[-empyre-] return of the same
notebook at justfornow.net
Fri Nov 23 21:06:17 EST 2007
dear andrew and all,
re: it is amazing how similar the rules for the creation of an
artificial memory read in the classical rhetoric guides and (let's
say) the "visual quickpro guide to PHP and MYSQL".
would say this is an example of 'untimely' thinking, centuries may
have passed ,but maybe our ways of thinking and externalising have
hardly changed or maybe we are closer to one previous stage of human
conceptualisation than, intervening or more 'recent' ones, because of
what digital technology is making it possible for us to externalise.
or maybe the possibility for inventing the digital medium has already
always been there, pre-existing the synchrony of the technical/
social conditions which made it possible for this form of
'extensibility' to occur,and just waiting for to happen.
it raises the often discussed question of whether the apparently new
form is just a new way of doing/ saying the same old thing/
perpetrating the same values/ power relations/ repeating the same
social relations/social expression - as in your comment on the 'you
tube-ism' developments in secopnd life / 21 nov:
to overcome the constantly shifting and impermanent
nature of SL many people have began to create blogs, photo albums or
other such archives of their experiences in SL in order to create
their own personally defined and
navigablememory-scapes/theatres/palaces/artifices..... remind anyone
being able to draw on pre-existing means of conceptualisation and
expression / knowledges gained in pre -electronic and earlier
electronic cultural practices is important to escape forever being
caught up in the return of the same as an illusion of the new or
progressive: old ideas in new clothes, as was often said about 'net'
art e,g, repeating the ground / scenarios of video or performance in
the '70s. this brings us back to both the importance of
transmissibility of knowledge between eras being unconstrained by
chronological assignment, and how important forms of
transmissibility/ archivisation and the intentionality of the agency
/ rationale for constructing them is.
>hi monica and all,
>your post has led me down a tangental path - thinking about actual
>implementation and construction of the archive in the
>'technosphere'. the sql database being one way that archives are
>created, stored and accessed. recent projects have led me into the
>particularly dry world of 'database normalization' which (to the -
>self taught through necessity -artist) is a set of rules that create
>an easily navigable (and sensibly spatial) data set. allowing for
>the practical difference in storage media (the physical mind of the
>pre paper rhetorician and the memory of a computer server) it is
>amazing how similar the rules for the creation of an artificial
>memory read in the classical rhetoric guides and (let's say) the
>"visual quickpro guide to PHP and MYSQL". (and this is even after
>one gets past the initial, and i think poetically satisfying link,
>in that both discussions revolve around columns.)
>anyway i just wanted to flag this, and then ask, do other people,
>when working with databases 'see' or perceive the data they are
>working with as existing within a spatial construction (or more
>poetically, a navigable external memory-scapes)?
>On 21/11/2007, at 2:10 PM, monica wrote:
>>...as if the makers of this game were doing their own experiments in the
>>Art of Memory, music plays from a playlist and is not site specific so
>>it can never be tied to a memory in space. in opposition to many of
>>the other successful mmorpg 'eve online' seems to break every rule of
>>the classical Art, and as a consequence i have found that memories are
>>NOT encoded in its persistent world and that this game cannot act as
>>an environment of 'externalised' or 'artificial' memory - perhaps its
>>persistence breaks down through sameness...
>>for me, your drawing out of 'persistence' and 'sameness' here,
>>focus on a key conflict between the urge to preserve and replicate
>>something as unchanged and unchangeable (timeless) and the urge to
>>enable the archival transmissibility which Tim refers to. Simon's
>>question "when to let go" doesn't seem to me that far from Tim's
>>committment to transmissibility, because committing to
>>transmissibility has to require some 'letting go' of what was
>>originally /held over or occurred if it is going to be enabled to
>>continue to 'pass' into communication, rather than recede into
>>Time and time again we see artists doing -- and being praised as
>>innovators for -- work that was done by others years and years ago.
>>makes me think of benjamin's identification of the tyranny of the
>>endless 'return of the same' in one form or another, the same 'new'
>>again, and how this blocks 'transmissibility',inducing
>>'forgetfulnesses' that maintain the persistence of a status quo.
>>i don't know if any art can be said to be dead, this is one of the
>>key and unresolved questions benjamin raises in " the work of art"
>>essay about the relationship of art to technology: whether that
>>relation can produce transmissibility (life/ ongoingness) or
>>replication (death/the same over and over again). but i'm glad that
>>mourning has come up because this is also about a process of coming
>>to terms with change rather than a desire for the past to be
>>maintained unchanged (nostalgia).
