Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
What can change how someone perceives things. What can change how someone feels. What can change the world. LOVE. Love can do all of that. With love, I believe, we can do great things.
Think about those that aren't loved. People who have been stepped on, forgotten about, and hated. What do they know that others don't. What do those others know that the hated don't.
Now everyone has felt love and everyone has felt hate, but what can be found with this?
This of those in prisons. They need love. I think that is where my mission lies at the moment. Love to the unfortunate. What do they know and what can they teach me.
That is all for now
Friday, January 28, 2011
The issue is that we have developed a culture that operates off of instant gratification- a culture that is conditioned to get it's entertainment for free. Individuals are constantly downloading music, textbooks, films-- when they could very well be bought. If we want to create boundaries and confirm that people's ideas do matter (or that they are of worth and can be legally protected) then I think the psychology of people need to change. In this regard, I think it is happening to some extent. Vinyl Culture is an example of this-- where people will go out and buy records, supporting their artists-- because it is refuting the downloaders and establishing a sense of materiality.
This question of Intellectual Property reminds me of the artist Jeff Koons. Kate Taylor of the NY Times writes, "Over his three-decade career that approach, while helping to make him famous, has also brought accusations of exploiting other people’s copyrighted images. He has been sued for copyright violation four times, losing three of the cases." Here is the whole article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/20/arts/design/20suit.html?_r=2
Jeff Koons, reminds us that issues with Intellectual Property are nothing new- nothing specific to digital culture- but rather that this issue has been embedded in art history for a long time. Duchamp is a main source of discussion with his piece entitled "Fountain". Duchamp changed the face of art- through incorporating a found object into the gallery space-- a urinal. Art becomes more than it's material or formal structure- Duchamp establishes that art can be conceptual, an idea. But, again-- the question of who owns that idea is something that I'd like to discuss further in class.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I'm trying to dig into the words media and medium, to root out their histories and some of the various meanings they've been meant to convey over the years. Where better to turn for the history of an English word than the trusty Oxford English Dictionary?
media 1 mi.dia. Pl. (in sense 1) mediæ mi.dii. [L., fem. of medius middle, used elliptically. ]2. Biol. Short for L. tunica or membrana media. The middle tunic or membrane of an artery or vessel.
- 1889 Leidy Anat. (ed. 2) 580 The media is composed of transverse muscle-fibres with some elastic fibres.
media2 mi.dia, sb. pl. [Pl. of medium sb.5, prob. after mass media. ] Newspapers, radio, television, etc., collectively, as vehicles of mass communication. Freq. attrib. or as adj.Also erron. as sing. in same sense.
medium mi.dim, sb. and a. Pl. media, -iums. [a. L. medium, neuter of medius middle, cogn. with mid a. ]
a. Any intervening substance through which a force acts on objects at a distance or through which impressions are conveyed to the senses: applied, e.g., to the air, the ether, or any substance considered with regard to its properties as a vehicle of light or sound. Often fig.
- 1794 G. Adams Nat. & Exp. Philos; II. xv. 136 By a medium..is meant any pellucid or transparent body, which suffers light to pass through it.
- 1875 Encycl. Brit. I. 100/1 The air around us forms the most important medium of sound to our organs of hearing.
b. The application of the word in sense 4 to the air, ether, etc. has given rise to the new sense: Pervading or enveloping substance; the substance or `element' in which an organism lives; hence fig. one's environment, conditions of life.
a. An intermediate agency, means, instrument or channel. Also, intermediation, instrumentality: in phrase
b. Spiritualism, etc. A person who is supposed to be the organ of communications from departed spirits. Hence also applied to a clairvoyant or a person under hypnotic control.
- 1888 Bryce Amer. Commonw. III. 639 Attempts to pry by the help of `mediums' into the book of Fate.
a. nonce-use. A person of the middle class
- 1837 T. Hook Jack Brag ii, The tip-toppers are livelier than the mediums.
What do you think of when you hear the word “Media”?
CNN, FOXNews, MSNBC, New York Times, Reuters, Associated Press, Clear Channel The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera etc...
