in which the authors Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs discussed the business practices of Jeff Bezos, President of Amazon books, and the future of the publishing industry. Grossman and Sachs imagine the future of the industry as "a world where publishing has two centers rather than one: a conventional literary center, governed by mainstream publishing — with its big names and fancy prizes and high-end art direction — and a new one where books rise to fame and prominence YouTube-style, in the rough and tumble of the great Web 2.0 mosh pit." I thought that the two-center model could potentially be extremely accurate in portraying the future of publishing. I would really like to explore the possibilities of an industry that takes on this two center framework.

The Intimate Universe

So today, Prof. Moss's lecture about Limited Fork reminded me of an essay written by Carl Gustav Jung called Seven Sermons of the Dead. The text explains Gnostic ideals fused with Jung's own psychoanalytic observations of his patients as well as himself to explain the universe as we know it. Prof. Moss's idea about the "root" of the bifurcating forks of Limited Fork, the intimate place where all things are truly one bears relation both to the Om of Eastern philosophy as well as Jung's "Pleroma". The Seven Sermons of the Dead explains the pleroma like this:

Harken: I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full. As well might ye say anything else of nothingness, as for instance, white is it, or black, or again, it is not, or it is. A thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all qualities.

This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma.

In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.

From here Jung proceeds to explain all things through basic and further bifurcations of the PLEROMA . The logical step from the synthesis of these ideas in my mind is to draw my idea of Media into the mix. I tried to integrate these systems and concepts in the following flowchart:

My Blog

Hey everyone, sorry for not posting more often.  I mostly use my tumblr, which can be found here. I frequently reblog things I find online, and post weekly updates on my Senior Thesis (which is due next tuesday!! YIKES).  This whole semester, I've been thinking a lot about trees and forests as intersecting systems, and places where all different forms of life and information can connect.  My thread tree forest is almost finished, and will soon have an animation integrated within it.

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine!

Monday, March 28, 2011

final project

It is interesting to see how everything is coming together. It is also to think about how everything in the world comes together too. My goal for this project is to use what some inmates have said to inspire a style and feeling in a piece of music. Then I will combine these pieces together with semi-abrupt transitions. Eventually, if everything works out as planned, other people will use this music to shoot a silent film. The challenge is that it is hard to get multiple feelings happening at the same time in the music. This is what I'm trying to accomplish in my head and soon it will be put into sound.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


As I was thinking about systems of interaction, I couldn't help but see multiple ways of looking at how things relate.  In the simplest of terms we can think of an interaction having at least two participants. In the example of an art space, we can think of the creator being one participant, agreeing to a set of rules from the moment the idea is first conceived. The idea in physical form, whether through spatial, linguistic, mathematical, or otherwise; it is never constant and the participant observer, or receiver, plays a vital role in its existence. I keep recalling the term feedback loop as one way of thinking of the relationship. Each interaction repeats back onto itself and the experience is novel yet still an accumulation of all past experiences, it is a circuit of interaction that is constantly changing, constantly new, yet still determined by all past actions, or inaction. The creator is also a participant, the participant is also a creator, and through their shared interaction, the space (or creation) can change. Indeed, the created space itself is its own participant, not merely a set object in space but open to change as our understanding, interaction, and manipulation of it can change. While it may be a given created environment, it is not static, it is dynamic. As we talked about ripples before, things happening, either known or unknown, interacted with or not, still influence and penetrate every interaction.  This is the peripheral that is another participant.  Indeed, while we can't directly affect what happens in the peripheral, it still permeates our interaction. 

Here is one visual of how it could work:

The only constant would be existence itself,  I guess the experience of time.  Around this is the multitude of variables that affect experience, all dependent on each piece of the puzzle.  If you think of it like a video game, you can see that no interaction is constant.  I kept thinking of Original Super Mario Brothers for Original Nintendo.  Thinking solely about the environment of the game, there is a set of rules and a seemingly constant way to play but these rules can change with varying constants.  Maybe I will take all the pipes in the game to save time, or maybe I will warp to a different world or discover a new hidden path I didn't know about.  Maybe it will be two player, maybe I will lose lives and have to restart over, with the interaction beginning anew again.  Maybe there will be an error half way through the game.  The point is that it is always variable, no matter how constant the environment can be, our perspective and experience of it is constantly changing.  You can even "hack" the system and disregard its rules completely.

