[-empyre-] intensity

hi all,

just a few final thoughts if we're changing the thread...

on 11/11/03 11:26 PM, Jim Andrews at jim@vispo.com wrote:

> tamara spoke of creating work that 'juggles' different media. our processing
> of sensory data does this routinely. we 'read' it from moment to moment. but
> we do not 'write' it routinely, except in reverie and dream, ie, to
> ourselves. yet we don't have to 'write' to the complete sensorium of others
> in order to engage them in the construction of a world; they do it anyway;
> we have 'merely' to engage their imaginations. so less can be more, if the
> goal is invention, creation, and discovery. and communication, if meaning is
> constructed rather than 'ready made', if communication is a kind of
> gift-giving where some assembly is required, the instructions are largely
> implicit, and the intent is not so much like a jig saw puzzle as a poem.
> still, however flexible and non-determinative the construction of meaning,
> that doesn't necessarily imply that it is non-algorithmic. Also, however
> mysterious and complex the ways in which the body and mind code the data of
> the sensorium and the subsequent processed version of it, I don't see any
> way around the notion that they are indeed coded some way in the body,
> unless our memories are not stored in the body but are elsewhere. This is i
> suppose possible but it doesn't seem likely to me.
in part i think it comes down to what we mean by 'code' as a determinate
and/or determining structure. i agree that it's hard to see how memories
could be embodied in an entirely random way - how could gymnasts perform if
they were? but what distinguishes a top athlete, or a prima ballerina, from
one who is technically perfect is their style - the way they embody a role
or perform (in) a game. these departures from conventional forms of
embodiment are the engine of progress or 'advancement' most obviously in
sport or dance but work on some level in many other discourses as well - dj
culture, ergonomics, design, architecture, etc. etc.

so when we get down to talking about interfaces... i've been to three
conferences on digital games and gaming this year, and while i've been
impressed by the energy and the level of scholarship i've also noted that
most people talk about games on the level of the software - narratology,
ludology, modeling, design, mods, etc. etc.  cool stuff - but so are
hardware interfaces and not nearly as much sustained critical attention is
given to these... or maybe i'm just at the wrong conferences...

i'm not sure, however, if i agree with alan's claim that we've all been
standing on separate soapboxes throughout this thread ... it seemed to me as
though we were moving towards some kind of concensus, whence:

andrew murphie...
>for me, language is
>one way and one way only of gathering forces, a bit like gathering
>forces into packets to distribute them efficiently across the internet.
>The mistake, in my view at least, is perhaps to think the gathering
>comes before the forces, or that any gathering is a matter of language
>or code... .. also, for me, all this means that language is far from
>abstract ... its gathering of forces is on every occasion specific and
>with specific direction and force
>art seems to 
>foreground the intensities that codes and algorithms are attempting to
>grapple with or simply express ... art defined as intensity includes
>digital art, which deals with digital, networked intensities

yes. rez is about intensity as well - well, arguably, all videogames are
about intensity... synaesthetic euphoria of one kind or another. i love
watching gamers - their movements and gestures are a kind of trace of this
intensity, gestures that start in one reality and are completed in another.
these movements are to the body 'as a field of potentiality' what a
footprint is to the body as cultural (coded, historically material) object.

andrew puts it very nicely when he writes that 'structure is as much about
intensity as code or algorithm'.

or tamara...
>Quant à comprendre nos propres oracles qui s'avèrent souvent insensés...
>peut-être ne cherchons-nous pas dans la bonne direction ? peut-être le sens
>est ailleurs...
is intensity linked to this 'elsewhere'?

or john...
>Seeing clearly is a result of a living action-praxis and is not
>related to the linguistic reductions involved in social behavior,
>something that removes the oracle from the general social flow.  they
>don't need it.  they are looking at flows much more profound than the
>'merely' social...

i'd be interested to hear more about the politics of this. massumi makes
some claims for the extraideological character of intensity that make me go
'hmmm'. oh, and i believe in telepathy.

anyway, i'll let you all get down to the codework discussions


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