Media is the plural of “Medium” – an intermediate, a go-between--
A medium is a person capable of communicating with another realm, with the dead, with ancestors, the spirit world, or the Gods-
A medium, a shaman, a seer, a witchdoctor, a wiseman – these people, in many different cultures were charged with healing, with communicating with deities and ancestors, rituals and rites, the obvious analogy for our own time and place might be the clergy, but I reject this, the outsized and disfigured face of modern religion bares little relation to this idea of shamanism; more a combination of communicator, intercessor, advisor, doctor, pharmacist, psychologist, caring for the mind as well as the body, the soul as well as the mind, mapping the spaces between and overlapping, the realities of this world and of others, actualities and eventualities--This is beginning to be digressive but the fact of that matter is, today's MEDIA is no replacement for the MEDIUMS (and their cultural ancestors) of years gone by.
So what can the OED teach us about the multiform media we are forced to deal with today?
Media (medium) is a scientific word, used to describe a substance through with force acts, and through which light and sound are conveyed. A medium is an intercessor, a go-between, a halfway of sorts; a medium is an organ of communication, within one other, with those things outside of what we can perceive.
Now the many media we experience seem to be digital bridges, intersections of our own experience and another's, and in many senses this is true –but more and more we are no longer connecting with the vision or idea or gesture or comments or creations of other individuals, but with material that has been engineered, committee-ed, designed, and approved to induce a specified reaction or manipulate an inherent human sentiment with a stipulated end (the bottom line)—to induce a reaction: buy this thing, watch this thing, hear this thing, think this thought, think this thought, think this thought, think this thought, repetition is a key to their strategies, think this thought, buy this product, don’t question the authority of it, believe this, believe this, believe this, trust the rising Id-level intensity, let it blind you, forget what you know, now you know what we know to be true: consumption is the Real American Dream.
To realize fully what we are lead to believe is “media” in this country, we have
to step away from the word, and wrangle with the edifice
MAINSTREAM MEDIA, MEDIA BLITZ, MASS MEDIA, MEDIA MOGUL, MEDIA CONGLOMERATE,
MEDIA WHORE, MEDIA SHITSTORM, BLAMESTREAM MEDIA
what is your reaction to these phrases? Repulsion? (me too) I think we need to take MEDIA as well as medium back from those who seek to turn these words against us.
So the question was, as best as I recall, how much technology do we use and/or think about in a day, an hour, or a minute. As my group partner and I sat down and began to meditate upon our assignment we were naturally, first, drawn to the key word of the sentence: Technology. I grabbed my notebook and my pen: there: a fresh new lined page with powder blue lines and page ends that somebody must have designed and decided. It is funny how some of us will look at this piece of paper, already printed on – already imprinted, and connect it to themes of blank slates and empty rooms, white pure and untouched. But that is for another post, another recording of thought.
We attempt to fit technology into the ‘three adjective game’ as if it is a freshman in their first discussion. We come up with phrases (because a single word is too constricting – the space between words is sometimes necessary (you may find things to seep between the white pixels into meaning) to incur compactness) such as “advanced system”, “advancing existing systems“, “expedites”, “efficiency”, “repeatable efficiency”, “repetitive efficiency?”, “accessibility”. They are all descriptive.
We seize upon “accessibility”; perhaps it is due to the mobile devices we have, always hovering around our persons. Is it, AT&T?, who has the slogan (or at least, advertising tag line) “every second counts”? We discussed the dimensions of “accessibility” and came up with Time. High speed internet is the standard speed at which we expect the cyber databases to spew out the answers to our queries. Whether something is “accessible” or not means, at least in this generation, the speed at which our thought, our will, can be translated into action. I want to know what the weather will be like today. Well, the accessibility of that information is significantly increased by my having an app like Weather.com on my phone, on my bedside table. Technology is a tool which we expect will more speedily, and thus more directly, translate our directed consciousness into a physical actualization.
We also came up with the concept of “Space”. Mobile devices are made so as to retain optimum portability. Cellphones and music devices, ideally – at least according to myself – fit pockets, laptops fit backpacks. I want to know the temperature outside: technology presents a more immediate solution by offering the option to check my phone rather than to step outside. The space that a mobile device occupies is credit to its “accessibility”. It allows for a more direct realization of a thought.
