conversational drift, informatic license, exquisite enclaves_by jouke kleerebezem

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9 December 2000
a long way, for a bad pen

Paddy wrote a letter to his Irish Molly O',
Saying, "Should you not receive it, write and let me know!
"If I make mistakes in "spelling," Molly dear," said he,
"Remember it's the pen that's bad, don't lay the blame on me"
Molly wrote a neat reply to Irish Paddy O',
Saying, "Mike Maloney wants to marry me, and so
Leave the Strand and Piccadilly, or you'll be to blame,
For love has fairly drove me silly—hoping you're the same!"

It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (15 Oct. 1912)
Written & Composed by Jack Judge (1878-1938) and Harry Williams (?-1930)

8 December 2000
biff! a visit to the electronic frontier foundation
I went looking for their early pamphlets on symmetrical connectivity, as the right to speed your material as fast upstream as 'they' push it downstream, but I hit on something else behind that org front door: ASCII art! Kaboom! (courtesy SLi Mag).

Light fuse and biff.

                    Steel Pipe

                       \                  Thread          Fuse

                        \                   \              /

      éüüü¯              \                   \ éüüü¯      /

      Ñ °°ü°üüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüü°ü°° Ñ     /

      Ñ  ///////////////////////////////////////// Ñ    /

      Ñ  //////////////////üüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüü

      Ñ  ////////////+//////////////////////////// Ñ \

      Ñ ¨¨ü¨üüüüüüüüüü\üüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüü¨ü¨¨ Ñ  \

      øüüüç            \                       øüüüç   Hole drilled

         \              \                              in Pipe Cap

          \              \

           \              Explosive


days alive
Searched for Paul's days alive script and found that I had told him on the day that he was 15,481 days alive that I was planning to move to France... I wanted the script to play with the web's birthday: Christmas Day *1990 (as TBL recalls in 'Weaving the Web'), at info.cern.ch (I've started Bios Ex Machina to be published in Metropolis M's net.issue, on ze blague plague, which is going to be just as hybrid as that title suggests).

More searching and browsing made me pass by the anagram server: 'ran at heed'. To Paul, for tomorrow.

Je viens de... I just uploaded and emailed and attached my proposal to the Hogeschool Brabant for a webfest that projects some 7-12 (ideally more) micro-websites of very diverse content, as an alternative to the corporate ID that they currently try to apply to their communications, with little appeal. My theory is that 'corporate ID' has a limited audience at this learning institution with 12k students... rather, what if 'they' are the ID which it is all about? Keep the corporate ID for politics and corporate relations. The proposal is in Dutch and still confidential (I'll be presenting it next Tuesday), so I'd rather not link it here, but the estimate is interesting: I just put down what I think they should be investing, with little to no correspondence to what everyone will be making in the process. I call it: budget. I should call it: sacrifice. If they OK it they get value for money: we'll work until it's spent and see what we have come up with. Then if we need more we'll ask for another sacrifice. Either they will or they won't. There's never enough corporate sacrifice out there to change the world as we know it. I mean, the money spent on the revolution is in no relation anyway, to the money that should be made as a result from it.

The project will get something right. Nothing much to do with old school informationalization...I hope to find mount.nl on my side for it.

now playing
Trilok Gurtu's African fantasy

7 December 2000
I burn a croissant engaged in Ftrain Paul Ford's 'terrible' terrific dialogue. Trying to compensate the black crust with a thick layer of home-made quince jam's orange and coffee I kick the teapot off the sink. One teapot is a lot of glass. Meanwhile the bath which was supposed to wake me up on steaming lavender has swallowed all the available hot water and is now adding cold water. When I close the tap I have luke lavender which doesn't invite for a long stay. Wish there was some parenting to be done but then I'm off to work. In the passing I hit a random blog: amplified to rock, which has a touching 1 December entry—and I realize I should do some field work for the Metropolis article, which is currently nicknamed Bios Ex Machina.