Stanford Professional Publishing Course on Itunes

This past week I have been working on listening to a publishing series on the Stanford University Itunes channel. There were some extremely interesting segments discussing electronic publishing and the incorporation of new forms of media. One speaker in the video was invited to attend the course because of his expertise in digital technology. He discussed how the publishing industry needs to remain more open to change and embrace new forms of technology and new methods of distribution such as ipads, iphones, kindles, etc. Another speaker discussed the use of videos. He asserted that publication companies should embrace the technology of the video and use it to expand the industry's purpose of "storytelling." He suggested embedding youtube videos on the websites of publications, broadcasting live events relating to the publication on their website, and bringing in bloggers who have interesting insight into topics relating to the publication. Yet another speaker discussed making use of the brand-name. She asserted that publishers need to incorporate tactics used by Starbucks and Apple in generating customer loyalty. As books and publications are becoming commoditized, they too need to adopt the strategy of cultivating brand-names for themselves. I found out from the course website that it has since become the Yale Professional Publishing Course. It was an extremely interesting series of videos and I am definitely going to include some clips my website.

Bringing Democracy to Libya

So I spent this class session putting together a short video in iMovie, meant to be a multimedia discussion on the US/UN intervention in Libya. I intend to work on this video a bit more, hopefully integrating images other than nuclear explosions to further emphasize my ideas. I selected the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's speech since it represents the US government's official stance on our intervention in Libya. Professor Chomsky offers a less mainstream viewpoint and brings decades of political science and history expertise. He is currently Professor Emeritus in Linguistics at MIT. Find out more here.


Here are the sources I used for this project.

Noam Chomsky Warns Against U.S./U.K. Intervention In Libya
I used Audio Hijack Pro to capture some of the audio from streaming sources.

Hydrogen Bomb Test
Atomic Bomb Test-Operation Cue

Something Still New

I've been thinking about how to expand my original idea of studying media in its various forms, outside of manipulating sound. In order to widen my scope I'm thinking about creating a brief newsmedia compilation in iMovie, although I think it would be difficult to clear rights for most of the things I want to use. Here is an update from a webseries called Rap News. The political and current events related rapping delivered in a news report format parodies and critiques the current method of television "news" transmission, interviewing a hate-spewing Glenn Beck as well as an early motivator and symbol of the Egyptian Revolution Asmaa Mahfouz . The general outlook of Rap News is rooted in a stern distrust of US Foreign Policy as well as domestic manipulations of news media, politics, and the economy by a small group of moneyed corporate elites. The final message of this particular episode is one of striving as a people towards real civilization, meaning a society that truly values and consistently upholds civil responsibility and basic human rights for things like health care, clean water and air, as well as the right to organize labor and protest peacefully.

Environment as a System of Interaction and Simultaneity (intro)

One reason that you should consider your projects as environments involves some of the nature of interactions.

An assumption is that interaction occurs between at least two entities. These entities may be subsystems of the same systems, parts that may function as wholes that then also (likely simultaneously) function together within a larger subsystem that in turn may function as part of an even larger system. Consider parts of the human body and human families and human communities that of course interact with non-human subsystems and systems. Such consideration establishes or helps enable awareness of an environment underway. A dynamic set of behaviors and circumstances in an environment host, shape, and are shaped by interactions of environmental membership, including temporary memberships such as visitors or intruders or those evicted (in various ways on various scales).

