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1 June 2002
In our own modest way today we link to join a celebration of love which is happening way over at the other side of the Atlantic, and onwards across a continent to its other coastall the way up to Vancouver BC, yet only one friendship enforced click, one each, away anyway. So tchin-tchin and love to Caterina and Stewart from all at the Moulin.
31 May 2002
in front of Le Moulin du Merle in whatever recent past
navigator, follow that punch line!
30 May 2002
From this morning's Word document:
in contemporary cultural production we witness some bodies of work's dependence (in the visual arts, music, literature, less so cinema, design, architecture) of:
1) the author/artist's live feed
2) a user input, or interactivity, in the shape of recipient participation and information feed (from his or her simply 'browsing' the piece, i.e. in navigation, to (real time) sharing it with other visitors/users, e.g. in games or public space related projects, to 'customizing' it by contributing personal data (preferences, content)
3) the (private, public, commercial) space of a communication/information network as the piece's prime condition of operability (coherence; integrity)
4) (real time) processing data, retrieved from the piece's conditions (as described under 2 and 3), either in its programme, in its reception or in its general functionality (e.g. in its responsiveness to a variety of information input)
5) a continuous contextualization and reiteration, as in (of) their communicational, educational, recreational (informational) functions, even as part of the work itself
such (artist's) project/work might require regular-interval-up-to-real-time updates of its data, for its content and/or for its functioning (possibly visible as orderly subsequent 'generations': 1.0, 2.0 etc., possibly part of continual change, the 'life' of the work). These updates come in the form of artist, user or other (monitored system or different external) input and vary from a minimal 'logging' to extensive programmatic recasts.
1) the culturally sustainable collection, conservation, public (re-)presentation and education of network (e.g. Internet) enhanced (visual, sonic) art (including certain hybrids with literature, design, other) projects, both online only, and site responsive/reactive
2) the scientific research and development of such cultural production
3) the (conceptual, functional, representational) management of a new media heritage
Through this morning's Google searches:
Willard McCarty: A Network with a thousand entrances: Commentary in an electronic age?
"In contemporary discourse about art, 'the shock of the old' plays off against 'the shock of the new', the more obvious and apparently the older phrase. Shock may be particularly necessary against the blindness to art as anything other than decoration, but the new (in the strongly traditional sense of the unfamiliar, strange, surprising, subversiveindeed dangerous) also plays a role in scholarship. The history of technology suggests that inventions have this role, a Janus-faced heads-up not just to peer uncertainly into the future, as may seem my mandate here, but perhaps more to wake up to and learn from the familiar, half-noticed devices which the new threatens to redefine or even displace. So with commentary, a very old, widely distributed and varied form, about whose electronic future I propose to reflect."
and courtesy his linking:
The Journal of Electronic Publishing
29 May 2002
Today through Lycos: 900,001 hits for 'weblog', 1,178,034 hits for 'blog', a 100/130 ratio. The GoogleEmpire returns 100/104: 1.260.000/1.320.000 hits.
28 May 2002
theory as fantasy
Theory as magical thinking, wishful thinking unambiguously establishes it as fantasy, make-belief. 'theory as fantasy wishful thinking' renders wild suggestions at google. 'theory as narrative' is quite a popular belief.
This information Ccivilization brings a lot of raw trace. While noisy, abundant links are made available for future civilizations to click. We know already that their technology will help them as little as our technology helps us today, to understand, let alone judge, appreciate past civilizations, which of course left trace in abundance as well. All is in man's presence, "what's in a man's time": past and future alike are fantasies to begin with, Ars Longa.
Now playing: Unkle's Psyence fiction. Later Wilco's Summerteeth.
27 May 2002
route D23 in front of Le Moulin du Merle in whatever recent past
driver, follow that punch line!
25-26 May 2002
Saturday the friends of Aurore Immobilier gather in Mezilles. Two years ago we hosted this event. The orchestra has expanded to include a drummer, we are enchanted to meet the two familiar musicians, more Dutch French have been invited, to bring more dogs. But food and wine are excellent, the location and weather are enjoyable, and as with other repeated events, those who attended the first issue remember it with a special fondness, in general only attributed to 'first times', when something unexpected occurs. Re-reading above link makes me aware that for me the 2000 reunion was a sure initiation as far as being hospitable way big goes.