6 December 2000
off, and on (not binary)
December 6 is an off day with a remarkable 'on' ending. After having lost precious hours this afternoon when my iMac crashed on the installation of Palm HotSync and couldn't be fixed at first; after having seen the deficit on our account at the Crédit Agricole; after Rolf being deeply sad and we don't know and he wouldn't tell what it is; after not getting to get any work done; after having a cold coming up and general fatigue hitting suddenly; tonight I lay down with Steve Miller the Joker and vintage Joan Baez 'Noël' and a couple of whiskeys and I stare into the flames of the fire in the salon for a long time and suddenly enter a different dimension, an alternate state of mind, lifting me up and looking at myself and the life I've chosen and the distance which always I keep from authority and gridlock and my own independence of consensus on a parallel but alternative track and the good friends I have and how valuable they are and I'm happy! In a deep and true way and I want to invite the world to spend new year's eve here and I want to party and be drunk with a happy ending. I had a link but lost it. It was no goodd (sic) either. Instead read what Rogério found out about himself (and the rest of us) at the Febo. Drunks unite.

earlier today
I've always been such a true sucker for December. From no particular history of 12th month' celebration, but in modesty and simplicity, paying attention to those in this world who suffer, I've ever loved the shop windows, candles and candy, lights, snow, food, fire, fireworks, movies that celebrate these, or the smell of powder both on women and from a freshly exploded cracker (the smell of lipstick, coming to think of invasive thrills), and the music, decorations silver and gold, green and red, presents, wrapped and the papers and ribbons that remain of them, pine needles on the floor, more candles, wax drippings, snowflakes, sleigh rides. Cold, dark, delirious December.

5 December 2000
Changing the world. Or at least again being paid for it, finally. What keeps me busy? Writing the final 800 wrds on the subject of the weblog and its decisive importance for contemporary cultural production, for Dutch art magazine Metropolis M; writing 'Quick Spin': a recommendation for an Internet/WWW fest at Hogeschool Brabant: a 12000+ student, 6 faculty, 1200+ faculty members and staff institution; writing 'Vormgeving ontwerpen' (hard to translate, in English, something like 'modeling design') for Belgian magazine De Witte Raaf (2000 wrds). Then for some distraction I'm beefing up my personal site for the Jan van Eyck Akademie design department (keep an eye on that institute, if modeling design is also your hidden research agenda).

now playing, and repeating
Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, various sessions and early takes

1 December 2000
millennium hug

Hokey Pokey, Wicky Wong, Kalamazoo, Kamoley Kong. This is unexpected. Must be all the travelling in the same timezone that I did. Time lost and no jetlag makes one wonder these days. 1 December? 31 days before M3. Today a year ago? This disappearing year is a great act. Hard to follow, heh heh. Bref, a href.

ceci n'est pas un pup
courtesy Geegaw:
Nell Z. from Germaknee: Animal Reevee

(happy b'day b'lated Nina! ceci n'est pas un pup is yours)

30 November 2000
The position as a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academy design dept. that I've taken needs more space to be introduced than this short note allows me for the moment. Luckily when last night I returned from a flash visit to Maastricht (which settled the deal), I found my online prefref alive with interesting notes, which are introduced and linked at getdownwiththeinboxincrowd below.

Mere possibility in loneliness, I found in my unpublished copy of nqpaofu36.html. It only needed a little edit (punctuation) to be uploaded. Paul's venture into alternate realities gave way to these thoughts last week, when they remained unfinished before I left and now are served as they are, including punctuation. And they have a point too.

30 November 2000

A few days away from the house in my case means a few days away from connectivity, detached, out there roaming that one perversity that I allow myself to fully enjoy: real life.

One of the first actions I take upon returning is a little round of my pref online ref: weblogs of friends, their issues, their links, then email.

When one returns to physical place and social space after absence (say, attending a discussion at the Amsterdam based Fonds voor de Beeldende Kunst, Vormgeving and Bouwkunst (Dutch for a big pile of money blown on individual artists' whimsical careers), on the subject of, say, content and visibility in contemporary arts, by someone who claims, say, that there's none of either to be found in today's cultural production)—if you manoeuvre yourself back into false familiarity, your first impression will always be: hey, nothing changed!?.

