[NetBehaviour] Ontological Banding

Max Herman maxnmherman at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 1 13:37:30 CET 2021

Hi all,

I've lost track of how or whether face is discussed in Alan's first post on this.  It was evoked for me by his post on his Meta incorporation concept from 1972 (?), in the "TV ME" aspect.  I have wondered whether flash video streaming was once thought of as "Me TV," which would have been too clear, straightforward, and first-person, then therefore changed to "You" and "conduit that rhymes with too."  The latter is more of a removal of agency with a promise to restore it back.  Similarly, does the social media company under criticism lately not acquire the user's face, so to speak, then offer to sell it back?  I know this sounds absurd but maybe it's been articulated better elsewhere.  The brand name seems probably to have started off as "yearbook," as in the paper book students sign for each other at the end of a high school year, but changed to remove the element of time.

Of course, names of brands are not determinative but to what extent are they strategically chosen?  In either case, the question of selling a person's face back to them after you have acquired it somehow remains; and if there is a pattern what else could be in the process of being similarly acquired then sold back?  This could also be overstating the case on my part, a kind of commercial phobia, not sure.

All best,


From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Max Herman via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2021 11:50 AM
To: netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Max Herman <maxnmherman at hotmail.com>; Anthony Stephenson <aps0loot at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Ontological Banding

Hi Anthony,

That is a very interesting idea from Heydenreich, who I've never read and don't really know anything about though the name sounds familiar.  I did read somewhere that Leonardo's Arno Valley is sometimes considered the first true landscape, but I am too uneducated in art history to know if that holds true.  It would jibe with what I think I know of Leonardo, and I do know that he dated that sketch very prominently as in "I drew this sketch of the Arno Valley on October 27, 1481, signed, Leonardo da Vinci" or something like that which is atypical for him (and a little blockchainesque in that he used the "notarial" vocabulary of his father and grandfather who were notaries i.e. writers of official contracts).  One of my goals is to understand better if that sketch does qualify as the first landscape, because if it does it means a lot to how I would understand Leonardo.  I'll have to look up Heydenreich; one of the most interesting present-day scholars of Leonardo I've found is Joost Keizer of Groningen University.  He focuses a lot on Leonardo's use of word, text, and allegory, seeing a lot of very modern (as opposed to proto-modern) themes and structures.  I can't say if Keizer is 100% correct or not on all points -- who ever is -- but his assertions are definitely interesting.

The idea of face as landscape is also super interesting.  I would be very curious to know if Deleuze wrote about the ML in particular,  but that idea is very prominent in the Leonardiana (i.e. that the person mirrors/echoes/reflects the rock and water landscape) which is a funny word that means "writings about Leonardo."

Re this idea of face and landscape, it resonates with the interesting "Uninvited" project announced by Furtherfield as well as the rather dystopian morphisms of certain social media conglomerates in the news.  Perhaps another correlation could be found between the "spirit of the tree," a kind of identity or perceptual counterpart, and the setting of Finsbury Park in the "Based on a Tree Story" project?

I tend to range far too much on such comparisons but sometimes they are interesting or echo patterns that seem possibly relevant.  In the relatively cold climate I live in the leaves are all changing drastically this week and a couple of days of rain have brought a huge number to earth which are not yet raked up.  Tomorrow will be a mass festival of raking around hundreds of thousands of yards in silent synchrony.  I don't know why I like looking at these leaves around my block, in a sunny day after the rain yesterday, maybe because they are unusual colors?  My cat for example climbed on a neighbor's fence right next to a shrub with bright red leaves which was nice.  I don't see a face in these trees per se but I do see a kind of friend, something I'm glad to see again, something that means something, and maybe I like that it is non-digital and non-electronic to remind me that I and perhaps all life are also partly that?

There could be a relation between the "intelligence" that imagines or images the environment and what that environment becomes, but also vice versa which Leonardo recommended very vociferously in quotations like:

"Though human ingenuity may make various inventions which, by the help of various machines answering the same end, it will never devise any inventions more beautiful, nor more simple, nor more to the purpose than Nature does; because in her inventions nothing is wanting, and nothing is superfluous, and she needs no counterpoise when she makes limbs proper for motion in the bodies of animals. But she puts into them the soul of the body, which forms them that is the soul of the mother which first constructs in the womb the form of the man and in due time awakens the soul that is to inhabit it."

I'm also trying to learn about how Renaissance (or "early modern") poetry including Dante related the face to the overall inner being, often using the metaphor of a balcony, situating the former as a venue transmitting both the individual and the general universal or environmental properties of the latter.  But it's very slow going and still no more than a hobby.

All best,


From: NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on behalf of Anthony Stephenson via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2021 10:23 AM
To: netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Cc: Anthony Stephenson <aps0loot at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Ontological Banding

Hello Max,
Your continuing investigation into La Giocondo made me break open my
only book on Leonardo. An interesting aside is something Ludwig
Heydenreich once pointed out that Leonardo's sketch of the Arno valley
is "The first true landscape in art." But as far as ATP is concerned,
you might want to check out the chapter (plateau) on faciality: '...
the face has a correlate of great importance: the landscape, which is
not just a milieu but a deterritorialized world. There are a number of
face-landscape correlations,
on this "higher" level. ... Painting takes up the same movement but
also reverses it, positioning a landscape as a face, treating one like
the other ...'
Anthony Stephenson
NetBehaviour mailing list
NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
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