Saturday 7 December acquisition: Sjeng Vinke, Maastricht painter
10 December 2002
In computer enhanced content nothing yet comes near the profound sensation of flipping a book. Without comparing cliché technical differences like color, resolution, readability of the printed versus the screened text etc., already the physical experience of holding a stitched and glued pile of paper in one hand while fanning through it with the other, watching text and images flicker by, sometimes opening the volume a bit wider to see the entire page, going back and forth, weighing the tome, smelling its materials, all the while anticipating to open it on page one and follow through along the story to the last page, giving in to its slow linearity this sensation is not what books were made for, but very much what their experience is made of.
Never again compare this sensation to the thrills of clicking and browsing online hypermedia.
Special mention deserves of course the register or index pages, if any are available, or the content page where one can again advance the experience of travelling the book in its entirety, by scanning its road sign captions, chapter titles, reference to its sources, other books in its landscape, that also would excite you to browse, indexes to places in libraries and image archives, museums and collections of the well preserved craft and intelligence that goes into book making, into the manufacturing of bound pages in volumes on shelves in aisles we love to walk down.
Many have brought up such sentiments against digital content, others more realistically see in it the design challenge which it is. Let's first remind ourselves nevertheless that the book was not designed as an experience and how arguable it is if we should design digital content as such.
So what kind of craft and intelligence, what kind of special attention informs sites like ours to become what they are?
Different navigation tools for text and images, specific hardware/content/software examples?
Then I run into Michael Nedo, of course...
Tonight I browse the g-sites in a private projection in the JvE office, where the necessary apparatus is installed for tomorrow and the day after when final presentations take place. For projection, we would design our sites differently to make it into a more 'cinematic' experience.
Heinz Edelmann's unsentimental formatting allowed him to throw away his original drawings, considering the printed work his original art. This I learned from him 30 years ago to never forget.
Throwing away anything which you, as the artist, don't consider the original art work which you put out to evoke an experience is a powerful consequence of creation.
oil on wood panel, 1950s
9 December 2002
Ivan Illich 1926-2002
We might be already beyond the age of speed by having moved into the age of (and I am saying the word with a certain trembling) 'real time'. The move towards real time is one way out of the world of speed. We'll move as much as we can our designs into 'real time' so that we can be 'slobby', there where the traditional rail road originated concepts of speeds apply...
This is not the way in which I would like to encourage my friends to go, in spite of the 'regelmässiger Perspektive' that designers have to go that way. I would rather look for ways in which we (in friendship, in mutual severe criticism of the youth, of past and contemporary certainties) deal with each other. As people who empowered through friendship seek presence, being Here, being Now, being -- and that is the English word -- 'quick'. You know what the word 'quickening' meant: the first kick of a baby in the belly of a woman. 'Quickening' meant: coming alive, quick.
I was so privileged to attend Ivan Illich's lecture at Doors 4, the 'Speed' issue, where he concluded in above quote. Later edits of his and his friends Sebastian Trapp and Matthias Rieger's papers can be downloaded in pdf at the Bremen University supported Circle for Research on Proportionality link.
Through wood s lot the news that Ivan Illich passed away a week ago today comes to me as a shock. Not so much at the matter of fact that he died, because I knew he was ill, already at the time, but as a true aftershock of that monumental on stage presence in 1996, and possibly the most carefully chosen words I ever witnessed. Around his Bremen lectures the above linked CROP circle formed, which' reflections reminded me of my recent Notre-Dame de Réconfort intuitions:
The I-Thou relation is crucial to our understanding of proportionality. In his Bremen lectures, Illich explored this historically unprecedented relation in the West through the parable of the Samaritan. In this relation only a second person --a Thou-- gives orientation to an I. According to Illich, this act of freely turning towards another was revolutionary because it was neither determined by the common nativity in the Greek Polis, nor by being subject to Roman law, nor by the fear of a divine legislator, nor by the interiorization of norms either as conscience or as moral imperative. For decades, Illich has argued that, to understand two millennia of Western existence it is necessary to start out from this Christian calling to friendship. The institutionalization of charity perverts this calling by turning friendship into services. Beginning with third-century shelters for the homeless and well beyond the emergence of asylums in France during the late eighteenth century, service institutions have turned neighbors into clients. The emergence of a service economy is by now well understood. What we want to clarify is a transformation of the social domain that happened during the last couple of decades: institutions no longer service clients, they now manage their profiles.
one step after another
In his above linked re-edited 'Prisoners of speed' lecture, Ivan Illich takes a different last turn from the original transcript, which read "You know what the word 'quickening' meant: the first kick of a baby in the belly of a woman. 'Quickening' meant: coming alive, quick", and here, again shockingly beautiful:
I have tried to live as a pilgrim, taking one step after another, entering into my time, living within my horizon, which I hope to reach with the step, the surprising step I take to die.
the publication that knows me
The publication that knows me doesn't have a bottomline. No ideology, but ideals.