We discoursed at length about the aspects of Space and Time in “accessibility” and then began to retrace our steps back to the original keyword: technology. We found the word “tool” at some point back along this path and latched onto it.
In order to dissect the purpose of a tool beyond its specific context let us invoke a rather rudimentary image. A stone used to crack open a nut, say a coconut. This is a tool. It is helping the crude image of a man to simply bash the sharp edge of the rock against the tough coconut shell. Why? It is because he desires the fruit of the coconut. The sharp rock, then, is the physical vessel he uses to translate his wish, his idea, into a reality. Fast forward many thousands of years into this instant where you may or may not be scrolling down with your cursor searching for the right bottom corner hand side of the page (or you may be tapping the down button on the keyboard) in order to continue your experience of reading. Is not the cursor ultimately following your mental decision?
It seems then that technology is a tool which, in turn, is a vessel for a conscious purpose. Well, the question was answered sufficiently for us then. How much do we think about technology? We cannot help but defy that question. We instead come to the conclusion that our minds, the receptacle for yet unmanifested ideas and intentions, must be the forefather and therefore the essence of technology itself. We hone and develop this tool for optimum speed, fill it with revised points of reference so that the information is ‘close at hand’. What, if not our very beings are the most capable of providing the most appropriate “accessibility” to any and all of our musings and meditations? We cannot discontinue ourselves from the progeny of our imaginations because our imaginings also must be a definition of ourselves. The first technology, is the skill of thinking. I hope you all have had a technological experience.
Monday, January 24, 2011
College. An institution structuring our individual choices. Nature. The 'natural' way of doing things, ironically, things aren't organic, they're just 'in our nature.'
We transform the college system. Bifurcation theory at its best.
Above is the link to an excerpt from this book. It's a super easy read and quite humorous at times. Definitely recommended.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
My search goes on with languages, trying to find what is missed in the translation, trying to find what is lost.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
"that not only includes, but also appreciates: imagination,
the fruitfulness of dead ends, the possibilities of error,
the usefulness of failure, the beauty of the many configurations
of the box the limited fork comes out of and goes into, forking,
reconfiguring, shaping, foldimg, unfolding, and bifurcating all the way."
This is why I think this media performance might serve as a fruitful long term project within the context of this class. I hope to discuss or refine these thoughts soon.
The self-title album by Twine is a source of inspiration for thinking about this long term project and (i feel) is relevant to limited fork theory. Check it out: http://ghostly.com/releases/twine
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
We attempted an experiment to showcase the way systems can change one another. We left a voice mail message on google phone and the message was transcribed to email. The image showcases the translation. Through this translation the original message was altered. This was done in a group with Chanel, Sarah O. and Sarah C.
So Betsy and I begin, lacking iPhones and smartphones and really any effectively “cool” technology. Oddly enough we both have thick iPods, old ones, and dumbphones, with full keyboards and crummy cameras. Fortunately I’ve been keeping statistics on my music listening habits through a website called last.fm.Also rather fortunate, last.fm has a really cool "chart builder" for posting your most listened artist or tracks, so without further ado, Sam Henke's top ten most listened to artists of the last week:
Radio Thin Air
by Nick Flynn
Keep the radio on softly
so it sounds like two people in the next
your parents, speaking calmly about something
of cash, the broken
cellar pump. Marconi believed
we are wrapped in voices, that waves
never die, merely space themselves
farther & farther apart,
passing through the ether he imagined
floating the planets. But wander
into the kitchen & no one
will be there, the tiny red eye of the radio, songs
that crawl through walls,
voices pulled from air. Marconi
wanted to locate the last song
the band on the deck of the Titanic played,
what Jesus said
on the cross, he kept dialing
the frequency, staring across the Atlantic,
his ear to the water,
there, can you hear it?
But even though the Marconi in the poem believed all sound waves never die, he still searched specifically for the last song played on the Titanic and the voice of Jesus Christ. He felt compelled to distill the sounds "floating through the ether." How in the network of the internet do people go about distilling voices?
