Re: [-empyre-] Toplap's stage for thought and "the whole human instrument"

This work touches me tremendously on many counts - particularly as Barbara says, the interaction - which is only apparent - between code and content. What stymies me is the referencing of early conceptualist/electronic/musique-concrete sound - which seems common online. There's no reason the code couldn't represent an avatar, an atomic explosion, the dna of the horseshoe crab; what I saw instead was the usual minimalism. On the other hand, the representation as if the code were itself performative, the resonance in the wysiwyh, is terrific - Alan

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 14:39:51 -0500, Barbara Lattanzi <> wrote:

I was visiting the TopLap website today with the Empyre conversations in mind.

The TopLap website includes a "ManifestoDraft" and links to video
performance documentation by TopLap members.

I found a worthwhile documentation of a Feb.24 performance by Akihiro

I am using Kubota's documentation for the following speculative

The gist of the TopLap agenda, as I understand it, is a more transparent
relationship between the interactions of the performer, the code, and
occurs visibly and audibly in the performance space. Toplappers call
algorithms "thoughts". Instead of a graphic user interface that is
away in order to foreground the mutations of sound and image (as in
software), the interface is rawly presented as multiple windows of code
algorithms ("thoughts") coexisting on the screen with "aesthetic"
visualizations/sonifications of the code.

It is the ongoing modifications of algorithms, modified live by the
performer that carry the weight of the performance. The first line of
TopLap "ManifestoDraft" reads:

"Give us access to the performer's mind, to the whole human instrument."

I feel sympathetic to this desire to materially ground the simulacra of
digital "representations" through the audience's perception of the
relationship between the visual/audio experience and the "visible hand"
the maker. It also seems to materially ground the experience by means
the Multiple: i.e., compelling the viewer's need to make comparisons
several symbolic representations changing over time.

I perceive the display of code on the screen as another
since the machine must still interpret the code into its own machine
language.  It is the "cross-referencing" among various types of display
that allows me to access the work.

I find a connection to film montage where meaning erupts in the gaps
between shots.  Here it is the gaps between (or among) simulacra that
ground the digital.


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