nqpaofu#27 memory high : disclaimer : must link : myURLs : previous issue : next issue
notes quotes provocations and other fair use
conversational drift, informatic license
by jouke kleerebezem
the mark of launch-and-learn publishing: corrections are generally made within 36 hours.
grey (#DEDEDE-#777777) text paragraphs are subject to editorial scrutiny and should be considered temporary.
21 April 2000
left: the Moulin du Merle house in the 1970sthe formal garden's out since; right: the current back on the river
To balance some of the foregoing. We did extensive cleaning and re-arranging over the past weeks. Some stuff was stored when we arrived 30 March a year ago and has only gathered dust and cobwebs and other rural pollution since. With visitors staying, we only begin to use (and to imagine further use of) this place for more than the usual 20%. Both to accommodate our guests and to anticipate the help they offer to improve here, we spend extra time ourselves and attend to left behind business.
So I unpacked old work, built shelves to store vertically instead of by spreading, moved some of it to our immediate surroundings to give it another look (even hung some), we did a major job on the barn's workshop and garage space and the old saddlery. The weather allowed to open all sides to chase humidity. I went up to air the barn's attic. Its 500sqm (ground floor plus attic) would supply great guest (or studio) space. One day. Coco the horse is out in the field, only to return next winter. He'll find his stable still available probably for some years to come. The land is very demanding, for planting and weeding and cleaning.
attention and experience
The everyday provides everyday experience. Those who find 'sensational' deliverance in it articulate this in their (not necessarily public, not necessarily everyday) (not necessarily cultural) production. That's how the rest of us learn about attention paid. The everyday can, like every other object, be a phenomenal experience, if shaped beyond its supporting information exchange.
concentration and information
You need to spend concentrated time with the object of your attention. In order to free the everyday from the banal, you must discipline your act. See Paul Valéry's 'Cahiers'.
distribution and information
- experience visually documents the ideas and aspirations of contemporary designers, marketeers, artists and clients / its sole purpose is to inspire and challenge convention through an unprecedented insight into some of the world's most innovative communication experiences
everybody experiences far more than he understands, yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behaviour
(Sean Perkins ed., 'Experience')
20 April 2000
information as experience, and vice-versa
When there comes no endor purposeto perfect. Such a day which slowly builds up to be just right. A summer day, the first. Some hard work, like taking down more trees in the canton. Gil's parents (90 and 84 years of agewhile they could have had 5 generations, there's only 3 in almost a century, from parents to R+r...) working around the house as if it were their own. Good meals and drinks. Some writing at the beginning, middle and end. More writing. A promise of much more writing. An urgency which is not suffocating but opening, for a change. R+r losing themselves in their play, staying up late and later. An eyelash in my coffee. Just about the best day to ponder the following.
mass trust, everyday experience
Paul, yesterday at Alamut:
- (...) I've been thinking about the many ways in which information acts as an 'experience surrogate.' Trust, to my mind, is the mediator between rare experiences and accepted (abundant) information, a market which contains the information offerings of the experienced and the acceptance of that information by crowds of eager buyers. Experience is wealth. Trust spreads the wealth.
How to 'experience' information? And how to account for an experience of the everyday, which cannot be supplanted by information, nor is a rarity/scarcity? Paul linked to the late Edward S. Reed's 'Defending Experience: a Philosophy for the Post-modern World' (in which Agamben's title is in editor Chris Lalonde's footnotes):
- If experience is only gained in situations outside the everyday, it quickly becomes a preserve of the hero or the specialist, and wisdom is transformed into mere expertise, increasingly divorced from everyday concerns. Even an individual with decades of painfully acquired first hand knowledge or skill can be seen, from this distorted perspective, as somehow not being experienced or wise (possessing only "intuitive skill," for example, not "real understanding.") (...) the ultimate consequence of the separation of experience from everyday life is that fewer and fewer people will be in a position to develop their own experience into wisdom.
