[NetBehaviour] rehearsal material for Intimacy on obscenity, avatar, nothing

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Dec 4 06:54:53 CET 2007




(Sandy Baldwin, You; Alan Sondheim, Alan Dojoji)


[18:44]  You: My avatars! My little people! They run around everywhere, 
underfoot. I will play a  song, a little aire, a jig or rondelay!
[18:45]  Alan Dojoji: There's nothing about us that isn't caressed by language, 
that isn't languaging. There's nothing about us that isn't read or inscribed; 
the real itself is an inscription, as far as we're concerned.
[18:45]  Alan Dojoji: You might consider tattoos for example, or any gesture 
one might make...
[18:46]  sandy Taifun: sidecar
[18:46]  Sidecar Potluck: friends
[18:47]  Sidecar Potluck: nice boots
conscious and formal systems.
[18:49]  You: transformed new early version of the avatar 'outt' behavior
[18:49]  You: the avatar is blue in a  construct-space of outt-structure.
[18:49]  You: each  avatar-video or each avatar-performance is different in 
content from each  other but not in degree.
[18:49]  You: sukara, dakshinanila, nandiskandhardhara, dhurya, prakata, 
pritvardhana, aparajita, sarvasattva, govinda, adhrita
[18:51]  Alan Dojoji: lecture given by a worm...
[18:51]  You: All water is a kind of milk
[18:51]  Alan Dojoji: or some such, a section of tissue
[18:51]  Sidecar Potluck: i hope the worm is contagious, lecturer
[18:51]  Alan Dojoji: We're further driven by desires; even the development or 
discovery of a formal system is dependent upon our wanting to develop or 
discover such.
[18:54]  Alan Dojoji: For me the emphasis is mess - nothing is as clean as it 
seems - we're coded in the virtual
[19:08]  Sidecar Potluck: sure. I'm enjoying the view
[19:13]  Alan Dojoji: The body is made to appear as if internal tissues are 
unfolding between the legs -
[19:13]  Alan Dojoji: This is done by color saturation,
[19:13]  Alan Dojoji: One of the things I try to point out is that these 
bodies, all of them,
[19:13]  Alan Dojoji: are composed of sheaves - sheave-bodies -
[19:13]  Alan Dojoji: In this sense they relate to tantra, mandalas, tankas, 
images which are to be imagined
[19:13]  Alan Dojoji: internally
[19:14]  Alan Dojoji: and as such lead one to enlightenment -
[19:14]  Alan Dojoji: but the image itself - there's nothing 'beyond' it -
[19:14]  Alan Dojoji: It actually breaks with the ikonic/symbolic/indexical 
symbolic categories of Peirce for example
[19:14]  Alan Dojoji: It creates a psychoanalytic semiotics which is 
irreducible.
[19:21]  Alan Dojoji: Language, behavior, the 'primnordial,' etc,, are all 
mixed in together
[19:21]  Alan Dojoji: as are the so-called virtual and the real...
[19:22]  Alan Dojoji: This debris also relates to other issues - geopolitical, 
ecological ones -
[19:23]  Alan Dojoji: the human as a kind of aggressive gaping maw, absorbing 
the world for whatever genetic reasons drive it
[19:23]  Alan Dojoji: - and with technology, drive it to annihilation, along 
with everything around it.
[19:24]  You: Yes.
[19:24]  You: Hello and thank you for attending AVATAR PASTE AND CODE SOUP IN 
FIRST AND SECOND LIFE. Sandy Baldwin, who is in Morgantown West Virginia, will 
be speaking through me. The workshop will also be led by Alan Sondheim, who i n 
is in Brooklyn, New York.
[19:32]  You: None of this is true, none of this as matter of true. He and I 
never touch. Nothing happens here in and on a screen that plays out sprites and 
their gestures.
[19:33]  You: Through this interdisciplinary mixing of tools and collaborators, 
Alan radically imagined the uses of virtual technology at WVU. Of course, 
there's a long tradition of creative misuse of technology.
[19:34]  You: The aesthetics of the glitch music, for example, explores the 
misuse of the CD. There's an initial similarity in Alan's work here: working 
against the seeming purpose of the tools, refusing the normative bodies mapped 
into these virtual spaces, wild dancing and utterance in spaces where we are 
supposed to be still and silent before the machine, an _ethical_ insisting on 
the pressure and weight and yet ineluctable absence of the body in virtuality.
[19:34]  You: But it would not be wrong to insist that a distinction be made: 
misuse or glitch is not the goal but means for consciousness and intention to 
problematize their inhabitation of the technology. This is seance and tantra.
