Networkism and Heroism

Posted by Max | Tue Sep 11th 2007 1:27 p.m.

One way of relating Networkism to art of the past, present, and future is by
means of the prevalent usage of heroism, heroic cycles, and related forms.
For example, the tragic hero in ancient drama plays a particular in the
network of the classical polis. The chorus, dramatist, audience, and judges
also play a special role. The hero becomes a special location for a special
kind of information, and the heroic cycle interacts with other network
cycles.

Over time, heroic roles shifted, for example to various types of persons or
to the author or artist personally. Divine roles are also related to heroic
roles and thus also have a network function.

Heroism is a way of emphasizing information and amplifying its effect within
a network. One could also call it a way of emphasizing or defining certain
types of information by type or location. Further, it reflects a place
where cycles and processes of development can take place within the
individual and within the polis, culture, state, or network.

Hence when DuChamp for example dealt with the issue of an artist signing an
artwork, he can very usefully be thought of as addressing network and heroic
issues. Or in the stories surrounding Heracles in ancient Greek myth,
network processes and principles are defined, articulated, and shared.

Networkism then becomes a way to evaluate and understand heroism, heroic
cycles, and related phenomena in the past, present, and future. It is not
just about computer hardware and software, though it most certainly can deal
with those as well. Economics, science, biology, physics, neuroscience,
religion, and many other spheres and disciplines have similar relationships
to networks.

Postmodernism I would argue has a less valuable, nuanced, and capable method
for interpreting heroism and is therefore less interesting and productive
than Networkism in the current time.

Please feel free to post any thoughts or responses to this or other recent
posts on Networkism.

Best regards,

Max Herman
The Genius 2000 Network
Rolling submissions OK through 9/15
www.geocities.com/genius-2000

+++
  • Max Herman | Tue Sep 11th 2007 6:14 p.m.
    Also, the "hero" is the focus of attention, expression, or activity.
    Therefore if the focus is on the purchaser or the gallery owner or somebody,
    that person is the "hero" within the system and the motive of the aesthetic
    patterning. The character of the information represented by the hero is
    amplified out into the rest of the network, shaping or influencing it and
    thereby carrying out the aesthetic evolution (for good or ill) of the
    culture or population-network.

    So again when DuChamp signed the urinal the "hero" role was switched from
    the object to the signer of the object. In medieval art, by contrast, the
    artist was very anonymous and the heroic role was played by the art object
    itself and still moreso by the divine order to which it pointed.

    Observing this relation of the hero to the network allows a very great deal
    of past and present art to be understood clearly and newly articulated by
    Networkism in a variety of good ways.

    >From: "Max Herman" <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
    >Reply-To: "Max Herman" <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
    >To: list@rhizome.org
    >Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 11:27:05 -0500
    >
    >
    >
    >One way of relating Networkism to art of the past, present, and future is
    >by means of the prevalent usage of heroism, heroic cycles, and related
    >forms. For example, the tragic hero in ancient drama plays a particular in
    >the network of the classical polis. The chorus, dramatist, audience, and
    >judges also play a special role. The hero becomes a special location for a
    >special kind of information, and the heroic cycle interacts with other
    >network cycles.
    >
    >Over time, heroic roles shifted, for example to various types of persons or
    >to the author or artist personally. Divine roles are also related to
    >heroic roles and thus also have a network function.
    >
    >Heroism is a way of emphasizing information and amplifying its effect
    >within a network. One could also call it a way of emphasizing or defining
    >certain types of information by type or location. Further, it reflects a
    >place where cycles and processes of development can take place within the
    >individual and within the polis, culture, state, or network.
    >
    >Hence when DuChamp for example dealt with the issue of an artist signing an
    >artwork, he can very usefully be thought of as addressing network and
    >heroic issues. Or in the stories surrounding Heracles in ancient Greek
    >myth, network processes and principles are defined, articulated, and
    >shared.
    >
    >Networkism then becomes a way to evaluate and understand heroism, heroic
    >cycles, and related phenomena in the past, present, and future. It is not
    >just about computer hardware and software, though it most certainly can
    >deal with those as well. Economics, science, biology, physics,
    >neuroscience, religion, and many other spheres and disciplines have similar
    >relationships to networks.
    >
    >Postmodernism I would argue has a less valuable, nuanced, and capable
    >method for interpreting heroism and is therefore less interesting and
    >productive than Networkism in the current time.
    >
    >Please feel free to post any thoughts or responses to this or other recent
    >posts on Networkism.
    >
    >Best regards,
    >
    >Max Herman
    >The Genius 2000 Network
    >Rolling submissions OK through 9/15
    >www.geocities.com/genius-2000
    >
    >+++
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Pall Thayer | Tue Sep 11th 2007 7:01 p.m.
    I like this notion of the "hero." It's interesting. But wouldn't it
    make sense to say that after Modernism the "hero" begins to fade or
    perhaps that the "heroic" becomes somewhat distributed? I'll agree
    that Duchamp's signature becomes the hero in the case of the urinal
    but what about Sol Lewitt's wall paintings? Is the hero the one who
    composes the instructions or the one who follows them? In generative,
    interactive work is the hero the one who composes "the system" or
    those who contribute to and essentially feed the work, maintaining its
    existence?

    Pall

    On 9/11/07, Max Herman <maxnmherman@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    > Also, the "hero" is the focus of attention, expression, or activity.
    > Therefore if the focus is on the purchaser or the gallery owner or somebody,
    > that person is the "hero" within the system and the motive of the aesthetic
    > patterning. The character of the information represented by the hero is
    > amplified out into the rest of the network, shaping or influencing it and
    > thereby carrying out the aesthetic evolution (for good or ill) of the
    > culture or population-network.
    >
    > So again when DuChamp signed the urinal the "hero" role was switched from
    > the object to the signer of the object. In medieval art, by contrast, the
    > artist was very anonymous and the heroic role was played by the art object
    > itself and still moreso by the divine order to which it pointed.
    >
    > Observing this relation of the hero to the network allows a very great deal
    > of past and present art to be understood clearly and newly articulated by
    > Networkism in a variety of good ways.
    >
    >
    > >From: "Max Herman" <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
    > >Reply-To: "Max Herman" <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
    > >To: list@rhizome.org
    > >Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    > >Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 11:27:05 -0500
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >One way of relating Networkism to art of the past, present, and future is
    > >by means of the prevalent usage of heroism, heroic cycles, and related
    > >forms. For example, the tragic hero in ancient drama plays a particular in
    > >the network of the classical polis. The chorus, dramatist, audience, and
    > >judges also play a special role. The hero becomes a special location for a
    > >special kind of information, and the heroic cycle interacts with other
    > >network cycles.
    > >
    > >Over time, heroic roles shifted, for example to various types of persons or
    > >to the author or artist personally. Divine roles are also related to
    > >heroic roles and thus also have a network function.
    > >
    > >Heroism is a way of emphasizing information and amplifying its effect
    > >within a network. One could also call it a way of emphasizing or defining
    > >certain types of information by type or location. Further, it reflects a
    > >place where cycles and processes of development can take place within the
    > >individual and within the polis, culture, state, or network.
    > >
    > >Hence when DuChamp for example dealt with the issue of an artist signing an
    > >artwork, he can very usefully be thought of as addressing network and
    > >heroic issues. Or in the stories surrounding Heracles in ancient Greek
    > >myth, network processes and principles are defined, articulated, and
    > >shared.
    > >
    > >Networkism then becomes a way to evaluate and understand heroism, heroic
    > >cycles, and related phenomena in the past, present, and future. It is not
    > >just about computer hardware and software, though it most certainly can
    > >deal with those as well. Economics, science, biology, physics,
    > >neuroscience, religion, and many other spheres and disciplines have similar
    > >relationships to networks.
    > >
    > >Postmodernism I would argue has a less valuable, nuanced, and capable
    > >method for interpreting heroism and is therefore less interesting and
    > >productive than Networkism in the current time.
    > >
    > >Please feel free to post any thoughts or responses to this or other recent
    > >posts on Networkism.
    > >
    > >Best regards,
    > >
    > >Max Herman
    > >The Genius 2000 Network
    > >Rolling submissions OK through 9/15
    > >www.geocities.com/genius-2000
    > >
    > >+++
    > >
    > >
    > >+
    > >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    > >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > >+
    > >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >

    --
    *****************************
    Pall Thayer
    artist
    http://www.this.is/pallit
    *****************************
  • Rhizomer | Tue Sep 11th 2007 9:16 p.m.
    On 9/12/07, Pall Thayer <pallthay@gmail.com> wrote:
    > I like this notion of the "hero." It's interesting. But wouldn't it
    > make sense to say that after Modernism the "hero" begins to fade or
    > perhaps that the "heroic" becomes somewhat distributed?

    re: this comment and the concept of networkism in general, find my new
    theory twitter stream condensed in2 linearity...

    4rm the netwurker herself,
    ][mez][

    --

    _Reality Mapping: Navigating the Social-Nodes_

    Web 2.0 is based on a collusive tapestry of adjoining social nodes.
    Social Networks such as MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Orkut, Liveleak,
    YouTube, Twitter and Pownce aren't prefaced on pre-set connotative
    connections maintained through historicized emotional depth or
    satisfied by biological drives. Friends aren't friends as we have come
    to know them: there is no establishment of shared geophysical
    experiences, no cathartic or chronologically defined friendship
    markers evident. What's important is [inter]action and the quantity of
    it - the residual volume of contact and the fact of shared connection
    minus a meatbody context. Identity is constructed in these friendship
    pathways via the idea of notations; of naming labels, of icon
    attribution, and of clustered info-snippets streamlined through an
    interface designed for momentary persona snapshots.

    _Distributed Identity Compensation_

    In digitized social networks there is no place for psychologically
    defined notions of personality as a cohesive, definable whole.
    Identity manifests through notational distributions found in multiple
    profiles across various platforms. Ego-mediated variables are replaced
    with actuated identity markers defined by the ability to establish
    links to others likewise devoid of any traditional geophysical
    baggage. For these articulated identities [now known as versionals]
    connection is the vital point of communication; not the content, not
    the geophysical inflection, not the biologically-saturated ties linked
    to survival, competition, and traditional concrete community building.
    This method of clustered distribution provokes a type of reality lag
    found in capitalistic and ideologically frameworked nations; those
    devoted to maintaining established notions of individuals definable by
    consumerism and Darwinian drives, monetary wealth,
    institution-adherence, and paranoid-inducing security.

    _Versional Space-Walking_

    Mobile technologies such as phones and other wireless tech-detritus
    have likewise altered the nature of individualised space with
    unwitting listeners in proximity switching to socially-mediated
    communication channels. Private data is is now dispersed publically,
    infiltrating individualised mono-access to private spheres and
    rewriting them as open-ended versional noise. There is no definitive
    narrative stream or beginning> middle>end but clusters of "incomplete"
    identity snippets.

    _Social Infowork: Versionals Don't Do Hollywood_

    Contemporary entertainment models are significantly threatened by a
    versional/distributed identity ethos. The proscribed linearities of
    passive, individuated entertainment experiences [ie television, cinema
    and literature] are being currently eroded via clustered peer2peer,
    gamer-defined, remixed, mashedup copyright left content. Information
    and work boundaries are collapsing. Pop-cultural lexicons are moving
    towards a type of modulated system based on versional directed
    traffic. Hollywood's kneejerk reaction is epitomized in their rush to
    remake outmoded movie sequels and for tv networks to rehash content
    dependent on narrative rite-of-passage tropes. The viewer investment
    in following an unfolding plot and/or seeking a concrete meaning [ie
    art/entertainment viewed as a purveyor of ritualised morality lessons]
    has morphed via social networking into a focus on connective
    experientiality.

    _Doubling the Virtual: Decay of Real Reality_

    Notions of a legitimate reality as defined by a grounded geophysical
    state are altering. Base biological data is being mined and mapped as
    a potential infostream to harvest and alter [ think: the potential
    FLOSS utilization of the mapping of the human genome]. Google
    Earth/Maps/Streetview software exposes geography as an infowork
    entertainment stream.Versional operation in social networks and avatar
    use in virtual worlds such as Second Life and MMOGs also contribute to
    this shift. One such example is a double-virtual layered reality
    presented in aspects of the MMOG World of Warcraft in the Caverns of
    Time instance "Old Hillsbrad". When entering the instance, each
    character involved is transported to a parallel reality version of an
    area of the game they have previously [and probably extensively]
    encountered. The primary game reality is replaced by a secondary
    reality, complete with altered gameworld parameters such as
    substantial differences in topography. The avatars themselves
    shapeshift in order to reflect the relevant aspect of game lore with
    each "toon" displaying now as a human. In these manifestations,
    ego-stitched/physical reality and identity concepts are bifurcated
    through multiple projections - there is no "real" reality concept
    emphasized.

    _Credibility Busting: Citizen Media For The Win_

    Institutionalised information facets that are currently viewed as
    "factual" are not immune to the versional effect. Canonized
    distributions embodying previously established credibility markers
    such as scientific methodology>evidence>history-as-truth are being
    repulsed to encourage more elastic variations on present non-credible
    information sources like Wikipedia, who draw on constantly changing
    data sources. Versionals, being post-[singular]identities, act to
    obfuscate regular information hierarchies and rewrite "credible"
    information source-points via blogging, wiki creation, photo
    aggregationism, p2p file sharing, textual moment-capture and
    info-flagging [microblogging, instant messaging, tagging, social
    bookmarking], video snippeting, and identity diffusion. Versionals are
    the new cultural black.

    --
    : mmo.[s]tabbings.ripple+sh[ape.avian.l]ift :
    : http://netwurker.livejournal.com
    : http://disapposable.blogspot.com/
    : http://twitter.com/netwurker
  • Max Herman | Tue Sep 11th 2007 11:20 p.m.
    Those are very good questions Pall and thanks for the kind reception of the
    hero idea. I had that first in 1993, well before G2K and Networkism. I
    first noticed in the study of Greek tragedy as in this paper at
    http://www.geocities.com/genius-2000/HandOPaperWord5.html :

    'The convention of heroism is one of the most ancient and widespread
    literary methods through which human experience is transformed into
    literature. In a very literal sense, Hamlet and Oedipus both 'become
  • Jim Andrews | Wed Sep 12th 2007 12:52 a.m.
    i note yet another level of spam in my inbox, having recently registered on
    facebook at the request of a (real) friend. so far i'm not particularly
    impressed with facebook. perhaps i'm missing something?

    the enthusiasm of venture capitalists concerning investment in 'social
    software' is, of course, due to the potential to make money. but isn't the
    business plan to data-mine the bejesus out of the user's data and
    backchannel them yet more spam email. whatever it is, i almost certainly
    don't want it. can one say 'don't send me any backchannel spam, please,
    facebook' ? somehow that doesn't seem like an option.

    as an alternative to lists, so far, to me, facebook is not real good.

    not to say that we don't need good alternatives to lists.

    ja
    http://vispo.com

    ps: much as i'm a fan of the internet, as brett pointed out, the term
    'networkism' seems too limited to describe the phenomenon. 'computational
    media' is not even broad enough, because it's not so much a matter of
    digital media as computation. there is no proof, and probably never will be,
    that there exist thought processes of which humans are capable and computers
    are not. the significance of this is beyond a matter of media. computers are
    not simply universal media machines.
  • Maschine Hospital | Wed Sep 12th 2007 2:12 a.m.
    Kollektive shotgun wedding konsiderable as 'appropriate' term?