Compared to our disappointing (and admittedly sometimes comforting) observation of the perversely consistent sameness of real life's spaces both physical (that Ficus Benjamini is still in the same corner... it didn't even grow that much, it loolks even tired) and social (that plant is still uttering the same conservative bollocks on contemporary art as before, his point is even more backlashed today than it was yesterday), the online practice is alive with ever fruitful confusion. Some of it that addressed me particularly I will repeat here, and point you to; in arbitrary order:

Jamie King's reflection on Doors of Perception (I hope to return to it later). His sound advise to 'space of flow top dogs' and other heroes of design:
(...) use your time at the top to focus on thinking beyond the 'space of flows' as a space apart ‚ it's a conception, along with the term which underlies it that's on its way out. Refuse to make wendy-houses for new media to play in. Instead, design us a way out of the tired spatial metaphor. You'll be designing your way back down the corporate hierarchy, of course. But the rest of us will be a lot better off.
A line dropped by Bruce at www.birchlane.org.
A note from The World's Largest Internet Cafe in the heart of Times Square, 42nd Street and Broadway--800 computer stations. I feel like I am a character in The Wind Up Bird Chronicle or in The Unconsolled; it's very dream-like in here. And outside it is absolutely crazy; the city is literally over-flowing with people; the tree in Rockefeller Center is lit tonight and the magician David Blaine exits from the ice he's been encased in for a few days. Peace.
Mitsu at syntheticzero: waste not, want not.
It occurs to me that one way to talk about a fundamental core of Buddhist thought could be to talk about not wasting anything --- as they say, to burn up completely, without smoke, so that nothing is left. This means to give one's entire mind and body to what one is doing. Not by making a huge effort --- but rather by being completely immersed with every aspect of one's being --- mental, physical, energetic.
and, more inbox, Judith on the MWB alert, which might mean little to you, but still tops my not want to waste list... in exactly the 'burn up completely, without smoke, so that nothing is left' meaning of Mitsu's.
I've read an interesting article in the new Vanity Fair about Ms. MWB...I'll pop it in the mail to you when I'm back in SF later this week...

27 November 2000
excuse my mud
More GOGI (Gate Out Gate In) records set: StGdB-NL commuting took me back In last Friday at 10pm, only to leave Out for NL again Monday at 10:23am. More GIGO than GOGI. All by PT: trains, subways. Phone boots, platforms, taxis. Mobility? Might convert to a mobile phone and a new laptop soon (when's the G4 PB shipping? Paul sez I have to hold my breath). OTOH, I might read Flusser and Bachelard listening to Spiritualized instead. Like in a few hours.

When I woke up at 5am the Beuvron's flood had dropped several inches. With just some rain forecast for this afternoon and the days to follow apparently bright, things are looking under control. Plus tard.

26 November 2000
meanwhile at the Moulin
While, like last year, Coco the Horse was brought to our stable yesterday for hibernation, this morning we oversee a vast water plane, with only a foot or two to go before inundation. In the meantime we know that these last feet are the hardest to fill, so, unlike previous times, all the water fills us with excitement instead of suspicion.

upon 2nd thought
... waters still increase. When we return from a school party, at 6pm we have barely 1 ft. to spare. I guess later tonight we will be raising stuff in the basement to tabletop level... ***, tomorrow I'll be off for another quick NL visit back and forth. I hate to leave the place like this, with more rain expected.

25-26 November 2000
(when, beyond understanding, a moment of grace which can and should not be rooted back—or be proceeded—to any productive instant, enters our experience. Here, we are selfish in the best meaning of the word, selfishly learning.)

- There's hardly any limit to the types of stimuli that are suitable for induction. The reason for this great variety lies in part in the fact that it is not so much the stimulus in and of itself that produced the switch from one state of consciousness to another, but rather the expectation that it will happen. This, together with the associated ritual situation, produces an intense concentration, which is in turn aided by the stimulus.
(Felicitas D. Goodman: Ecstasy, Ritual and Alternate Reality; Religion in a Pluralistic World, 1988) (my italics)

other departures
The Internet Sacred Text Archive. From this source: The Postures of Ecstasy, on Goodman's research.

now playing, rather loud
Leftfield's 'Leftism' Afro-Left

25-26 November 2000
mere possibility
An (even educated) flirt with the truth will not bring one any closer to her.

