[NetBehaviour] Transcultural Data Pact LAARRP the Movie!

Ruth Catlow ruthcatlow at gmail.com
Sun Oct 25 13:39:05 CET 2020

Thanks Alan and Max for your generous and encouraging attention on this

To my shame I didn't know Ann Halprins work. I couldn't immediately see the
connection but there is something very powerful to learn here about
collective improvisation in response to simple instructions. It also raised
the question of body work and the agency of bodies in co-operative artforms
(Cassie Thornton's Hologram has also been teaching me about this).  It gave
me a lot to think about.

What you said makes a lot of sense to me Max and the ideas you weave
together around predictive regulation are especially generative. Thanks so
much for all the brilliant references!

What I find especially exciting about the larp form is that insights are
gained together by, between and for people, in the moment.


On Fri, 23 Oct 2020, 17:02 Max Herman, <maxnmherman at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Ruth,
> This is a very fun and interesting video!  It makes me really want to see
> the land/ocean debate go to the next level, or as they used to say "through
> to fruition."  Kudos on imagining a scintillating play-form!
> A few strands I've been interested in lately seem to flow around the idea
> of "predictive regulation."  It was phrased as "allostasis" by Peter
> Sterling in 1988 (I think) as a kind of time-contextualization of the
> biological health paradigm of homeostasis.  The idea is not of
> "ever-returning to center," but "imagining future states and choosing among
> a repertoire of behaviors as most suitable through change."  Since we are
> always moving moment-to-moment, with new conditions always appearing out of
> the void as it were, improv is fundamental.
> https://elifesciences.org/articles/36133
> The current issue of Foreign Affairs (catchy title) is also about
> predictive regulation, in particular regarding risk and policy: such as
> climate change, east/west tension, and cybersecurity.  (I would personally
> elaborate a wider risk landscape to include things like ethnonationalist
> violence, inequality, collapse of human communication, erosion of art, and
> many more, but all settings make their selections consistent with place --
> "sistere" is the Latin for "to place or stand.")
> The issue of the magazine seems to hinge on the fragility of a blox
> paradigm -- efficiency, precision, and statistical control (if I may make
> such a judgment).  You can do statistics, but predictions based on the past
> are lacking.  Their failures, particularly of omission, in the recent past
> and present are epic.  So the article says "add interactive imagination."
> But then they say, "imagination can be very illogical," and discuss how to
> make it more logical.
> However, illogic is actually key to the utility of imagination.  You
> suspend the reign of consequence.  You have to!  Emotion and fancy are not
> hardly weaknesses, but are the very life of predictive regulation, that is,
> of life.  If our brains could not "switch off" the calculator we would
> never, ever be able to react with nuance or in time i.e. "fast enough."  We
> would have perished eons ago.  For some, reading Shelley's "Defence of
> Poetry" during youth education captures some sense of this, in the to
> poiein and to logizein:
> "The one is the το ποιειν, or the principle of synthesis, and has for its
> objects those forms which are common to universal nature and existence
> itself; the other is the το λογιςειν, or principle of analysis, and its
> action regards the relations of things simply as relations; considering
> thoughts, not in their integral unity, but as the algebraical
> representations which conduct to certain general results."
> https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69388/a-defence-of-poetry
> Therefore in this light I would urge the representatives of Oceana to see
> the foundational, nay surpassing efficiency of imagination, which can only
> work by its necessary organic ways.  Do you dissect a turtle to see its
> beauty?  Of course you don't.  Don't kill the goose that lays the golden
> eggs, indeed the only eggs.
> To Ourland, I would ask what I can do to help expand the awareness of
> Oceana people, but in some ways this can only be known by results -- trial
> and error by creative art and science.  In this spirit, Oceanics' mania for
> harvest and silo can actually be an inroad.  The primitive (yes atavistic)
> nature of their thought makes them actually rather teachable, if by a
> somewhat odd and numeric language.  Maybe they can only imagine in
> reverse?  Often it seems they cannot imagine at all, but this should not
> dissuade us from teaching them.
> Leonardo said "two weaknesses make a strength," and that the weakness of
> one half of the earth leans against the weakness of the other half to allow
> the planet to hold its spherical form.  As if knowing their own deficiency
> on an implicit level, Oceana cleaves to symbolic touchstones as, in a way,
> placeholders, and places a number on them (call this number "arbitrarily
> high").  These knots or variables are necessary for their system's
> self-rationalization, crude as it is, not to lose all hope.  So these knots
> or nodes, "nodo" in Italian from the Latin nodus, out of the PIE "to tie,