Interaction assumes occurrence, event; something happens in an interaction. There is some form of exchange in interaction, any possible form of exchange which can include domination, subjugation, extermination. There have been incredibly brutal exchanges in Japan, Libya, Syria, Egypt; forms of occurrence persist as reconfigurations happen again and again. These interacting systems are also interacting with other systems around the world. There are global ripples of impact that vary in intensity; geological, psychological, meteorological, emotional, political, economic, sociological, motivational, religious, galvanizing, etc. ripples and shock waves. The intensity with which you feel yourself hit with any of these ripples help configure some of the nature of your response, of your participation in the interaction with the shock wave; some of the nature of your role in a transaction with systems and subsystems of ripples, some of which continue from out of Haiti, and some of which mingle to dilution in the recency and comparative (ouch) enormity of current (the breaking) news events.

This is to say that there is still hunger in the world in locations not specifically mentioned in this post. Still people and communities without proper access to proper water and proper toilets (including some First Nation reserves in Canada). (image from CoteGauche)

Constituents of interaction play (configurable and reconfigurable)roles in interaction. There are variables that help determine the nature of these roles from moment to moment. Some of these variables include your own choices. Though there is marking by interaction on participants in interaction, the configuration (including intensity and duration of marking) varies according to determinable (to a certain extent) factors. Prior interactions help to prime responses of participants in a moment of initial participation in emerging interactions that do further shaping, marking, priming for subsequent interactions.

Denial and indifference are possible responses, possible (in)actions within a temporary system of interaction. Intensity of denial, apathy, hostility, indifference, compassion, etc. are variable, fluctuate, according to what is marking, how marking happens, etc. in emerging interactions.

Listen to Exploding Angels (music & lyrics by Ansted Moss, arranged and sung by forkergirl, 2006; also available from the Limited Fork Music podcast):

To participate in interaction is to risk a possibility of being marked in the exchange in a way that can reconfigure perception on some scale for some duration of time.

Context and interpretation are two of many variables that operate as a factor in shaping response. Context is highly variable, in a range from the subtle to the profound. Anything may form a center of context through which an allness or everything may be (temporarily) accessed, the movement outward or inward from that center as ripples and shock waves that eventually, with some form of distance (usually), dissipates to where marking and effects, though still diminishing (perhaps infinitely diminishing) becomes apparently immeasurable, apparently inconsequential.

Please watch again or the first time the ripples of Powers of Ten from the Eames Office:

Involvement in interaction is a form of collaboration. You and the subject(s) of your project system are co-participants in a system of interaction in which the roles vary and are reconfigurable, according to rules that are also variable and temporarily in place from moment to moment, each configured according to interactions with information that arrives and departs with varying intensities. Participants in your project environment may be transient. Status may fluctuate. Alliances may form and disband. Etc.

Please try to determine what the roles are, in moments (at least three) of interaction within your collaboration with your project system, for at least three participants in the collaboration. Do also try to identify as many of the participants as your can. As many as all. This determination of roles in the transaction and identification of participants in the transaction may take on any form, including written list, paper model, map, flow chart, clay, video, sound work, game, etc.

If you configure your project system as an interactive game, for instance, what might be an objective of this game? What would be the role of the project participants/players? What might be the rules of this game? How does one play it? How does one win it —if it may be won at all. How many levels? What happens on each? Perhaps a purpose is not to win, and if not, why play this game? Etc. Maximum number of players? Minimum? Remember that in most video games, the environment is not static. A dynamic environment where anything there is potentially active —Myst anyone? The environment participates in the action, moves the game along, sometimes determines outcomes, presents consequences, alternatives, dead ends, delays, traps, rewards, etc. Anything at all like Jumanji?

Feel Free to make a board game, if you like or set up some kind of (crude approximations are fine) online community experience of (some of) the game elements.