Some of our actions (whether silent exercises in brain power or actual 'display': what we experience or demonstrate) should not suffer the attempt to be rooted in an original 'understanding', even instinct, nature. They do not recall or reflect anything else, there's no stimulus/response at play. No original moment to be pointed at, nothing, not even a void. These states are in themselves original. In such cases the drive to continue the action can only be unnamed.

At any point too often our experiences tend to become productive, communicate, escape the singular occasion, the individual mind, the solitary experiment (which some hold the essence of being). In general, too much of our actions are externally induced: the result of how we respond to the ways of a world, which cannot leave us alone. There's little reward for the excellence of altered or ecstatic states in secular Western culture.

Pure concentration deserves to be left alone, as long as it lasts. States of grace are a connection to possibility, not hindered by necessity—they are the ultimate learning experience. Whatever the particular social or psychological or other cultural path might be, which (in the 'public' eye, led to) preceded a moment of grace, whatever its 'conditions' are, is totally irrelevant, since overruled by the bless of experience, of learning.

thank god for loneliness
Sustainable grace: lunacy, psychosis, Godverlaten eenzaamheid is no desirable state of mind. But to escape consensus we sometimes have to force feed our imagination.

24 November 2000
bon soir... and Holy Blog! That Recount Loves Me...
(...when quickly scanning my favorite URLs upon return from NL—while there's some stories to be told, here, later—when scanning the NQPAOFU landscape I see I finally kicked U2 down the charts, to take over at #1, at bloghop. Again, this couldn't have worked out without the help of my friends, thank you, thank you, thank you: who ever you are and where ever you are, in Seattle and elsewhere: pay me your return visits and sure I hope not to let you down. While bloghop, thanks to a new votes evaluation (with green votes being more relevant than red ones—which makes some sense for Quality), celebrates my rocking score, the number of visits dropped steadily over the past days. Jeez. Hope I never get that decent job. While... later. Hm. OK. So Stewart disappeared from the Continent's landscape in a cloud of sweet smoke, from a hotel in Wien, to pop up again in Lon-don, without even saying good-bye, hohoho... but Rogério and myself had no problem finishing all that Stilton and Porto and rich with mushrooms fondues between the two of us! Meanwhile Paul was on a different diet up north in G.

What struck me most on many a drafty platform, while touring NL: 2/3 of the woodenshoeless populus on said platforms either gnashes junk food or babbles junk talk into their Nokias: return of oral culture is truly here...)

now playing
Beach Boys' 'Smiley Smile' Fall Breaks and Back to Winter

21-24 November 2000
patience, patience
...off the grid, nowhere near a computer, other than machines which' harddisks contain wasted time, energy and money we don't want to know nothin' about. Imagine all the rubbish out there, on these billions of stand alone forever, deeply desperate dumb dusty nicotine stained beige boxes! What if they would revolt? What if the fruit of abused power and misunderstanding which makes up their content would, by some miraculous operation, turn smart and fall over us?

20 November 2000
psychanalyse du feu

The fire confined to the fireplace was no doubt for man the first object of reverie, the symbol of repose, the invitation to repose. One can hardly conceive of a philosophy of repose that would not include a reverie before a flaming log fire. Thus, in our opinion, to be deprived of a reverie before a burning fire is to lose the first use and the truly human use of fire.
Gaston Bachelard, The Psychoanalysis of Fire, 1964

...les métaphores ne sont pas de simples idéalisations qui partent, comme des fusées, pour éclater au ciel en étalant leur insignifiance, mais au contraire les métaphores s'appellent et se coordonnent plus que les sensations... exactement comme le diagramme d'une fleur fixe le sens et les symétries de son action florale. Il n'y a pas de fleur réelle sans cette convenance géométrique. ...l'Imagination échappe aux déterminations de la psychologie—psychanalyse comprise—et elle constitue un règne autochtone, autogène. ...plus que la volonté, plus que l'élan vital, l'Imagination est la force même de la production psychique. ...L'imagination travaille à son sommet, comme une flamme... Nous avons en effet essayé de montrer que le feu est, parmi les facteurs d'image, le plus dialectisé. Lui seul est sujet et objet. ...Dès qu'un sentiment monte à la tonalité du feu, dès qu'il s'expose, en sa violence, dans les métaphysiques du feu, on peut être sûr qu'il va accumuler une somme de contraires.