    On Tue, 11 Sep 2007, Jim Andrews wrote:

    > Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 20:52:33 -0700
    > From: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    > To: list@rhizome.org
    > Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >
    > i note yet another level of spam in my inbox, having recently registered on
    > facebook at the request of a (real) friend. so far i'm not particularly
    > impressed with facebook. perhaps i'm missing something?
    >
    > the enthusiasm of venture capitalists concerning investment in 'social
    > software' is, of course, due to the potential to make money. but isn't the
    > business plan to data-mine the bejesus out of the user's data and
    > backchannel them yet more spam email. whatever it is, i almost certainly
    > don't want it. can one say 'don't send me any backchannel spam, please,
    > facebook' ? somehow that doesn't seem like an option.
    >
    > as an alternative to lists, so far, to me, facebook is not real good.
    >
    > not to say that we don't need good alternatives to lists.
    >
    > ja
    > http://vispo.com
    >
    >
    > ps: much as i'm a fan of the internet, as brett pointed out, the term
    > 'networkism' seems too limited to describe the phenomenon. 'computational
    > media' is not even broad enough, because it's not so much a matter of
    > digital media as computation. there is no proof, and probably never will be,
    > that there exist thought processes of which humans are capable and computers
    > are not. the significance of this is beyond a matter of media. computers are
    > not simply universal media machines.
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >

    o
    [ + ]

    + + +

    | '|' |
    _________________________________________
    `, . ` `k a r e i' ? ' D42
  • Maschine Hospital | Wed Sep 12th 2007 2:37 a.m.
    Mmm.. kollektiv shotgun wedding sounds almost as exclusiv++ as a cigar.

    H(i)eros Gamos:

    At 1941 at the foot of the eminence Djan bair treasure-hunters found
    uncovered some graves. They have been hollowed out at the rock like
    troughs and up overplayed with tile-stones.

    There have been placed clay vessels-urns, flush with the burned bones of
    the deceased humans. Unusual interest represent one of the urns. This
    vessel got one of the usual shapes for the tomb urns. Here is used but

    one

    ultra rare theme of decoration

    - cross with broken shoulders,

    the so called swastika.

    The settlement from this period has been placed at southern direction,
    up on

    thee tlted platform at the western area of the nowadays village.

    Later,

    during the first centuries after Christ, the settlement has been shifted at
    easter direction from the nowadays village.

    There, at the slope of the eminence during the first half of III century
    has been constructed sanctuary of the Old god - equestrain ( Heros ).
    Testimonial for this are that four consecrated reliefs, devoted to the
    god- equestrain.

    Let'z get married--again and again.

    Horsey, horsey.

    OFF WITH THEIR HEADS AGAIN,
    rebelling against le roi solaire mercuriel.

    o
    [ + ]

    + + +

    | '|' |
    _________________________________________
    `, . ` `k a r e i' ? ' D42
  • Max Herman | Wed Sep 12th 2007 10:56 a.m.
    You make some excellent points. I don't personally belong to Facebook or
    any of the other social software sites (except for Rhizome) and don't really
    know much about them. I guess you put up pictures, videos, blog stuff,
    personal profiles, friend-choices etc. I do have the Genius 2000 Video
    First Edition on YouTube but I don't use the "friend" functionality there.
    Certainly I don't think that "pretend internet friends" is the core meaning
    of what I mean by Networkism.

    Networkism is not primarily descriptive of what people are doing on the
    internet and other computer networks. It is more prescriptive--how to make
    the best art to protect and foster aesthetic evolution under network
    conditions past, presen. Network conditions would certainly exist without
    the internet and existed even back in the time of sailing ships, railroads,
    TV, VCRs, regular rotary dial phones, street markets, and so forth.

    Thus, in my understanding Networkism would still be the current
    art-historical period even if there were no computers or internet.
    Modernism and Postmodernism could still have occurred and lost usefulness
    (run their course, reached a point of diminishing returns) for aesthetic
    evolution even if the internet were not up yet. Internetism could be
    thought of as one form of Low Networkism.

    As to computers thinking like humans, or the two being cognitively the same
    or similar, I suppose that would be just as much a valid theme under
    Networkism as it would under Postmodernism or N-state or what have you.

    >From: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >Reply-To: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >To: list@rhizome.org
    >Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 20:52:33 -0700
    >
    >i note yet another level of spam in my inbox, having recently registered on
    >facebook at the request of a (real) friend. so far i'm not particularly
    >impressed with facebook. perhaps i'm missing something?
    >
    >the enthusiasm of venture capitalists concerning investment in 'social
    >software' is, of course, due to the potential to make money. but isn't the
    >business plan to data-mine the bejesus out of the user's data and
    >backchannel them yet more spam email. whatever it is, i almost certainly
    >don't want it. can one say 'don't send me any backchannel spam, please,
    >facebook' ? somehow that doesn't seem like an option.
    >
    >as an alternative to lists, so far, to me, facebook is not real good.
    >
    >not to say that we don't need good alternatives to lists.
    >
    >ja
    >http://vispo.com
    >
    >
    >ps: much as i'm a fan of the internet, as brett pointed out, the term
    >'networkism' seems too limited to describe the phenomenon. 'computational
    >media' is not even broad enough, because it's not so much a matter of
    >digital media as computation. there is no proof, and probably never will
    >be,
    >that there exist thought processes of which humans are capable and
    >computers
    >are not. the significance of this is beyond a matter of media. computers
    >are
    >not simply universal media machines.
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Max Herman | Wed Sep 12th 2007 11:49 a.m.
    Hi Jim,

    A typo below should read:

    "It is more prescriptive--how to make the best art to protect and foster
    aesthetic evolution under network conditions past, present, and future."

    Just as Romanticism was both dissatisfied with current convention and aimed
    to get back to the true essence (eternal essence) of poetry, true Networkism
    views itself as a move away from contemporary mistakes or false paths and
    back toward the best, truest, most beautiful meaning of art in all forms
    (including poetry), i.e. the aesthetic evolution of humanity to its best
    possible state of existence.

