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NQPaOFU 58 header tag (collect them all)

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25 September 2002

les vendanges

viticulteur Bon père et fils

Bon, père et fils à Migé

We're bottling. Actually I have been thinking of a Cuvée Le Moulin du Merle. I need a vehicle for my art work, outside art (why do I think wine is outside art? Let's locate its special position and migrate it somewhere else: now that's good art practice!). Actually if anything would interest me in doing business at all—and Taxes knows it is not my forte—it would be world wide delicatessen. Or something real estate, coming to think of it. The two together remind me of a business model that I recently had which needs further attention. But then I'm not the one who's going to run that business. Anyway, with the upcoming show I might have something delicatessen on display next spring. Today we shop for wine making accessories, like corks, and then the liquid proper. In Migé, between rolling Coulange-la-Vineuse hills, we visit the Cave Bon, père et fils. Madame Bon serves us yesterday's order. To go with it I buy 50 grs. of truffes, found and preserved by a local amateur. I prefer to discuss silk-screened bottles with Monsieur Bon, so I'll be back soon. It is on my way to Maastricht anyway. Work within work, so to speak.

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23 September 2002

late breaking news

With all my late pessimism s on where the data unrevolution is unravelling one more s ad fact reache s us late su early mo: woodslot is on hiatus due to computer s hortage or s omething. Did I ever sing its praise here? I never s top wondering how 'Mark Woods in Perth, Canada, a small town in Lanark County near Ottawa' s cans the same media the rest of us plunder, getting up all the s ignal he gets. 'This hurts me more than it does you' s ez Mark and we know but s uffer nevertheles s.

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21 September 2002

moods within moods

Autumn within summer. Rain within darkness. Dark within morning. Night within day. Morning within summer. Voice within noise. Clearings within density within clearings. Concentration within rumble. Growth within decline. People within people. Kings within princes. Articulation within style. Background within foreground. Nested moods and objects. Objects within collections within objects. Generations within generations. Whatever within whatever, mood within mood. Fall within grace.

now playing

Wilco's latest, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, evokes moods-within-moods in the first place. It's another Jeff Tweedy cs. jewel, more interesting to me than Summer Teeth, more in the order of Being There. Moods within moods come in the form of disruptive introductions, intermezzos and ends to songs. Sudden changes in instrumentation, noise within signal and signal within noise moments. I've only listened to it a couple of times. Like with any good piece I have to replay it over and over again on different machines, listen to it over speakers and headphones, in different rooms, mono and stereo, at different moments in the day. Is this a night or morning or daytime album? An autumn or winter, or late summer album? A spring album if I'll take it over the winter? It keeps growing. Guitar within guitar. I will have to take it on the road too. Song within song along.

re: everyday, rêverie day

Why didn't I come across Richel de Werteau before? He must be part of my French heritage rêverie. A heritage to come, combining the unlikes of like Baléry, Birilio, and Gioran, Dachelard, and of course on and off course Muy Rebord before them!

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18-20 September 2002

remote control

From nearby Breda, where I return for the comfort of its Mastbosch hotel, I operate drechtlog control. These days I am setting out the marks in the field, for passers by to connect through. I still cherish the idea of URL spam: running into URLs on unique locations/objects that take you to web documents where people keep track of and expand such objects with their rants, on the other hand I know that publishing is not for the millions. With the publication of a printed guide and map to the area, I am offered a next possibility to further provide clues to where my contact points are to be searched in the landscape.

make the field work, no tag drechtlog landscape

field work

But. I don't like how (or even the simple fact that) in this project I leave my trace in the field, as a tag, or sticker. In an ideal implementation such a trace would be ephemeral, incidental—left by passers by and users of the site, who are then offered a link to publish, to share their information and stories. In that same ideal world everyone would publish, or parish as they say. But who has been taught to publish, ever? Major part of Early Information Age education would have to be publishing education. Who has ever been taught to express oneself in writing, image making, speaking. 98% of the world's population has no rhetoric skill. The innate need to express oneself, to 'publish' as I would summarize the need for communication, discourse, dialogue—that fundamental need is catered to by disrespectful media industries and politics. The spectacle prevails Big Time. The 'information revolution' is simply not happening.