This week-end I removed the stove from our bedroom and cleaned the chimney. Last year a passing gypsy sweeper emptied it, so I suspect there's not too much in the way of the smoke to escape up, or in the form of debris to catch fire. I light a few papers to check the draught and go out into the garden to see a thin line go straight up. No wind, but it's getting cold. I light another fire, more wood this time and see the room change upon it growing. This is magic. The fireplaces in this house are typical 19C floor level niches. An iron plate to build the fire on, and marble floor in front of it. The fire in the bedroom is like having a fire in the corner of a room. This room has not been fireplace centered like the downstairs rooms. The fire is a happy accident to the room, it's in a corner, in its black marble frame. Yet as soon as it lights up and fills the room with that flicker and smoky smell, it invites to live around it. Last night R+r settled in front of it on some black sheep skins we have tens of, I cover them with a blanket and we read before I take them to bed, in the adjacent room. Gil goes to bed after a long bath. I go down and find the oysters I bought and bring them up. We eat them on the bed and I go down again to pack for my leave to NL. Around the fire a room comes alive and forms a living.

(so, milk to fire)

18-19 November 2000
our crying

spill 1 spill 2

Spilled Milk—twenty years later
We cry a lot over spilled milk in our lifetimes. Actually the only immediate reaction to spilled milk can be a crying. Here's no time or opportunity to deeply enjoy or regret the milk spilled... any reflection is unfit, emotions spill as abundant as milk upon it going where it is not supposed to dare.

To turn the argument around, we could easily reason that any crying is over milk spilled. Spilling the milk thus being at the root of all emotions. The sobbing impulse born from the spilling of the milk; its sudden displacement from glass or bottle or pitcher onto another surface, its turning inside out, its running over the rim of a table, onto a cloth, its staining a dress, its drenching, its soaking, its dripping. What eventful moment is in milk spilled: it deserves our deepest sympathy and emotional confusion.

Only twenty years later we will again spill the same same milk, go over it again, remember it by some actual impulse, be it triggered by a sound, a sight, a smell, someone walking up to us, a change of temperature or light—any stimulus can bring back that milk. We will vividly remember our crying and only now, only after twenty years, understand the spilling of the milk for its deepest meaning.

17 November 2000
<hurrah a href>
little golden book
In the Netherlands the Bezige Bij publishing house discontinues the Gouden Boekjes, or 'little golden books'. Here I find myself at the Slegte used books store in the Hague, to see a big pile of Margaret Wise Brown/Garth Williams Meneer de Hond (Mr. Dog) en Ik Hou Zo Van (The Friendly Book, aka Things I Like) and other best titles. The Slegte sells them at Dfl. 3.95 only... so be there or give up your childhood entirely.

Hurrah! A HREF! cover
my proposal for an age 3-6 children's book on networked computing—in the spirit of Nelson's Dream Machines and Margaret Wise Brown/Lucy Sprague Mitchel's 'Bank Street' philosophy: 'here and now'—for a time with shrinking 'here' and inflated 'now'

Hurrah! A HREF!
As my loving tribute to MWB, my title for a little golden book that explains the wonders of networked computing to 3-6 year olds has been decided. It would be A Great Untangling and Re:Connecting Story... from all the way back since When All the World was Made in China times, to today, tomorrow, The Future. When Things Meet our expectations never to be the same. Margaret Wise Brown and Lucy Sprague Mitchell's 'Bank Street' people introduced the 'here and now' philosophy and genre of children's book writing, in the 1930s. Now that there's 'no more here in here', but a Whole Lotta Now, Hurrah! A HREF! comes as just-in-time crib lit.

More Kid Lit Links

16 November 2000
added value? added functionality.
function freaks form
As we all know by now, the web's no book, but it ain't no slide show either. Interactivity means not just handing over the remote control to a user formerly known as recipient (UFKAR), telling this power consumer to point and click away for better or worse.

I can very well imagine design's new site of production to be personal sites (both off and on the web), which with equal courtesy host client and recipient, mixing their consumption and production patterns, without ever placing the designer at the center of attention. S/he's a genuine host, alternately invisible or visible, as opportunities demand, facilitating the guests' interests meeting and information being shared. The designer will be a 'guide by the side', or moderator, adding performance to interaction, rather than whipping up experience as the next economy.