Sites like Wikipedia rely on their user base to keep the information in check, editing one another to stop misinformation from getting through, but I have yet to have a teacher since I began writing formal papers allow me to cite Wikipedia. Academia does not see the people who devote large chunks of their lives to editing the site as reliable. Still, I often begin on Wikipedia, using the sites sources as my sources to begin a paper, and I have been credited for having strong evidence to support my points on papers by teachers who won't credit the website that led me to those sources. How in a world where everyone can put their voice out into the ether with the click of a button does a voice become known as reliable? As the way we communicate changes so drastically, people must recognize that sources beyond those listed by academia as credible in the past are worthwhile in our present. But how can new voices work their way into the conversation?
Ask anyone why he doesn't care much for Twitter and he'll claim that it's nothing but a bunch of bite-sized yippty-yap. I use Twitter because I can see its huge potential. On Twitter, I'm one with the masses where I can be just as important or at the same level to am A-list celebrity. A while back, I asked Demi Moore (@mrskutcher) a question and she responded. Only on Twitter would this be possible, practical, and convenient compared to alternative methods of contacting her, like through e-mail, snail mail, or calling her phone.
Not only can I directly contact famous persons, but major companies as well. Comcast has taken steps to improve its image where its customers congregate. They created a Twitter account (@comcastcares), scoured for tweets with negative reviews or complaints about Comcast service, and responded with condolences or solutions. The list of interesting ways to use Twitter goes on and on from playing games to avoiding speed traps.
Yet, what can be done about the undeniably large amount of babble that does exist on Twitter? I stumbled upon "the longest poem in the world." This site automatically matches tweets up so that it creates an extremely lengthy poem with a couplet rhyming scheme. The outcome is something quite wonderful: seemingly insipid and pointless chatter is transformed into charming literary art.
Some Thoughts (not entirely mine, product of a number of partnerships) on: A Collaborative Nature & Notions of Ownership
is among our collaborators.
Even nature of which we are part
is among our collaborators.
So far, I've produced nothing in isolation. Not even a thought
when that thought has been about something, that subject (and all systems responsible for that subject existing so that it was available for me to think about it) collaborating in a thought system I call mine for the convenience, my mind an obvious host of the guest subject, but as a good host, I have certain obligations to my guest, among them, gratitude to the guest for bringing, for arriving as a subject for my thought system. I don't own the thought; it is not mine exclusively.
My relationship with information (and on some level, most things may be configured or expressed as information) is not owner of information. I assemble information, shuffle it, collect it temporarily, transform it as I am being transformed by it. It is through connecting and assembling information, through transformative processes that idea systems may be configured and understood as remixes. A more complex relationship with information configuration can lead to more complex policy regarding collaborators which include the environment, nature, (all of) space —none of which I own. And what many consider ownership is not permanent (ultimately, there's some form of ownership of chauvinistic illusion; a bit of palliative function since perhaps humans can't be cured of what may be configured as human nature systems); if anything, that ownership system is owned by time more so than anyone claiming ownership, though time is complex and not a single thing; as a system experiences co-ownership, or co-hosting of what it interacts with; belonging to time meaning having been hosted by a time system, having occurred. (Start Talking handbook from University of Alaska Anchorage)
You Don't Own Me comes to mind (interacts with/collaborates with a thought system in progress) as performed in The First Wives Club by Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton; the you of the title and lyrics right now configured as idea itself, a migratory, a generic proxy for anything with which I collaborate, with which I interact without owning it; I like sharing the products I configure with contributors and collaborators who become collaborators by accepting an invitation to experience the poam (product of acts of making, acts that are systems of activity among collaborators), experience necessarily collaborative. (First Wives Club image from wikipedia):
Perhaps if I produced something while in complete isolation from any interaction or any other configuration of opportunity for influence, that something produced might be mine in a way that so far nothing else seems to be, my physiology itself proceeding as a collaboration of genetic contributions from two complex sources, two genetic systems. This is, however, a scenario I will not pursue, having no interest in establishing a pure ownership, a free and clear claim to being sole source of something. I mean, it is as if I stumbled upon a fork, as if, while falling, I reached out and was rescued by a tine that happened to be there, that was activated by my falling through it/as I fell through it —maybe.
