[NetBehaviour] comments on blockchain, art, etc., discussion with Ruth

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Nov 1 04:39:19 CET 2017

"Our obsession and attachment to existence rather suggests our 
non-existence." - but what seems to be missing in the discussion of what 
constitutes a fundamental existence in the first place. Certainly the 
ontology of mathematical objects is different from the ontology of planck 
categories, etc. For me, I tend to look at varying ontologies and their 
relationship to their frameworks and perhaps their structures or 

Also, you say "physics keep telling us that existence is interaction - 
when there is no interaction existence cannot be claimed and reality 
remains probabilistic and foggy, out of focus, out of existence." - first, 
physics tells us nothing, physicists and physical theory does; second, the 
lack of interaction may also be fundamental to existence; it doesn't imply 
'out of existence,' just out of experimental verification. This is one 
area (I think) that multiverse discussions bear fruit; there may be no way 
whatsoever to verify the existence of other universes, but there still may 
be value in speculation here. -

On Tue, 31 Oct 2017, bj?rn magnhild?en via NetBehaviour wrote:

> what strikes me the most maybe is that blockchain allows a work of art not
> to exist - it supports the non-existence of the art object. contrary to what
> it's supposed to do, but maybe just as interesting.
> in the history of art this might be a new thing, from the little i know. not
> only that something either exists or not, which has always been some sort of
> base binary thing, either or; but moving through the virtual, the potential,
> the vast foam of quantum planck volumes, in and out of our sub- and
> superdimensional reality of fake time and fake space -- that existence as
> such is not at the base of reality, but can be seen more as an emergent
> quality of something - a quality of existing. physics keep telling us that
> existence is interaction - when there is no interaction existence cannot be
> claimed and reality remains probabilistic and foggy, out of focus, out of
> existence.
> i'm thinking that existence might not be so important after all, it could be
> more an attribute of an art object. you can have a consensus-proven
> existence on the blockchain, which could free the art object from its
> existential ruminations - it doesn't longer have to exist, existence is
> taken care of by the blockchain as a form of interaction and consensus
> reality.
> an art object on the blockchain: The properties of the art work (what it is)
> is detached from its objective status as a being in time (which is taken
> care of by blockchain, a verifiable being at time). Perhaps this being at time
> formulation detaches art from existence. Existence becomes a category, a
> pure concept of understanding. Such a category is not a classificatory
> division, as the word is commonly used but is instead the condition of the
> (epistemic) possibility of objects in general ? that is, any and all objects,
> not specific objects in particular. So if our system of abstraction includes
> ?existence' as a possible and provable property or category of objects, then
> existence isn't essential to them. In other words, a being at time type of
> object makes existence a non-essential property since existence is already
> part of its formulation. Or again, an existential medium detaches its
> produce from existence, as for instance life. As living beings, since we
> already exist we don't have to be attached to existence, it rather frees us
> from it. Our obsession and attachment to existence rather suggests our
> non-existence. The same for the symptomatic amassing, collecting, etc, -
> it's rather based on scarcity.
> my 2 cents of thoughts,
> bj?rn
> On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 7:02 PM, Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:
>       On Fri, 27 Oct 2017, at 08:13 PM, Pall Thayer via NetBehaviour
>       wrote:
>       This is a great read. Now I want someone to explain to me
>       how a non-material (non-existent) work of art maintains
>       its immateriality (its non-existence) despite a record in
>       the blockchain.
> Immateriality and inexistence are different matters. :-)
> Registering something in the blockchain doesn't anchor its being or
> cause it to come into existence unless we agree it does or we have
> some way of evaluating that existence -
> http://robmyers.org/proof-of-existence/
> For entities we are claiming exist outside of the blockchain, the data
> that claims to register that existence is a proxy for them.? We cannot
> validate the correctness of that claim using the blockchain's
> consensus rules in the same way we can for a simple value transaction
> if we wish to validate the fact of the registered object's existence
> outside of the blockchain. Something about being outside the text. We
> can only validate that person X placed a record on the blockchain, and
> possibly that later they sent it to person Y.
> We use such proxies when buying and selling physical property such as
> cars or houses, or more pertinently when buying and selling conceptual
> art. Certificates of authenticity for conceptual art are even more
> material than blockchain records. But I feel they are still proxies
> for the work rather than being the work, although this may just be the
> conceptual art fan in me speaking.
> - Rob.
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