[NetBehaviour] For a talk I'm giving @ Pitt-Johnstown Day of Digital Humanities

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Aug 26 03:35:35 CEST 2015


Thank you again, and replies inserted below, some editing -

On Tue, 25 Aug 2015, none wrote:

> Clutters.
> Etymologically, there is a link to heaps. By dictionary meanings, there is
> a collection link. Agree it can be taken as an archive/data-base where it
> is not.
> However, staying with heaps, and heap making - eg throw a bunch of stuff
> to form a heap - might point towards a question of How clutters, or a
> given clutter might operate?

What's interesting about heaps to me, is that they're actually fairly 
structured, top-down, by gravity; there have been numerous studies for 
example of sandpiles, what causes slides on the slopes, the maximum 
permissible slopes, and so forth; this comes up also in the recent comet 
landing and geography.

Clutter isn't top-down, hierarchical; it's everywhere, and often 
references data-basing, that the elements have histories, even names, and 
other tags - think of a room with a lot of clutter. On the other hand, the 
cluttered environments I create in second life or other virtual worlds, 
_have no resolutions,_ they're alien, alienware, alienworn - and for me 
this relates, say, to the cosmos, to the innumerable, to the uncounted, 
unaccountable, unaccounted-for.

> From digital environments perspective, a clutter can be said to be
> "spaghetti code", no? Or perhaps something that might seem like clutter,
> like when one goes into a jungle for the 1st time, or hears an utterly
> unknown language - everything seems to jumble, to be a clutter - yet for a
> trained eye or mind, there are clear and uncluttered patterns..
> In terms of online life, with clusters and networks, do we have online
> Heaps/Clutters?

I think we sense cluttering, for example, Facebook seems "increasingly 
cluttered," which means, I think, obstructed, as if _obstructed from 
without_ - for one's own clutter is often decipherable by the self, but 
Fb is clearly corporate, with menus within menus, etc. The trails - trials 
- are there, but at first glance unfathomable, and one's always uneasy 
that one is missing something, that the 'usual path' will lead elsewhere 
now, or come to a blank end...

> B Latour talks about Compositionism, as a sort of network actors'
> arrangement and rearrangements. I wonder whether in fact these
> compositions - and indeed being oriented around them - is not actually
> resting upon time based clutters that came together sequentially rather
> than causally, and are then being subjected to a process of entraining by
> a pattern seeking/making human mind? (a mind that can make patterns in a
> jungle..?)

They came together like gravitational pull on rubble in space :-)
- in other words, striations, compositions, nothing time-based except 
coagulations, certainly not sequentially or causally. I think of those 26 
independent fundamental constants, something like that...

> A recent(ish) review of a Wendy Chun text to do with code, language and
> physicality - e.g. that of machines.
> http://www.publicseminar.org/2015/07/wendy-chun-on-software-and-the-machine/

I'll look at this and thanks; I know her and have always admired her 
thinking -

> However there are also links there to the machinery of capitalism, which
> might sort of be connected with the questions to do with socio economic
> and environmental questions?

I think for me the world's driven more, at this point, by climate change, 
weaponry, and overpopulation, no matter what the ideology. We behave like 
the species we are, every so often a glimmer of something else, like the 
current agreement of N and S Korea to actually step down from whatever 
brinks there are...

Thank so much; I haven't read the Latour or the Chun yet!

- Alan, best and cheers!