First, my experience of information is only short of an addiction, yet not causing a constant high. While information does not so much as hypersensitize my critical faculties, it does not necessarily dumb down my libido either. It's that kind of drug. More like homeopathic medicine. A lot of understanding information/experience would be gained by kicking the dichotomous power habit of choosing between supporting and cursing, between high and low, between boom and bummer... without seeking refuge in self-appreciatory irony. Actually a 'critical' position always succeeded in keeping its distance from both extremities, balancing and savouring arguments rather than choosing sides. Critique is an aesthetics, a skill, an experience.
What would it take to promote the everyday to an aesthetic, critical and informing experience? Apart from more theorizing? Can we see like workings already in some field? Wouldn't you agree that some of such appetizing 'everyday' is found in the web? (below are two 'critiques' that show a problem embracing the new as a break from the old. This linearity thing is a hard one to crack. It is not obvious to combine an interest in change and the new, while giving upno: forgetting, banningsome of the old, as preceding it, causing it in a way... it's not easy to allow to be taken in by singularity, to take active part in it, not out of naiveté or dependence, but enthusiastically, just because you recognize momentum, not another escape into fashion). The everyday becomes experience when the private and the public mix, without the medializing effect of the public expressed in the private, or the banalization of the private expressed in the public.
meanwhile, on the hesitant side of the arts
post scriptum/post-political/post-critical: the new media left, euro-style
- Reliability Graphics Gallery; The Politics of Search engines; E-mediation by AOL; The Politics of Profiling; Map Gallery -- Mapping the World Wide Web; Cookies are not Enough; Depluralising the Web; Rogue Gallery Operating the Internet with Socio-Epistemological Logics; There was Never Internet Sociology; Virtual Technologies and Social Theory; The De-Pluralising Engine by govcom.org.
...sound the titles of the essays gathered in a volume which' order form I received today in the mail. Why does its title ('Preferred PlacementKnowledge Politics on the Web') already make my synapses itch? Do I smell 'calm' home-dogma? Even its positioning is all-wrong. Published by the Jan van Eyck Academy, once a post-graduate institution promising to merge art, design and theory... Read that blurb:
- Preferred placement turns the tables on web analysis to date. Instead of celebrating the web and all its prospects for creative artistry, democracy and e-commerce, the volume authors calmly go backstage. How are search engines, portals, default settings and collaborative filtering formatting the surfer and offering passage to the media? A colourful spectrum of thinkers queries the medium's preferencing and recommendation mechanisms with an eye towards articulating, and learning from, the new politics of knowledge on the web.
Listening to Cowboy Mouth: 'Everyone is Waiting', from 'Mercyland'. Needed that loud beat.
And, less defending than above 'calm backstage' muttering but still gridlocked in dichotomy:
post-arcadia: Bregtje van der Haak in Metroplis M
More art in the mail: Dutch magazine Metropolis M, 2000/2, the April/May issue. Bregtje van der Haak reviews the InfoArcadia project, at some point opposing my 'commercial citizenship' to Bert Mulder's 'new (form of) political citizenship'. I'm glad he did not do so himself (but he might agree), yet to me we can not separate an economic from a political argument in this time and age. My main point was not to 'commercialize' popular information production (let alone future citizenship), but simply to introduce an information-for-information economywith disregard of which symbolic currency it would choose, eg. money. As for e-mocracy... it is one of the vaguest and certainly 'oldest' speculations in new technology and communication media. I can see an information producing citizen to truly engage in many a decision taking field, but not in politics as we know it. Of course we will have a different political system... just why do I doubt that society is going to wait for it?
19 April 2000
infancy and history
20000419 links to follow
the destruction of experience
- (...) it is the character of the present time that all authority is founded on what not can be experienced, and nobody would be inclined to accept the validity of an authority whose sole claim to legitimation was experience. (...) Of course the point is not to deplore this state of affairs, but to take note of it. For perhaps at the heart of (this) senseless denial there lurks a grain of wisdom, in which we can glimpse the germinating seed of future experience.