> bind," are fascinatingly sometimes inroads already made -- built in, as it
> were, by brave and fortunate Ourlanders of the past.
> We may call these "fulcra."  They can only be used improvisationally,
> evanescent as if by the playing of musical strings in fugue, but they do
> alter the warp and woof of the blox system.  This can help Ourland to tap
> the power of our Orphic and pre-Orphic heritage, the deep heritage even
> beyond humanity's own origin which dwarfs the pinprick of understanding in
> blox.  We can give blox, as it were, bites bigger than it can chew.  This
> teaching of its own illogic is not the same as a conscience in the blox,
> but it may have to do for now.  It is a path, and one of whose eventual
> regality we need not despair.
> Leonardo had a symbol of his own learning place or space, his academia: it
> is a circular knot, in the British Museum, with the hexagrammic
> aca-de-mia-leo-nar-di and "vici" at the center.  "Vici" means "won" in
> Latin, and is a pun on "vinci" which means "win" in Italian and "worsted
> yarn" in Latin.
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:After_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_Sixth_Knot,_c._1490-1500,_NGA_46383.jpg
> Although not everything in cognitive life can be "proven" in the crudest
> sense, being in motion and context, this image can provide a lesson in
> conquest (over risks) by indirection which is potentially useful against
> the blox in the interest of a sustainable, peaceful, or even complementary
> coexistence.  To an extent, this victory requires a "light touch," even of
> the lightness with which the Mona Lisa, another planetary fulcrum, points
> to the datum techne crossings of her sleeve.  The blox system has never
> tied these attributes to these fulcra so they are, potentially, modes or
> paths for it to learn.  Or maybe at least conundra to slow it down!  I
> would be lying if I said they were absolutes like the blox itself which is
> actually just a kind of void or cipher.
> Some bloxists also just will never, ever be able to listen or hear, much
> less see or imagine, which is OK, but should be considered in the interests
> of time which is of course of the essence.
> Well done and all best regards,
> --
> ------------------------------
> *From:* NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Ruth Catlow via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Sent:* Friday, October 23, 2020 5:31 AM
> *To:* NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Cc:* Ruth Catlow <ruthcatlow at gmail.com>
> *Subject:* [NetBehaviour] Transcultural Data Pact LAARRP the Movie!
> Hello NBers
> I hope you and yours are all safe and well.
> Two months have passed since we played the Transcultural Data Pact LARP
> online.  I've posted a little information about it below. A number of
> list members participated and gave inspiring performances which frankly,
> blew our minds and made me realise what potential this format holds for
> critical play, learning and creating new worlds together. This feels
> particularly valuable right now.
> I'm happy to share with you a parafictional video about the pact, by Pete
> Gomes <https://vimeo.com/470585528>. We had an embarrassment of riches to
> work with in the edit and found it agonising to have to leave so much out.
> Annie asked me in an email about what exactly this is - art or what?!
> I'm currently calling it Live Art Action Research Role Play = LAARRP!
> It sits across all kinds of things.
> Would love your thoughts
> <3
> Ruth
> ========
> Transcultural Data Pact is a game of serious make-believe, in which
> role-play is used to explore how personal and collective data practices and
> devices might shape the attitudes and fortunes of a society. In this
> scenario, an historic trade negotiation is underway between two nations
> with shared ancestry and clashing beliefs.
> Transcultural Data Pact was created as part of Qualified Selves, a
> research project funded by UKRI/EPSRC between the Universities of Edinburgh
> and Lancaster. Exploring how individuals make sense of personal data
> management.
> It was created by Ruth Catlow, DECAL at Furtherfield in collaboration with
> Kate Genevieve, chroma.space, Prof. Chris Speed, Dr Kruakae Pothong,
> Billy Dixon and Dr Evan Morgan from the School of Informatics, University
> of Edinburgh.
> Film by Pete Gomes. Music by Matt Catlow.
> --
> Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised Arts
> Lab
> +44 (0) 77370 02879
> *I will only agree to speak at events that are racially and gender
> balanced.
> **sending thanks
> <https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-newsroom/press-releases/2019/november/think-before-you-thank-if-every-brit-sent-one-less-thank-you-email-a-day-we-would-save-16433-tonnes-of-carbon-a-year-the-same-as-81152-flights-to-madrid.html> in
> advance
> *Furtherfield *disrupts and democratises art and technology through exhibitions,
> labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free thinking.
> furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org/>
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> for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural ecologies & economies now.
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