Have you played Darfur is Dying? Play September 12 here & now Then play Madrid. Read about the Global Conflicts computer games —imagine content for history, economics, political science, and other subjects experienced with decision-making and other forms of active participation instead of a textbook. Here are some examples:

Shoes and Simultaneity

I've been thinking about the simultaneity studies and one thing keeps on popping into my head that relates in a round about way to my project. One of my high school teachers/voluntary boatman at the boathouse got into the rowing equipment business several years ago. He owns H2Row, a company that now supplies the vast majority of rowing shoes that go in the racing shells. So basically he's a millionaire, but that's besides the point. He's a really funny guy, always cracking jokes, but you can never tell if he's being serious or when he tells us that he owns a sweatshop in some third world country that makes these shoes, idk what to think. But I'm pretty sure he's not kidding about that. Anyways, my point here is every time I think about those shoes now, the first thing that pops into my mind is sweatshops. Now, the simultaneity seen through the eyes of rower...every time I strapped my feet into those shoes I thought about little kids in Taiwan or some country laboring to make them at the same time I was using them to compete in a race. Well here I am thinking these shoes need to be made more sustainably now.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Digital-ALITY of Fashion

I was looking at the Prada Spring/Summer 2011 line and I came across this video. Fashion or rather clothing has been something totally utilitarian. We use it to keep ourselves warm to provide us with something to protect our bodies from the external environment. Within Limit Fork discussions, we have looked at the manor in which the digital world-namely the internet- has complicated or challenged the world that we occupy. I found it interesting to see an advertisement for clothing on Youtube. It totally rids the clothing items of their utilitarian value- pushing them towards the idea of art objects. I like how their are many systems at play in this idea- the model, the music, the clothes- all comping together to articulate a specific idea.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Simultaneity in Music

Simultaneity makes sense. Nothing can be the same for every single person, but how do you incorporate that music. That is the challenge this week. I hear a lot of music and almost all of it keeps basically the same tone throughout the entire song. Now, i must figure out how to break that. How to get the listener to feel two opposite feelings at once. I would even settle for different people to think opposing thoughts or for the same person to hear different themes with every listening. This seems tough, but possible.
Simultaneity, oh simultaneity

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Helio Oiticica + Marks

The work of Hélio Oiticica is applicable to our discussion of marks as he is working in Brazil in the 60s during an extreme authoritarian government. He is marked as a white individual in this highly- racially divided environment- not to mention the class divide that is present. This government is containing art through censorship, so for Oiticica he must "bend" mediums-using everyday materials. Instead of showcasing his work in the gallery, Oiticica brings it to the slums- to shanty towns around Brazil; the same times that he chooses to live in. In this regard, one could say that Oiticica is trying to create an egalitarian approach to artistic display- one that does not contain a sense of institutional privileged.

Furthermore, Oiticica's work is less about the art object and more about the social interaction that occurs from walking through his pieces. This notion of social interaction- brings time to the forefront of his work. Their is a sense of time that becomes a collaborator that parallels Limited Fork Theory.


This video is an example of how anything can be posted or uploaded online- we have gotten to a point in society where anything can be presented as fact. The issue now is that with a bombardment of information, how can we distinguish what is good from what is bad? Or rather who is informed and credible and who is not. A metaphor, I think about is the idea that culture (currently) has started to throw trash where they eat-- we can no longer distinguish the difference, so we eat both.

This video seems to satirize the nature of sensationalizing political events. One can tell that this individual is not even taking himself seriously, through the slight smirks. I don't evaluate this video as "actual" information. I do not take it seriously. Rather, the only productive way for me to evaluate this video is to consider it as a performance art piece.

What do you think?

Sad Keanu/Sean/Sheen

Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn crash the Sad Keanu meme.

The Library Controversy

Hi all,

I have not posted in much too long, so I have a lot to share in this post. First of all, I am planning on setting up an interview with one of the librarians in the library in the coming couple of weeks in order to find out more about the HathiTrust project, which is U of M's study of the possibilities of electronic publishing. I was told by another professor that Aaron McCullogh would be particularly of use in exploring digital media, as he is involved in the library's study of digital media. I am also interested in perhaps seeking out the director of U of M's Journal of Electronic Publishing. I think an interview with her would also bring to light a lot of interesting information regarding the emerging possibilities of e-publishing and the future of the publishing industry.