(Giorgio Agamben, 'Infancy and History; Essays on the Destruction of Experience', 1993, *1978: 'Infanza e storia')
While both books which I'm reading in some sense address the same poverty, you can't compare No Logo to Infancy and Historyin a sense the former is a result of the loss described in the latter. The destruction of experience in authored reality opened the branding space. Otherwise the works have nothing in common, the first being contemporary journalistic cultural critique, the latter an at times difficult read, a philosophical treatise by the Italian editor of Walter Benjamin's complete works, who also wrote 'The Coming Community':
- If we had once to conceive of the fortunes of humanity in terms of class, then today we would have to say that there are no longer social classes, but just a single planetary petty bourgeoisie, in which all the old social classes are dissolved: the petty bourgeoisie has inherited the world and is the form in which humanity has survived nihilism. But this is also exactly what fascism and Nazism understood, and to have clearly seen the irrevocable decline of the old social subjects constitutes their insuperable cachet of modernity. (From a strictly political point of view fascism and Nazism have not yet been overcome, and we still live under their sign.)
('Without Classes', in The Coming Community, 1993, *1990: 'La communità che viene')
In case you would not imagine from these two quotes: Agamben actually is a very 21C constructive read.
18 April 2000
art after content
- It is not the office of art to spotlight alternatives, but to resist by its form alone the course of the world.
(Theodor Adorno, 'Commitment')
- Even at its most hidden and secret, (art) exercises a magnetic effect, brings about subtle shifts and re-alignments -- and at least in theory, it gives up merely talking about the world in order to change it.
(Hakim Bey, 'For and Against Interpretation')
Against Interpretation 1966-1996, by Susan Sontag (www.threepennyreview.com/samples/sontag_su96.html)
For and Against Interpretation by Hakim Bey (www.hermetic.com/bey/millennium/interpret.html)
here's to you too
Ghandi believed to beat the Brands from Britain, by urging a spinning wheel in every household. Home spun and woven fabric, or khadi, to shroud foreign market imperialism.
clientage of correspondence?
Correspondence symmetrically binds correspondents in equal, mutual dependence. Even more so than productive collaborations, generous (personal) correspondences are a rarity. Contrary to collaborations, correspondences happen for the sake of correspondence. They allow no hierarchy. They are co-authorship. As soon as their balance tips, they turn into unsolicited confessional rants, for one participant or the other.
correspondence for correspondence's sake
The more often I see or hear about 'art' for the sake of whatever kind of societal change (organizational, economical, entrepreneurial, political... forbid social), I tend to turn my head away and search the clouded skies for a new autonomy for it. Every culture deserves its site for the purposeless, the un-believable, the un-worldly. Trust me, I can spell all the arguments against 'autonomy'both from the side of academia, as from the heart of the studio. At the same time, I know that autonomy, as much as its convincing counter-propaganda, is a (mere) belief system. Belief systems are a slow process. God didn't die overnight. Moreover, belief time is not linear, circular, or pendular: it is erratic. Past, present and future change priority at random in an individual life, in culture, in society, in a culture's belief systems. History does not repeat itself, yet the more things change, the more remains the same. For a procedural cultural mix, for its unbalancing balancing act, I can see a deep need for art's new autonomy: for a site for the purposeless to be established. Its discrete position needs to be retaken, reformed, fought over. Now that over last century content has been popularized in the media, art can be liberated from the idea of emancipation and primarily serve individual growth and narrow learning, to appreciate sites of pusposelessness, voids, blanks, absence, erratics of sorts.
art's coming autonomy: purposeless re-invented
I have nothing like a 'critical theory' of my own available to deliver art's coming autonomy. Even, I am rather sure that existing preferences do not invite such an anomaly to quicken, and maybe for a long time will not tend to. But even if only thanks to a construct from an uncertain past, I personally have always loved, and will always love art mostly for its escapist relationship to any other discourse. I love it if only just because it allows for the illusion of autonomy, rightfully discarded in any other discourse, but so appreciable if supplied by the arts. If none is generated, the art work is witless: useful, fulfilled, interpreted, and again, and over, a mere tool, just propaganda.