>
> Cheers and all the bests!
>
> aharone
> xx
>
>
>
> Perhaps interesting in terms of offering a
> On Tue, August 25, 2015 1:34 am, Alan Sondheim wrote:
>>
>
>> Thanks!, Comments below -
>>
>>
>> On Mon, 24 Aug 2015, none wrote:
>>
>>
>>> A few pre noting notes:
>>> Hopefully something might be relevant here. Not entirely comprehending
>>> the context apart from - giving a talk.(??)
>>
>> Giving a talk, which will skitter across the notes; I've never been able
>> to "read" a talk, or even write one.
>>
>>> However, I did do that silly human thing of checking for a pattern, and
>>>  staying with it. Perhaps it could be more riveting to read from and
>>> out such patterns..? I'd do in a personal text, not someone else's..
>>> Which
>>> kind of takes us right into the pattern/thread that seems to Be..(?)
>>
>> There are patterns, cross references; I think a major trope for me is
>> entanglement, maybe Buddhist depending-arising.
>>
>>> The focus seems to be of examples to do with mashing edges and
>>> totalities of stuff.
>>
>> And problematizing edges and totalities, as well as structures within and
>>  without boundaries and totalities.
>>
>>> In a sense, without having the totality, the edges might be well
>>> hidden, and by focusing on such endings of things - they seem to require
>>> a perception oriented in absolutes.
>>
>> Which is where the idea of blankness comes in, endings are always
>> problematized, at this point even in cosmology.
>>
>>> (An absolutive oriented programming..? ;) )
>>>
>>>
>>> It seems to have a territorial oriented perception - of spaces,
>>> endings, and edges. These corners are being put together, brought
>>> together as a sort of collage(??). I think am trying to say that each
>>> action of bringing these edges together - perhaps a Surge in the Notes'
>>> own vocabulary - has a unique collection of these ends.
>>
>> The Surge references the overcoming of all (scientific, biological, etc.)
>>  knowledge, as such grows exponentially. The corners are always a
>> melange, abject, as far as culture's concerned. I wouldn't think of
>> collection (which implies data-bases, etc., and some degree of
>> exactitude), so much as collectivities.
>>>
>>> Hence, it seems that each note can be an example - or Is an example(??)
>>> -
>>> of an edges surge. Here are a few examples:
>>> When speaking of life and death (in virtual worlds), it seems to take
>>> these as binary objects, oppose to one another - hence by putting them
>>> together, the edges become apparent. (this perception is based on
>>> language of "death and "life", rather than a softer focus such as a
>>> process of living, etc..)
>>
>> Life and death in vr is always a question of representation, as well as
>> the death of software (or users) itself - for example, the 'body bags' in
>> many of the MOOs which were abandoned as their subcribers went elsewhere.
>>
>>
>> It _is_ always a question of process, but in the real world, death is a
>> finality, and how does one represent this? Think about it? How can death
>> and pain, in this regard, be represented, without turning to cartoon
>> images, etc.?
>>
>>> Dance/movement as a practice that brings together the virtual and the
>>> physical realities. Or the sense of them. Again there is a sense of
>>> edges coming together to form a new element/thing.
>>
>> When one of my avatars moves in, say, Second Life, it's movement is
>> almost always a movement translated from physical dance, physical dancers,
>> using software and topological remappings in mocap. But I'm always aware
>> of the physicality involved, even in virtual worlds - there's a kind of
>> trail of flesh...
>>
>>> Glitches - visuals(?? I assume here that we talk of visual ones, could
>>> be all sorts though..) that are made when an edge of code meets an edge
>>> of electronic/electric element/s.
>>
>> Visual, but also crashes, logging-out of users, etc.
>>
>>
>>> Language and its entangled limits. (i am not sure how this terminology
>>> operates. however, in my mind, this seems to be of a linked nature with
>>> the sense of digital/virtual - often used with a language for its
>>> program - and its intrinsically linked edge - ie. the materiality of a
>>> device/network line, body, etc..)
>>
>> Yes, here -
>>
>>
>>> The surge ofcourse is an absolute, and ISIS offers a new
>>> absolutativeness. In a sense, ISIS is a sort of an embodied surge,
>>> bringing together the ends of terroristic perception meshed with an
>>> abosolutist historical perception, and statist/nationalistic edges,
>>> coming from breaks and breaking the Sykes/Picot borders and colonial
>>> assumptions - all occurring at the edges of deserts which meet fertile
>>> lands.
>>
>> The surge is two-fold, the absolute, but also the growth of knowledge -
>> and the tension or torsion between the two regions -
>>
>>> (Perhaps ISIS should be declared a Sondheim performance gone a bit
>>> glitchy..?)
>>
>> Would NEVER want to be associated that way! :-)
>>
>>
>>> I could go on with examples, including the sense of elements going
>>> Wrong -
>>> ie breaking and by default new corners come together to form a
>>> malfunction sense? (again, wrongness might require a sense of
>>> totality..) Clutter as sense of things coming together, focusing on the
>>> perceptions that rise via the sort of new body that comes out..?
>>
>> Clutter also as something which can't be mapped, which escapes mapping...
>>
>>
>>> In that sense, - new body that comes out - I thought that perhaps the
>>> terror algorithm was/is a bit illustrative..? Almost decorative as such?
>>>  Just wonder how it might be if it was a terror oriented programming
>>> language.. Or even much more interesting, I think, a terror calculus -
>>> hence allowing new terror formations to be..?
>>
>> There is a terror calculus, I think, which is the 0/1 section of the text
>>  - it leads nowhere, only to collapse and absolutist division.
>>
>>
>>> Also, talk of computer kind of languages.. Perl and language, and human
>>>  language.. Perhaps there could be a perl for camels? A perl that
>>> perhaps is a camel? Or camel oriented? Might be a perl that's hardly
>>> thirsty? Or a perl that is for deserts?
>>
>>> Hey.. Hope this somehow assists in something - or some process - been a
>>>  pleasure to delve into! :) Many THANKS for sharing, Alan!
>>>
>> Thank you so much for the close reading; as i said it's really useful,
>> it's rare to have such feedback, and I'll use it at the talk.
>>
>> Cheers, and best!
>> Alan
>>
>>
>>
>>> Cheers and ciaos!
>>> ahanonexx(??)
>>
>>
>
>
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