Re: [-empyre-] An indecipherable communication?: Gaia and sonic topologies
Dear Christina, I view of what you have said below _quoted_, the following
may be of interest to you and the list.
By Margaret Wertheim and with the title Brain Worlds; Hawking, Derrida and
living with the other.
A discussion of string theory and possible physical states for the universe
coupled with Derrida's idea of the _ensemble_:
The organizing motif of Derrida¹s talk, the idea to which he returned
again and again (his singularity, as it were), was the notion of the
ensemble, or collection. Here, of course, he meant ensembles of people ?
ethnic groups, religious communities, nation-states, local neighbourhoods,
families and so on. But Derrida also wanted to alert us to the French use of
the word, its adverb sense, ensemble, as in ³vivre ensemble ? living
Certainly, the universe has no trouble reconciling itself. The
schizophrenia is not in nature but in our mathematical models. It is not the
world that is fractured, but our understanding of it.
This resonates with a recent article, also by Wertheim, about conciousness;
Coche and concousness:
Many contemporary philosophers of the mind assume that consciousness must
be a phenomenon involving the entire brain, or at least large parts of it.
Crick and Koch believe, however, that awareness is a local phenomenon
emerging from the behaviour of small networks or ³coalitions² of neurons
These ideas seem to mesh with your view of the data landscape as analogous
with the notion of gaia, mesh of life, mesh of information. But the nodes of
the internet are without a meta program, an organising principle, a will.
Perhaps one will evolve [William Gibson]. Mutual conciousness? Perhaps at
the level of quantum foam.
on 29.11.03 07:28 AM, Christina McPhee at email@example.com wrote:
> Dear Empyreans,
> I was interested by Allessandro's remarks a couple of weeks ago in exchange
> with Barrie and others. He and Barrie seemed to touch on something that
> compels my own practice -- the matter of the invisible or indecipherable
> 'code' or system' on the one hand, and its immanence, or presence, in the
> mediated gesture of a specific art; and how might it be thought of as a
> 'natural' gesture coming from the system of Earth itself (gaia).
> Imagine interpolated virtual and actual spaces thrive and decay, die and live
> in a riparian zone, watered by pervasive computing As a neural territory or
> intelligent topology, the net acts as if alive. As a place of continuous ruin
> and simultaneous regeneration, the networked space of electronic
> communications is re-presenting, itself. A semiotic model may offer us the
> net as a subjective topology, a synaptic process-space. This space is not
> silent. Semiotically, it ?voices¹ itself. A model of the net as a live voice
> finds some echo in analogy to the Gaia hypothesis on the nature of the
> physical landscape. As life, Gaia persistently self-represents, or emits
> information about herself . This is an old idea in new dress. ³Day by day
> pours forth speech,² declares the Psalmist. In semiotic terms, a landscape of
> voice or self-expressive phenomena, as actual, real information?is both a data
> landscape and sonic topology.
> Let us intuit the structure, or topology of data streams, whether in the
> electronic or in the natural ecosystem, as an invisible domain that persists
> over, and through discontinuities. The leap across the breaks, or breakdowns,
> can be expressed musically by means of formal structures of recursion and
> feedback loops, as in classic cybernetic theory, but also as in Baroque fugue
> structures. I imagine recursion and flow, between natural data and
> human/machine, an interpolated, mutual consciousness. The place of flow is
> sonically expressive.
> As a visual artist, one may turn a gaze to what cannot be ?seen¹. Here we move
> into a zone of the sublime. Sublimity refers to that which is below, beyond or
> immanent relative to an ontological or cognitive threshold. I assume that
> there is a way of expressing this indeterminate zone, or invisible condition,
> in both the realms of the physical, cultural landscape and in the interior,
> ³behind the screen² landscape of the net.
> As an ecosystem, the data landscape may be described as continually subject to
> entropy, following the second law of thermodynamics. Life itself may be
> thought of arising, like a phoenix from ashes, as an articulate resistance to
> entropy. A continuous dialectic between entropy and the architectural
> self-structuring process of life means that homeostasis is predicated on
> breakdown, or ruin. Data stream is not always continuous. Scientific
> instrumentation for measurement and transmission of physical data may fail.
> Anomalies of landscape data are not always explicable based on known models.
> Humans struggle with the limitations of their bodies, including, fatigue,
> inattention, illness and mortality. A telemimetic aesthetic of the sense of
> place in the data landscape accommodates breakdown of the ?language¹ of
> information streams. This is true as much for electronic cultural topologies
> of the net as for the physical This is true as much for electronic cultural
> topologies of the net as for the physical landscape of our planet.
> A poetics of entropy and growth proceeds analogically to forms of recursion
> and feedback loops, as in the art of fugue. I imagine recursion and flow,
> between natural data and human/machine, an interpolated, mutual consciousness.
> Transmedia artist
> <www.christinamcphee.net> <www.naxsmash.net>
> Adjunct faculty, Department of Architecture, c/o Hargrave Studio, California
> Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California
> Perhaps, even if one of my personal methods is to trying to see things with an
> alien eye.
> If the same binary information could be read as text, programming code, movie,
> sound (many musicians like Massimo worked in this field), that should be even
> other possible intepretations, unknown now.
> And intertia would be one of them
> Gaia theory, anyone? It's just another point of view: the earth as a global
> sentient organism and the humanity as cells of this (sorry for simplifing too
> much, perhaps).
> _______________________________________________ empyre forum
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