no informational-cultural revolution

So. At the everyday level of text production, economical-political consensus platforms and media offer only industrial-capital standard possibilities. 'If you publish, this is your format.' Where-do-you-want-to-go-today-think-different. Go with the slogan. Mantras range from software and connectivity specifications to media preferences to sales blurb. A 'khadi style' popular information production industry will never come into being. The 'information habit' lies primarily in the ability to handle information in a consumerist way, dealing with handed down data (euphemistically called 'content') gathered and distributed by traditional corporate cultural-economical standards, read: for profit maximization only. What's it again about the clichés being true?

To the ordinary man. To a common hero, a ubiquitous character, walking in countless thousands on the streets. In invoking here at the outset of my narratives the absent figure who provides both their beginning and their necessity, I inquire into the desire whose impossible object he represents. What are we asking this oracle whose voice is almost indistinguishable from the rumble of history to license us, to authorize us to say, when we dedicate to him the writing that one formerly offered in praise of the gods or the inspiring muses?


The floodlights have moved away from the actors who possess proper names and social blazons, turning first towards the chorus of secondary characters, then settling on the mass of the audience.


We witness the advent of the number. It comes along with democracy, the large city, administrations, cybernetics. It is a flexible and continuous mass, woven tight like a fabric with neither rips nor darned patches, a multitude of quantified heroes who lose name and faces as they become the ciphered river of the streets, a mobile language of computations and rationalities that belong to no one.


Cet essai est dédié à l'homme ordinaire. Héros commun. Personnage disséminé. Marcheur innombrable. En invoquant, au seuil de mes récits, l'absent qui leur donne commencement et nécessité, je m'interroge sur le désir dont il figure l'impossible objet. A cet oracle confondu avec la rumeur de l'histoire, que demandons-nous de faire croire ou de nous autoriser à dire lorsque nous lui dédions l'écriture que jadis on offrait en hommage aux divinités ou aux muses inspiratrices ?

Ce héros anonyme vient de très loin. C'est le murmure des sociétés. De tout temps, il prévient les textes. Il ne les attend même pas. Il s'en moque. Mais dans les représentations scripturaires, il progresse. Peu à peu il occupe le centre de nos scènes scientifiques. (...) Le nombre advient, celui de la démocratie, de la grande ville, des administrations, de la cybernétique. C'est une foule souple et continue, tissée serré comme une étoffe sans déchirure ni reprise, une multitude de héros quantifiés qui perdent noms et visages en devenant le langage mobile de calculs et de rationalités n'appartenant à personne. Fleuves chiffrés de la rue."

(Michel de Certeau, introduction to The Practice of Everyday Life, 1984. Arts de faire, 1984)

Thus, when I take up drechtlog authorship I find myself tagging an environment where at the end of the day I am a stranger, and have no business whatsoever to conduct. My hesitation with artist intervention in processes or contexts s/he doesn't co-create, or maintains on a longer term (and at a convincing scale), or that has not been conceived specifically to host the artist's intervention, is again confirmed. Art totally needs a kind of 'splendid isolation', institutionally, socially, esthetically, in order to properly exist, as such, as art. Art cannot escape the place it is licensed to speak from, ever. Ain't that a shame? It's the secret of art's visibility and answerability: contrast rendering presence. That's where my floodlights would probably point differently than de Certeau's. Yes, and we're 20 years after. I'm not interested in a mass of faceless heroes. I have no business with it. It doesn't need me. So I don't see look for it.

filed work

Michel de Certeau. The Practice of Everyday Life. The Writing of History. The latter is translated by Tom Conley, whose 'Civil War and French Better Homes & Gardens', is in The South Atlantic Quarterly of Fall 1999, Volume 98/#4, After the Garden, which Joke sent me. Part of the French heritage.

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16 September 2002

underhyping the Internet #8

My last 'underhyping the Internet', #7, was 17 April 1999. I hadn't given up on it since, but you know, well, attention passes. The Internet became more of a commodity. Until today, when I receive mail from Mr. Pierre Davous. Who writes:

Je vous félicite chaleureusement pour la qualité de votre site et suis très touché par vos efforts pour donner vie à cette demeure dont j'ai si souvent entendu parler par mon père.