[19:34]  You: The results are inspiring, awesome. They are also utterly alien, 
but alien in the sense of the alien that I am and that inhabits me and that is 
there when I shed the skins of habit.
[19:34]  You: The results can be understood as works, works of art. They are 
works, as well, of the real and the virtual, worked over virtualities, so that 
the work of art is trembling with the work of the artist.
[19:35]  You: The results are endless and undetermined. They form in chains and 
links from dancing bodies to clouds of code to avatars to writings and on and 
on.
[19:36]  You: Alan, the floor is yours.
[19:37]  Alan Dojoji: I want to begin by typing and comment on tantra -
[19:37]  Alan Dojoji: This is Buddhist, not Hindu/Shivite tantra, which I have 
little interest in
[19:37]  Alan Dojoji: But i'm interested in first of all notions of emptiness
[19:37]  Alan Dojoji: Which are unable to be defined and which constitute the 
core of Mahayana philosophy
[19:38]  Alan Dojoji: And within this interest, there are what I could call 
illuminations
[19:38]  Alan Dojoji: that is referencing deity which does not exist, 
inhabiting, taking the deity upon oneself as non-existence
[19:38]  Alan Dojoji: until the deity canbe discarded
[19:38]  Alan Dojoji: There's an odd parallel in Second Life, since these 
avatar figures are basically sheaves, prims
[19:38]  Alan Dojoji: When you get close, when you close in on your own avatar, 
you see (physical)
[19:39]  Alan Dojoji: emptiness within,
[19:39]  Alan Dojoji: nothing but a collection of parts which relate to each 
other, seem somehow joined, but really are just contingent
[19:39]  Alan Dojoji: So tantra relates to this and to the tremendous power of 
projection possible in these spaces
[19:39]  Alan Dojoji: On the other hand the projections are safe, distanced, 
cleansed, always pure, purified; there's no dirt in Second Life,
[19:40]  Alan Dojoji: perhaps noise of one sort or another, but no dirty - 
hacking's not dirty for example, it rides and invades the same protocols we're 
using, just in a (fundamentally) different way
[19:40]  Alan Dojoji: Ok, anway to continue -
[19:40]  Alan Dojoji: I'm interested in the relationship between conscious and 
formal systems.
[19:41]  Alan Dojoji: Consciousnessness is outside formal systems; formal 
systems are the protocols perhaps ridden by consciousness
[19:41]  Alan Dojoji: Our relationship to formal systems is related to how we 
make sense of the world.
[19:41]  Alan Dojoji: By 'formal system' I don't mean axioms -
[19:41]  Alan Dojoji: just a coherent collection of 'vectors' repressenting 
objects and transformations
[19:42]  Alan Dojoji: To make sense of the world we have to consider our 
bodies, our selves. It's clear for example that a 'healthy body' sees the world 
differently than a sick one.
[19:42]  Alan Dojoji: And that a depressed mind senses a different world than, 
say, an optimist would.
[19:42]  Alan Dojoji: Not to mention an aroused mind, or a disgusted mind,
[19:42]  Alan Dojoji: We tend to assume a 'purity' of mind or rational-mind in 
order to comprehend the world philosophically, but there's really no reason for 
this
[19:43]  Alan Dojoji: In any case -
[19:43]  Alan Dojoji: We're further driven by desires; even the development or 
discovery of a formal system is dependent upon our wanting to develop or 
discover such.
[19:44]  Alan Dojoji: Now,
[19:44]  Alan Dojoji: Desires are like icebergs - their ostensible content 
might be the peak above the sea, but beneath the surface lies darker matter, 
abject matter.
[19:45]  Alan Dojoji: It's this matter that I'm interested in, the abject or 
obscenity that makes us human, even beyond the guise or presentation of 
language.
[19:45]  Alan Dojoji: Now obscenity is interesting
[19:45]  Alan Dojoji: I heard a lecture by Pinker on language and the 'stuff of 
thought'
[19:45]  Alan Dojoji: and he talked about obscenity in relation to primitive 
areas of the brain;
[19:45]  Alan Dojoji: obscenity isn't processed in the same way as other 
languaging is
[19:46]  Alan Dojoji: In fact it elicits a reaction (mostly negative) that 
bypasses consciousness
[19:46]  Alan Dojoji: So that you can tap into the abject, the emotional, the 
dirty, etc., within the digital
[19:46]  Alan Dojoji: through sexuality, the obscene.
[19:47]  Alan Dojoji: Violence here is different - it's cartoon-like - but 
sexuality is more directed
[19:47]  Alan Dojoji: Technically, representations of sexuality here are ikonic 
in a sense; they act directly, whereas violence, I think, works through the 
indexical -
[19:47]  Alan Dojoji: it 'points to obscenity' but not much more...