17 April 2000
I've been pretty much on the road for two weeks. First my trip to NY, then the past days to NL. Paradoxically, while NQPAOFU could be 'about' the pros and cons of such voyageurism, I increasingly find that after absences (Ahmedabad, NY, NL), I return blank to the desktop. With Judith I discussed that we should rather compare weblogs to correspondences, than to journals, which are their usual reference. I think her calamondin is a fine example of 'correspondence', which in its Latin origin derives from cum ('together with something or someone', or 'synchronous with') and respondere, which is rich in meanings, ranging from the most frequent 'to promise in return', to 'to offer in replacement of', or 'answer (to)'. Meaning, possibly, as far as weblogs go, that these utterances offer something in replacement of, and synchronous to, the other events of life, and other media, even sometimes do as much as promise an alternative to the ways we live and work together apart, most of us, most of the time. In my case, it means that unless I spent 'corresponding time' with NQP, it does not come into being, since it can not, nor is meant to simply 'journal'.
'absence de porteuse'
To be disconnected is Early Information Age's worst condition: intolerable suffering. We have had 'absence de porteuse' since last Friday night, as I found immediately upon my return from NL, last night. Today it appeared that some amplifier had given up on the long line that takes ISDN to my box. It was frustrating. It spoiled my home coming. I can't write my weblog if I'm disconnected. Connectedness is its real urgency, not expression, or reflection. I always read my entries online, upon uploading, when they read differently than seconds before, when I check read them from my hard disk. The magic moment of going public is probably better known to those who go on air with radio or television, or to the performer, when curtains are drawn open and stage lights zip on. Any utterance needs its 'porteuse', and going live momentum.
If, as I hope, NQP develops into a 'correspondence', and as an event in itself and for the sake of itself, it does not obediently follow my life's (other) events. It should as much counterbalance those, as it could precede them, or correct them, lead them, end them. Whatever relate to them, as long as it remains true to its ambition to correspond.
to be continued
(1) Last Saturday over post-narrative diner I sat with Paul, and Jan van Grunsven, and some students. At one point for the first time it struck me as odd to be in NL. Visiting it from elsewhere. All of a sudden I heard people speak Dutch. I really enjoyed seeing my friends and colleagues. Jan I had not spoken to or had any other contact with (he's another modest media user) since a long time. He coordinates the Arnhem Art School Public Art faculty. His students collaborate with students of the Arnhem Architectural School and the European Masters of Landscape Architecture, which' curriculum I contributed to several years ago. Our discussion touched upon much that I elaborate above. (2) Le Moulin du Merle. There is material waiting in the background of these notes', for a new, separate Moulin site. I hesitated to give it its proper domain, until Paul brought up the possibility to literally add the domain to the house, to make it part of the propertyfor sale with it, if so would be the case. (3) Andrea and I should start comparing notes on our 'third age for the early 21C individual' (4) What to do with a real good e-business idea, which I would love to (maybe brush it up a bit and then) get rid of in an as early stage as possible, at a reasonable price? (which problem gives me another good business idea). Sigh, I'm too sceptical to be an entrepreneur.
13 April 2000
writing between the links
Never mind the links. Also in interactive mediaclickable maps, illustrations and other visuals included, and certainly with text: every word has to be what it is, the size and shape it is and the position it is and the colour it is, and where it is, and what it says. Links are no substitute.
And like Judith (12 April), I can, I hope, surf on frustration.
12 April 2000
the simple life
I'm having too much energy for the simple life that I'm supposed to be living here. Which in itself is not so simple after all, rather it comes with its own complexities and intricacies, which I am only slowly by slowly understanding, only discerning, while I am still dealing with the confusion of conceptions of life and work that served me so well over the past 15 years, but need major readjustments. Then: how to make the moulin work?
I (once more) will have to re-allocate my assets and guide my interests. Meaning: I will have to complicate this life in my own direction, instead of getting frustrated by existing complications, which are all too familiar from previous lives' long reaching arms. My trip downtown has some unsuspected effects. Don't blame it on the city. But the contrast was more striking than on any of my many previous trips, with an effect more disturbing even than Ahmedabad. Interesting.
