RE: [-empyre-] sidebar - continued discussion between John KlimaandBill Seaman - part 2

 CP wrote:

I keep thinking about how objects, or collections of objects in programming
could represent 'States of Consciousness' that is itself a meta-object.
Could one write conduits inbetween the gaps of objects that are 'universal',
that distribute something iconic and meaningful to all objects in that
family? Perhaps, as a way of creating patterns, reinforcing patterns, death
of neglected patterns, that informs how the objects relate to each other.
 Even if it were merely a 'throttle' for possible relations between objects.
This object talks apples, this one pears, but can interact through a third
object, etc.

Chris Poole

This is an interesting textual event, if you'd allow me to take it literary
for a moment, i'll try to built a listener to it, that much i have learned
from ActionScripting.

Certainly, programming is down to earth construction work, building/writing
towards a collection of compilable objects, but in what you wrote here i
notice how your choice of words tries to transcend/escape that paradigma and
envisage an auctorial instance able to use those objects as mere 'conduits
inbetween the gaps', refering to a higher state, a meta level. After all: if
a simple line of code can cause such an epiphany of effects and the affect
to the programmer going 'pfew, yes, that's the way it's supposed to be', a
system can be thought of to encapsulate such a process and build upon that.
But the problem (and i think its the problem of digital writing as an
artistic concept) gets visible when you downplay those hopes in the last
sentence where the vision of consciousness gets reduced to a mere
'throttle', a control valve set by the controlling system to pass or go, to
1 or 0. Why should this be so?

>From the practice of programming this is a reasonable course of action: you
build your objects, complexify them by having them made dynamic, dependent
on data flows outside its scope, encapsulate them in meta-objects and have
these interact on a next level. Next you start thinking in terms of systems
of these basic structures and you might expect that if you continue to build
in that manner, finally some sort or state of consciousness might arise.
This is the stage upon which all those fancy animations of moving, almost
touching, dynamic tree structures in a net-wise brain app come and go, where
semantic networks and google searches seem to point to an able actor on the
stage, preferably an attractive Poser-like demoiselle aka chatbot passing
the Turing test for exactly 0.1894532975621423 seconds or where cleverly
handled narrative structures yield episodes of 'acceptable'drama. From a
programmer point of view i find all of this incredibly impressive, exiting,
untsoweiter, heck i miss talking to A.L.I.C.E. allready. 

But does it impress me as a poet? Well, poets have a strong tradition of
disdain for worldly achievements, its a kind of self-protective gene
consistently present in our ever-mutating species, so : hardly. I can
imagine simulations like these running undetected for ages, being integrated
into our way of living, of creating art and valuable writing,  easily and
anyone can clearly see Art and Science meet (clash) on the common ground of
Programming and working towards solutions for urgent problems. But that's
not the point here. 

The point of digital writing is whether we can 'encode a creative process in
the computer... we bring an inscribing process from a place in ourselves
that is often difficult to fathom -- deeply embedded skills working below
the level of awareness, creative habits, tacit knowledge about a creative
process or embodied skill -- and externalize it in the formal environment of
software running on a machine.' As Kenneth put it quoting Laske.

So there comes the downplay. Back to square 1 (0). A throttle betwix
objects. A hotfix for reality.

But there's another line or direction in your words too. A line of emergence
and disappearance. Of reinforcement of the neglected, of death even as a
positive transition and of quasi-emotional ties, relations and perceptions
of relations and complexes of those. A dive into the gap left by objects
(created by them?) and while diving in there you might catch a glimpse of
someone smiling in a wheelchair, smiling and waving, ironically perhaps,
with a quote from Professor Seaman, mercilessly ripped from its context at : 

"The meaning of a word is always in a state of becoming, understood by an
observer as part
of an ongoing flow of experience as well as falling in relation to the
perceptions of others and the history of flows that inform their

'Object'is just another word. In programming it comes in handy because
objects have a natural tendency to exclude the effects of time passing
through them. If you write Circle circleObject=new Circle(), your program
can do whatever it wants with it, change its colour, its radius, turn it
into an oval, squash it to infinity to simulate a line, it will allways, as
long as the program is running, remain a circle object. Pretty convenient
when you don't know what will happen to it some thousands of lines of code
later. Timeproof.
In fact,in many ways the tradition of positivist fiction is one of erecting
walls of defense against the passage of time, excluding time from what is
written. These days, with the ever and seemingly endless increase of speed
of calculation, we might cherish the illusion that we can finally conquer
time, get ahead of our problems, even if the reality on our tv-screens tell
a very different story. Again, why should this be so?

Inasmuch as digital writing is about the creation of virtualities, just like
writing poetry is about the creation of a poetic virtuality, a plane of
consistency, a place that can be visited by the reader through the act of
reading, and that these artistic creations have a need for the encoding of a
creative process in the formal environment of software, so that a machine
can visit or visualize or communicate a similar poetic virtuality, inasmuch
as i have understood what you and other people have written in this
inspiring discussion, i hesitantly and humbly suggest that objects alone
won't do the trick. That writing generic algorhytms into more and more
complex and higher leveled systems of object organisations will contribute
to higher degrees of simulation to a point perhaps where human perception
fails to see the difference (and is too consumed by its entertaining quality
to care). But it will remain a simulated creation. 

Its succes will be claimed with a very convincing 'fallacy of misplaced
concreteness'as Whitehead has termed it: "This fallacy consists in
neglecting the degree of abstraction involved when an actual entity is
considered merely so far as it exemplifies certain categories of
thought"(Process and Reality).It looks like liquid data, it tastes like
liquid data, but there's not a drop of water running to the sea. Because
that is what you do when you write programs: creating virtualities within
and through the categorisations of your thought. 

Because however fast your calculation goes, however complex your structures,
calculation takes time to complete. Its the simple Bergson truth that Gilles
Deleuze refers to in his teachings on Leibniz at Valenciennes in the late
seventies: if you imagine an awareness that is capable of knowing all
information relating to Paul, that awareness would necessarily co-incide
with Paul.

'Process' is just another word. In programming software for digital writing
it might come in handy because processes have a natural tendency to include
the passage of time in there existence. 

If we need true creation in digital writing, perhaps we need to let it
happen. Build procedural machines, with software crashing on a regular,
recursive basis somewhere in between 0 and 1 and an intelligent garbage
collecting thread to clean up the artistic mess each and every square loop. 

It's succes might be neglected, because when something happens, when a place
gets created like in poetry, you need to stop there and listen. To Wallace
Stevens for instance, on the very same subject:

"I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can.

I sing a hero's head, large eye
And bearded bronze, but not a man,

Although I patch him as I can
And reach through him almost to man.

If to serenade almost to man
Is to miss, by that, things as they are,

Say that it is the serenade
Of a man that plays a blue guitar."

dv @ Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends

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