Re: [-empyre-] experience Vs commerce

> > My argument is that the trendiness of the programmer artist is merely
> > fashion, and although helpful, it isn't neccessary.  No matter how much
> > technical prowess you put behind something, without a contextual frame,
> > all lies flat - is stillborn.
> it seems we have been down this road on numerous occasions, but i'll
> have to, once again, disagree with your notion of "trendiness" (big
> surprise).

I would argue that currently it is merely more in fashion now, that's all.
The novelty will wear off.

nam june paik, though not an electrical engineer, knew a
> little about how a TV worked (mostly through trial and error, the
> standard artist's practice).  he knew if he clipped this resistor it
> would produce that result, if he put a magnet over here, the TV image
> would distort around its field.  his tech knowledge had everything to do
> with the concept/theory as well as the final execution of the work.

However, the point is that although the two are not separate, as you may
misunderstand me on this issue, there are some technical virtuosos who have
little concept.  Paik has concept.  You have concept. Where I think you read
me wrong is that I propose that technical virtuosity necessarily overshadows
concept when it enters, when I believe that when paired with a cogent idea,
it is truly a synergistic force.  glasbead is one of my favorite works.
It's elegant, intuitive, and communicates a very clear experience, as well
as being technically astute.

However, I argue that there is a body of work out there now (I'm blanking on
examples, long weekend) that is much more about the code than the concept.
This work is lifeless.  I'd almost posit that SodaPlay,. although fun and
very well done, is a pretty bland piece of work.

> wanted to make interactive TV, to do so, he HAD to know some of the
> tech. its a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, would he have had the
> notion in the first place if he didn't feel it could be accomplished?

See above.  I'm the same way.  Much of my responsive soundspace stuff came
from the ability to do implement it.  So we're definitely on the same page
here, John.  What I argue is that there is a dominant meme going on now
about coding which sometimes mitigates the inclusion of some pretty marginal

> perhaps its just my crusty modernist leanings, but i strongly feel that
> the exploration of the medium on a technical level, no mater what that
> level is, informs and in many ways determines the theoretical and
> conceptual basis of the work. find the concept through the medium,
> rather than shoehorn a medium to demonstrate a concept.

Sometimes the medium is the result of a cultural development - it is so
woven into society that using it almost neccessarily implies reflection.
It's just degree of self-reflexivity.

However, I don't think that 'the medium is the m(e/a)ssage', but it can be.
You can ride it, or it can wind up riding you.  Or, there are times in which
the choice of medium is relatively arbitrary, and one is as good as another,
and is a matter of choice.  This is a very broad topic here.  Definitely a
wide array of variables to deal with.

if the
> germination for the concept comes from the medium itself, then you know
> its the right medium to employ to execute the concept. again, it doesn't
> matter at what level, the point being to start somewhere and probe.
> simple curiosity should logically lead someone of artistic temperment to
> probe deeper.  the deeper you go, the freer you are.

Some would argue that one also becomes more invested in a given
technique/medium, and then becomes more constrained by the agendas that it
represents.  The more collouqial term is to 'not see the forest for the
trees'.  I personally believe that this is largely ideology left to one's
own initiative.  To each their own, and all are valid.  If this is the way
you work, then that's marvelous, but it isn't the only way that one can
engage with the subject in a complex and cogent way.

> so do i in theory, as long as you are only trying to deliver a simple
> message. i think it completely impossible to deliver a complex message
> via ascii art. to deliver a complex message, you need a complex
> mechanism. what is a complex mechanism? something made from *numerous*
> simpler things.

Can a complex mechanism be made only from one mode of parts?  Could a
complex mechanism be comprised of elements that play on technique, culture,
social narrative, site specificity.  I think what is stated there is rather
deterministic, and I would say that some of the most complex thought I know
is contained within Zen koans of only 3-4 lines in length. Is a Kelly or
Stella work simplistic in nature? Hardly.

My big goal here is to say that often a complex mechanism _can_ talk about a
complex idea, but to say that this is necessary is questionable, as there
are always exceptions.  Hell, Cage and Glass did some highly complex
conceptual work with the minimum of moves.  This is not to say that the
social structures they hooked into/commented upon were not highly complex.

Why does Duchamp's urinal still remain so powerful?  A simple act to a
complex problem.  Drive the wedge at exactly the right spot, and you can
crack an entire iceberg. This is the continuum of elegance and brute force.

Almost like saying that in order to win a game of chess, you just add more
queens on your side, or to express a more complex thesis, you merely add
chapters to the book.  The problem is that in life the board, the pieces and
the allowable moves is a little different wherever you engage, so one way or
another is a little less usable than a range of configurations/ways of

Sometimes, the most complex thing is to express a thought with brevity, wit,
and clarity.

This is something that I often fail miserably at.

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