7 December 2002
What if one site effectively fits all... not only whatever one installs on such a 'site', a daily operation web publication... what if it fits all of an artist's expression. Could web based personal publishing be one's prime and preferred format? With conversational drift in the expectation of linking and reference, unpromised contextual relevance, fitting one's need and propensity for a specific attention quality which honestly doesn't hunger for the kind of traditional dramatic pronouncement on whatever other stage in another light for another audience? I'm only beginning to find out.
What when the format meets the wildest of talents, a talent for suspension and diversion, included in the love for undrammatical performance, or micro-drama? A gentler rubbing.
6 December 2002
The 12 (-) separated text 'slides' produced and projected in MSWord for today's Nypels lecture.
re: 'wild talent'
unruly but manageable
what about wild content?
genuine hunger for information
material world models after information
old habits, old demands
function follows form (launch-and-learn)
design recast (e.g. nokia)
re: design research
its production and its workings
+ what is professional intervention today?
where design production and workings overlap two prime fields emerge:
interactivity and publishing
which need generous working definitions
for the expanded field of design
interactivity: a two-way prompted real-time process of exchange
between people and information
(information in other people, in 'learning' knowledge systems, in markets etc.)
publishing: any utterance by one person, to any amount of other persons, using any medium other than direct speech
('publications' being any trace of the process)
(media independent) research into:
design production (studio)
design workings (street)
(studio-street feedback loop)
prime fields of inquiry:
contemporary publishing and interaction:
hypermedia (linked, prompted, live¹)
re: professional position?
interaction, interacivity and publishing are the prime operations of, and in, and constituting
hypermedia: networked contextually linked content
symmetrical up and download
fed by real changes
media consumption changes: 'grazing'
consumption to production: drift
experience to performance: drift
design equals information, or content
design is 'moving up the food chain'
design concerned about contexts and patterns
design competence towards the conditions of the dialogue rather than the content of the dialogue
media marked by
special interest driven
back-up systems, archive?
generations of information
design as agency
no fix for a messy content/form process
situated in the communication it enhances
pioneer position of invention/intervention, or 'voice'
Notre-Dame de Réconfort abritant sous les plis de son manteau
5 December 2002
't is een vreemd'ling zeker, die verdwaald is zeker
'k zal hem gauw eens vragen naar zijn naam
NL transit read
Vilém Flusser's Vom Subjekt zum Projekt; Menschwerdung ('from subject to project; becoming human'). Now what to quote from this train of thought? I guess it is a compliment to the author if I can't decide. No sound bites.
Yves Cointin my homeopath's acupuncture at the latest minute allows me to travel to NL, not to drive a car however. I can attend the Nypels lectures tomorrow, give a short presentation, join Saturday's brainstorm on the Nypels grant definition and return home before next week unfolds with the 'end of the year' presentations at JvE. Too bad I'll miss those.
des personnages de toutes conditions
4 December 2002
I title today's entry 'haven', when I've come to realize that none of today's 'services' actually provides refuge. Our metaphors have left whatever safe havens to be given to navigational drift, never to return for unconditional-if-any-good-at-all protection. Today's media aren't havens. With all the pretence of community, no safety is even suggested, just distraction. The media isn't a place, it's a conduit. You might hide out in it but you have to keep moving and you are always at your own risk, at the risk of identification at the risk of discovery, of becoming visible, and marked.
That's when I find the postcard which G. pulled out of a box, a couple of days ago. It depicts a statue in the Monceaux le Comte church, of benign Notre-Dame de Réconfort who shelters anyone, personnages de toutes conditions, under her coat. Old habits eventually wear out.
2 December 2002
Whenever I have a deliverable due, its audition is always (only) a couple of days before. This morning the insight in Vital Edit grew stronger and importantly more urgent. In short time ideas come together, combinations of evidence form, books drop out of the library and challenges become political.
