Re: [-empyre-] modern/conceptul dialectic -> N state?
When I think of database I think of a bureaucrat filling out a
form..name..place of birth.. phone number etc.. The information is
stored and it supposedly represents a person but we know better. It's
reducing a person to statistics. So how do we make that person come
We use various devices to sample information; cameras, microphones,
seismographic sensors, moisture sensors, scanners etc..
What is interesting about sampling is that we can use the measuring
instruments to grab portions, store the information, and then
assemble the information in any order we see fit. The database
allows us to do this. It allows us to create baroque, dense, non-
linear layered art work. Where does the artist sit in all of this?
The artist takes the data and finds ways to assemble new
representations of reality that combines hard core data and emotive,
visceral, kinetic sensation. It goes beyond the Post-Modernist notion
of the collapse or de-centering of the subjective point of view.
I think of this as (us) being in reality but turning off the filters
that we use to organize information in our mind and memory. So I
would agree with Brett that there is a new epoch or N-state. This is
where the fun starts. How to define the N-state? Some of my recent
audio and performance work deals with dense overlayed immersive
sounds. I describe this as memory having the structure of a spiky
burr. The spikes that stick out are like sound bites that lead you
into the denser areas of memory and sensation.
A couple of questions for the respondents...
I have assumed that the modern and the postmodern (and previous
epochs back to the archaic) interoperate in layers in our cultural
system, but are in our contemporary state now stimulated by
information technology... fundamentally the speed of database.
In your view, what role does IT and database play, if any, in
catalyzing the contemporary situation? Could we say that it is in
some sense that a new epoch or zeitgeist, an N-state, is emerging
to supersede the pomo that is based on material differences that IT
and database have catalyzed? (I think I read this drift Bruno's
human browser... creating novel real performances out of a
distributed database application that has its own ideas about the
local context... great stuff.) Or is the present situation still
best characterized as the lingering postmodern?
If the latter is the case, I do think it is very interesting to
heed what Henry Warwick had to say in a previous post about energy.
Any thoughts on what might stimulate a break in the epochal inertia?
Assuming that it is not broken already... I tend to think that all
of the accomplishments of postmodernism are best characterized as
the first phase of a new epoch which might be better named; and
where the first phase of course persistently misunderstands what
has happened to us. Misunderstanding is natural in times of massive
technological and economic change... it took modernism a long time
to successfully incorporate the industrial revolution... but in any
case my view is that the postmodern is at least maturing out of the
euphoric/dystopic dialectic of the 80's, which culminated nicely in
the Matrix. We can see now that the sign does not replace the real,
but materially interacts with it in new ways... like in the human
browser... but oops... I'm asking a question here... I should not
be answering my own... sorry...
Brett Stalbaum, Lecturer, PSOE
Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts Major (ICAM)
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
Department of Visual Arts
9500 GILMAN DR. # 0084
La Jolla CA 92093-0084
Info for students, winter quarter 2K6:
-ICAM and Media (computing emphasis) faculty advising:
Tuesday 1-2PM, VAF 206, Contact via email firstname.lastname@example.org
-Vis 40/ICAM 40 (Introduction/Computing in Arts) office hour:
Tuesday 2-3PM, VAF 206, Contact via WebCT
-Vis 141A (Computer Programming/Arts I) office hour:
Tuesday 3-4PM, VAF 206, Contact: via WebCT
Week 7 (Feb 21st) No office hours today
Finals Week (March 21st) Yes.
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