    >From: "Max Herman" <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
    >Reply-To: "Max Herman" <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
    >To: list@rhizome.org
    >Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 08:56:13 -0500
    >
    >
    >You make some excellent points. I don't personally belong to Facebook or
    >any of the other social software sites (except for Rhizome) and don't
    >really know much about them. I guess you put up pictures, videos, blog
    >stuff, personal profiles, friend-choices etc. I do have the Genius 2000
    >Video First Edition on YouTube but I don't use the "friend" functionality
    >there. Certainly I don't think that "pretend internet friends" is the core
    >meaning of what I mean by Networkism.
    >
    >Networkism is not primarily descriptive of what people are doing on the
    >internet and other computer networks. It is more prescriptive--how to make
    >the best art to protect and foster aesthetic evolution under network
    >conditions past, presen. Network conditions would certainly exist without
    >the internet and existed even back in the time of sailing ships, railroads,
    >TV, VCRs, regular rotary dial phones, street markets, and so forth.
    >
    >Thus, in my understanding Networkism would still be the current
    >art-historical period even if there were no computers or internet.
    >Modernism and Postmodernism could still have occurred and lost usefulness
    >(run their course, reached a point of diminishing returns) for aesthetic
    >evolution even if the internet were not up yet. Internetism could be
    >thought of as one form of Low Networkism.
    >
    >As to computers thinking like humans, or the two being cognitively the same
    >or similar, I suppose that would be just as much a valid theme under
    >Networkism as it would under Postmodernism or N-state or what have you.
    >
    >
    >
    >>From: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >>Reply-To: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >>To: list@rhizome.org
    >>Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >>Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 20:52:33 -0700
    >>
    >>i note yet another level of spam in my inbox, having recently registered
    >>on
    >>facebook at the request of a (real) friend. so far i'm not particularly
    >>impressed with facebook. perhaps i'm missing something?
    >>
    >>the enthusiasm of venture capitalists concerning investment in 'social
    >>software' is, of course, due to the potential to make money. but isn't the
    >>business plan to data-mine the bejesus out of the user's data and
    >>backchannel them yet more spam email. whatever it is, i almost certainly
    >>don't want it. can one say 'don't send me any backchannel spam, please,
    >>facebook' ? somehow that doesn't seem like an option.
    >>
    >>as an alternative to lists, so far, to me, facebook is not real good.
    >>
    >>not to say that we don't need good alternatives to lists.
    >>
    >>ja
    >>http://vispo.com
    >>
    >>
    >>ps: much as i'm a fan of the internet, as brett pointed out, the term
    >>'networkism' seems too limited to describe the phenomenon. 'computational
    >>media' is not even broad enough, because it's not so much a matter of
    >>digital media as computation. there is no proof, and probably never will
    >>be,
    >>that there exist thought processes of which humans are capable and
    >>computers
    >>are not. the significance of this is beyond a matter of media. computers
    >>are
    >>not simply universal media machines.
    >>
    >>
    >>+
    >>-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >>+
    >>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Max Herman | Wed Sep 12th 2007 2:25 p.m.
    Hi Karei,

    Interesting comments on heroism. Definitely false heroism can have major
    and minor negative effects. Some are minor like kitsch and mediocrity,
    wasted time and potential, and others are major like societal, economic, or
    personal collapse. Real and true heroism is tough to define but I believe
    the true artist or poet is trying to function as a hero of sorts and/or to
    access a legitimate heroic mode.

    I like the indo-European root:

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/roots/zzs02200.html

    And the definition:

    http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/h/h0166000.html

    As to the urge to marry and make pretend internet friends, that's really
    low-level and hardly worthy of heroic status. I find it to be a good
    example of Low Networkism or False Networkism, and something which the
    development of High Networkism or True Networkism past, present, and future
    would seek to ameliorate, replace, and/or protect from without of course
    upsetting the apple cart.

    But people like that fake friend stuff, they do it eagerly, and maybe it's a
    necessary evil just because it's so popular. I cannot say for sure. Yet I
    do consider it both OK and respectable to propose a respectable alternative
    path as long as one is responsible and uses proper discretion. For this
    particularly one has to be true and clear in one's own mind and conscience,
    as Groote and the Preface so emphatically urge.

    Best regards,

    Max Herman
    The Genius 2000 Network
    Rolling submissions OK until 9/15
    www.geocities.com/genius-2000

    P.S.--If people are on other lists, could you please forward information
    about the Rolling Submission deadline there? I am currently only on Rhizome
    Raw. Thanks!

    +++

    >From: "-IID42 Kandinskij @27+" <death@punkassbitch.org>
    >Reply-To: "-IID42 Kandinskij @27+" <death@punkassbitch.org>
    >To: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >CC: list@rhizome.org
    >Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 22:36:21 -0700 (PDT)
    >
    >Mmm.. kollektiv shotgun wedding sounds almost as exclusiv++ as a cigar.
    >
    >H(i)eros Gamos:
    >
    >At 1941 at the foot of the eminence Djan bair treasure-hunters found
    >uncovered some graves. They have been hollowed out at the rock like
    >troughs and up overplayed with tile-stones.
    >
    >There have been placed clay vessels-urns, flush with the burned bones of
    >the deceased humans. Unusual interest represent one of the urns. This
    >vessel got one of the usual shapes for the tomb urns. Here is used but
    >
    > one
    >
    >ultra rare theme of decoration
    >
    >- cross with broken shoulders,
    >
    > the so called swastika.
    >
    >The settlement from this period has been placed at southern direction,
    >up on
    >
    > thee tlted platform at the western area of the nowadays village.
    >
    >
    >Later,
    >
    >during the first centuries after Christ, the settlement has been shifted at
    >easter direction from the nowadays village.
    >
    >There, at the slope of the eminence during the first half of III century
    >has been constructed sanctuary of the Old god - equestrain ( Heros ).
    >Testimonial for this are that four consecrated reliefs, devoted to the
    >god- equestrain.
    >
    >Let'z get married--again and again.
    >
    >Horsey, horsey.
    >
    > OFF WITH THEIR HEADS AGAIN,
    > rebelling against le roi solaire mercuriel.
    >
    > o
    > [ + ]
    >
    > + + +
    >
    >
    >| '|' |
    >_________________________________________
    >`, . ` `k a r e i' ? ' D42
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Joseph Gray | Wed Sep 12th 2007 6:23 p.m.
    Punkassbitch.org
    What you need, when you need it

    The writer -IID42 Kandinskij @27+writ:

  • Maschine Hospital | Thu Sep 13th 2007 2:57 a.m.
    Dalliance to the right.
    And *as* you need it, gravediggers.
    Shall we? Waltz, waltz.

    On Wed, 12 Sep 2007, Joseph Gray wrote:

    > Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 14:22:59 -0700 (PDT)
    > From: Joseph Gray <josephgray@grauwald.com>
    > To: list@rhizome.org
    > Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >
    > Punkassbitch.org
    > What you need, when you need it
    >
    > The writer -IID42 Kandinskij @27+writ:
    >
    >
  • Jim Andrews | Thu Sep 13th 2007 5:20 a.m.
    > Networkism is not primarily descriptive of what people are doing on the
    > internet and other computer networks. It is more
    > prescriptive--how to make
    > the best art to protect and foster aesthetic evolution under network
    > conditions past, presen. Network conditions would certainly
    > exist without
    > the internet and existed even back in the time of sailing ships,
    > railroads,
    > TV, VCRs, regular rotary dial phones, street markets, and so forth.
    >
    > Thus, in my understanding Networkism would still be the current
    > art-historical period even if there were no computers or internet.
    > Modernism and Postmodernism could still have occurred and lost usefulness
    > (run their course, reached a point of diminishing returns) for aesthetic
    > evolution even if the internet were not up yet. Internetism could be
    > thought of as one form of Low Networkism.
    >
    > As to computers thinking like humans, or the two being
    > cognitively the same
    > or similar, I suppose that would be just as much a valid theme under
    > Networkism as it would under Postmodernism or N-state or what have you.