Stay in shape: think, browse, write, read, make images, collect, juxtapose, show, speak. Keep fit for publishing.
1 December 2002
start of the metereological winter
Studio in, studio out. Two secret passages. Kine-therapeutical painting: the arm has to move against returning pain. I mount the NCP4300 on a tripod and take long exposure times interiors. Rubber Soul in the old kitchen, now turned studio. Tonight is REM's Monster playing. Picking just any tape for this old old machine. Squeezing paint. In the evening Kees van Citters sr. chimes in to report one pot of home made confiture delivered to aunt Beatrijs in Aerdenhout. Re: shoulder he suggests to sleep between the sheep skins that he knows are in the library, if only for warmth but possibly to expose the shoulder to static electricity.
30 November 2002
A -> B
The fight is over causality. How much inquiry any of your everyday 'judgement' is allowed? What exactly do you do when you think before you speak? Checking the chain of events that leads to your judgement of whatever current phenomenon you are about to describe, comment upon, and use it to add yet another stage/state, in this undeniable causal detouristic stream of experience? Link-by-link, is this how it works, how the world's organized and manifested? Hm.
Excitement, lust, enjoyment never bother judgement.
I can see the thematization of the Moulin in its site. It is a site of fancy, a fantasy. The house turns into a personage. I author it secret passages.
Arm-a-day medical update: Mr. Giesenfeld the Auxerre rheumatologist plants a shot of Cortison cum anaesthetic which works overnight. There's no 'frozen shoulder' in his opinion, just the calcium deposit which suddenly last week 'exploded' into small and highly irritant crumbs which caused the tendons to inflame extremely painfully. These will dissolve by themselves. He advises me to take a blood test through the family doctor, to see for any calcium disbalances. The symptoms might wel be over herewith: the pain will slowly disappear and functionality return. Another shot in two weeks is a possibility but unlikely. Meanwhile I'll check both the homeopathic and the regular doctor.
On our Auxerre strut Honorine, Derk, Gil and myself pass by Bar Le Why Not.
28 November 2002
Experiencing what must be prednison side effects: hot flushes and de-concentration of sight. The latter is hard to explain, I just seem to have to adjust my eyes differently from before. There's also a slight dizziness. The first brings red cheeks. But ars sana in corpore aegroto I'm working on lemoulindumerle.com these days. Then there's a story to tell next week in NL, when the 6 December Nypels Lectures include my Wild Edit. All the material is out there, all the wild evidence is clear, we're heading there... now for the write up. In the informationalizing context I see the future of publishing and design, from within: personal, intimately engaged, political and experimental, focusing on immediate needs of communication between the people that build an information society at any level, with their information, inside where the action is, not (with the designer adding frills-for-features) with whatever a capital information industry pushes down the pipes until we will reach that valid point when we rightly call a popular information production the Information Industry, acknowledging that indeed an information society's true capital is the people's information: their experiences, stories, recommendations, performing needs and desires, hunger for education and entertainment, and how their emerging interests develop in new social and cultural aggregates, what patterns them, collects and disperses them, how they manifest as much in minutely situated immediate interest sharing, as in distributed global knowledge exchange, point-to-point, person-to-person, many-to-many, with disregard of much of the worn out identities that were supplied by dominating markets. Not that the latter will be all gone, but they will be fed completely different information, consequently they will have to construct differently, advertize differently, apply for attention with their emerging constituencies differently, give better interest to their loyal producers and consumers. Very poor detail here, heck, but an information adventure that would have my support, why not build it? Moreover b'cause all the consensus industries' alternatives conveniently file under porn, as we all know.
Like with hot flushes and refocusing eyes, we are currently merely suffering the dizzying 'revolutionary' side effects of informationalizing cultural and political old school orders, enjoying one introduction of a new piece of technology and service after another, meanwhile clinging to rearview habits, preferences and priorities, lacking a sense of tomorrow's, or today's for that matter, realities. Well, if available commodities and content can already be marketed as revolutionary, wait until real change hits the markets. If you need a preview of the impact of such chaos, don't look at gadget technology or emerging communication habits, or cellphone penetration, but at what are the other side effects: increasing fundamentalism in every societal sector, decreasing tolerance, war monger machismo, major health and welfare problems, instabilities ready to burst into crisis everywhere.