Reading Naomi Klein's No Logo; Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies.
Not exactly a reassuring read. She was in the FTF2K panel and didn't say a whole lot, but made sense. I found the book at last at Strand, their last review copy at half price, $14, when first St. Marks then at least 3 B&N's had run out of it.
Click dependence, link dependence. Down with vocations which depend on any kind of feedback.
11 April 2000
give me the/one/a break, for the better
just one break
Come back latertomorrow, even later. During four days NYC I have been online for 10 minutes max. I'm back at the moulin since 24+ hours now. Tried to get back to old habits. Re:wrote today's long NQPAOFUs twice, reformated it as an email to 2 or 3 people I most trust (and consequently depend of), did not send it, and remain in doubt. Who wants an information revolution better starts coming out. Ready or not.
4 April 2000
the leaving song
ready or not
The leaving song always sounds the same. Schlep 1: what to take and what to leave... it's only 4 days for chrissake, they're packed already. You'll buy stuff and media to bring back home, leave some space in that hand luggage. You mean I can't have any trunks to check in? You can buy the trunk in NY, just in case you find this Eames chaise longue bargain... Schlep 2: who do I mail that I go, or give the 'here I come'... What to save and what to delete. Schlep 3: another no-will departure. One unschlep: no gear larger than the Palmpilot in my luggage.
I can't wait to plug into the Aer Lingus country channel on the transAtlantik flight. They might even have a home grown Irish songs program? Or I can curl up in the Ahmedabad Shawl and watch my home movies on the mini DV (not: I'll need all the battery power I can spare, for FTF2K later that night. They don't sell pre-loaded batteries on Dublin airport, now do they? It's typical, how often one is crawling restaurants and other public spaces these days, looking for an electrical outlet...). Books on the flight: Bookchin's 'Ecology of Freedom' and 'Tolstoy and Ghandi, Men of Peace', my Bombay Airport purchase, half finished (one half of Tolstoy, one half of Ghandi).
Last minute obs at the hypermarché: perfumeddisposalbag.com (still available)and the bags to build the site's concept around are for sale at LeClerc, in vanille or menthe. Don't get the impression I do not understand them FTF2K signees.
3 April 2000
one trick format
the manhattan pamphlet
As with the Ahmedabad Letters (yes they haven't been edited), for my stay in NY, I uploaded a guestbook style document through which I can post some of my observations from the frontiers of change, at any desktop out there: the Manhattan Pamphlet (discontinued). Like I mentioned earlier, I will report the AIGA First Things First 2000 panel for a Dutch design magazine, Items. Wednesday night straight from JFK I hope to rely on the autofocus of my digital video, to gather the material for the essay/review, and some for idie.net.
1-2 April 2000
freedom of clientage
updated moerstaal 29-30 maart
Negating Bookchin, by Joel Kovel (www.neravt.com/left/bookchin.htm)
- For the ancients, there is really no difference between the artisan who sells his own products and the workman who hires out his services. Both work to satisfy the needs of others, not their own. They depend on others for their livelihood. For that reason they are no longer free. (...) The peasant is so much closer to the ideal of self-sufficiency (autarkeia) which was the essential basis for man's freedom in the ancient world.
Claude Mossé's 'The Ancient World at Work', cited in Murray Bookchin's 'The Ecology of Freedom':
- The classical mind read clientage into vocations that would surprise us today -- for example the dependence of wealthy usurers to their debtors, or traders on their buyers, or craftsmen on their customers, and of artists on their admirers.
31 March 2000
left: the view above Cuncy this morning; right: testing the log bed for napability this afternoon
a year later: today
Because the weather was perfect we decided to throw up some more saw dust at the uphill canton, just for the two of us. G. took above pic, when I stretched out to find a perfect fit.
women informed me better than men
FYI: the Female Principle conference announces to webcast its 4 keynotes, after April 3. I didn't attend, nor did the Angels, but I will cover the First Things First 2000 AIGA discussion next week Wednesday, at the Katie Murphie Amphitheater in New York, for Items magazine.
