Hi Anthony,

I think you miss what I'm "on about" to use an antiquated phrase.
In terms of natural rivers, I know them probably better than most; we lived near the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, which from about the 18th century through 2010, flooded over 90 times. Our house was inundated at times. Coal mines further up the river collapsed in the 1950s, miners died. The cemetery a couple of miles from us flooded out with coffins floating down the river. Azure and I went into riparian areas almost every time we were there  (Kingston, PA), searching for slime molds and fungi. Elsewhere we studied the Johnstown Flood in Pennsylvania in which 2000 people were killed as a reservoir gave way. In Colorado, we spent a lot of time in the riparian areas of a reservoir, studying muskrats and red-winged blackbirds.
But this is different than say chess, which has specific rules, or a computer program. With programs, glitches have always interested me (I was on a glitch panel in Austin at SXSW), where at best one might find fractals or percolations at work. Early on I wrote on the difference between "definable" mathematical operations, and the messiness of "immersive ones."
Riverrun, the title, is from Joyce's Finnegans Wake, the first word; it also references for me the four thunders in the book.
In the DHSI (Digital Humanities Summer Institute) conference in Victoria, B.C., I spoke in various kinds of spaces; "gamespace" refers to a rule-governed space including various kinds of hacks; "edgespace" references spaces where anomalies appear - for example "phantom" objects that appeared when I pushed the boundaries of a virtual world, or anomalies that appear when we hacked or pushed the boundaries of motion capture equipment - another example might be the Pentagon's release of "UFO" images recently. Then there's "blank space" which I use to refer to uncharted and potentially unchartable territories, such as the Arctic regions up through, say, the 18th century - when the imaginary takes over, when that's all there is. I'd put religious imagery there, the "Heere bee dragonnes" of medieval maps, dream work, all sorts of anomalies; a lot of my work is concerned with this.

I've worked with the concept of the "liminal" for a long time - I think it was Victor Turner who came up with it (his son also taught at UTD in a program I was also in), and that's fascinated me; I think the concept itself might be liminal, might need to be further "blurred" -

A number of artists I've been associated with (or try to be!) are concerned with these areas; I think even Vito Acconci's performances operated within these territories, as well as Adrian Piper and Laurie Anderson - these artists and others were in an early anthology I did, "Individuals: Post-Movement Art in America" - the title referring to eliminating boundaries and stop defining movements in order to experience what artists were actually doing outside boundaries.

Can you say more how the liminal or edge/border applies to NFTs? I can see how ownership is blurred, but then isn't it (re)defined in terms of the contract and purchase, perhaps morphing but not challenging the concept?

thanks greatly, Alan

On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 9:38 AM Anthony Stephenson via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour@lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
Might inclusion of the liminal help in organizing these thoughts? It seems that you are employing a hard-edged concept of the edge. After all, logic allows for not only this or that, but both or some of both and more. Perhaps you are referring to something that I'm unfamiliar with when you speak of Riverrun, but the edge of almost every natural river is liminal.
The edge or border is something that I've been interested in as it applies to Art. I haven't bothered to prop up cryptocurrencies by placing a bet on NFTs, but I suppose defining ownership as such may be one of the latest expressions of this subject.


- Anthony Stephenson


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