[-empyre-] SCREENFULLy missing

i want to login + register a few [comments/thoughts/emotions] on this month's discussion, the collaborative work of abe linkoln + jimpunk aka SCREENFULL, the performances of identity that have occurred here [in/on] empyre + elseware [in/on] facets of the hyperthreaded listservosphere.

in William Gibson's Pattern Recognition the "footage" is a mysterious viral new media meme creeping across the internet in lil bits n chunks of video, forming uneasy metanarratives. these video downloads are obsessionally interwoven into the lives of the main characters as they attempt to unravel the secrets of the footage: origin, meaning, maker(s), etc... those that follow the footage are known as footage heads + often inhabit 2 opposing + polarizing ideological camps. these camps are the Completists (i.e. Mama Anarchia) who believe that the footage is being [sliced/spliced] from an already existing + finished work w/the chunks being released slowly + the Progressives (i.e. heros Cayce Pollard + Parkaboy) who believe that the work is being created progressively or incrementally rather than representing moments in an already completed project, arc or narrative. the Completists + Progressives meet, discuss, flamewar + share footage on a fictional forum www site called "Fetish: Footage: Forum" aka "F:F:F" that hosts their conversations + exists as their communal cultural platform, their nonlocal networked home.

i just read Pattern Recognition in early May, picking up a paperback ed in LaGuardia while rtn'ing to CHI IL .US from NYC NY .US. the novel engrossed me + i read it w/a sustained hunger. <---// WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD //---> when i came to the concl of the book i was wonderfully disappointed in that perfect way that you want narratives to continue endlessly. perhaps this feeling is intentional on Gibson's part, a way of self-replicating feverish obsessions the characters feel for the footage. @ the concl of the book, Gibson reveals most (if not all) of the secrets of the footage. in doing so he slightly shifts the positioning of the Completists as villains + the Progressives as heros. the Progressive heros Cayce + Parkaboy were correct about their Progressivist theories on the footage. their immediate online enemy Mama Anarchia, in the overtly + overly theoretically motivated camp of the Completists, was fabricating a fantastically ornate tapestry of lies in various postmodern theoretical + critical dialects, modes + references incl'ing Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Jameson + Habermas. these fantastic lies were smoke-n-mirrors, a distraction to complicate their search for the truth.

as others have noted in reviews of Pattern Recognition, Gibson directly addresses postmodernity by discussing Tommy Hilfiger fashions in rltn to Cayce's allergy to branding + in Cayce's experience of the "mirror-world" reflections + refractions of NYC NY .US in LND .UK, Tokyo .JP + Moscow .RU. but in the current context of this post, i am more interested in the inclusion of the character of Mama Anarchia who speaks fluently in postmodern discursive modes. toward the concl of Pattern Recognition Gibson reveals that Mama Anarchia is a puppenkopf (German for "Puppet head") controlled by the villainous character Dorotea Benedetti + articulated by her theory-soaked translation pawn, an unnamed "graduate student, in America" (00). Gibson incl's lil of Mama Anarchia's actual posts but refers to a large + intricate volume of posts, mini that are weaponized in flamewars w/Parkaboy, a Progressive hero of Pattern Recognition.

in the unwritten discursive space of F:F:F, Mama Anarchia's postmodernist language + referents are in the service of the Completist view of the footage. Gibson positions the collaborative of Dorotea + the unnamed American graduate student aka Mama Anarchia's hollow, postmodern academicized theory as a ventriloquist act. this performance of identity is socially constructed in, on + thro the online forum F:F:F. the explanation of this performance of identity on page 325, is a brief but incisive view into a critique that Gibson fwds while shaping + dfn'n his characters. the character of the unnamed anonymous American graduate student is itself a {template|[puppenkopf/puppet]} for the wooden recital of academic languages that line reality tunnels (01) like reinforcing girders that support mine shafts. i am choosing this mine shaft imagery carefully to dirty up, invert + multiple the ivory tower metaphor that so often is used in this kind of comment or conversation. i am also using imagery that digs in order to address digging as dissing, i.e. in the form of personal attacks vs. digging as grokking, i.e. in the sense of developing a deep understanding.

the language lining reality tunnels is often exclusionary as the tunnels brach off further + further from main arteries that are heavily travelled. the use of such exclusive language can be critiqued as elitist. the academic elitism that the usage of the term "ivory tower" refers to connects to discursive modes, dialects + references thro limiting or @ least judging the validity of "voice" on the grounds of scholarship, i.e. academicized {grokking|geeking out}. to grok (02) is to become part of or 01 w/, to be included in a knowledge [domain/body] completely + intuitively. perhaps the intuitive aspect of grokking can take place instantaneously + immediately. scholarship is in itself an academic {concept|construct} or theorypractice. as a [domain/area of activity] scholarship takes time + is often characterized by slow knowledge building processes of reflection, examination, analysis, development, etc... also, scholarship (like a taxonomical subclass or subgenre of art making, i.e. artware) appeals to specialists or ppl w/particularized [tastes/interests]. thin [lines of demarcation/fissures/layers of ice] separate specialists, obsessives + fetishists. w/o pathologizing, i suppose these lines are best measured in degrees of functionality.

as a functional fetishist of specialized knowledge [domains/bodies], i can personally relate to the obsessive compulsive Cayce Pollard in her search for the footage as well as her sense of belonging [in/on] F:F:F.

@ the concl of Pattern Recognition as Gibson reconciles or @ least complicates the Completist + the Progressive views on the footage, he reveals the footage to be the work of a singular artist (read genius -> read hi-modernist myth) who uses appropriates found + original material to create the footage. this artist, a character named Nora Volkova, samples, retouches, remixes + reconfigures elements into the footage. Nora makes a lil @ a time (validating the Progressive view) + her sister Stella releases those bits as videos, tracking their movements across networks as viral meme-like media files. Nora is constructing a larger shape w/a perceptible pattern that the videos form @ a mysterious metalevel of their structure. the making of meaningfulness
culminates in a pattern that is recognizable to Cayce Pollard, made visible thro a literal + figurative network of metanarratives, fragments, codes, clues, hacks, bits + bytes of new media. this plot element reveals invalidates the Completist view of an existing finished work but does support a kind of completism that shares a [kindred spirit/connection] to {concepts|constructs} such as the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk or total art work that originates from + articulates a {purified|heroic} singularity of unity in the artist + in the conception + realization of the work (i.e. the artist's vision). Nora also exists as a profoundly contemporary version of the Romantic artist as lone visionary working in complete solitude to create an expressive reality that is perceptible + inhabitable to her audience, namely Cayce, thro the project of the work itself. in this art myth, Nora is herself also a mystery, her inner world is inaccessible to everyOne + anyOne w/o the entryways opened by the footage. when Cayce asks Stella if the footage amounts to a linear narrative Stella remarks on the mystery of the Nora's future development of the footage saying "Who knows? Nora? She does not say." (03)

i have bin subscribed to abe linkoln + jimpunk's SCREENFULL RSS feed since 2005.02.10 + have bin [aware of/following] their individual + collaborative work for way prior to dat. i have struggled w/SCREENFULL + my own responses to the RSS feed or blog art version + the HTML'd web art version. my responses have bin similar to Gibson's description of the Completists vs Progressives arguments in Pattern Recognition. i assume the process of SCREENFULL matches the Progressive position on the footage, meaning that SCREENFULL seems to be a collaborative stream of consciousness being generated just before release rather than far in advance. SCREENFULL also seems responsive, the stream of consciousness forking in relation to ongoing conversations, external stimuli + environmental new media [art-worlds/listservosphere/blogosphere] conditions. like a realtime [performance/system] these fluctuations enhance the experience of the work + create entry points.

in terms of performance, experiences + entryways, abe linkoln + jimpunk position SCREENFULL as "STADIUM ROCK NET.ART" (04).
the inclusion of net.art in their description is an odd choice to sample from the bin of new media art taxonomies. the much [announced/decried/denounced/hystoricized] birth + death of net.art aside, SCREENFULL is clearly not about the constraints or intentions that have bin defined by the self-definitions fwd' by those who [claimed/created] the net.art category. Stadium Rock is a similarly mismatched term. large venues, inflated egos, massive sound systems + light shows characterize Stadium Rock. the 1970's Stadium Rock scene involved rising ticket sales + ticket prices that fueled this bloated, fantastical + narcissistic genre. oppositionally, punk has bin hystoricized as a response to the pretentiousness of Stadium Rock. punk (@ least in part) incl's a return to Garage Rock sensibilities mixed w/Situationalist [artforms/politics] of disruption + the DIY ethos of unschooled improvisation (in the sense of make-do-with-whatever-you-got-ness). punk is small + immediate. Stadium Rock is huge + distant. abe linkoln has a mohawk on his appropriated head + jimpunk has got punk in "his" name as well as in "his" approaches + projects. all of the above, make SCREENFULL as "STADIUM ROCK NET.ART" hard to swallow unless you take this "STADIUM ROCK NET.ART" status as a form of sarcasm. bitter? biting? perhaps.

