[NetBehaviour] analogy and AI poetry

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 06:24:52 CEST 2021

I think you could find a lot of info on Sonfist's work. I don't think
'rewilding' was used at the time. It was a landscape reflecting earlier
times when there was a different ecology. It's still there and quite
beautiful, fenced off near NYU. You don't enter it.

Watching a lot of narrow boat and urban archeologists treading the English
landscape, all those narrow corridors between, among fields, that seem
intensely wild and elsewhere, amazing. And amazing, not trashed, unlike
places, say in RI, where plastic and other garbage is often found, even
parts of cars. There are still shorelines that look pristine but the
ecology's deeply stressed.

I never thought of Sonfist as a research artist per se, but as someone,
like another alan, Alan Saret, creating a kind of grace... even a
possibility of becoming

- Alan

On Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 4:21 PM Johannes Birringer via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> dear all,
> after the floods i am catching up with this very interesting discussion on
> AI and other imaginary intelligences and Esperienza, but am trying to find
> a connection to Finsbury Park since Alan asked about it:
> before leaving London to travel to southwest Germany and my valley studio,
> I spend an evening jogging with a friend on the Parkland Walk (south),
> starting at Finsbury Park, onto the footpath that leads through an amazing
> local nature reserve towards Highgate, and one can discover luscious
> plants, wildlife, birds, all sorts of insects ad critters, and interesting
> features like old railway platforms and bridges...... i was surprised as I
> imagined being in the middle of London but i was apparently in a kind of
> narrow forest area, not an urwald, but charming, leafy and obviously very
> popular (that June night there were innumerable joggers, flâneurs, lovers,
> dog walkers, bicyclists). Finsbury Park itself looked more orderly, louder,
> there were courts where young people were playing ball games to vibrant
> reggae music....
> I don't know 'Time Landscape' and what Alan Sonfist  created in the
> Greenwich Village Park (did they plant a few hundred plants, trees, shrubs,
> grasses and flowers that were all found in Manhattan before the Dutch came
> in the 17th century? was that the concept of his "re-wilding"?).... I
> wonder how research artists re-think colonial matters, territories, and
> compost through plants and plant art (I am thinking of someone like Bartaku
> who recently presented his research on "Baroa belaobara: berryapple" at
> Aalto)... and also how we can re-think our relations to climate, earth,
> storms, droughts, hurricanes and floods (people here in the southwest of
> Germany were unprepared and had not imagined the force of nature)...... and
> since all of you made such wonderful comments here, on the imaginaries, the
> embodiments, and the machines, here is what my friend Bartaku writes on the
> choke berry:
> >>
> "Baroa belaobara: berryapple" speaks about an art practice that addresses
> a plant while following sudden signals at a plantation in Latvia. Through
> five passages the reader is spinning into a making_thinking constellation
> of bacteria, breath, bone china porcelain, ether, coincidence, sap, glass,
> semen, installation, soil, linen, ghost, light, anthocyanin,
> Aronia_Baroacentrism, brain reader, pigment, musicians, electricity, pH,
> leaky loops, play, protocol, pipette, gift intervention, DNA and mulberry
> paper.morphings of a plant´s name, its shape and of plant-art perception
> and cognition.
> Through a method of play as in improvisational music, a meshy
> constellation comes to be with a mixture of entities playing along. The
> leaky loops of making/thinking include micro- and photobiologists, bio-,
> solar and fake labs, clay, a brain reader, ceramists,artists, designers,
> herbalists, alchemists,chance, a JMW Turner painting, joyful accidents,
> re-enactments, hand-painted photovoltaics, microbes and their fluorescent
> pigments and plantations....The focus of the narration is on experiences
> with detailed accounts of the applied protocols for in vitro plant and
> microbial growth,dye-sensitised solar cells and ceramix, as well as for
> invented gifts and imaginary solutions....
> >>
> https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/107574
> we live in restless times, dear compostists, so:  Unruhig bleiben!
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> Schmelz, Saarland
> ________________________________________
> From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> Sent: 16 July 2021 19:32
> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> NI sounds cool but the video sounds more like a typical advertisement;
> every ad I see here for medicines for example uses similar rhetoric.
> NI isn't going to work unless it's accompanied by something that will
> stop, say, the Bransons from spending money on useless egoistic space
> travel and investing hard cash in working to transform the planet.
> Otherwise, NI ends up being as rhetorical as so much of the ecological
> claims of the 60's on.
> I wonder if re: Finsbury park, there will be any attempt at rewilding part
> of it? In other words, like Alan Sonfist worked on years ago, fencing an
> area off, letting it be/bee?
> Best, Alan
> On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 10:21 AM Graziano Milano via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:
> Hi Eryk & all,
> Here is the other video by the The Centre4NI:
> The secret to innovation is NI (why biology will save us)<
> https://vimeo.com/501683043>
> The Centre4NI<https://www.centre4ni.com> says on its website that:
> “Natural Intelligence is the intelligence that is as old as time. It knows
> what works, what lasts and what contributes to the future of life on Earth.
> It is the driver behind 3.8 billion years of continuous innovation,
> adaptation and, ultimately, regeneration. It is what enables nature to
> survive and thrive – despite limited resources and endless change and
> disruption. Tapping into NI is how we shift from tragedy to prosperity and