[19:47]  Alan Dojoji: Now to the virtual
[19:47]  Alan Dojoji: The virtual is everywhere, the virtual is symbolic, 
inscription, an index of our relationship with the real. Our bodies are as 
virtual as anything online; we're a mess of codes and protccols, languages, 
drives, instincts, communications, cries and warnings.
[19:48]  Alan Dojoji: There's nothing about us that isn't caressed by language, 
that isn't languaging. There's nothing about us that isn't read or inscribed; 
the real itself is an inscription, as far as we're concerned.
[19:49]  Alan Dojoji: But this is a mess - what's language and what's not 
language, what's pure body and what's not pure body, what's thinking and what's 
not - it's all a mess
[19:49]  Alan Dojoji: outside of emptiness, which is another issue, or not an 
issue at all
[19:50]  Alan Dojoji: So I'm trying to deal with this mess, with consciousness 
beyond or beneath language, with obscenity, with the real,m the virtual, 
working through models and other ways of exploration
[19:50]  Alan Dojoji: I model the ostensible carapace, the outer layers of the 
human and human behavior, the layers in space, transforming through time, 
morphing, dividing in both conceivable and inconceivable patterns.
[19:50]  Alan Dojoji: And though this modeling, I hope to better understand 
what it means to BE human, particularly in relation to all of that debris 
beneath the surface, our obscene nature itself.
[19:51]  Alan Dojoji: Why obscene? Because this nature is read, processed 
differently than cool speech or conversation; this nature constructs readings 
and writings, and for that matter communication beyond or preceding language
[19:53]  Alan Dojoji: The body appears as if its very tissues were come out of 
the genital region,
[19:53]  Alan Dojoji: as if it were coming apart, opening
[19:53]  Alan Dojoji: But in reality - two things -
[19:54]  Alan Dojoji: First, the body is composedonly of prims, sheaves which 
have no thickness (well, a pixel or so)
[19:54]  Alan Dojoji: And there's nothing behind these prims, just emptiness -
[19:54]  Alan Dojoji: And second, that the idea of tissues is rally suggested
[19:54]  Alan Dojoji: by oversaturating the color in the image, nothing more...
[19:54]  Alan Dojoji: Sandy, can you take over for a minute or two ?
[19:55]  You: Yes.
[19:55]  Alan Dojoji: I want people to look at the hhhhh files
[19:55]  Alan Dojoji: file
[19:55]  Alan Dojoji: perhaps you can describe it?
[19:55]  You: OK. Please look at hhhhh
[19:56]  Alan Dojoji: (Voice and music, Azure Carter, words mine)
[19:56]  Alan Dojoji: Avatars, Sandy and myself
[19:56]  You: The space is also here in odyssey - another part of Odyssey
[19:56]  Alan Dojoji: Space - I think this is Gaz's space 'above' the normal 
space of Second Life
[19:56]  Alan Dojoji: It's actually outside the gamespace itself
[19:57]  You: The song is a kind of keening in relation to the real, and the 
dance, the two of us, is about that limin of real and virtual
[19:58]  You: I see in the video: dance (choreography, both in Sandy Taifun's 
somewhat distorted but still "masculine" coded body and dress),
[19:58]  You: but also a kind of mating dance, a back and forth of ritual 
courtship
[19:59]  You: but also fighting, masculine egos at war
[19:59]  You: but all this is a matter of reading, of the spectator
[19:59]  Alan Dojoji: For me, this could be more successful on my end, we're 
stll working on control
[19:59]  You: The texts are grabbed out of the vast internet text of Alan's 
writing.
[20:00]  Sidecar Potluck: it's phenomenal
[20:00]  You: Alan, you mean you're looking at control, not hhh?
[20:00]  Alan Dojoji: In the sense of phenomena or the sense
[20:00]  Alan Dojoji: No I mean that I want to add some things from the text
[20:01]  Alan Dojoji: r the sense of terrific?
[20:01]  You: Oh, I see, yes, do add.
[20:01]  Sidecar Potluck: yes.
[20:01]  Sidecar Potluck: both.
[20:01]  Alan Dojoji: It's phenomenal in the way that phenomena are difficult 
to describe or limit, border
[20:01]  Alan Dojoji: Anyway in relation to human nature, if such exists
[20:01]  Alan Dojoji: anyway this nature contructs, let's say, states of 
affairs that, in terms of organism, might be considered PRIMORDIAL, 
uncomfortable, construing presence itself, desire, an awakening in the world, 
fear, dis/ease - anything before the world shuts down in relation to language, 
to the processing of language.