    Getting a computer to think like a human is probably less interesting than
    getting a computer to think like a computer. They don't have the same sort
    of bodies we do, the same sort of senses, the same sort of instincts, and so
    on. Should they come to think in a convincing way, they'll think like a
    different species might think. According to their phenomenology, their
    strengths and weaknesses, needs and strengths, weaknesses and properties.
    Yet, like us, they will be sentient beings. Some of the things we think and
    think about are thoughts and issues better described as those of sentient
    beings than specifically of humans. Other things we think and think about
    are specifically human. And they're all mixed up together. So it would be,
    also, concerning the thoughts of computers.

    To think is partly a human thing, partly a thing that's independent of being
    specifically human. For instance, all sentient beings face much the same
    moral issues. And even when they don't, they can appreciate the issues faced
    by others, if they work at it.

    The point isn't that computers can think like we do. Maybe they can, maybe
    they can't. But they surely can be made to think in some way. And this
    changes our ideas of who and what we are. Changes our thoughts about
    thinking. Media as inner dialog externalized between people. Media as the
    flow of thinking inside the head. Media as thought process. Expands our
    notions of language and code. Thinking and experiencing as networked
    processes that happen within and without. As processes distributed
    throughout the rhizome.

    On a different note, there is no 'best art'. There are too many criteria at
    play. Perhaps for criteria x there is a 'best', as long as it can be
    isolated from all the rest. But judgements about art involve very many
    criteria simultaneously, and it is folly to think that an absolute 'best'
    makes any sense in such a situation just as it is folly to think that there
    is a largest point in a planar area. There can be a largest point in a
    segment of a number line, but not in a plane.

    ja
    http://vispo.com
  • Max Herman | Thu Sep 13th 2007 11:19 a.m.
    Would "better art" be OK? That would also imply a criteria and hierarchical
    gradation. I do believe in better and worse however so I wouldn't
    completely level and equate all aesthetic activity.

    >From: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >To: Max Herman <maxnmherman@hotmail.com>
    >Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 21:40:00 -0700
    >
    >
    > > Networkism ... is more
    > > prescriptive--how to make
    > > the best art to protect and foster aesthetic evolution under network
    > > conditions past, presen.
    >
    >There is no 'best' art. One would have to narrow down the criteria quite
    >narrowly for there to be a 'best' because the criteria are generally so
    >broad as to render simply absurd such a hierarchical gradation. Usually
    >'best' ends up simply referring to one's own art, or that of one's friends
    >or group, rather than meaning anything more significant.
    >
    >ja
    >http://vispo.com
    >
    >
    >
  • Max Herman | Thu Sep 13th 2007 11:32 a.m.
    Hi Jim,

    Do you think computers can make art, or can help humans make better art?
    I'm skeptical of computers because of what Norbert Wiener said per

    http://www.geocities.com/genius-2000/Stahlman1.html

    Also, while I find computers very interesting and somewhat relevant I do
    think that to exaggerate their importance in human aesthetic evolution,
    their network properties notwithstanding, is a common type of Low Networkism
    which I call "Computerism."

    True or High Networkism (as an art-historical period) considers networks
    from the vantage point of human aesthetic evolution (art) first and
    foremost. Technology and computers are relevant to discussions of art only
    as they relate to art.

    This is just my view however, and I readily acknowledge it is by far the
    minority opinion.

    Max

    +++

    >From: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >Reply-To: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    >To: list@rhizome.org
    >Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 01:18:23 -0700
    >
    > > Networkism is not primarily descriptive of what people are doing on the
    > > internet and other computer networks. It is more
    > > prescriptive--how to make
    > > the best art to protect and foster aesthetic evolution under network
    > > conditions past, presen. Network conditions would certainly
    > > exist without
    > > the internet and existed even back in the time of sailing ships,
    > > railroads,
    > > TV, VCRs, regular rotary dial phones, street markets, and so forth.
    > >
    > > Thus, in my understanding Networkism would still be the current
    > > art-historical period even if there were no computers or internet.
    > > Modernism and Postmodernism could still have occurred and lost
    >usefulness
    > > (run their course, reached a point of diminishing returns) for aesthetic
    > > evolution even if the internet were not up yet. Internetism could be
    > > thought of as one form of Low Networkism.
    > >
    > > As to computers thinking like humans, or the two being
    > > cognitively the same
    > > or similar, I suppose that would be just as much a valid theme under
    > > Networkism as it would under Postmodernism or N-state or what have you.
    >
    >Getting a computer to think like a human is probably less interesting than
    >getting a computer to think like a computer. They don't have the same sort
    >of bodies we do, the same sort of senses, the same sort of instincts, and
    >so
    >on. Should they come to think in a convincing way, they'll think like a
    >different species might think. According to their phenomenology, their
    >strengths and weaknesses, needs and strengths, weaknesses and properties.
    >Yet, like us, they will be sentient beings. Some of the things we think and
    >think about are thoughts and issues better described as those of sentient
    >beings than specifically of humans. Other things we think and think about
    >are specifically human. And they're all mixed up together. So it would be,
    >also, concerning the thoughts of computers.
    >
    >To think is partly a human thing, partly a thing that's independent of
    >being
    >specifically human. For instance, all sentient beings face much the same
    >moral issues. And even when they don't, they can appreciate the issues
    >faced
    >by others, if they work at it.
    >
    >The point isn't that computers can think like we do. Maybe they can, maybe
    >they can't. But they surely can be made to think in some way. And this
    >changes our ideas of who and what we are. Changes our thoughts about
    >thinking. Media as inner dialog externalized between people. Media as the
    >flow of thinking inside the head. Media as thought process. Expands our
    >notions of language and code. Thinking and experiencing as networked
    >processes that happen within and without. As processes distributed
    >throughout the rhizome.
    >
    >On a different note, there is no 'best art'. There are too many criteria at
    >play. Perhaps for criteria x there is a 'best', as long as it can be
    >isolated from all the rest. But judgements about art involve very many
    >criteria simultaneously, and it is folly to think that an absolute 'best'
    >makes any sense in such a situation just as it is folly to think that there
    >is a largest point in a planar area. There can be a largest point in a
    >segment of a number line, but not in a plane.
    >
    >ja
    >http://vispo.com
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Jim Andrews | Thu Sep 13th 2007 2:29 p.m.
    > Would "better art" be OK? That would also imply a criteria and
    > hierarchical
    > gradation. I do believe in better and worse however so I wouldn't
    > completely level and equate all aesthetic activity.

    Do you think "better art" today is better than "better art" from 300 BCE? Is
    "better art" today better than the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and
    Euripides? I don't think so.

    We may need to do some learning to appreciate and understand the art of the
    past, but when we do, its relevance to our own time and situations begins to
    emerge, as do matters of form and style.

    Art changes, over time, but it does not get cumulatively better, over time.

    However, this doesn't mean it's always meaningless to say one artwork is
    better than another.

    Usually it *is* meangingless, unless the ways in which it's better are
    specified.

    Intelligent and useful criticism of art is typically less intent on simply
    grading art than understanding it and the worlds to which it refers.

    The new and improved is sales talk. A culture of salespeople. A culture of
    hucksters. A culture of game players. A culture trained in moronics. A
    culture of soldiers. A culture of killers. Shitheads in the wilderness.
    Language and criticism as weapons, not toward understanding.

    ja
    http://vispo.com
  • Joseph Gray | Thu Sep 13th 2007 2:43 p.m.
    The Cutest Gravediggers You've Ever Seen

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-Mmbl2TEVE

    Just pull out your trusty can of Goth-Begone!
    Turns any batcaver into a GAP-loving mall-goer!