Now somehow, eventually to balance what seems like the violent end of a world before we even get to know it, we have to navigate on whatever faith and optimism, being very honest, straight and clear and smart to use the material and information of political crisis (but without the politics), the material and information of high technology (but without the capital industry), the material and information of new media communication (but without the brands) and the material and information of popular communication and information production (without the street violence), to move mountains of tired prejudice and power. The material world wants to be free, just as much!
Yesterday I received report from the après Doors Interaction Design Course Leaders Meeting. It provides us with a grab bag of approximations of emerging skill and intelligence, where the interaction is, when you set loose these educators, some 32 of'm... FYI, copy/paste readymade 'interaction design', offer it for wild edit, pass it on:
Interaction design offers a bridge/connection/membrane...
- Interaction design forms a connection between people and technology.
- Interaction design is about signs, pathways.
- Interaction design is a mediator to connect two different experiences.
- Interaction design supports communication and conversation, with a focus on the continuous flow between user and application.
- Interaction design is about communication; about involving the human being in the process of interaction and communication. People speak to things.
- Interaction design means designing the conditions of a dialogue, without designing the dialogue. (hey!)
- Interaction is framed; communication/relationship/dialogue.
- Interaction means dealing with reaction/feedback/biosenses. The interface is like a body; looking for ways to move through the screen.
- Action; intuition; adventuring; deeply personal; multisensory; transmedia; augmentation of experience, process and meaning.
- Interaction design is about people and places and people and technology and people and stuff.
Interaction design shapes us...
- Interaction designers are cultural engineers. They use design to create the culture, to create a new relationship (between nature, culture, machine), to create new circumstances.
- Compare interaction design to architecture. It has a meaning. It shapes our culture. Who is going to build the cathedral of interaction?
- Interaction design connects to architecture because also there people can creatively misuse what is designed.
- Interaction design doesnít add value, it is value. Naturally man-made. A bunch of nodes; We design what we value. Interaction design is a validation of culture.
- Interaction design is about creating something that engages the user so much that it has consequences for him/her afterwards.
- If I know something and tell you about it, you will know. If we speak about something we both donít know, we have interaction. Interaction brings something new. We are multiplying ourselves instead of just adding things.
- Interaction design is the design of the behaviour of media.
- Interaction design is designing peoples experiences.
Interaction design is an interdisciplinary field...
- Interaction design is communication, plus function, plus form, plus content.
- Interaction is a crossboard between disciplines. The grey zone between art and design.
- Interaction design is communication and technology. It makes technology more accessible (invisible) to people.
- Interaction design involves anthropology, sociology, computer research, human behaviour, rhetorics/semiotics.
- Interaction design is also about bringing value to the business of clients. About creating successful and satisfying products and services.
- The creative process of interaction design can be supported by analysis (input on user behaviour, contexts of use, content structures, functional requirements, etc.)
- Where does interaction design touch visual communication? Why don't we discuss the interface of the book anymore?
Interaction design is constantly in motion...
- Interaction design is something that changes constantly. We canít explain it. We must break it into little pieces, concept containers.
- Info environments is an evolving discussion. It is good to bring different views into this discussion. Currently the focus is on ëout of the boxí ambient computing, ubiquitous computing, etc.
- The result of the design process is also not a static product/service, the grasp of continuity needs to be imbedded in the concept.
Interaction design is not an isolated thing...
- We experience a new formation of knowledge. Interaction design is part of this, it is not an isolated thing.
- Many disciplines have been slow to change their conventions, so interaction designers had to step in. Eventually interaction design should be part of each of these disciplines.
- Interaction design is not a specific field. It will evolve to something within other disciplines.
- Interaction design is an approach to design. We should not make a separation between design disciplines.
Teaching interaction design... (to aim at)
- Learning how to set up a structured conversation.
- Learning to be originators instead of followers.
- Learning that design is more than drawing. It is also programming and electronics.
- Learning that theory is not the other but a necessary step in the design process.
- Learning to get the most out of collaborating with each other.
- Learning how to use our energy more efficiently to edit the information overload.
- Learning to research studio models as well as real life settings.
Thank you Geke van Dijk, Bas Raijmakers, Alan Munro! And thank you Rob van Kranenburg, for getting these educators and researchers together in the first place! They'll be back with you.