We'll return to Mezilles for its unequalled Dahlia gardens at the time of the major flee market in August.
On the way to Dornes for its agro-ecological festival we pick up Florence at Le Mazot, where she and Patrick have lunch with Delphine and Philippe. R+r decide to stay with Mazot sons David and Yan (11 and 13), so five of us (Anne and Zita, F., G. and me) drive down to a small and quite remote fair, where the atmosphere is retro-bio as far as bagpipe supported folk dancing, kite flying and vintage species goes. The latter do interest us however. We buy Amaranthus hypochondriacus 'Opopeo', Helianthus annuus 'Beauté d'Automne' and Lactuca sativa 'Craquerelle du Midi' seeds from the Association Kokopelli ('pour la libération de la semence et de l'humus') and linger at the F.E.R.ME organization, which for the sake of biodiversity promotes the elevation of endangered French live stock. We pick up information on the Château des Gilats Ecodomaine in nearby Toucy and on the upcoming Bourgogne Printemps de l'environnement.
On the way back we first drop R+r and G. at the Moulin, while A., Z. and myself bring F. to the Grange Treillard where we find P. on a difficult piece of music and the hardly tempting prospect to go up to Paris tonight. We free him with several rounds of F.'s home-made rum punch, which takes the conversation to unexpected heights of multi-lingual understanding, on subjects ranging from the rural life of city dwellers, gastronomous trivia, Hopi candles, politics left and right of center, and stuff the punch made me forget about. After we finished the bottle we hasten down into the Beuvron valley back to the Moulin to kiss R+r goodnight, A+Z (hey!) leaving tomorrow while the boys'll be at school, and have food and more drinks until very late.
Tomorrow, when I write this, I will have to have sustained a certain level of alcohol in da system to get me through such-and-such Monday, finding myself admiring old-timers passing by in the morning, spending an hour on the wet grass slope opposite the house to get three of them photographed, then in the afternoon floating through the house, making a fire in the dining room, going in and out to have rain and shine, and click the paths I mowed a couple of days ago, or study the Gladiolus shoots. That punch sure knocked.
24 May 2002
After Reims the Ardennen rains stop. After Troyes incredible rainbow lined low light struck skies over the Pays d'Othe suck me fast forward. Just before dark I land at the Moulin from Maastricht. Gil's friend from kindergarten times Anne and her friend Zita are over from Amsterdam to join us to Aurore's party tomorrow, where they are invited as a guest after their catering services at the previous event, which took place at the Moulin in 2000.
23 May 2002
commons in business
This mail came in from CC:
Creative Commons plans to provide a free set of tools to enable creators to share aspects of their copyrighted works with the public or to dedicate them entirely to the public domain. Stanford Law School Professor and Creative Commons Chairman Lawrence Lessig described the new project this way when he spoke at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference: "Our tools will make it easier for people to make some or all of their rights available to the public for free. If, for example, an artist wants to make her music available for non-commercial use, or with just attribution, our tools will help her express those intentions in a 'machine-readable' form. Computers will then be able to identify and understand the terms of the license, making it easier for people to search for and share creative works."
Wonder what different purposes the data and 'machine-readable' metadata which will be collected in CC's database could be used for, like to create other tools to eg. connect 'content sympathetic' (or indeed 'rights sympathetic'!) work. At their site I read about 'intellectual property conservancies'. As in my dream of Tribal Media, I was imagining the banking of artistic half-products, to infect other sketches, or simply to be taken by someone to use as raw material. Open source before open source wise. The idea of 'ai automating' possible disclosures of one's intellectual and creative estate (including its shelved strands) has been a popular issue for a while between Mr. Perry and myself after in 1996 in Grenoble we learned about the Bas-Jan Ader estate machinations, from Paul McCarthy.
I will look into CC's proposals to find out what is their aim. Before Lessig speaks in Amsterdam, this June 7.
Then: the need for 'cell bound' isolation and concentration, the undisturbedness of living soul in face with invention and creation, to compensate, annihilate any systematic formal agenda. Celebration intuition.