It's all speculative. I find an absence of certainty refreshing, in many ways, for in that absence is something else, systems of transience, ebbing and flowing, waxing and waning, the exuberance of the hive, stunning, sometimes dizzying, sometimes subtle movement, so subtle that on some scales the movement bears well a label of motionless, but that range of movement suggest to me, that range collaborates with me into an idea that most things dance, somewhere in their atomic structure, most things dance —some of the dance hoped into fulfillment:
Monday, January 17, 2011
What drives you to dress the way you do?
These two photos, I choose show two very different forms of dress. The first is an example of a man who doesn't have an interest in fashion. But why is he found on a popular fashion blog? The next is a personal sketch or characterization of a French fashion blogger. What made her choose the items she put in the sketch? For example, the bag in the photo is immediately recognizable for any fashion connoisseur and puts the artist on an entire different level of wealth and status. Does she embody the bag? Or does the bag add to her cultural identity?
Photo credit: 1. http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-12-27T08:44:00-05:00&max-results=20
The States have it wrong. As a country we seem to believe that our excrement don't smell. Some sort of arrogance has filled this country and it is making me sick. Ignorance shouldn't be tolerated. What kind of image are we portraying to the world and where is this country going?
Now, I understand that there was a time when the US said that it would not deal with other countries and would just build itself up. In my eyes, we have built ourselves up and have started interacting with other countries. What i do see happening is that we don't accept other countries as equals. It is a real shame that we have to hold our noses so high even though we are no better.
Here is my plan for this class. This ignorance must be stopped. Too much important information is falling between the tines of our forks. We need to catch more. Language is one of the important things that i see not making it on our forks. In the US we need to get people knowledgeable about the world. A way to do that is with language. If kids were all taught different languages while young, we could move forward in the eyes of the world. My goal is to work with a language. I will try to improve myself and then work to help others.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
to a place where our ideas (already forked) converge, mingle, diverge, etc. (politely); that is: they interact in any way possible for them to interact (polite forms of the ways possible, please) while configuring and reconfiguring tines of a Limited Fork system
You'll be exposed to much of the history of Limited Fork Theory in Design Lab 1, but not all of it, in part because Limited Fork Theory deals with partialities of partialities, an inevitable handicap for an approach to making understandings and to applying understandings that relies on a flawed tool, whose flaws include being the only tool available within what would be a closed fork system if the fork did not have gaps between the tines it must have as a forking or bifurcating system. (image of tree of chaos and bifurcation theory by System.dat-User.dat at flickr, bifurcating lung system from zhezhang/project)
I also do not yet (and do not to ever) know the entirety of the history of Limited Fork Theory. I can share with you a moment in which I both became one of the tines, and became aware of he presence of a limited fork (something already in place, joined in progress) —please note that in my sharing a moment from a prior event system, a part of the past (that which adheres on some scale to any part of a tine forking up the past to reconstruct it for you here and now); a part of the past becomes (is forked into) part of the moment occurring, the moment occurring seamlessly that we fork into parts: minutes, years, etc. (incredible flexibility when you think about it).
The sharing of a moment in October 2004 when I became aware of a system of thinking and making already in progress via the video poam (product of act[s] of making made that weekend, on Saturday night after coming home from a movie at the Quality 16 Cinema on Jackson Road in Ann Arbor, the video poam shared with my classes and colleagues on the last Monday in October, transforming everything in the configuration of everything the fork provided/provides:
The Song of Iota
The Song of Iota contains the Saturday night system of understanding that arrived at that moment of awareness in the Quality 16 Cinema on Jackson Road (see map below); I opened iMovie for the first time when I got home and with that application made the Song of Iota.
View Larger Map
In 2005, I made DOD: the death of depth (you'll notice that the video starts with the death of death —oops! such configuration of intention is a possible outcome of interaction), a video book about the birth of Limited Fork Poetics, an ancestor system of Limited Fork Theory: