[-empyre-] Re: how do I get the archives for this month's discussion
hi Stephanie and -empyre- list,
On Jan 26, 2007, at 4:41 PM, Stephanie Strickland wrote:
I'm wanting to read Ollivier's original post for this month's
which I thought I had but can't find. Can you point me to it, and/
or to a
general url for the archives?
Or are the archives not continuously maintained, being a couple
behind actual discussions?
I've been remiss not to post this link periodically: https://
Indeed the archives are updated by our mailman software in real time.
here is the post from Ollivier, who began our discussion in early
[-empyre-] what is to be done?
Subject: [-empyre-] what is to be done?
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2007 08:53:44 -0500
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What is to be done?
More than ever the question of our relationship to both art and the
process must be address. In a world of shifting boundaries, of
fundamental changes, a world where universals such as life, death,
consciousness and uniqueness are being challenged by technological
the question of art, of our relationship to it, the question of its
and of its objectives must be tackled.
(What is technological reality? It is the perception of the world
human *and* non-human senses. With technological reality, we now have
to numerous strata of reality that were formerly impenetrable to us:
genetics and neurology, of protons and photons, of relativity and
physics. Technological reality questions the fundamental distinctions
life and death, consciousness and non-consciousness, the organic and
organic that we once believed to be universal. In fact, the more we
to different slivers of reality, the more difficult it becomes to
distinguish between these phenomena. On our own biological scale for
the difference between a table and a man is clear. The man is alive
table is not. But on an atomic scale of reality, to which we only
through technological reality, there are no differences between one
What is to be done? What is to be understood by art today should
our starting point. For how should we define art in the 21st century
machines, technologies and software provide most of the actual artistic
process, when some ?machines? (such as Ray Kurzweil?s Cybernetic
produce the entire artwork?
If art is now as specific to machine?s ontology as it is to humanity?
the question of what is to be done must be dealt with differently. Art
embedded in machines and technologies is art embedded in the profound
transformation of our world. It?s art within video games, themselves
the culture of war. It?s art spreading technological reality. It?s art
intruding into the physical reality (where special effects become
manipulations). It?s art initiating the Inhuman Condition. Art
machines is art slipping away from human control, art creating
emotions outside our realm of understanding, of sensitivity.
The question of ?what is to be done? must thus be understood as
whole concept of art. What is to be done with a process that helped
perception of the metaphysical, but whose operations, whose forms and
sometimes even content are now within the control of machines? When
what art produces today ignores humanity?s need for the transcendent,
what most of what art produces today responds to machine?s
perceptions of the
?What is to be done? when humanity is confronted with research
that art, as well as the aesthetic process, are nothing else but
structures, structures that can be identified, defined and reproduced
mechanically (when we respond to Jackson Pollock?s paintings, we
respond to fractals in his images. When we respond to a film or a
piece, we respond to certain structures, pitch, tone, location,
are clearly algorithmic)?
Music and Film:
What is to be done when a simple computer program can decipher the
structure of a work of art? When a simple computer program (Kurzweil?s
Cybernetic Poet for example) can generate an aesthetic experience?
What is to
be done when beauty appears to be nothing else but a harmonious
structure? When the transcendence of art appears to be nothing else
numerical pattern? What does it mean to be human when splendor is not a
mystical experience but a mathematical configuration? When machines
produce beautiful and moving works of art?
What is to be done when machines and technologies force us to
inhumanity through the process of art?
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