November 14, 2014
Networked Bodies: Digital Performance Weekender | photos

Some highlights from Networked Bodies, the Digital Performance Weekender, at Watermans Gallery last weekend (07/11/14 – 09/11/14) in London. The gallery looked superb with some very interesting and diverse works – very happy with the way three of my works were exhibited. The symposium also had a few highlights, I was particularly interested in Julian Maynard Smiths paper which explored ideas of what is ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ as part of networked practice.

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Above: The Sandwich Board.

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Above: The Distinction Between Here and There, Now and Then and to the left on the computer A network of people who attended an exhibition and contributed to the creation of this work.

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Above: The Anatomy of a Human Breath by Kasia Molga & Adrian Godwin.

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Above: A paper given by Steve Dixon as part of the Symposium theme Telecollaborate Practices.

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Above: A paper given by Julian Maynard Smith as part of the Symposium theme Telecollaborate Practices.

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Above: A paper given by Body > Data > Space as part of the Symposium theme Connecting Senses.

Below is the full programme for the event.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:49 pm
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April 9, 2012
PCMs by Alan Sondheim

A very interesting text posted on the Nettime-l mailing list this Saturday by Alan Sondheim. The text is a reflection on old ideas and how they may be collapsing (or coalescing) into new ideas. I’m posting the text here in it’s entirety due to it’s relevance to the weblogs topic and as another location in the network to preserve it.

PCMs

Years ago I designed a PCM, this was around 1970 maybe. PCM stands for Parameter Control Module; the idea was to create a unit which could connect and control other similar units. PCMs were digital but they didn’t need to be. There were any number of inputs and outputs. The idea was that anything could be connected to anything else. In other words, there were standardized simple protocols in terms of voltage and bandwidth; every-thing functioned like blood in the veins of some untoward ganglion. In order to enter the PCM array, translation was necessary from an outside world into the protocols; this was the job of an input interface which could be tailored for particular situations. The interface was divided into two sections: the outer section was tailored to the world, and the inner, to the emission of protocols. So the input interface was generous in its acceptance. At the other end of the array, there was a similar output interface, divided into two sections; the inner section was tailored to the protocols, sending the signal current to the outer section, which was tailored to the world, and generous. For example, an audio input interface might take microphone signals and standardize them, sending them to the array; an audio output interface might take the array protocols and send them simultaneously to audio amplifiers and a lighting board. What made the array of greater interest, of course, is that input and output signals could also be applied directly to any particular PCM, bypassing the standard interfaces. The array as a whole, as a ganglion, would be in effect a ganglion open to the world at any place or space, both for input and output. One might think of the PCMs as formal neurons. Internally, the components of the PCMs might be smoothly voltage-control-led, with the possibility of directly inputting different equations; one might begin with standard smooth trigonometric functions and replace them with discontinuities of all sorts, including chaotic behavior. I believe to this day that designing the PCMs would have been a relatively trivial matter. Although the project remained stillborn, the concept behind it remains of interest to me. I’ve begun to think of the arrays, inputs and outputs, as an affair in which anything might modify or influence any-thing, including, reflexively, itself. The arrays in fact might be virtual and one thinks only of empty, undefined, space or air, a distant model of the real and external world, where such things happen. Thus anything here and now has the potential for affecting anything else, and anything might seem to turn around and talk directly with you, listening, at the same time, to your innermost thoughts, whatever you choose to reveal: here are the input and output interfaces. What goes on in such virtual arrays is only the ideality of the world itself, the ability to take-for-granted that there are always relatively stable domains for communication or dwelling, for work or discourse, and so forth. Any dynamic action, any action which changes in time, might be considered to be modeled thus; any static action might be one which leaves the virtual array quiescent. The size and power of the virtual PCMs are also of interest; as they decrease, one might argue that the granularity of the world is increasingly differentiated, just as their increase transforms the granularity into rougher constructs handled by integration. In the middle lies everyday life, where processing of this sort is kept to a minimum. I can imagine in this fashion thinking of the world as a vast complex of fundamental operations on the ordering of everyday life, just as Aristotelian logic and its laws of distribution appear to deal well with the uncanny lack of transience of everyday objects. The edges of such modeling, however, are always limit-points which a different kind of roughness appears, for example quantum phenomena or color vision or even corrosion. To some extent, these rough processes, including unknown one, can be imagined within the virtual array which would have additional signals, alarm signals, that anomalies were working their way into or out of the array; there could be, in fact, virtual interfaces utterly open to the real, whose sole purpose would be the conversion of such anomalies. One process would be that of the name, beginning with the proper name, and working towards untoward generalizations; another would be that of radical smoothing, and a third might be the cessation of array activity altogether. I think of this as burrowing or death, depending on the degree of destruction or rearrangement encountered. Likewise, there would be inverse processes, those of birth or emerging, in which partial identity transformations would remain and perhaps even be backwards-traceable, backwards-compatible in terms of the protocols. The whole, virtual and real, is a form of metaphor ready to be implemented. I can only conclude that the same is already in the world, and perhaps always already in the world, it is there and here, it is operational or quiescent as you like. And such would be the world and its dynamics; it is only a question of looking over your shoulder, back into the space you have just left behind, forward into the space your are about to enter. If you have the time, of course, without catastrophe or disruption.