[20:02]  Alan Dojoji: Again, it's complex:
[20:02]  Alan Dojoji: anyway this nature contructs, let's say, states of 
affairs that, in terms of organism, might be considered PRIMORDIAL, 
uncomfortable, construing presence itself, desire, an awakening in the world, 
fear, dis/ease - anything before the world shuts down in relation to language, 
to the processing of language.
[20:02]  Alan Dojoji: The world shuts down in relation to death; it also shuts 
down in relation to obscenity, the abject
[20:03]  Alan Dojoji: By the world 'shutting down' I mean a kind of 
turning-away, turning inward, interiority
[20:03]  Alan Dojoji: So:
[20:03]  Alan Dojoji: I began by thinking about the repertoire of human 
physical behaviors, what the body can or cannot do; I used motion capture 
equipment to record and modify the behaviors. The equipment installs behaviors 
into files, much as labanotation filed away dance - it's a form of dance 
notation - much as film records movement.
[20:04]  Alan Dojoji: These files are bvh files, of which more in a bit.
[20:04]  Alan Dojoji: Please go to, hmmm.... anitaberberr.mp4 - this is an old 
piece
[20:05]  Alan Dojoji: In the center, Maud Liardon is dancing; on the left and 
right are two avatars imitating (to an extent) what she's doing, but only to an 
extent
[20:05]  Alan Dojoji: They're mirror images of each other,
[20:06]  Alan Dojoji: The movement was hand-crafted in relation to the video of 
Maud and then superimposed
[20:06]  Alan Dojoji: You don't have to run the whole thing to get the idea 
here
[20:07]  You: But what about when Foofwa enters?
[20:07]  Alan Dojoji: He's entering into the Maud-space, not the avatar space, 
he moves in and out; the avatars keep dancing
[20:07]  You: ok
[20:07]  Alan Dojoji: You might think of him as a meta-diegesis - in other 
words outside the narrative but nonetheless controlling it; it's his 
choreography
[20:08]  Alan Dojoji: Please open jungamer.mp4
[20:08]  You: I'd wonder about the earlier terms "shutting down" and 
interiority in relation to these examples?
[20:08]  Alan Dojoji: You might also want to come closer to my moving figure 
here -
[20:08]  Alan Dojoji: I can't answer that at the moment?
[20:08]  You: ok
[20:09]  Alan Dojoji: I'm not sure where you mean; I'm running off thebasic 
description I prepared but we can go back to this afterwards.
[20:09]  You: no, its fine - a question for later
[20:09]  Alan Dojoji: Now about the bvh files -
[20:09]  Alan Dojoji: So these files, which contained behaviors, were then used 
to reconstruct such behaviors with mannequins, avatars, in two different kinds 
of spaces -ones that were completely recorded, like film itself, and ones that 
were live and in real time - so that a viewer might walk about an avatar 
behaving in a particular way, in a particular live space.
[20:10]  Alan Dojoji: This is, of coursem the real time space.
[20:10]  Alan Dojoji: Now how was this done? Since I started with human beings 
and encoded their behaviors, how were the behaviors made so violently 
impossible?
[20:11]  Alan Dojoji: But more than that - the behaviors themselves were 
INCONCEIVABLY CODED, that is, created in such a way as to presence an 
impossible body - which then becomes a distorted body, a body transformed by 
the pressue, for example, of war, of torture, of incandescent sexuality - an 
impossible body -
[20:11]  Alan Dojoji: But a body that, being impossible, also represents our 
desires in the world, desires which, if they could, would take apart a real 
body, dissolve it in the throes of passion.
[20:12]  Alan Dojoji: In other words, the behaviors do 'violence' to the 
virtual body
[20:12]  Alan Dojoji: The techniques are surgical, cutting and suturing - 
separating and bringing together. The operations occur first in real life; when 
a participant wears a motion capture harnass, a number of sensors are aligned 
with her body parts - left leg sensor on the left leg, neck sensor on the neck, 
and so forth.
[20:12]  Alan Dojoji: (again)
[20:12]  Alan Dojoji: We rearrange these sensors, splitting them among a number 
of people, reorienting them; the body maps become distorted, impossible.
[20:13]  Alan Dojoji: We ask the participants to move. We record the impossible 
movements of a single body.
[20:13]  Alan Dojoji: In other words, the sensors might be applied upside-down, 
or split between two people, etc.