Le Moulin du Merle a en effet été habité par mes ancêtres en ligne directe depuis le milieu du XVIII ème siècle jusqu'à la fin du XIX ème siècle.

Vous serez peut-être intéressé par la liste de ces ancêtres.

I am touched by the unexpected contact. Mr. Davous does not let me know how he tracked his ancestral place down on the web, but this is as much as I would ideally expect from my publication at lemoulindumerle.com. He sends me a complete genealogy of his family, some anecdotes, and exactly when they lived at the Moulin and what they did. I figure that in his family someone must have commissioned the construction of the current Villa du Moulin, around 1850. This is just so great. I will write him soon in my best French, but given his attention also for NQP he might even read it here first. So Merci de tout mon coeur, Monsieur Pierre Davous.

PS. re: I am reminded of a guy who listed friends from highschool days in a document on his site. Instead of searching for them, he reasoned they would at some odd moment search for their own names and hit that document with his address on top. This worked for NQP one time too, when I had mentioned R.M. Then where would Helène-Anne ('Helenan') Germ, Daphne Schetters, or Peony Dickhoff be these days? Or Helena Hallenberg? And what would their names be today? Hm.

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15 September 2002


r+r small drawings

1/1 drawing by R+r on the flip side of Coca Cola contest labels
(the red dot says 'PERDU'), dropped out of holiday luggage

Escape into the Imaginary, for the dark season is nearing. Escape into the fantastic.

wish I listed

Paul phoned in upon my mail informing after his Islamabad sortie next Tuesday. We talk long. I had promised to call him back 8 weeks ago. He's right. So we talk long. At the end he reminds me of lists to make/finish, like his notebook series. He talks about his good use of Amazon listmania. I am reminded of an early request to them, to offer such service... Need not repeat if can link to 13 November 1999. So I should offer non-exhaustive narrow interest short lists too. I agree and share his interest in such containers. Basically mine date back to Shadowplay and before. But his suggestion to make lists as narrow as one can think of is a good one. Short, detailed lists.

Would the Imaginary list narrow enough? Nay. Would I call them lists, notes... they would be lists and notes, contained in a repository of some sort. I hope(d) to set up a topical list to NQP in its recycling bin ('topical keywords and their quotations'). It's waiting. I would make a waiting list. Without the 'to do' strings. Hm. Strings as lists. Piles, lines, chests filled with desires. Knotted string, beaded lists.

beaded fringes

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13 September 2002

"qu'est-ce que vous faites?"

M.R. is right. The artist should be asked 'what do you do?', or 'what is it that you do?' Exactly? Contrary to the how and why, the question curious for what is open: what do you do? Like Man, most artists would be forthcoming and smiling to answer this question, if it is posed with unambiguous attention.

An answer for 'what you do' is often insightful. The artist's goings about follow an educated intuition, cut corners, but also work long and hard along their own, self-made logic, piece after piece, word after word, what after whatever. There's no progress in making things up. Just different ways of doing it. Inside the internal logic of a 'way of doing things' you will find the micro how's and why's of personal development, success and frustration, thrills and skills. That's when you can ask again: 'what do you do with that success or frustration', 'what are your skills and thrills exactly?' For an artist, the 'what' is the key. The 'how' and the 'why' are for the others. C'est toujours les autres qui meurent. Like I said before, all work is inspired—working the whatever you are doing, you are rather fighting inspiration than craving it. The question for 'how' and certainly 'why' is always informed by its moral echo 'what is it for?', or worse: 'what is it good for?'

If not given smarter attention, Early Information Age's artistic production might be spoiled by the 'what is it good for' question, as much as that question spoils any other human opportunity to do things, 'gratuit', just like that, for free and uneconomically, but for its internal logic. Il y a peu de progrès dans l'homme, mais sa signature reste toujours la même. There is hardly no progress in man, and his signature will remain the same. The best thing s/he can do, is making things for the heck of it, or 'gratuit'. So don't ask: 'what good is information for', because what do you know? What information are you talking about exactly? Ask the what question. What do you know? What do you do? Where is it you said you were going? Would you take us along?


PS. Q. The Internet does evoke brave thoughts about egalitarian knowledge distribution, equal information opportunities, etc. Is this because A. this revolutionary opportunity brings back appropriate noblesse of progressive thinking and therefor oblige emancipatory social action? Or B. is it because we are at risk of the strictest corporate-governmental control in history? In other words, are we attacking or defending? Whose Internet anyway? Remember Herbert Schiller.

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12 September 2002


Hans left and his nephew Willem right

Hans (left), with his nephew Willem, last quinze août, at the Cuncy ball

Another one hits maturity with a bang. My old buddy Hans-who-has-no-site-to-link-to-here (henr@xs4all.nl), but his secondary home at 9 kilometers from the Moulin (or wait, no one I know goes unnoticed with this medium, here's the book) turns fifty (not: '50'; mounting numbers aren't benign) today. What's with this age? We repeated the walks, saved the talks. We trucked out of 20C from its 60s (1968) onwards. Ha. Hans, there's like 12 (1964) and 16 (1968) for film censorship thresholds, 18 (1970) for adulthood and driver licenses in NL, 21 (1973) for voting, or is that 18 too, hm, there's the Decades, 30 (1982), 40 (1992), there's the 'young artist' limit of 35 (argh... 1987) for most of the awards and state supported funds, there'll be more awesome dates coming, for all of us. Maturity has a price. If not that same price only buys you some comfort, if you're that lucky... Cioran wrote: de l'inconvénient d'être né ('on the disadvantage of being born', published as The trouble with being born), Kierkegaard held (the despair of life) a 'sickness unto death'. Let me add, for balance: 'if you're not maturing, you're not paying attention' ...or is that: 'if you're not confused, you're not maturing...?

P.B. — On a toujours envie de vous dire: "Qu'est-ce que c'est? Qu'est-ce que vous faites?"

M.R. — C'est la question qu'il faut me poser. La question qu'on me pose toujours d'habitude, c'est: "Comment est-ce que vous faites ça?" Et ça c'est une des questions qui me provoquent le moins.

P.B. — Qu'est-ce que vous faites?

M.R. — Qu'est-ce que vous faites? Oui, alors je suis très accommodant et souriant et je vous donne toutes mes idées et mes désirs secrets à un point que vous êtes rassasié! Qu'est-ce que vous faites? On dit toujours que la différence entre l'espèce humaine et les autres espèces, c'est notre capacité de rire, mais j'ai vu des ânes et des singes qui riaient, qui se tordaient en regardant la race humaine.
Ce qui distingue notre espèce des autres est très minime: c'est notre capacité à créer des objets gratuits. Ça, ça n'existe pas dans les autres espèces. Même les choses les plus extraordinaires que peuvent faire les autres espèces, transformer leur peau de dessins décoratifs, par exemple, ont toujours un but utile: le mimétisme, ça a toujours un but de préservation. Tandis que, créer des choses gratuites, ça n'a rien à faire avec la préservation et la prolongation de l'espèce.
L'art n'est pas une science, ce n'est pas une expérimentation. Il n'y a pas de progrès dans l'art, pas plus qu'il n'y en a dans la façon de faire l'amour. Il y a plusieurs façons de le faire, c'est tout. Il y a peu de progrès dans l'homme, mais sa signature reste toujours la même.

(Pierre Bourgeade, Bonsoir, Man Ray, 1972)

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11 September 2002

discretion and obscenity ('something seems to be covering the ad')

(accidentally today is the just date
to take time to reflect
what exactly obscenity and discretion
mean in our ever diversifying
and infinitely-permissive-to-market,
but limited-to-zero-tolerant global society)

At its most brutal, home is no more than one's name...
(John Berger, 'And our faces, my heart, brief as photos', 1984)

Today I start a new text for the Belgian art paper De Witte Raaf, on obscenity and discretion, or how to distinguish the ambitions for private and public gains within cultural production, along lines of intimacy, extravagance, exorcism, sensationalism, politics, whatever attention strategy—or the current lack of interest/importance of such traditional 'shock of the new' (shock of the 'come again?') categories. Art at the end of Attention?

At the same time I start working on a 16 pages quire (new to me word) Design Recast proceeding, for its #0 issue, to be published by the Jan van Eyck Academie this fall/winter. Proceeding is the title of a new publication series. Design Recast will be its #2/3 issue, for spring/summer 2003. Proceeding 0, which is a title I love, contains 3 more quires: 19th century cityscape photography; the Dak'Art 2002 biennial and contemporary art and design in Africa; editorial and various information.

Design Recast I hope to further into a follow-up to, rather than a report of, the symposium that I organized last April. For its editorial concept I propose to build around the idea of 'editorial design', which comprises as much notions of 'visual editing', as well as that it emphasizes design to be not only 'interface' (visual) design but equally the architectural and organizational (invisible) structuring of communication, guiding information exchange between a variety of interested producers/consumers, who are increasingly dis/organized, moving roughly from representational interest protection, to direct lobbying and trade.

Expanding design, to include and integrate the architectural and organizational structuring of communication, positions the designer into a field where s/he not only meets the traditional industry commissioner, but for accessibility and democratic information exchange opportunity increasingly faces small factions, of at first sight unorganized, unconnected, interests.

Design, like art, under the siege of information, faces unprecedented editorial challenges. Post-author authoring, if you can imagine such anomaly, lays out tracks along which information, real content, is forwarded and replied. Irreducable abundance (to be continued)

Banking. Anselmo's infinito.

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10 September 2002

aphoric forensic

Largely overlooked, whenever the weblog as a personal publishing genre is reviewed, is its live character, its near-real-time daily operations and reception. Authoring routines constitute a genuine in statu nascendi medium. Its recipients are allowed to follow its uploads, one can see the arguments develop, or be taken off. If anything I would love for weblogs to aim for, it would be genuine real-time publishing, in a documented life type of account... for anyone to tap into at whim.

Whenever 'real-time publishing' is speculated about it is first referred to as a journalistic challenge: eyewitness account-like on site immediate webcasting, in a media event format. Real-time serving where real-time seems to matter most: in news gathering journalism. My own interest in real-time publishing is rather informed by a no-news-today interest in lives being lived, professions being performed, reputations being established, media being forged—in an uneventful way, not aiming at prime time exposure, operating in search for a deeper level of understanding of whatever is going on, why it is (recognized as being relevant) and how we value contemporary events, whether as participant or consumer only. Off-media uneventfulness is what attracts me in real-time personal publishing.

Certainly, if the web, agreeably, is about 'integrating browsing, writing and linking' in one constitutive production, it should be designed and developed around an authorability permitting exactly that—which clearly it isn't. Personal publishing might well be technically do-able and affordable, still it is a long way from being the original information habit I imagined it to become in early times, like August 1994, 8 web years away. (to be continued)

Moreover, how to imagine such production to offer enough information volume and momentum (aka 'content') to be interesting enough to legitimize an extended, real-time format, increasing traffic. Maximum volume and traffic are key to Internet publishing, at whatever level, actually following material production laws (check/search). Who needs all that volume for individual consumption?

OTOH radio is fully music dependent to maintain a 24/7 interest. Besides a great art and exquisite signal, music is the perfect noise to live by. This makes music all volume. The very opportunity of radio is in fact your noise being my signal and the other way around. (to be continued)

(...) this all works only if each person makes links as he or she browses, so writing, link creation and browsing must be totally integrated
(Tim Berners-Lee, writing about 'his' world wide web, in 1990, at CERN, Geneva)

blog rot

How to integrate browsing, writing and linking? As a model of production, as a way of writing, or designing/crafting a narrative in text and sometimes images, we see plenty examples in the weblog genre. If we should, with TB-L, emphasize the creation of links as the prime mover of web narrative, we do lack the precision of tools to do so in any sophisticated way. (to be continued)

Blogging, quite simply, is the Web's native format for writing.
(Worldwide weblogs by Phil Waynewright)

Middle French aphorisme, from Late Latin aphorismus, from Greek aphorismos
definition, aphorism, from aphorizein to define, from apo- + horizein to bound

Latin forensis public, forensic, from forum forum

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9 September 2002

book marks

Late-last-week and week-end earned plenty bookmarks starting Friday with artistsbooks.com at janvaneyck.nl and the naiv.de/kiosk at marres.org, both in Maastricht, and an assortment of Amsterdam Galleries, where the-world-as-we-know-it continues, and smartprojectspace.net on the Saturday evening. En vernissage route I had dinner with Marjolein at vegetarian restaurant De Vliegende Schotel, introduced to me by Paul a couple of years ago. True international informality is still key to its atmosphere. Go there. In the Nieuwe Leliestraat.