21 May 2002
brand new quilt, new brand guilt
12 Europe pixel height slices, border="1"
Imagine europe. The E U? Imagine just how detailed you want to imagine the old countries. Imagine european contemporary power structures. Browse some material on economic, cultural, political struggle in contemporary europe. Remember 19th and 20th century europe. Think of some european brands you might want to buy. Remember those 12 stars in a circle on a blue ground? Remember when you read how many nationalities live in what we aka europe? Remember Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain? Remember that Euro currency? Are you european?
Now (a) Rem Koolhaas (employee) came up with this new piece of fabric for that same old europe. In an effective accumulation of national colors s/he got not quite a rainbow or barcode, but stripes nevertheless (courtesy latenightpool). Probably there is some smart ratio behind their respective widths, but they ain't no information design for sure, more like dummographics, or dunnographics, ja, haha.
Just how long will a flag burn? Koolhaas restyles Prada, err, Prada, and Switzerland unconfirmed, global overhaul is happening for expanded shopping, now a neo-national europe is catered for. There's a lot to be said here on identity branding which I do not have the time for right now. Remind me if you will.
whatever eu flag (placeholder)
lawn and border
At the end of Second Nature, Michael Pollan describes the essential garden as a route, which he carves out in the high grasses of his meadow, at lawn mower width. On the island I did same. Starting with a lawn sized clearance I continued along several paths through the 3-4 feet high greens and wildflowers and along the Beuvron. The snake in the grass didn't like it a bit. But he'll live with the pattern that I'll repeat over the coming years to see what comes. Already a non-descript though florid wildland with only limited particular features, much like a backdrop, in a couple of hours turns into a collection of connected sites and shifting perspectives. The guidance which is given in the route is very effective, even while the lawn and paths' design was only 'improvised': more or less following the track that before we waded through the grasses. It is a very basic operation. Far from imposing a 'garden' on 'nature', or 'landscape', I simply added parameters to previously differently related objects. That tree that went unnoticed now is marked by a bend in a path, one branch hanging over it. At another turn suddenly a distinct perspective over the small river is articulated. I do feel invited to add accents, to plant or cut and even to build, but am reluctant as ever to hasten into 'design'. Certainly the way it is now, the island invites my presence more than before the sculpting.
I have to look up which period in landscape architecture the artist worked on and from the site only.
20 May 2002
la famille Lardeur
The Lardeur family yesterday celebrated their parents' 50th wedding anniversary, in Thurigny. One daughter, Françoise and her husband stayed at the Moulin. We decided to give the three nights as a present to contribute to the festive occasion.
19 May 2002
more world promises
When checking Mediamatic's URL I hit on a 1993 essay of mine, both its English and Nederlandse versions are available, respectively titled The Exuberant Publicness of the Promised World (translation of the Dutch original by Jim Boekbinder) and De Uitzinnige Openbaarheid van de Beloofde Wereld. I haven't reread them so it is kind of risky to put up this link. Take advantage of my candor. And take some time for this site's other speculations.
18 May 2002
work playbrowse that world
Playing the piano as opposed to playing a CD. Had to think of that too yesterday, when listening to Vivian Sobchack. As of 'whistle in the dark', checking on signal conditions in your channels of communication, way phatic, as Jack Post would probably agree. This morning I 'find myself' bien étonné de me trouver ensemble, on an E9,20 upgrade plugged into a first class Thalys power outlet on my way to Paris, comfort after effort, many rail miles in little timeMoulin to Laroche Migennes by car early Thursday morning, up to Amsterdam via Paris with a quick FNAC book purchase for Annette Stahmer, a Jan van Eyck design researcher who is working on SMS abbreviations and needed some French input (like 'kestudi' for Qu'est-ce que tu dis or GT for j'ai été), 3- more hours to Maastricht later that night again by train, last night back to Amsterdam and home today Saturday. If you can never plug in on a trip like this you go nuts. Too bad this train has no on board Internet access. But I have Axis: Bold As Love (1967) and Pure Guava (1992) for acoustic compensation, an educated random last minute pick from the shelf, 52 hours ago at 7am. Meanwhile, loading up and down for that final part of the trip, this afternoon: Paris-Laroche and the winding road to the Moulin.