[20:13]  Alan Dojoji: Such distortions speak of desire and dismemberment, 
torture and ecstasy
[20:14]  Alan Dojoji: The recording is in the form of a file which is fed into 
one of three applications: a 3-D modeling application, where abstract forms are 
mapped onto the recording, resulting in an 'abstract performance' or 
'performer' - a mannequin modeling application, where human forms are mapped 
onto the recording, resulting in considerable distortion -
distortion -
[20:14]  Alan Dojoji: And a 'live' virtual space, where the behavior recordings 
are used in live avatar performance. I'll demonstrate these in turn. I'll also 
demonstrate various ways and results of scanning the body itself.
[20:15]  sandy Taifun: that's beautiful
[20:15]  Alan Dojoji: In stripped, the file is fed intoa 3d modeling program, 
Blender
[20:15]  Alan Dojoji: and objects are assigned to the sensor nodes -
[20:15]  Alan Dojoji: in other words, instead of, say, a neck on a neck,
[20:15]  Alan Dojoji: one of these shapes might be assigned to the neck, etc.
[20:16]  Alan Dojoji: So you get this abstract model of tensions and the 
interiority of movement withoout the carapace of the body itself
[20:16]  Alan Dojoji: Sandy, how long have we gone here?
[20:17]  Alan Dojoji: Sandy, how long have we gone here?
[20:17]  You: alan: about 50 minutes
[20:18]  Alan Dojoji: so you'reseeing the joints from within, the nearest I've 
gotten to organs here...
[20:18]  Alan Dojoji: Sandy, do you want to take over for a while? Shall we 
quit for a bit?
[20:18]  Alan Dojoji: What does everyone else think of this - please give us 
feedback
[20:18]  You: I think take a break. Perhaps get notes on the logistics from 
others?
[20:19]  You: How did this work for y'all?
[20:19]  Sidecar Potluck: It's very good. And it works well.
[20:20]  Sidecar Potluck: A couple comments, if that's okay: one conceptual / 
theoretical and one technical / performance
[20:20]  Alan Dojoji: Ok
[20:20]  You: Of course, this is just a part - oh yes, comments.
[20:20]  Sidecar Potluck: I really like that you're presenting a new (or at 
least alternative) aesthetic of the abject
[20:21]  Sidecar Potluck: The performance of this works well as a marriage of 
the concept and the thing itself
[20:21]  Sidecar Potluck: I can literally see what you're saying
[20:21]  Alan Dojoji: Other comments?
[20:22]  Sidecar Potluck: yes~ the additional materal works very well
[20:22]  Alan Dojoji: Does it load quickly enough?
[20:22]  Sidecar Potluck: hhhhh is great
[20:22]  Sidecar Potluck: it loads quickly, but it's a bit tricky to find the 
files to which you refer
[20:22]  snarkl Aeon: well . . . i'm not working from my laptop
[20:22]  You: Jeremy: do you see problems with the directions or the method 
(going back and forth)
[20:22]  You: or nick, do you see problems?
[20:22]  snarkl Aeon: so it's quite fast on the clc computers
[20:23]  Sidecar Potluck: going back and forth wasn't terribly rough, and it 
works well as is...
[20:26]  You: So, what would happen:
[20:26]  You: we would go on in a similar fashion.
[20:26]  You: I have more talk that I'm still preparing, about audience and 
other things.
[20:26]  You: And then we dance.
[20:27]  You: remediations, mediations, projectivities, introjectivities, 
phenomenologies, histories, and mechanics, of avatars
[20:27]  You: Extruded intruded (upon) body: cleansed bodies of the continuous 
middle-eastern 'war'
[20:27]  You: armored bodies and imaginary journeys  (Rhine, England); 
sexualized bodies:
[20:27]  Alan Dojoji: At the moment, I have to go - I'm teaching tomorrow and 
have to prepare since I'm going up to Providence...
[20:27]  You: OK. Alan, do we need to talk on the phone? Or aim to do this 
Weds?
[20:27]  You: My avatars! My little people! They run around everywhere, 
underfoot. I will play a  song, a little aire, a jig or rondelay!
[20:27]  You: audiophiles app avatar avatar arounds bio avatar avatar blogs awk 
biomes  tion tr [20:27]  You: My avatars! My little people! They run around 
everywhere, underfoot. I will play a  song, a little aire, a jig or rondelay!
[20:27]  You: SORRY!!
[20:27]  Sidecar Potluck: Thanks for this ~ Sandy and Alan ~ very nice work
[20:27]  You: audiophiles avatar avatar avatars exe everglades
[20:27]  You: empathetic everglades encapsulations episteme extasis entropic 
extasis  extensivity everglades fantasm externality extensivity [20:28]  You: 
yes, ok. By nick and jeremy. THANKS!
[20:28]  Alan Dojoji: again, THANK YOU!
[20:29]  sandy Taifun is Offline



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