01day some01 should try to compare the experiences of actually attending (early NQP was advertized as "best bits from correspondencies, attendancies and collected hard copy", but attendance has become rare here) presentations and (re:)visiting them online as both two separate events, or as two complementary mutually enhancing events. Not me not here no more. You settle with those links and note that books will get you better through times with no sites than sites will get you through times with no books. Or the other way around if you're that generation. Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers getting 'better through times with no money on dope than money would get them through times of no dope'. Above first two presentations tremendously wetted my appetite for the artist created printed tome, like Jan Dibbets' 1969 roodborst (Robin) territory manipulations, or Hans Waanders' infinitely inspired, but halted by death last year at age 50 at 205 titles, book series on the ijsvogel (Kingfisher).

Nothing much of these and like works can be found online, sometimes there's a picture of a cover and some pages. But the actual high density page flipping back and forth fast or slow, resting the object in one's hand enjoying even its olfactory sensation—experiences where clicks don't dare—cannot ever be reproduced in any other medium. Having said that, I hope to at some point develop an NQP/lemoulindumerle/idie map as a paper work, of course, probably even embedded in some kind of visitor's guide to this site, all in print. Containing not as much a reproduction of the site's content, but addenda to it, an introduction, a commentary, guideline, background information.

another book

My Guido Morselli Immagini di una vita update waited for me at Libreria Bonardi. It is in Italian, as you would have guessed by its title. The immagini are a good read, complicated as images come, crossing time periods, cultures, milieus, texts, just as much when topics are houses, nature, working tables, the Lancia Ardea, other sports, friends—the text downright a puzzle, 'hiding in its original Italian', like his own writing:

Dagli dèi, dobbiamo imparare per lo meno una virtù: la discrezione. Essi si comportano in ogni caso come se non esistessero.
(Diario, 9 September 1963, 39 years ago today indeed)

I wouldn't exactly know how to translate this, especially not the second sentence, but he demands at least one virtue from the gods: discretion. Just today I replied an email invitation to write another piece for the Witte Raaf, for its #100 on 'publicness' and 'obscenity', saying that obscenity with me immediately raises an awareness of that great good discretion.

...roept het thema van het obscene meteen de herinnering aan een groot goed, namelijk de discretie, op. Voor mij heeft discretie vooral met (...) een redelijke mate van terughoudendheid te maken, waarbij in het kunstwerk of vormgevingsproduct een duidelijke scheiding wordt bewaard tussen het private en het openbare: een scheiding, discreet, die beide gebieden supplementair houdt en niet fuseert of gelijkstelt, juist om ze allebei zichtbaar te maken en elkaars voorwaarden te laten vormen.

another bottle

Mis en Bouteille
A French phrase meaning "bottled." Mis en Bouteille au Domaine (or Mis au Domaine) means "bottled at the estate" (estate bottled); Mis en Bouteille au Château (or Mis du Château) means "bottled at the château" (château-bottled). Mis en Bouteille à la Propriété ("bottled at the property") and Mis par le Propriétaire ("bottled by the proprietor") have the same meaning as estate bottled. Mis en Bouteille dans nos Caves and Mis en Bouteille dans nos Chais mean "bottled in our cellars," and usually suggest that the grapes were grown elsewhere and that the wine is not the quality of one that is estate bottled.