Visiting the International Browserday last night at Paradiso, I was ever so pleased to run into more friends, John and Kristi, Aya, Jans and home to Joke for that couch and fat cats and late night conversation. I had not been too impressed with the nominees' browsers alas. The only interesting trend, while in none of the proposed experiments satisfyingly answered to, was the obvious desire for a 'browsing' of personal (basically off-line, so in the flesh, and in the woodwork, where the sensors go) information. What else can you expect with today's density of person-to-person wireless, GPS locatable telecommunication, or one-to-one surveillance, as Margaret Morse called it (I am afraid) in a critical way, at yesterday's workshop. Read My Bits is what I'd say to that. And, for 'all lurk and no link make J. a very dull guy' check out usemedia.com, for previous Browserday winner Joes Koppers' interactivity experiments, if you want to learn at all from a browsing experience.
sweet aside: negro kisses
'Negerzoenen' are an archaic chocolate covered oversized chemically enhanced cream sweet in the Netherlands. I just pass its neon sign on a building, 'NEGERZOENEN', in bold yellow type on a red ground, sitting on a blind brick wall, most likely the factory where kissing will continue for ever, as much against pc panic as in disdain for new immigration laws. May poetics screw politics until the end of days.
sweet aside 2: starling on miBook
At Gare de Lyon's Café Select brasserie I spend an hour stop-over. A sparrow briefly lands on top the open laptop's screen, hunting for crumbs of the solid part of my 'Pause Duo': ham-cheese baguette and Kronenbourg.
17 May 2002
Attended one day of the University of Maastricht Cultural Studies' workshop Multimedia and the Interactive Spectator, with presentations by Margaret Morse (Virtualities author, University of California), UniMaas' own Jack Post: Interactivity and Phatic Communication (via Bronislaw Malinowski and Emile Benveniste) and a stimulating Vivian Sobchack (UCLA), (interviewed by Nat Muller, my design Recast co-moderator) author of The Address of the Eye and online Reading Mondo 2000 (1991).
Referring to Don Ihde she distinguished between an embodied and hermeneutical relationship to media, technology, their objects and 'texts'. Not having come across this distinction articulated in these terms before, they remind me of a long standing intuition that I cherish, on how distinct and indeed distinguishable we ('preferably') want our media to be, as 'media', interfaces, technology, object, text. Having once subtitled a work 'I want my media flat' I admittedly feel very much attached to the graphic symbolic as opposed to an embedded immersive 'text'. I am curious to become aware of what such distinctioninviting to experience the forest of signs in a similar way as in what Richard Lanham in The Electronic Word names a difference between 'looking through' and 'looking at'means to our cognition and what would be preferable when, in which situation. Lanham sees us oscillating between two states of reading. Also Sobchack uses that notion to name our relationship towards media and technology, oscillating between the embodied and the hermeneutical.
The embodied/hermeneutical divide (looking through/looking at) is an important distinction in many ways. An embodied relationship towards (or function of) a technology means that this technology has become rather transparent to us and allows us to interact with (or act on) information (either in people or other) through it, other than that it forces us to interact with the technology itself. Driving a car allows us to interact with the road because to a certain extent we embody its technology and functions, rather than that we have to read it and interact with its apparatus, with every decision we take to keep the rubber on the road. A hermeneutical relationship towards technology forces one to interact with that technology or medium, in order to reach through it and grasp whatever information it carries (out). Hermeneutics on the other hand can provide a relationship of choice when it contributes to our experience in a special way, or renders a special experience. 'The pleasure of the text' is different from the pleasure of the story. Some texts, unlike cars, but YMMV, we do appreciate precisely for the fact that they hermeneutically challenge us.
'Oscillating' then is a next level of understanding, a fine intellectual activity and rather sophisticated pleasure, I would say. If an utterance sentences me to look only at it, because of its blunt design for example, I tend to be uninterested. Even when its blunt design is of a stupefying beauty, I might miss exactly that ambiguity that invites me to (try to) look through it. On the other hand, only looking through objects in media and technology would prescribe my attention to something behind or a priori to them, which is a naiveté that has sufficiently been deconstructed and politicized over the past decades. Graphic representation in its many forms is a rich reference mix. Also when media envelop us to the level of immersion, I hope for enough graphic friction in and on them, seam showing montage, medium coarseness, to remain available in the address of my eye, for contrast which already in itself allows me to delight in the reading of any 'text' while to a certain extent remaining critical to its stories, allowed to consciously act upon them in reply or addition, in full recognition of the multi-lingual nature of environments that can sometimes be designed to go unnoticed.
