Re: [-empyre-] living traces of past practices

On May 3, 2004, at 11:15 AM, Barbara Lattanzi wrote:

Could the Liken project be read in terms of its fabulous (fable-like) aspiration? In other words, to what extent is Liken a performance (i.e., creating an archivable present) and to what extent is it a mapped archive of the past?

Oh, most definitely. I am a connoisseur of the fantastic! When liken was only in our imaginations, one of the features that made us giddy with anticipation was that fact that the system would autolink nodes based on their word frequency -- which meant that we'd no doubt get many non-sensical and unrelated links. In conventional thinking, this is a Bad Thing, but we loved that the system itself would be doing [cut-ups/mash-ups/remixes/jump-cuts/free-association].

I think of liken as the performer. And by "liken" here, I mean the massive biological & electromechanical Neural Network that liken truly is. In a very real sense, all users are participating in and informing the performance of this meta-organism. Even users who just "browse," since the very act of navigating liken alters its structure, and can thus be thought of as a rhetorical and political act.

It is of course equal parts archive of the recent past (present) and past. If there is a map of this archive, it's in constant flux; its borders constantly changing, capital cities moving, and major highways erupting and disappearing before your eyes.

As jC mentioned, visualizations of liken can take any form, and it's our sincere hope that people are inspired by the map of liken to produce interesting ways to manipulate its shape.

- ben

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