30 March 2000
20000330 circumstantial links
the Orléans Archilab 2000 (www.ville-orleans.fr/html/archilab.html)
Southern California Institute of Architecture (www.sciarc.edu)
architect3D links (architect3d.com/links/links.htm)
best bet = augmented reality: the MIT Diorama (diorama.www.media.mit.edu)
a year ago today
I remember that first stay in the big empty non-place of house, in what is now the guest room, overlooking the pines along the entrance, taking the river's hum for the removal van's rumble, waking me up at intervals all night. Regular NQP visitors (could almost regard themselves regular moulin visitors, since they) know that moving here was simply the best decision of my life. Like with Gil, a decision which I could not have taken at any previous moment.
All other stages were urgently needed, for their own qualities, and to allow for the idea of repeated change to settle, like to be ever prepared for this or another step to be taken, at some point, for an as ever undesigned future to change perspective. We needed the drift that lead us here, as we now need to drift from here from time to time, to confirm our presence.
Since 'here' are all the micro and macro conditions of life at the moulin, in new communities, re-inventing our urgencies, strolling the landscape, working the estate, working this publication, from here. 'Here' is also the memory of previous heres which we brought along with us, and here's friends left behind, in what is now there, as much as 'here' is other dawning theres to come, after the present here.
We tiptoe trespassed into the Moulin du Merle on March 30, 1999.
the narrative power
Let me summarize for you the initial topics, as I formulated them in an email to the speakers at the Narrative Power symposium, which I will moderate 15 April, for the Arnhem Architectural Animation Award A4 Foundation.
landscape architecture: the oldest time based art
Landscape architecture happens to be *real-time* avant la lettre. 'Experience', another topical design issue, especially in new media and virtual reality production, came natural to the (landscape) architect. Now that ever faster and cheaper computers have brought both (1) monitoring and (2) modelling realities to the desktop, and since the Internet/www provides a first generation interactive graphic interface global communication network, the design challenge is obvious.
Let's see what data do, and how their manipulation and communication changes our realities.
at the Narrative Power (NP) symposium
we hope to discuss issues of technology, media and 'material progress'. The progress is the time based part, when growth/decay, and access/change enter the discourse of design and use, both in 'first' reality, and in the information landscape.
The NP focus will necessarily be multi-disciplinary. We aim to discuss distinct competences from the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and the visual arts. At the present it is not very helpful to confuse competences -- a mistake generally made in discussions of new media and tools and their impact on design disciplines. It takes more than a few easy access new design and visualization tools to acquire the skill and the eye of a discipline, or to tap into its unique and eloquent tradition, in order to add to it in a meaningful way.
Yet especially in the urban and open space, in the public realm, both professional parties and lay constituencies meet. Interactions at all levels and at any stage of the design process build animated spaces. NP is about new approaches to animated spaces.
The Narrative Power
New technologies' and media's possibilities for different monitoring and modelling continuums -- or if so desired, for symbolic (dis-)integrity. Herewith a first list of topics, for you to shoot at:
- what becomes of space/time integrity, when new spaces and new time scales (compression, parallel realities) are crafted?
- what do data do? Which are relevant to the design process, and how important are their dynamics, as the main reason for time based monitoring?
- can we recognize/acknowledge 'raw data'? Which are our tools' pre-configurations and how to incorporate structural deviations?
- list relevant data: discern between hard and soft, eg. geographical/demographical, economical/cultural, prescriptive/imaginative etc.
- if modelling means translating hard and soft data into design, how much can we automate the design process? Why wait?
- if data are dynamic, how does the model maintain their change, how does it secure change for the resulting built reality?
- how much differs model readability to the experienced and to the layman's eye? Are 'digital' models any more realistic than 'atomic' ones?
- how do we anticipate the 'shock of the new', the disappointment or relief at the realization of the built environment, after the 3D immersive VR preview?
The 'narrative power' re-introduces anecdote to the realm of cultural expression. Under certain economic and political circumstances, this could mean the development of a 'popular vote' design process, and the decline of high quality speculative and experimental research and development.