    +=
    -Joe

    The writer -IID42 Kandinskij @27+ writ:
  • Max Herman | Thu Sep 13th 2007 3 p.m.
    Jim, do you think understanding is better than moronics, killers, and
    shitheads? If so, on what basis? Something comparable to that basis is
    probably akin to or comparable to the basis I am using in reference to art.

    A culture trained in moronics. A
    >culture of soldiers. A culture of killers. Shitheads in the wilderness.
    >Language and criticism as weapons, not toward understanding.
    >
    >ja
    >http://vispo.com
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • joseph mcelroy | Thu Sep 13th 2007 3:29 p.m.
    Jim Andrews wrote
    > The new and improved is sales talk. A culture of salespeople. A culture of
    > hucksters. A culture of game players. A culture trained in moronics. A
    > culture of soldiers. A culture of killers. Shitheads in the wilderness.
    > Language and criticism as weapons, not toward understanding.
    >
    Equating sales with killing is a ridiculous step to take. Everyone has
    to sell, even those taking an anti-sales stance are selling their
    position. Sales encompasses much more than the "common" misconception
    of the guy in a striped coat and straw hat. Not only that, I think you
    are really misunderstanding the difference between sales and marketing -
    since we exist more in a "culture of marketing people" than in a
    :"culture of sales people". It is the difference between attraction and
    conversion.

    joseph
  • Lee Wells | Thu Sep 13th 2007 5:06 p.m.
    Gotta pay the rent somehow and I bet most of the people listening would sell
    out in a second if given the opportunity. The problem is that most NM
    artists or artists in general do not have market appeal. It is not heroic to
    starve to death in the 21st century. Compared to other fields of study the
    art world is easy in fact decadent for all of us. It is heroic to stand up
    for what you believe in and face death. Its honorable to dig ditches as long
    as the digger considers it to be.

    Art Theory Contexts
    http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/visualarts/art-theory-intro.html

    > From: Joseph Franklyn McElroy <joseph@corporatepa.com>
    > Reply-To: Joseph Franklyn McElroy <joseph@corporatepa.com>
    > Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 14:29:16 -0400
    > To: Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>
    > Cc: <list@rhizome.org>
    > Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >
    > Jim Andrews wrote
    >> The new and improved is sales talk. A culture of salespeople. A culture of
    >> hucksters. A culture of game players. A culture trained in moronics. A
    >> culture of soldiers. A culture of killers. Shitheads in the wilderness.
    >> Language and criticism as weapons, not toward understanding.
    >>
    > Equating sales with killing is a ridiculous step to take. Everyone has
    > to sell, even those taking an anti-sales stance are selling their
    > position. Sales encompasses much more than the "common" misconception
    > of the guy in a striped coat and straw hat. Not only that, I think you
    > are really misunderstanding the difference between sales and marketing -
    > since we exist more in a "culture of marketing people" than in a
    > :"culture of sales people". It is the difference between attraction and
    > conversion.
    >
    > joseph
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • joseph mcelroy | Fri Sep 14th 2007 12:32 a.m.
  • Jim Andrews | Fri Sep 14th 2007 3:54 a.m.
    > Do you think computers can make art, or can help humans make better art?
    > I'm skeptical of computers because of what Norbert Wiener said per
    >
    > http://www.geocities.com/genius-2000/Stahlman1.html

    I was sitting beside Millie Niss during a presentation in Buffalo, years
    ago, about computers and poetry. The presenter said something like
    'Computers will be writing the poetry of the future.' Millie said to me
    'Getting computers to write our poetry is like getting them to eat for us."

    I thought that was more interesting than the presentation.

    Ya, why would we want them to write the poetry?

    I think computers are fascinating and extrordinarily useful to artists in
    bazillions of ways. And I suppose they can be made to make art, too, but I
    tend to look to art for a synthesis of passion and brains, song and vision,
    primal and intellectual, intensity and engagement, experience and concept.
    Come on blow my freakin mind. And I suppose it's possible that computers can
    be made to do such things, eventually. Maybe. But, as Millie implied, there
    doesn't seem to be much point in getting them to eat for us, getting them to
    do or produce things that are really only relevant and meaningful when done
    or produced by people.

    Weizenbaum (who wrote ELIZA) argued, like Weiner, that there are certain
    things we shouldn't try to get computers to do: things that require wisdom.
    I don't suppose eating requires much wisdom--though eating well and in such
    a way that it helps, not hurts, your body just might. And creating art might
    not require much wisdom. But creating art that other people find rewarding
    and inspiring just might. Computers can be made to do very many things. But
    to get computers to do these things in a useful or satisfying way is
    something else.

    However, Max, we're on the cusp of quite a different era in intellectual
    history. We're close to understanding how the brain codes information. That
    will be as significant a discovery as DNA and Darwin's ideas. But coded. Not
    necessarily in a language. Does there need to be conscious beings involved
    in the formulation of a language? There almost certainly isn't in the codes
    the brain uses to store information. What separates code from language?

    This question is related to the question of whether computers can make art,
    or make significant art.

    In any case, the pursuit of these questions bring us to a deeper
    understanding of our own natures, as well as that of code, language, art,
    and maybe wisdom.

    ja
    http://vispo.com

    > Also, while I find computers very interesting and somewhat relevant I do
    > think that to exaggerate their importance in human aesthetic evolution,
    > their network properties notwithstanding, is a common type of Low
    > Networkism
    > which I call "Computerism."
    >
    > True or High Networkism (as an art-historical period) considers networks
    > from the vantage point of human aesthetic evolution (art) first and
    > foremost. Technology and computers are relevant to discussions
    > of art only
    > as they relate to art.
    >
    > This is just my view however, and I readily acknowledge it is by far the
    > minority opinion.
    >
    > Max
  • Rob Myers | Fri Sep 14th 2007 7:10 a.m.
    Quoting Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>:

    > Ya, why would we want them to write the poetry?

    If what they did (or were caused to do) was interesting. If it could
    not be done any other way. If it was fun.

    19th century poets didn't refuse to use steel nib pens, and 19th
    century artists didn't refuse to use tube paint. Art does not exist
    separate from technology, which does not exist separate from society.
    If art is not to end up an evacuated historical simulacra, the
    aesthetic equivalent of civil war reenactment, it needs to have some
    kind of informed relationship to society and its technology.

    This can of course be a position of refusal, but refusal is different
    to conservatism or moribundity.

    - Rob.
  • Pall Thayer | Fri Sep 14th 2007 8:02 a.m.
    People need to be aware of the distinction between the product of a
    computer process being art and the process itself being art. Computers
    can be made to write poetry and paint pictures (ie. Aaron) but in such
    cases, the process that makes the computers write or paint is what
    carries artistic significance. This, I feel, is an important
    distinction that people tend to neglect at times.

    Pall

    On 9/14/07, rob@robmyers.org <rob@robmyers.org> wrote:
    > Quoting Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>:
    >
    > > Ya, why would we want them to write the poetry?
    >
    > If what they did (or were caused to do) was interesting. If it could
    > not be done any other way. If it was fun.
    >
    > 19th century poets didn't refuse to use steel nib pens, and 19th
    > century artists didn't refuse to use tube paint. Art does not exist
    > separate from technology, which does not exist separate from society.
    > If art is not to end up an evacuated historical simulacra, the
    > aesthetic equivalent of civil war reenactment, it needs to have some
    > kind of informed relationship to society and its technology.
    >
    > This can of course be a position of refusal, but refusal is different
    > to conservatism or moribundity.
    >
    > - Rob.
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >

    --
    *****************************
    Pall Thayer
    artist
    http://www.this.is/pallit
    *****************************
  • Max Herman | Fri Sep 14th 2007 11:59 a.m.
    Hi Rob,

    What do you think is the best approach to technology for artists to take in
    the interests of aesthetic evolution of the individual and the population
    past, present, and future?