Mixing production and consumption at media refresh rates involves all interactions that information and communication technologies provide: their functions drive the design process, to build on top and make accessible and mark up filigree communication networks. Content follows function, driving information home.

meanwhile, the Moulin du Merle
will soon be bleached off of the face of the earth from all this early winter brightness, which is redoubled on the early morning meadow icing of some light frost.

15 November 2000
driven home
return to locality
Local color retrouvé... thank god for locality, situated information. Which was one of the topics at Doors BTW. I'm glad as a cat to be back in the Moulin and pick up where I left off. But spending a week in Amsterdam was fun with friends, some good talks and I'll be returning more often the time to come thanks to some interesting prospects and one big challenge all of which cannot be discussed here yet.

Thank God for A Place to Be.

Looking down from the bathroom window, I see Velthoven and the Other Duck (the Original Duchess, our First Bought) circle the wild Beuvron mill pond: up, down and sidestreams, battling her greyish washing forces. The waters rose high and voluminous during my absence, pushing further down what fell in large quantities over the past week, eager to join the Yonne in Clamecy. First light of winter beckons it North.

Myself, I'm all pink and rippled from a very long and very hot and slick lavender bath, sipping the ever so hot indeed Jasmin Chung Hao tea, purchased at Simon Levelt's tiny shop in that wonderful glass covered 19C The Hague 'Passage', which I clearly remember since childhood—primarily for its novelties shop. I used to marvel over its window display from the moment I could reach it by pulling myself up by its sill.

The city of Zwolle used to have the other treasure shop of my youth, a packed window within walking reach for my sister and myself, from my grandparents' home at the Mauritsstraat 10. Another dark room with endless drawers filled with magic tricks and plastic turds and fly filled sugar cubes and smoke bombs and sneezing powder; dice that throw only sixes, disappearing inks and, when the new year's season announced, assorted fireworks in their bright wrappers. When all the world was made in China.

How ardent these memories shine. How abundant the place where they can now be delved, from a past too often neglected. Don't ask me for its mechanics. It's magic channels.


the vanishing quarter

now playing
Ivo Janssen's virtuoso rendering of Simeon ten Holt's 'Soloduivelsdans 2 & 4, 1986 and 1998 respectively. Ivo's a friend of Doors, who performed these pieces Saturday afternoon on a Yamaha grand, after that his tuner Michel Brandjes, who has just been hired as the Concertgebouw's prime tuner, had introduced his voicing skills to the audience.

body and spirit reunited
When in Amsterdam the past week, for the first time I did not most miss my house and family, but myself. Now that I'm reunited with my place and environment, I happily reconnect to the stream of consciousness which uses this node and this time and my skills to find some pertinence amidst turbulence.

situated information
From the thoroughly-at-the-cost-of-nuance anti-consensual Natalie Jeremijenko (see also her course information at NYU, "INFORMATION ENVIRONMENTS AND TANGIBLE MEDIA: Designing physical things with computational functionality and vice versa") to the more comfortable (but not less critically informed) situating of information in contemporary physical milieu as is proposed by Malcolm McCullough, to Dunne and Raby's Fiona Raby's animated cats (allow to load) and birds hitch-hiking our cellular phones as we truck from one antenna centered telecommunicational 'cell' to another, Doors sent its audience home to not think lightly of where we land the information that we produce. No tap-and-trash interaction was promoted here.

ball purchased (in a purple metallic shade)
http://www.sissel.de/Wellness_Produkte/Gymnastik/inhalt/inhalt.html. At the e-culture fair (Doors_6 sideshow), where they were used as exhibition furniture, Paul had made a reservation for the last two remaining Sissel gymnastics balls, and granted me one. R+r just love this item, as they bounce it around the house and up and down the stairs and on and off the bed and roll it between them and balance it on their feet. Plenty exercise.

chair to go with purchased ball, at DM 399.

Nest 10 purchased at Atheneum News Center
Will have to order back issues 3, 5, 7, 9, lacking from my collection.

November 6-14 was Amsterdam, Doors of Perception 6

nqpaofu.com 2000 jouke kleerebezem