(mystery quote)

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3 September 2002

the menu is not the territory

As we have found again and again, users hated non-standard user interfaces that forced them to learn a special way of doing things for the sake of a single website. Site maps should be simple, compact layouts of links, and they should show everything in a single view.
(mystery quote)

Site maps have always been mysterious objects to me. They never seem to work. I love maps exactly for the macro view that they offer, inviting to zoom in on details, forcing one to study a succession of them, to finally reach the micro scale one desires, which shows every tree or large stone and difference in height, small track and stream and what have you. Here I find myself involuntarilly describing a landscape's map. Maps of our built environment in general do not offer that zooming facility. Most city maps are boring: boring scale, boring detail, boring piece of print with boring colors. A boring piece of information to such rich territory. Also, too little choice of maps at the kiosk, but that might change with the general ongoing multiplication of information. I loved the first 'Streetwise' small maps of Manhattan for a while, just for their different look and feel and usability. Street or neighbourhood maps in larger cities sometimes do provide a different experience. In Paris I cannot wait to find such a local map at street level when I emerge from a metro station in an unknown arrondissement. You can almost count the steps you just mounted on the large plaque in front of you. Two boulevards and a couple of streets: such maps double your experience. Their initial disorientation is a dear moment. Even better so if there's no 'vous êtes ici' to pinpoint you immediately. No, I'm not here. Leave me my reading experience, being on a street corner in front of a map at roughly 1:1000 scale, figuring out whether to go left or right or right across. Or first have a coffee at that corner café's terrace behind me.

Maps invite to be deciphered. How exactly they (dis)relate to the actual territory is part of their preciousness. If you read a text and illustrations, you read the book or the poster or the website. If you read a map you do not read the territory. Only the map is authored, not the territory, at least not by the same artist. A map's partly incompetence is a true value. Site maps then are often but a list of internal links to a site's main attractions. They are just another menu. I love the menu at the corner café, but it is no map to its kitchen or to the plate that I am ordering. A list of links which promises access to micro view does not exactly give you map-wise macro view navigation. On a website only, a list can be called a map thanks to its clickability. It denies the route one has to go from one piece of information or one experience, to the other. It has no departure or arrival. It does not even have a follow up of courses, like the café's... It 's like coming out of a metro and being teleported to the Museum, the Shop, the Hotel, the Pond in the Park. It's like not having to take a metro at all. There's no distance to be crossed by a well dressed waiter, between the kitchen and your table. If you want salt, whatever salt, just click on it. There's no short drives through dark tunnels between pools of light. You cannot zoom in into a site's menu, even if it breaks down as an outline. Your navigation of a list depends on the architectural hierarchy of that list, while a map is no architecture: just scale and symbols for objects and properties. Like architecture but no architecture, like landscape but no landscape, like territory but no territory. That's why we like maps better than lists.

A menu map is like a menu but no menu. No experience, just clicks. No departures or arrivals, just destinations. No paths, just click paths: more lists. Actually new media's finest moments are when something's l o a d i n g. The loading wait is a true experience, equal to figuring out a map, anticipating the territory. Who collects loading visualizations can build me a museum site that would have me as a regular visitor. Just loading nothing but loading. Loading with a start and an end but nothing loaded. If you have original loading locations, drop me your directions to them.

sum of parts?

A propos loading. I love to browse/scan larger quantities of text/information. Somehow such bodies are freed from their usual line after line page after page screen after screen limiting linearity. Once overflowing its traditional formats, text becomes the lot of words it is in the first place, and in the last instance. Large texts I scan like I scan maps, looking for highlights, words that I do not know, sentences with no punctuation, landmarks where to take a rest and another look around. Large texts or bodies of images are map and territory in one, where reading is an experience, not for something-to-be-read, but like loading for the loading and still creating memories of distinct objects which you do apparently store, even without noticing them as a first hand experience.


Mr. van Citters has showed us distillation. Bringing a pressure cooker and 8 feet of plastic hose, recovered from the Tannay landfill, he borrowed half a litre of our virgin prune stock (150 kilograms of fermenting prunes in three large containers, since a week), put it on the temporary kitchen's stove, led the hose through the sink pouring cold water over it and produced two sips of an estimated 30+° goûte de prune in 10 minutes. Holy Smoke. Start printing the labels! But first I pack my guitars and truck on up to JvE tomorrow.