> build businesses, organisations and institutions that foster a healthier,
> wealthier and more viable future.”
> They could add that "Natural Intelligence has also built and will carry on
> building our artistic human creativity because as Da Vinci said Nature is
> the source of all true knowledge."
> Graziano
> On Fri, 16 Jul 2021 at 14:20, Eryk Salvaggio via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:
> >
> > Max, Paul & all;
> >
> > Thanks for all the thought-provoking links, everyone.
> >
> > Sometimes there are shades of panic in the way I see AI art. It’s like
> the machine is getting deep into my psyche, colonizing the culture as data
> and spitting something out that barely resembles art or beauty or play. I
> think that reflects the weaponized ideology of broader data practices
> today: this is exactly what machine learning is doing, often to
> catastrophic results. And much of that comes from how we imagine the links
> between our imaginations and the machine’s “imagination.”
> >
> > The machine’s "imagination" (whatever happens in "latent space," which
> seems to be the term we're using) is reaching to find patterns and
> relationships, even when such patterns and relationships may not exist. We
> hope that the way we take art into our minds is something different. But I
> don’t know for sure.
> >
> > At the moment, I can only respond to this machine “imagination” in the
> same way that we find meaning within a human-produced painting, or poem, or
> film, or television advertisement. We imagine ourselves within those
> worlds. We do this within our private mental spaces, but we hand over some
> internal control to the artists, poets, or marketing agencies. When we do,
> our story and their stories become temporarily intertwined with something
> external. Whether we are being manipulated by poets or design houses, we
> know it was human, and trying to meet us.
> >
> > With few exceptions, even the most alienating and experimental of these
> communication forms are shaped by that desire for human comprehension.
> Machines, in simulating art, do so without any desire to connect or
> reassure us. The machine is not concerned with being understood, because it
> doesn’t, and cannot, understand. It’s the cold indifference of a machine.
> In the distance between us and it, we project all that we fear from the
> Other: infallible, all-knowing, all-aware — and so we imagine the very
> things that make them so frightening. I am used to the sense that the
> screen is always there to take something from me, package it up, and offer
> it back through the recommendation of some distant system. So, I am also
> bringing that to my interactions with the system, in how I interpret
> (imagine) what it is doing. Generative art systems don't "do this," I do it
> to them.
> >
> > The uncanniness — that close-but-not-quite-human quality of machine
> generated text and images — is a different way of intermingling
> imaginations because we imagine it to be different. The image quality is
> not so clear, and so the limits of the machine imagination intertwines with
> a human desire to be immersed. I can see my own imagination reaching, and
> how sometimes imagination fails, and unmasking that lie can be terrifying.
> (The Lacanian "Real," etc.)
> >
> >
> > -e.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Jul 14, 2021 at 3:38 PM Paul Hertz via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:
> >>
> >> There's an essay, "Intelligence Without Representation" that Brooks
> wrote in 1987,
> http://people.csail.mit.edu/brooks/papers/representation.pdf, that
> offered what was then a new point of view on how to consider AI.
> >>
> >> // Paul
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Wed, Jul 14, 2021 at 2:10 PM Paul Hertz <ignotus at gmail.com<mailto:
> ignotus at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Hi Max,
> >>>
> >>> The robotics researcher Rodney Brooks back in the late 1980s argued
> the AI based on the construction of a "knowledge base" was bound to fail.
> He made the case that a robot adapting to an environment was far more
> likely to achieve intelligence of the sort that humans demonstrate
> precisely because it was embodied. Some of his ideas are presented in the
> movie Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, directed ISTR by Errol Morris. If
> you haven't seen it yet, I can recommend it.
> >>>
> >>> -- Paul
> >>>
> >>> On Wed, Jul 14, 2021, 1:38 PM Max Herman via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Hi all,
> >>>>
> >>>> I know virtually nothing about AI, beyond what the letters stand for,
> but noticed this new article in Quanta Magazine.  Does it pertain at all?
> Interestingly it concludes that in order for AI to be human-like it will
> need to understand analogy, the basis of abstraction, which may require it
> to have a body!
> >>>>
> >>>>
> https://www.quantamagazine.org/melanie-mitchell-trains-ai-to-think-with-analogies-20210714/?mc_cid=362710ae88&mc_eid=df8a5187d9
> >>>>
> >>>> I have been interested in the book GEB by Hofstadter for some time,
> and have been researching how it was referenced (specifically its Chapter
> IV "Consistency, Completeness, and Geometry" and its Introduction) by Italo
> Calvino in Six Memos for the Next Millennium, so Mitchell's connection to
> Hofstadter and GEB is interesting on a general level.
> >>>>
> >>>> Coincidentally I contacted her a year ago to ask about the Calvino
> connection but she replied she hadn't read any Calvino or the Six Memos.
> However, his titles for the six memos -- Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude,
> Visibility, Multiplicity, and Consistency -- might be exactly the kinds of
> "bodily" senses AI will need to have!
> >>>>
> >>>> All best,
> >>>>
> >>>> Max
> >>>>
> >>>> https://www.etymonline.com/word/analogy
> >>>> https://www.etymonline.com/word/analogue
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> NetBehaviour mailing list
> >>>> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:
> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> >>>> https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
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> >> http://paulhertz.net/
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