Re: [-empyre-] locative city, annotated space a


On Thu, 9 Sep 2004 wrote:

To all eyes pointed toward empyre:

If you could pick one place in the world to use some form of locative technology to "read" where would you choose and why? What place fascinates you with architecture, natural forms, layout, decay and/or redevelopment.....etc?

It could be paris or a vacant lot.

Great. I'm going to check it out.

The film is an amazing documentary (came out in 89 but still is fascinating). The structure that links the sections together is the narrator (sounds traditional.....but..). He is a man or puppet connected to wires heading off in many directions to monitors, each of which holds and runs a specific video and audio segmente. The interview with a former nasa head who argues that the moment a shuttle astronaut fixed something inthe shuttle bay he was a true fusion of man and machine/cyborg as he had two lines running essential feeds, one to him and one to the computer on his back. He could not have completed the task without the computer and vice versa. The narrator has his eyes closed and describes a dream, and this narrative links to the segments. A japanese robotics designer/engineer shows the marilyn monroe robot he has been working with for years and it crushes him that he can't get it, yet he also says things that indicate he has fallen in love with it!

I love Vertov's "man with a movie camera".  It shows technology as both
advancing and segmenting out aesthetic experience and time, memory,
movement.  The point when the film "breaks" into still photographs is
amazing as it questions the intrusion of the observer as much as an
imposed narrative on singular moments and architectures.  I show it to my
students with "La Jetee", "Metropolis" and "Fast, Cheap and out of

I have long wished to teach a class somewhere that centers on Duchamp's
nude descending a staircase and the female robot in metropolis. The class
will look at the concepts of technology, form, function, beauty, movement,
feminism and the way technology references woman and form.  There is a
linguistic component too (how new concepts and tools are called "sexy" for

Small note - I think you'd find a reference to 'machine dreams' of
interest in Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason - the line goes
something like 'it was the machine in them that did the dreaming' - in
reference to assembly line workers - Alan

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