PS: blog soup

...a-log b-log c-log k-log v-log... log on people... sure all the web's a log... heck, life logs. The audio blog is all the rave, like we're entering the age of weblog 'talkies', as i saw it described somewhere, lost the link... I have a better idea than reading one's own weblog: have yours read to you. In the vain of blogtree and such, kinda blog blotting... who will start readmemyblog.com (still available), casting moving cross-blog readings of that one source of contemporary culture: the weblog. To start such a collection, whoever sends me a .wav soundbite reading of her or his favorite NQP passages gets it published here. I've considered the AVlability of blog many times, always to come to the conclusion that while of course there's people with enchanting and sexy voices and I'm totally impressed to hear any voice from the past from any body I would have been thrilled to have met or witnessed 'live', like when I heard Paul Valéry's voice on some scratchy record I was deeply moved, and though I remember Bruce telling me that whatever ages in a person, you'd always recognize her voice even after 30 years, and though I would certainly appreciate for example Vito Acconci to read passages of NQP—even when I am all the time taking audio notes on my long commutes, no, you will never have me reading you NQP aloud. Not here. But be my guest and record me some (while making your choice of passage, please also figure out how to link out from an audio blog, or could you hear me: "if you want to link to Audioblogging News, push one; if you want to link to Blogtree, push two; if you want to link to Birchlane, push three", for the above? Ha ha. Now you're making sense).

line separation

31 August 2002

fits and starts: doubt

Is it admirable to overcome one's doubts? Generally, yes, I would say. In everyday life and in cultural production, including engaging in productive and communicative interaction or discussion on the widest range of everyday and intellectual topics, one should not hesitate but speak from the heart, and listen from the soul to what is uttered by the other(s) in the interaction.

Whether we call it 'doubt' or name it any other uncertainty, to achieve overcoming it is a virtue which indeed renders 'voice'. Overcoming hesitation adds to a person's story and truthfulness, the more so if that uncertainty shows, if hesitation feeds the utterance, tempering it, weighing its arguments, balancing it with its possible antagonisms, detouring it. More often than such reasonable and sensitive doubt being overcome by using it as a balance, we witness the compensation of doubt, in that hollow hallmark of uncertainty: loud behaviour. Loud convictions, loud arguments and loud judgement always seek to mask deep uncertainty, its utterer being indeed the first one in need to be convinced of his or her insights. Loudness is a spasm of uncertainty.

Loudness seldom reveals a listening soul behind it. 'Listening' is the first faculty to flee the uncertain mind which chooses to compensate instead of to exercise its hesitations. The latter use of hesitation drives a person to truly listen: to other people, taking in natural and cultural information, to pay attention to the mechanisms and patterns of perception and interaction. In the best sense, in its best use, hesitation is a learning tool, permitting to not copy paste or follow first impulses, but to consider, as in Lat. cum sideratio to judge the constellation of the stars, to see a pattern, see the interaction, exercise that hesitation, look again then speak quietly.

Hesitation pure knows no shape. It therefor seeks formal expression in modes of inquiry and utterance, and their relationship. Where utterance and inquiry go together communication emerges as a speaking reciprocal to listening.

Doubt, hesitation, uncertainty—they are no one thing of course. There are endless ways to give one's uncertainty a form in performance and interaction. To mistrust, even disregard, one's doubt or hesitation in order to be productive and successful knows many forms as well and can be a valuable strategy. To be able to cherish one's uncertainty without being rendered speechless can prove a maturity of judgement. Loudness, on the other hand, has many sources as well, uncertainty being only one of them. Loudness can overcome all kinds of other fears, but is easily recognizable as a weakness, not to impress anyone or anything.

'Ready opinion' judgement has a long standing tradition and sometimes appreciation which can be found in specific cultural environments or professional fields. In some periods exponents of ready opinion judgement prove capable of mobilizing the hordes, scaring the shit out of them with disinforming and deforming propaganda. Ready opinion becomes lethal, killing understanding based judgement. The military is one place where loudness can claim specific... validity. Orders are taken LOUD.

Above musings were partly inspired evoked by Robert Higgs' Bush/book rant, via wood zilla lot, 'Better a jungle in the head...'.

line separation

nqpaofu.com 2002 jouke kleerebezem Notes Quotes Provocations and Other Fair Use *1998