27 November 2002
The digital x-rays show the presence of calcium deposit in the affected area. Meaning more scans will follow. When I pull the NCP4300 and ask the radiologist if he allows me to photograph the lightbox displayed prints he tells me I will take them home and invites me into the machine room where there's this large Imation printer connected to a Philips digitizing unit which processes the x-rays. But what's the process? No fluids or toners are fed into the machine. The virgin sheets are transparent when they enter. Is it a kind of burning that leaves the trail? My man doesn't know. (Could he get me a digital copy?, I wonder at home.)
The Silver Institute: Photothermography: application of heat to a light exposed image layer containing a dispersion of silver behenate clusters and tiny silver halide crystals produces a negative image formed by metallic silver contributed by the silver behenate.
Phostering. Thanks to the medication, my frozen side can just enough lift the x-ray up to the Moulin's library afternoon light, while the steady right side points the camera, to produce above mirrorish shot. Note the calcium deposit islands on top the upper arm bone, or Humerus. My traditional blue-black-white woven scarf is from former Zuyderzee island Marken, which has an interesting gender crossing children's clothing history.
playing in the evening
Vintage Talking Heads, while scanning vintage Gilberthe Akkermans publications in Avenue, World of Interiors, Elle. Worlds tumble.
26 November 2002
Typing is slow. I'm diagnosed with a frozen shoulder or épaule gelé. As soon as next Friday the underlying inflammation will be tested in Auxerre, where also I will be treated, after radiology tomorrow in Clamecy. My left shoulder has been vulnerable for many years. Actually it was treated in physiotherapy for like symptoms, but milder, maybe 10 years ago. This shoulder did all of the throwing, smashing, reaching, lifting, power screw driving, drilling, painting, sawing, and more recently wood chopping and general estate schlepping while my mouse and scissors are in my right hand and a ball I kick with my right foot, at the end of the day I'm gauchier, left-handed, left shouldered...
I hesitated between homeopathic or regular medicine, but taken the acute pain and immobility, I chose for the latter. I'm prescribed 1 x 1 and 2 x 2 times 20mg Cortancyl prednison and 5 x 2 x 2 times Di-Antalvic 400mg paracetamol/30mg dextropropoxyphen-hydrochloride, which dose at my own initiative I halved to start with. I want to listen to my pain. The web when quickly searched so far supports the diagnosis and measures taken, or tests run, though several instances warn for the relative frustrating results with medication, injection et al, especially in the 'freezing' and 'frozen' stage, which can typically last a couple of months each, while the eventual 'thawing' can take as long as 12-24 months and longer. I remember the previous ailment to take very long, at least 6 months, but again it feels like the underlying inflammation is much more serious this time.
the way we beam: Corbu cabin at Ronchamp, 24 November 2002
25 November 2002
leave a trail
Today we bury Andrée Fontaine. She follows Marcel, whom for 63 years she has been married to, who died last 18 March. They were the living memory of Thurigny, Nièvre, France, born here in the 1910s.
Broodthaers plateside flashing memory
25 November 2002
We did all of the below, but in lieu of meeting Cees I had a long telephone conversation with him (phone in lieu of chest-to-chest are all the hype). On the Sunday R+r and myself visited the incredible Schlumpf car collection aka. the Musée Nationale de l'Automobile, leaving G. some time to herself at the Musée de l'Impression sur Etoffes. On the way back my shoulder locked into its inflammatory state so I couldn't hardly take any of the right turns anymore.
my 1996 ijsseloog.nl (defunct) edit
of the Thoreau cabin at Walden pond,
and MdM, 2002
the car that knows me after our last trip
23-24 November 2002
SCI Le Moulin du Merle is on its yearly outing to places of relevance and historic information. Tonight we will stay at the (strong memories of Broodthaers here) A l'Aigle d'Or in Rimbach-près-Guebwiller (try to pronounce that in your best French...), of which the Red Michelin says "Loin du stress de la vie moderne, petite auberge familiale toute simple, idéale pour retrouver quiétude et authenticité. Ravissant jardin; half-court."
Around Mulhouse we'll visit the Musée du Papier Peint and the Musée de l'Impression sur Etoffes. On the way up we drive by Ronchamp but might not have time to visit it. I have some recollections of it having visited the chapel as a kid, maybe 10, 11 year old. Sunday we hope to have lunch with my uncle Cees Jouwersma who lives near Strassbourg, only 100kms. further up. He'll meet us in Rimbach.