Last week, in my research I came upon one extremely interesting article in The New York Times Magazine regarding Stephanie Clifford and Julie Bosman entitled "Publishers Look Beyond Bookstores." The article discusses how many major publishing companies are marketing their books to retail stores, such as Urban Outfitters, Sam's Club, or Kitson. Publishers are using such stores as opportunities for the sale of lesser-known books or novelty books that might not necessarily be popular sellers in an e-publishing context. The article also brings to light the idea that certain books are apparently being left out of the transition to ebooks. The article names cookbooks and children's books as two types excluded from the digital world. I feel as though these are two books that might benefit very much from becoming digitized, however. The question of what books are being left out in the transition from paper to electronic publishing is yet another issue that deserves exploration.

I also came upon a very interesting issue regarding the relationship between libraries and epublishing. In searching through newspaper articles, I came upon one New York Times blog that led me to a whole slew of information regarding a controversy between libraries and Harper Collins. Apparently, Harper Collins has decided to limit public libraries to 27 uses of the ebooks they purchase per year. Libraries are up in arms regarding this policy, and it is easy to see why. The idea of limiting something that someone owns undoes the whole concept of book ownership. Why should ebooks be any different than print books? I understand possibly limiting the number of users who can access an ebook at one time, but to force libraries to pay extra for electronic books that they could easily find in paper version is ridiculous. I believe that Harper Collins should alter their policy, but that is simply my opinion. There is definitely more information to uncover regarding the issue and I intend to include it in my website. Here are some links regarding the issue:

Harper Collins Controversy-response of libraries
boycott harper

Technology in a Time of Crisis

I'm so heartbroken by what's going on in Japan.

One (relatively) hopeful note is the presence of technology to help withstand the crisis. According to the AP, anyone can make a $10 donation by texting "Japan" or "Quake" to 80888. And google has set up a person finder with two options: "I'm looking for someone" or "I have information about someone." Anyone can ask or share. It's like putting up missing person fliers, sticking a post-it note at the lost and found, or even scratching a question on a bathroom stall--except this information is easily accessible and all in one place, one database of people trying to find each other.


Tsunami origin:
late 19th century: from Japanese, from tsu "harbor" + nami "wave"

I've been distracted, enthralled and captivated by these haunting images of what's currently going on in Japan. These look like building blocks. The power of sea water.
Well, I've been at a stand still with my ideas for a couple weeks now...
Over spring break I went to one of my high school's rowing practices and got some ideas mainly from the workout called "pedestals" that I had to demonstrate to the novices.
The workout is based on increments of 25 working up to 75 and is done a total of three times. It burns, oh does it burn. The first 25 is up and over head rows with a 20-lb bar. The second is 50 chest rows with that 20-lb bar and the third is squats with this 20-lb bar. I was thinking about how many ways this workout can apply to sustainability...implementing it in steps...having a 5-year plan 10-year plan and 15-year plan. Making large changes at first and working towards a more detailed approach later on. This will definitely work its way into my website, which is a work in progress still, of course.

Monday, March 14, 2011

When i get out

a new song was created. i was thinking about what the inmates talked about. what they felt passionately about. it was when they would get out of jail. i used this feeling to create a feel in the song. i even in threw in a sean penn distraction. now, i need to work on exactly what said and morph that to fit inside this song. the good thing is that i have not been tired. when im not tired, i dont sleep. when i dont sleep, i seem to be use more creativity. so it shouldnt be too difficult for me to compile what was written and make it my own
we will see what a new day will bring

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sean Penn

I didn't realize it, but Sean Penn has been intruding on my mind for a while now.  I've been thinking a lot about trees (you've probably all seen me in the corner with my hot glue gun), and working on constructing a forest made of thread trees (this is also part of my thesis for the BFA program, but I think it's ridiculous for projects to not spill over into other classes, don't you? my thoughts all jumble together, especially with art).  This movie trailer really made an impression on me a few months ago when I first saw it.  This movie is supposed to be mainly about emotions and sensory images, and I think it's interesting to think of how film can invoke strong emotional responses.  I'm interested in emotional responses in my own work, but haven't done anything with it in a while.  Watching this made me remember all those things I had been thinking about, and how nature is connected to everything (at least, that's how I feel about it).