- Alan in Omaha

It’s worth noting how cutting edge the PCM discussed was through comparison with similar contempory ideas such as Gordon Pask’s Universal Constructor.

The full text can alternatively be read on the Nettime-l mailing list archive here.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:27 pm
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March 26, 2012
HEXEN 2.0

HEXEN 2.0 by Suzanne Treister is a series of works with strong network related concerns spanning across a number of forms including alchemical diagrams, a Tarot deck, photo-text works, pencil drawings, a video and a website. The works investigate:

histories of scientific research behind government programmes of mass control, investigating parallel histories of countercultural and grass roots movements. HEXEN 2.0 charts, within a framework of post-WWII U.S. governmental and military imperatives, the coming together of scientific and social sciences through the development of cybernetics, the history of the internet, the rise of Web 2.0 and increased intelligence gathering, and implications for the future of new systems of societal manipulation towards a control society…Treister’s body of work presents a unique critical overview of modern intellectual and scientific history. Key to her artistic strategy is her decision to represent her visions of past interrelated histories by employing alternative systems for divining meaning or creating knowledge: alchemical drawings, tarot cards, gematria and the seance. She writes, ‘By representing these subjects and histories through the lens of the alchemical and the occult, HEXEN 2.0 offers a space where one may use the works as a tool to envision possible alternative futures.’

HEXEN 2.0 is currently showing at the Science Museum in London. Originally seen on the E-Flux announcements list.

Posted by: Garrett @ 2:04 pm
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September 7, 2011
Artreview: Important message regarding (the censorship of) user content

In response to Artreviews community announcement of user content censorship on the 6th of September I have created an online petition to gauge interest in how the community (and generally artists who use the internet) feel about this. To read the full details of the announcement email and sign the petition point your browser to:

Please forward this announcement to lists, family, friends, colleagues etc.

A protest forum thread has also started on the Artreview site called AUTHORIZED NAKED where users are being encouraged to add images of their own art which includes nakedness. Ownership of the work and it’s rights is crucial authorising artists to be naked as personal choice and effectively giving Artreview more content to censor.

Posted by: Garrett @ 10:04 pm
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June 13, 2011
The drawn networks of Torgeir Husevaag

A selection of some drawn networks of various types by Norwegian artist Torgeir Husevaag.

Network of People (image above) is a rendering of people encountered by the artists during a week.

During a week in November 1996, I took notes about all forms of contact I had with other people (name, time, place, duration etc). This was an attempt to investigate and visualise to what extent a persons private history is a part of his present life and personal network. The people I met in the research-week became the “1st generation informers”. They are represented with a name in an red oval in the drawing. Most of these 104 encounters of the “present” could refer to other associates of mine. These relations (named by the 1st gen. Informers), were added to the drawing (orange oval) according to a cronology. I stopped the investigation there, although The 2nd generation informers could have refered to a third one, etc…

Poker-drawings I and II (image above and below).

These pen and ink drawings were transcriptions of poker-tournaments played online, with myself as a participant. Each players actions is shown as a series of specific symbols, while the players involved in each hand is connected with lines. The two series employ the same set of symbols, but arrange them differently.

Antimatter (image above).

The map is a network of two hundred Norwegian companies/ organizations core values. I have replaced all the words representing the values with antonyms (the opposite of synonyms).

Originally seen on Serial Consign.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:34 pm
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