    Max

    >From: rob@robmyers.org
    >Reply-To: rob@robmyers.org
    >To: list@rhizome.org
    >Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 11:10:17 +0100
    >
    >Quoting Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>:
    >
    >>Ya, why would we want them to write the poetry?
    >
    >If what they did (or were caused to do) was interesting. If it could not
    >be done any other way. If it was fun.
    >
    >19th century poets didn't refuse to use steel nib pens, and 19th century
    >artists didn't refuse to use tube paint. Art does not exist separate from
    >technology, which does not exist separate from society. If art is not to
    >end up an evacuated historical simulacra, the aesthetic equivalent of
    >civil war reenactment, it needs to have some kind of informed relationship
    >to society and its technology.
    >
    >This can of course be a position of refusal, but refusal is different to
    >conservatism or moribundity.
    >
    >- Rob.
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Max Herman | Fri Sep 14th 2007 1:19 p.m.
    I agree Rob that the technology of the present is relevant to the art of the
    present. But it is not the only thing that is relevant, so you have to
    watch out for techno-gimmickry and such. Milosz for example deals with WWI,
    WWII, and the First Cold War in his poetry and those wars were a big result
    of technology (industrialization). Yet the actual tech Milosz uses for his
    poems is just your basic pencil and paper (give or take).

    I think it's kind of dismal how people talk about "the new artistic
    implications of cell phones" then "the new artistic implications of cell
    phones that take photos" then "the new artistic implications of cell phones
    that take video" then "the new artistic implications of mp3 players" then
    "the new artistic implications of mp3 players that play video" then "the new
    artistic implications of webcams" ad infinitum. At a pretty early point
    you're beating a dead horse.

    Again, if the tech can't make the art for us, the real guts of the problem
    or the task is within our own aesthetic choices and efforts, not the wiring
    and the blinking lights. Thinking technology can make art for us is a false
    overcoming of the problems of culture, i.e. Low or False Networkism. It is
    also false to think that pre-new-media objects like paintings and poems can
    "do the art for us"--we have to do the contemplating and understanding just
    as much as the composing or creating.

    I like to consider technology as a big-picture human factor going back to
    hand tools, fire, pyramids, writing and talking, coal, and canoes, not just
    computer stuff. Then I think about how the artistic problems and challenges
    can be best worked on within the technological environment both present and
    over the entire sweep of time. I.e., "what does technology mean for a
    technological (technologically capable) species? What does art mean, and
    how do the two differ?"

    Or as the New Testament states, "The Kingdom of God is within you." I know
    that sounds corny but it's the complete truth if you compare "the Kingdom of
    God" with human aesthetic evolution. Human aesthetic evolution exists
    within people, individuals and populations, not within the machines and
    objects, even though the latter two are more material, visible, outward, and
    tangible.

    Best,

    Max Herman

    +++

    >From: rob@robmyers.org
    >Reply-To: rob@robmyers.org
    >To: list@rhizome.org
    >Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 11:10:17 +0100
    >
    >Quoting Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com>:
    >
    >>Ya, why would we want them to write the poetry?
    >
    >If what they did (or were caused to do) was interesting. If it could not
    >be done any other way. If it was fun.
    >
    >19th century poets didn't refuse to use steel nib pens, and 19th century
    >artists didn't refuse to use tube paint. Art does not exist separate from
    >technology, which does not exist separate from society. If art is not to
    >end up an evacuated historical simulacra, the aesthetic equivalent of
    >civil war reenactment, it needs to have some kind of informed relationship
    >to society and its technology.
    >
    >This can of course be a position of refusal, but refusal is different to
    >conservatism or moribundity.
    >
    >- Rob.
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Rob Myers | Fri Sep 14th 2007 3:16 p.m.
    Getting a computer to enjoy a meal for you is a good idea.

    Firstly you must communicate to the computer exactly what makes a good
    meal. You must represent your knowledge, guess your heuristics, ponder
    the unnamable qualities of the best cuisine, introspect on the
    subconscious workings of your foodie mind, and bang your head against
    the qualia of flavor. This gain in knowledge and understanding will help
    the theory and practice of the field of human experience being considered.

    Secondly you must create a good meal. Preferably a great meal. Or, if
    you are a better consumer of food than producer of it you must find
    someone to create a good meal for you. Preferably a great meal. Again
    this is an opportunity to gain and express understanding. Plus you have
    an excuse to eat out or try out new recipes.

    Thirdly you must listen to the computer to see whether it haas enjoyed
    the meal. If it has not then either your knowledge of food or of chefs
    is at fault or it has not been well modeled. Or perhaps the computer has
    enjoyed the meal exactly as predicted. Or perhaps the computer has
    enjoyed some of the meal in ways you didn't think possible, and hated
    other parts of it. Whatever the case, here again is a chance to learn.

    An objection to this might be that it is a very logocentric,
    reductionist view of human experience. But enjoying a meal without
    burning it or putting too much ketchup on it is a product of knowledge,
    and the enzymes and nerve paths that create the cognitive experience are
    well studied. Modeling the experience is an *aesthetic* advance on this.

    Modeling gastronomic joy computationally explains it but does not
    explain it away. The fear that people have of knowledge destroying
    experience is a bizarre one. People still fall in love despite their
    knowledge of the underlying neurochemical processes, and people still
    write love poems despite their knowledge of Chomsky grammar.

    So computational modeling of the experience of production and
    consumption of food is a good idea. Knowledge and experience are not
    opposed, far from it. They can complement and enrich each other.
  • Jim Andrews | Fri Sep 14th 2007 3:48 p.m.
    > People need to be aware of the distinction between the product of a
    > computer process being art and the process itself being art. Computers
    > can be made to write poetry and paint pictures (ie. Aaron) but in such
    > cases, the process that makes the computers write or paint is what
    > carries artistic significance. This, I feel, is an important
    > distinction that people tend to neglect at times.
    >
    > Pall

    Yes, I agree.

    You mean the process carries artistic significance, not the product? Why
    does the product lack artistic significance?

    In the literary realm, in 1984, or thereabouts, a book of poems was
    published called The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed. This book (with
    graphics) was purportedly written by RACTER (
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racter ).

    One could also buy the underlying software for, um, I think it was $500, at
    the time. Various people did, and concluded that the book was not fully
    written by the software. Because they couldn't get the software to produce
    anything remotely as interesting as the poems in the book. A bit of a
    scandal.

    It isn't clear to me this has been resolved, ie, did the software write it,
    or did the process involve William Chamberlain and Thomas Etter in a more
    direct manner than is appropriate to a claim that 'a computer wrote the
    book'?

    In any case, surely the process is what carries the artistic significance
    here. Whether the computer wrote it or Chamberlain and Etter were (more or
    less) directly involved.

    But that is a bit too subtle too make headlines, isn't it.

    Also, when one reads The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed, it's more
    intriguing to read it as though 'a computer wrote it'. What does that mean?
    What is the character of the speaker? That's a big part of the erm focus of
    the experience, drama of it.

    As opposed to the focus being on the relation between human and software
    'authors'.