Sean Penn intrusion??

So if Sean Penn were to intrude on my publishing project....

Needless to say it would be a bit strange, but it could happen in various ways:

For instance, why does Simon & Schuster advertise that Sean Penn read the Bob Dylan book Chronicles? What does this have to do with the book sale industry? How much do celebrity endorsements affect readers' purchases of books?

Or we could look at Sean Penn's biography by Richard T. Kelly entitled Sean Penn: His Life and Times. How much more popular are celebrity biographies than works of literature or fiction? Is society more geared toward "reality," more interested in the lives of real celebrities than they are in works of literary art?

Sean Penn's film Into the Wild is demonstrative of the blockbuster novel, as the movie is based off of the book by Jack Krakauer. It exemplifies the idea of turning a book into a hollywood hit. Because of the great success of movies such as Into the Wild or Harry Pottery, publishers seem to be selecting books to publish depending upon their blockbuster potential, and as a result, authors seem to be catering to their profit-oriented practices in order to get rich quick. I wish to investigate whether this is really true, whether such a system is really in place in today's publishing industry? Was Into the Wild written with the intention of being a blockbuster? Or was it simply admired by a director after it was already written?

Proforker's Intrusion

Sean Penn - The intruder
I found a soundboard of Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High here, which I intend to integrate into my sound project. Despite Prof. Moss telling us we thankfully do not have to use Charlie Sheen, the suggestion was made and since sound files of that particular person's ravings are readily available, I think I will use his voice in addition to Spicoli's.

Art as Necessity
Art as Luxury

The way I personally define these relationships are as follows: Art is a luxury, but Expression is a necessity. In the way that good food is a luxury and mere sustenance is a necessity.

Mucking About in Media - Exploration in Alienation

So I've been continuing to work with the idea of "Media" manipulating sound and text mostly at this point, trying to integrate different sources within a given medium. For instance using found sound--recorded by my friend on his iPhone and trying to integrate it into a Garageband track, as well as integrating the OED into my own Media-related rant. These two little projects have been rather successful insofar as they've allowed me to stretch my creative legs a bit, reaching out into areas formerly foreign to me, but I'm well stretched now, I know how long my legs are, (I can almost touch my toes!), and it's about time to jog a bit. I tend to think that constructing and working within metaphor is one of my strong points, and so in that spirit I've decided to jog. To clarify, stretching- something I'm not so good at, but necessary. Jogging- something I'm a bit better at, and which I'll begin to do now. What I mean by that, is the synthesis of the two media I've worked with so far, text and sound, through the descriptive medium of metaphor, in this case poetry specifically. What I'd planned to do today was to write I poem (I've already started) and then have it read by the computer voice-over thing, while recording it, and ultimately reintegrating it back into a sound, music-type file. The idea of a poem, a deeply human thing, being read in a digitally produced voice, surrounded by digital sound, is a somewhat alienating idea to me, which draws in another feature I've been fascinated by recently, that is, alienation. To be alienated, divorced from the familiar and comfortable, is how I mean to use this word. What is the purpose of alienation in this situation? The purpose of alienation in media? By separating ourselves from that which is near and possibly dear, or at least intelligible to us, we're given an opportunity to examine it more objectively. (I wouldn't dream of attempting true objectivity, I imagine it to be impossible.) And so through alienation I can find what used to be human and familiar, to be alien. Again, why bother? For something to become unfamiliar gives us a chance to demystify our relationship to it without the hazard of that assessment being effected by the very relationship. We are given an opportunity (though not imperatively, we can choose to ignore the chance) to see it for what it is, to see how we feel about something without the shroud of our own prior preconceptions. This is all very abstract and maybe even (a bit) sickeningly philosophical, so to be concrete, I intend to alienate myself from my own creation, to hear it inhumanly, and allow my reaction to that experience to change the creation into something it would not be without the filter of digitalization, alienation. My reaction to the computer-read poem will very likely alter its meaning to me, or at least its mood, leading the final product to be radically different from the original, or a poem/sound product without the alien interference of a computer voice.