As much as a hermeneutical awareness can save us from getting too immersed/involved in the dense media and technology aggregate, embodiment upgrades technology and media from merely being the stuff that surrounds us into an extension to our physical/intellectual abilities, allowing for a different perception and experience, almost like any old drug, or habit (habit as drug).
All is activity, as Sobchack rightfully stated. But I also heard her say she 'hated the web', because she 'was dying soon', in a manner of speaking, probably meaning being too impatient for it, having too active and sophisticated a mind ever to be 'passive' enough to linger at so much blunt Flash design and fluff content. Of course my reaction is to slip her some cool links. And tell her not to fatigue that 'old' mind on 'new' media which are so easily embodied by 'new' generations, as she witnesses in her classes. Not to be hermeneutical about media that no one who is born into them would be. Especially because in every new media and technology run there's plenty new stuff to hemeneuticize, like new generations will for sure.
So do I need all my media flat? If oscillation is to be my überaction: no, not necessarily. I can flatten the most invasive experience, like I can immerse in the black-and-whitest graphic sign. Easy. We're built that way.
retro-spection, post scriptum
'New' technology and media encountered or read by 'old' informed/experienced minds are primarily focused and discussed in/from a hermeneutical relationship towards the forest of signs. In the 'website' such consciousness looks for the 'page'... unless its vehicle is born after 1993. Those who in the 21st century look for the 19th, must be born in the 20th. Some among them tend to approach a car as if they expect it to kick back at them. It's a big mistake for a mind, to take the present for the past.
16 May 2002
graphic design and theory special chair
Discussed at the BNO (Dutch Design Union) in a roundtable tonight how to go about their offer to the University of Amsterdam of a special chair in graphic design for the Cultural Studies Faculty, hopefully starting this fall. I didn't know any organisation can actually propose any university to open a special chair in any field, for a five year period to start with, in this case one day a week, divided over research and lecturing. For the organisation the costs are limited to around 10kE/yr. Of course the university will have to accept the offer, it is risky like donating art to a museum's collection...
one trick: a girl and a pony
Happily met Paul briefly at the 1e Klas Café on Amsterdam CS. He was heading for the 16-17 May International Browserday related 'drive-by dinner' at Dassarts. He drove his Brompton this time.
15 May 2002
election day NL
I have to keep myself from being too obsessed with the current 'situation', staying glued to the media all day to monitor my country slide into an era of new democritics, answering to new demogriphics, demogrimace, politicoleptics, rhetoricopathics, chaophilia
Haphazardly opening Minski's The Society Of Mind in the loo, I hit 17.8, Attachment-Images, opening with a 'Jewish proverb' (attr. Erma Bombeck): 'Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving'.
election results NL
NL voters stubbornly shop for lack of political experience with the Fortuyn list (0->26/150 seats in parliament) and for guidance with the christian-democrats (29->43), as was to be expected. Dramatic results wipe away the past eight years' liberal-labour ('purple') coalition (respectively 38->23 and 45->23 seats).
13 May 2002
ignotum per ignotius
ceramic, red and black gloss, 153mm, E8,- Tannay vide grenier, 20020512
Art for art's sake, speak to me.
10 May 2002
fitting the occasions
A contrast between the public, eventful and the private, eventful-or-uneventful (depending which is one's standard of spectacle), comes as no surprise these days. Having contemplated two kinds of globalization in my text for De Witte Raaf, which was partly informed by Dutch political phenomenons that push into focus these months, and in the light of recent events that are in sharp contrast to my schedule allowed prolonged stay at the isolated Moulin, result in a stimuli low tide, in which my attention is rather drawn to micro events.
'Quietude' then, can be expected. The calm on the Beuvron should reflect in my mood. Where this calm originates, why it can be competitive to any unrest, and seem a valuable alternative for constructing ones slow life upon, remains a question. Not to live without ambition, but to find and construct ambition where you want it to live, is an important challenge.
nqpaofu.com 2002 jouke kleerebezem Notes Quotes Provocations and Other Fair Use