    Which is actually the more interesting issue, partly because it is hidden in
    intrigue, partly because that's where the stronger juice is.

    ja
    http://vispo.com
  • Pall Thayer | Sat Sep 15th 2007 9:27 a.m.
    Since this is an informal discussion, I reserve the right to change my
    mind at any given time :-) , let me rephrase this;
    _If_any_distinction_is_to_be_made_, the process should be given higher
    priority than the product rather than the opposite. In many cases for
    projects of this type, the product alone isn't really that
    significant. It's only when it's paired with the process and presented
    as a product of that particular process that it gains any
    significance. Whether or not the process can stand alone as something
    artisticly significant is a question yet to be answered. I don't think
    anyone has come up with a compelling way of presenting the process
    without the product but it might be interesting to see.

    I've just finished reading a few pages of The Policeman's Beard is
    Half Constructed (it can be downloaded from
    http://ubu.artmob.ca/text/racter/racter_policemansbeard.pdf) and it
    does confirm what I've said. If these writings were presented without
    any reference to the process, it really wouldn't be very interesting.
    I make the same claims for my own art and that's why I've always been
    reluctant to follow people's suggestions of framing screenshots and
    selling them. The imagery is important only in its relation to the
    process that created it. Without the process they're insignificant.
    The same goes for Aaron, the paintings are mediocre at best and to
    tell the truth, I think Aaron sort of fails on the insistence that the
    process itself is NOT a work of art but produces works of art. Art is
    still very much a human action.

    I have a lot more to say about all this but am pressed for time right
    now so I'll stop here for now.

    Pall

    On 9/14/07, Jim Andrews <jim@vispo.com> wrote:
    >
    > > People need to be aware of the distinction between the product of a
    > > computer process being art and the process itself being art. Computers
    > > can be made to write poetry and paint pictures (ie. Aaron) but in such
    > > cases, the process that makes the computers write or paint is what
    > > carries artistic significance. This, I feel, is an important
    > > distinction that people tend to neglect at times.
    > >
    > > Pall
    >
    > Yes, I agree.
    >
    > You mean the process carries artistic significance, not the product? Why
    > does the product lack artistic significance?
    >
    > In the literary realm, in 1984, or thereabouts, a book of poems was
    > published called The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed. This book (with
    > graphics) was purportedly written by RACTER (
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racter ).
    >
    > One could also buy the underlying software for, um, I think it was $500, at
    > the time. Various people did, and concluded that the book was not fully
    > written by the software. Because they couldn't get the software to produce
    > anything remotely as interesting as the poems in the book. A bit of a
    > scandal.
    >
    > It isn't clear to me this has been resolved, ie, did the software write it,
    > or did the process involve William Chamberlain and Thomas Etter in a more
    > direct manner than is appropriate to a claim that 'a computer wrote the
    > book'?
    >
    > In any case, surely the process is what carries the artistic significance
    > here. Whether the computer wrote it or Chamberlain and Etter were (more or
    > less) directly involved.
    >
    > But that is a bit too subtle too make headlines, isn't it.
    >
    > Also, when one reads The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed, it's more
    > intriguing to read it as though 'a computer wrote it'. What does that mean?
    > What is the character of the speaker? That's a big part of the erm focus of
    > the experience, drama of it.
    >
    > As opposed to the focus being on the relation between human and software
    > 'authors'.
    >
    > Which is actually the more interesting issue, partly because it is hidden in
    > intrigue, partly because that's where the stronger juice is.
    >
    > ja
    > http://vispo.com
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >

    --
    *****************************
    Pall Thayer
    artist
    http://www.this.is/pallit
    *****************************
  • Maschine Hospital | Fri Oct 26th 2007 3:16 p.m.
    On Thu, 13 Sep 2007, Jim Andrews wrote:

    > However, Max, we're on the cusp of quite a different era in intellectual
    > history.

    This is hysterically sentimental & patronizing, as all other
    human-aggrandizing events.

    > We're close to understanding how the brain codes information.

    You ARE?!

    > That will be as significant a discovery as DNA

    Rofl. "You" "discovered" DNA?
    Darwin was a parlor trickster entertaining "enlightenment" hausfraus.

    > and Darwin's ideas. But coded. Not necessarily in a language.

    Revewrting to complete monkey state?

    > Does there need to be conscious beings involved
    > in the formulation of a language? There almost certainly isn't in the codes
    > the brain uses to store information. What separates code from language?

    No, somanbulistic ra-ta ta in the dark,
    naked "romanian" prostitutes
    + a random shotgun in the night.

    Who needs consciousness to craft language?
    { cf. "solar taxes Max" }

    > This question is related to the question of whether computers can make art,
    > or make significant art.

    We are completely un-significant.
    You are totally + personally "important".
    A votre service.

    > In any case, the pursuit of these questions bring us to a deeper
    > understanding of our own natures, as well as that of code, language, art,
    > and maybe wisdom.

    Reeeaaally?

    o
    [ + ]

    + + +

    | '|' |
    _________________________________________
    `, . ` `k a r e i' ? ' D42
  • Jim Andrews | Fri Oct 26th 2007 7:28 p.m.
    Don't be too hard on yourself and the rest of humanity, Kandinskij.

    According to cosmologists, the universe is about 15 billion years old. Earth
    is around 4.5 billion years old according to geologists. Life has existed on
    Earth for about 3.5 billion years according to biologists.

    Life on Earth is, then, only one order of magnitude younger than the
    universe itself. Our own existence is but a blip in time, but we inherit
    bodies and natures that are practiced in 3.5 billion years of evolution on
    this planet. We are, at most, but one order of magnitude less evolved than
    anything else in the universe.

    So, although we have a long way to go simply to survive the next 200 years
    (and our own nature), we have come so very far and are, truly, sentient
    beings.

    ja
    http://vispo.com

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: -IID42 Kandinskij @27+ [mailto:death@punkassbitch.org]
    > Sent: October 26, 2007 11:17 AM
    > To: Jim Andrews
    > Cc: list@rhizome.org
    > Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Networkism and Heroism
    >
    >
    > On Thu, 13 Sep 2007, Jim Andrews wrote:
    >
    > > However, Max, we're on the cusp of quite a different era in intellectual
    > > history.
    >
    > This is hysterically sentimental & patronizing, as all other
    > human-aggrandizing events.
    >
    > > We're close to understanding how the brain codes information.
    >
    > You ARE?!
    >
    > > That will be as significant a discovery as DNA
    >
    > Rofl. "You" "discovered" DNA?
    > Darwin was a parlor trickster entertaining "enlightenment" hausfraus.
    >
    > > and Darwin's ideas. But coded. Not necessarily in a language.
    >
    > Revewrting to complete monkey state?
    >
    > > Does there need to be conscious beings involved
    > > in the formulation of a language? There almost certainly isn't
    > in the codes
    > > the brain uses to store information. What separates code from language?
    >
    > No, somanbulistic ra-ta ta in the dark,
    > naked "romanian" prostitutes
    > + a random shotgun in the night.
    >
    > Who needs consciousness to craft language?
    > { cf. "solar taxes Max" }
    >
    > > This question is related to the question of whether computers
    > can make art,
    > > or make significant art.
    >
    > We are completely un-significant.
    > You are totally + personally "important".
    > A votre service.
    >
    > > In any case, the pursuit of these questions bring us to a deeper
    > > understanding of our own natures, as well as that of code,
    > language, art,
    > > and maybe wisdom.
    >
    > Reeeaaally?
    >
    >
    > o
    > [ + ]
    >
    > + + +
    >
    >
    > | '|' |
    > _________________________________________
    > `, . ` `k a r e i' ? ' D42
    >
Your Reply