[NetBehaviour] Arm and Hand Access Grid Worldwide Tour

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Sep 8 23:31:01 CEST 2018

Arm and Hand Access Grid Worldwide Tour

https://youtu.be/j9CPU9XP5ys video

from nearly before or after 2007-2008, early experiment using
the access grid which allows multiple cameras and microphones
from a single location to connect to the same at another
location. designed for invisible walls classroom use, the setup
is complex. we used the access grid at the virtual environments
lab at west virginia university in a number of ways; one of the
main ones involved bouncing an audio/video signal around the
world through other nodes, back to the lab in morgantown. by
using video feedback, i.e. the camera and mics aimed at the
receiving monitor, we were able to create closed circuits or
loops from morgantown through various other sites, including one
in new south wales, australia. in other words, the usual video
feedback occurred, but with delay occasioned by each layer
looping the entire globe. we used azure carter as subject for he
most part, looping sound and site and motion; in this earlier
experiment (which btw involved multiple computers in morgantown
as well; the software was complex), we used my waving hand for
proof of concept. the delays and color shifts were the result of
the signal travel. the procedure reminded me of the even older
email bangpaths that allowed one to send a file anywhere through
specified nodes.

in those days, not very long ago, i was also thinking about net
weather, the conditions of the routers, interferences, bad
connections, local gaps, and so forth; i remember being able to
tell the 'state of the net' in a particular direction by the
rate and interruptions of packets. michel serres' book on the
parasite was in the back of my mind, as was the collection of
texts on the very early net by peter salus. the only originality
i could claim here is the use and present/presencing of the body
itself, the somatic and almost punk register of the process or
piece, something i continue to think about and work through.
because we have our bodies have us and it's the appearance of
this momentary thickening we call a lifespan that's dependent on
the permeability of the world's fabric.

this quote from a letter by dylan thomas to pamela hansford
johnson, in october 1933, is relevant i think:

"I fail to see how the emphasizing of the body can, in any way,
be regarded as hideous. The body, its appearance, death, and
diseases, is a fact, sure as the fact of a tree. It has roots in
the same earth as the tree. The greatest description I know of
our 'earthiness' is to be found in John Donne's _Devotions,_
where he describes man as earth of the earth, his body earth,
his hair a wild shrub growing out of the land. All thoughts and
actions emanate from the body. Therefore the description of a
thought or action - however abstruse it may be - can be beaten
home by bringing it on to a physical level. Every idea,
intuitive or intellectual, can be imaged and translated in terms
of the body, its flesh, skin, blood, sinews, veins, glands,
organs, cells, or senses."

(p. 27 The Notebooks of Dylan Thomas, ed. Ralph Maud.)

the gendering is a problem of course, but the thinking of earth,
what i consider emanant, emanation or effluvia, avatar imaginary
or dissipating rootedness, relates well to the body immersed
within the access grid, or rather the imagine/imaginary of the
body traversing the access grid, and i, we, they will stop here.

More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list