My best personal understanding of the 'market' model, handed down to me by Sony Europe's environmental department, is that a market always contents with second or third best solutions and never generates excellence.
A narrative market could kill the sought after narrative power, with popular fairy tales and make-belief consumer realities.
28 March 2000
no link of mine
re: the private I
Some material you leave in the protective, meaningful intimacy of its prime publication. Just after having contributed yesterday's speculation on how public we might be, and how treacherous identities develop, in the Literature, I come across this piece of very personal, almost confessional prose out there, to be found and appreciated by its regular readership only. Linking to it is not done. It does not serve as example, it is no news, it is not your everyday 'content', but a touching piece of evidence that the web can be as sacred a place as any natural environment.
27 March 2000
re: the public I
Paul, Judith, Heather Anne, Puce, Damien, Mitsu, Keith, Gary, Bennet (for Public I URLs see below)
authoring: love and work
LnW drive my actions. They provide the only reasons for mobility. If the two separate, I'm torn apart. So my work is both my Work, and one of the true Loves, competing with my love of life, family, friends, the moulin, my moerstaal and the other tongues, music and art: the other works. The love competition is the bad part, and a familiar one to any creator. The love for my work competes the other loves, while there's no other work which competes my work.
After a restless, summer time change, post-rant and post thought provoking phone calls and emails kind of night, I woke up (late for R+r school) from a dream in which I visited some place and met two young American web workers, two guys. We walked a dusty country street, like walking to some sort of venue for whatever kind of get together. The atmosphere was good and full of expectation. We had just met and I was the silent observer. One told me he had over summer wanted to study nuclear physics, but the material had been written in a different scripture, or some foreign mathematics. The other, slightly younger guy had picked up this piece of powder make-up from the road side and started to put it on his face. He said he was not going to stop doing the weather on his site (which the first guy had suggested), because it was the only piece of content that had not been authored in whatever which way. His face was white with dust colored powder, when I woke up. Good 'n goofy as it gets.
guided by the site
I noticed Paul's on his Vancouver trip meeting up with some of his readership and colleagues (see also Alamut, 17 March, 24 March). I remember from the SXSW (remember?) conf one particular comment about how this person since Austin read her colleague's weblogs, hearing them read by their authors, who she just had spent the week with. That's the idea! Imagine how much of a trip it was early last century for the Dadaists and Surrealists to get together and compare notes and voice. The more things change, the more etc.: we are lucky bastards to share this medium, but we must stop meeting like this, exclusively.
IkJeIchI ('I' in Dutch, French, German and English, glued together) was the omnipresent logos appearing in my work of the late 80s. IkJeIchI, pre-web, was a lonely place of identity, from which we competed the GodDieuGottGod logos. IkJeIchI was the site of love and work. From the mid 90s we went public. Where no man had ever been, we started to build: other logoi, other sites. Then the territory exploded its maps all over the landscape, and here we are where there's no more here. Or is there? Is it (again) just a matter of imagining the other singular Is, with disregard of the umpteenth communicational aggregate we share. Does the landscape of the loving and working IkJeIchI ever change? Or do only its maps evolve?
The pendular swings of filling and emptying, the eternal creative force which makes and destroys at the same rate, and with the same intention, relentlessly. Probably the main and classical and irremediable, confusion about any literary work, or any work of art for that matter, is the mixing up of the author and his personage. 'No, this is not me', semper idem. I lie for NQPAOFU. I lie for the sake of the work. I'm not the IkJeIchI who is presented here. Don't take me wrong. I might be more who I am in this environment than, say, when we meet. There's some stability in my incarnation, like there's some stability in my authored Is too. The more the maps change around and about me, the more I stays the same. I don't wear powder on my face. I don't do nuclear physics, but I read and craft tongues.