bitter sarcasm is sumTimes in itself difficult to swallow, so i will be perfectly sincere about SCREENFULL. like a Gibsonian Completist or a tattered hi-modernist, i wonder self-consciously what SCREENFULL adds up to [+/or] if it is supposed to add up to anyThin @ all. is culmination a viable standard for understanding if not judging SCREENFULL as a [work/project/piece] of new media art? is the {concept|construct} of culmination or even a gradual accumulation of meaningfulness too romantic a framework for interpreting the fragmented irony, embedded sarcasm + postmodern theorypractice of SCREENFULL? is meaningfulness as an artistic value important to jimpunk + abe linkoln? is SCREENFULL nihilistic? anarchistic? apocalyptic? discordian? does it have the politics of punk or the vanity of stadium rock? both? neither? none of the above? who knows? abe linkoln? jimpunk? SCREENFULL? they do not stay + they do not say.

this month on empyre will end in a few days during which i will finish packing up my apt + mv to a new neighborhood. when i get to the new apt a new convo will have started on empyre. perhaps a summer project will have taken shape on the .microsound listserv. the _arch.ive_ list will continue probably hum + buzz w/the snd of {de|re}-compiled codeworks. artists will go into residency [in/on] NetBehaviour + make work work which will be [distributed/discussed] onList. the listservosphere will continue to bubble up in my inbox like the hyperfolded + foamy bubbleverse it is. the blogosphere will continue to grow, spin + fill my feedreader. i will continue to engage in both, QWERTYing + coding entries. the month of June 2005 will pass out of existence (in sense of active discussion) on empyre + into the archives + w/this [passage/transition] we will have lost a few moments or opportunities for exchange that could have lasted lifetimes between those who left, i.e. jimpunk + abe linkoln. maybe i am being romantic in my academically induced summertime, but i will miss June 2005 [in/on] empyre + miss the opportunities for digging into discussions i was looking fwd to.

as jon.satrom wrote on empyre a year ago (05) quoting the late Phil Morton, early video artist + innovator (to connect w/ terms of privileged criteria + the recent thread on hystorical determinations of value) in his last post to empyre during May of 2004: "PEACE/ASCESIS"
// jonCates

00: "Puppet-head. A graduate student, in America". That is how i am able to be the Mama." - Dorotea Benedetti (p. 325)


title: Pattern Recognition
dvr: William Gibson
format: book
edition: paperback
page count: 384 pages
publisher: Berkley
date: 2005.02.01
lang: ENG
ISBN: 0425198685

01: "Reality Tunnel is a term coined by Timothy Leary and popularised by Robert Anton Wilson. It refers to the concept that with a subconscious set of filters formed from their beliefs and experiences, everyone interprets this same world differently, hence "Truth is in the eye of the beholder". The individual world each person occupies is said to be their reality tunnel."


title: Wikipedia
dvr: various
format: wiki
uri: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_tunnel

02: the term "grok" was coined by author Robert A. Heinlein in the sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land.


title: Stranger in a Strange Land
dvr: Robert A. Heinlein
format: book
edition: Hardcover
publisher: Putnam Adult
date: 1963.04.01
lang: ENG
ISBN: 039910772X

03: page 312 of data.src 00

04: data.src:

dvr: abe linkoln
date: 2004.08.27
time: 06:23:27 PM
format: [invite/ann/email msg/Rhizome.org post]
uri: http://rhizome.org/thread.rhiz?thread=14343&text=27409

05: data.src:

title: [copy/hack/bend] it right
dvr: jon.satrom
date: 2004.05.31
time: 13:26:45 -0500
format: [-empyre-] post
uri: https://mail.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/2004-June/msg00000.html

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