25-26 March 2000
scrumpling up the envelope
what happens if you pound those keys, your back turned to the kids: you get taggedthey're sure right to post-it
long boom, or slow doom (last pgh)
Why is change slow? Because fast change is instant death (of what is replaced), so we tend to 'route around it'. The more things change the more they stay the same, is an expression which keeps popping up in our circles. Our circles? A new media industry? Information Devotees cs.? You and me? Now that everybody seems so impressed (which doesn't mean the same as in-formedby no means, excuse me), more like up-set, by Joy's 'future' rant in Wired, it is about time to argue for information realism. For those sensible enough to experience and know and think and understand (unrelated activities) the ambiguities of life, a call for realism always is a call for repression of their free spiritso let us take in this realism carefully.
Nerds should not 'inherit the earth'. Paul's quip contained a warning, but was 'innocent' at the time in 1994 (can visionary observation ever be innocent? Only when it overlooks basic needs, which it always should. Visionary observation is a magic lens and releases distorted views of what is to come. Don't blame the messenger, even if (s)he's not innocent. Just don't take visionary observations to be your only truth. Above all: distrust determinism. All is naiveté, but some is more naive than other. Determinism is hysterically naive). Nerds are here to stay, they belong to the historic landscape, meaning: to the past and of the future. Single track is traditional: just another magic lens. No single track is any good by or in itself, in isolation, in the isolation it is born into. No single tracks should inherit the earth. At times, when their single Reichs dawned, other historic tracks crossed paths, and swords. This will happen again. You don't have to be a visionary or an alarmist to know this. On the other hand, you can be blamed if you do not act according to such insight. If you try to escape history (future undetermined).
Early Information Age enters its Alarmist Phase. Those who have created the infant monster now try to cop out and save their buts and souls and make another buck or two by writing another book or two, now that their once pet is unleashed in its popular reincarnation: more uncontrolable than ever, its behavior the result of basic desires, not ideal worlds. So hysterics rule all along: digerati hysterics turned sour, at the same time when popular hysterics embrace these wise (wo)men's once truths, and use them for their own banal interests. Hordes rulenot swarms, or hives, or other romantic collaborative intelligences we would be happy to hand over our individual faculties to. If new technologies were designed to channel popular hysteria, to take off the edges of both hallelujah and mea culpa equally (to control our collective mood swings) they've come late. Lemmings are online. And what a naive idea channelling hysteria would be. Hysteria is the killer application, so if anything puts an end to our specific privileges, it will be hysteria once and for all.
Hysteria is voiced at all venues today, and increasingly so, until some joint in the support system breaks down and drags parts of the structure in its fall. The resulting crisis will set us back a couple of (Internet) decades, and hopefully destroys any single track anomaly in its Krach.
one question, many answers
Many crises are better than one. Many small individual hysterias are healthy business. But we don't like them. We panic too much too soon. We're too wild, too uneducated. If only we would allow many micro crises and hysterias to correct us, instread of all of a sudden turning sour and jumping ship. If only. If only we would act upon what we learn, at any stage in our crisis condition (ifonly.com?)
So act. Act? Act (one world, one question, one word, many tongues, many hysterias, many crises, many answers). Do not sit around pounding keys for a better world. Take more URLs down, and out. Don't opt only. Take a brave even blind step deeper into the vital mess which is called 'the everyday'. See who's the uninformed or disinformed nearest to you, both in the physical sense (the next door neighbour) and nearest in the psychological sense (a good friend). Take them on a chest-to-chest information tour. Tell'm your secrets and share your visions, tell them the world isn't changing the way it could. Tell them the information revolution does not live up to its promises. Tell them they should contribute. Tell them for it to change, for it to be truly informed, it begs their voice. The age we live to become an 'Age of Information', meansremember: you and me inform this world and age, not the other way around. This world and age informs you and me, only through you and me.
That's what media mean to us.
note to self
nqpaofu memory high
is the sequel to NQPAOFU (1998-1999 archive), the weblog.
must link (http://...)
bovine inversus (www.bovineinversus.com)
synthetic zero (www.syntheticzero.com)
direct search (gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~gprice/direct.htm)
inf0Arcadia NL (www.idie.net/inf0Arcadia)
inf0Arcadia E (www.idie.net/inf0Arcadia/infoarcadia-index-E.html)
Le Moulin du Merle (lemoulindumerle.com)
I DIE for change (idie.net)