>>it's 3am here now... so... Norie thank you for your posts and i'll
>>respond to them as soon as i can tomorrow, would also be
>>interesting to talk more about the 'spatiality of memory' and its
>>externalisation as raised by Andrew's mail....
>>>hi mickey and all,
>>>avatar nostalgia is built right into games such as World of Warcraft,
>>>and i think the clever (and intentional) manipulation of a players
>>>sense of nostalgia for their own in game experiences (mediated through
>>>their avatar and user interface) is one of the reasons for the success
>>>of these games. in many ways WoW is a well structured mnemonic
>>>environment firmly situated in the the lineage of the classical Art
>>>of Memory (as outlined in the rhetorical guides of Cicero, Quintilian
>>>et.al. and 'externalised' by Camillo in his theatre of memory).
>>>WoW follows all of the rules for creating an 'artificial' environment
>>>upon which one can construct - as an active rather than passive
>>>memorisation - an external and navigable system of memory. every
>>>'region' in the game is distinguishable visibly and aurally from one
>>>another. there are well defined paths that move from major site to
>>>major site (each distinctive in its own way) and a separate piece of
>>>music plays in, and represents each, definable area. memories of not
>>>only in game experience but also 'real life' experience (as in
>>>emotions or experiences or mind-space etc. that a player comes to the
>>>game with) are then encoded into areas of the games mnemonic landscape
>>>that are then triggered, as one revisits these sites at a later time.
>>>in order to test this theory i have recently been playing a mmorpg
>>>called 'eve online'. the avatar in this game is a faceless spaceship
>>>and the navigable landscape is the vastness of the universe which is
>>>astoundingly homogenous and despite the game boasting a universe of
>>>thousands of star systems to explore, the only real difference
>>>(besides are nebular here, a gas cloud there) is the narrative that
>>>is created through interacting with npc's and other 'real life'
>>>players - but i find that this narrative seems to float, aimlessly
>>>unattached to anything 'physical', until it becomes irretrievable. and
>>>as if the makers of this game were doing their own experiments in the
>>>Art of Memory, music plays from a playlist and is not site specific so
>>>it can never be tied to a memory in space. in opposition to many of
>>>the other successful mmorpg 'eve online' seems to break every rule of
>>>the classical Art, and as a consequence i have found that memories are
>>>NOT encoded in its persistent world and that this game cannot act as
>>>an environment of 'externalised' or 'artificial' memory - perhaps its
>>>persistence breaks down through sameness...
>>>a similar thing could be said of second life. while i have spent many
>>>many hours building, creating and exploring SL, i find it very
>>>difficult to maintain a personal history within the SL world itself.
>>>not only does much of its vast expanse look incredible similar, it is
>>>also constantly changing, visual landmarks come and go and navigation
>>>becomes a matter of 'teleporting' from bookmark (co-ordinate based
>>>landmark) to bookmark. AND this brings me back to the archive and
>>>documentation. to overcome the constantly shifting and impermanent
>>>nature of SL many people have began to create blogs, photo albums or
>>>other such archives of their experiences in SL in order to create
>>>their own personally defined and navigable
>>>memory-scapes/theatres/palaces/artifices..... remind anyone of 'real
>>>ps: the use of the phrase 'real life' should be read as being of
>>>linguistic convenience and it is the antithesis of my views to suggest
>>>that there is any construction or experience other than 'real life'.
>>>On Nov 17, 2007 3:47 AM, Madeleine Reich Casad <mir9 at cornell.edu> wrote:
>>>>You wrote this a while ago, now, and I tried to ask earlier but think
>>>>the message never went through:
>>>>Do you experience something like avatar nostalgia?
>>>>I'm wondering to what extent we can think of the game environment
>>>>itself as 'externalized memory'.
>>>>On Nov 8, 2007, at 6:19 PM, andrew burrell wrote:
>>>>> . i also have strong memories of places,
>>>>> encounters and discoveries in azeroth (memory mediated by mmorpg), and
>>>>> while i have spent much time trying to discern if a memory of a place
>>>>> in 'world of warcraft' is (on a personal level) any different from a
>>>>> memory i have of a place i went on holiday in 1995 (for example), i
>>>>> keep coming back to the same conclusion, that a memory is a memory and
>>>>> no matter how one is formed the ultimate mediator will be an
>>>>> individuals 'perceptive filtering' and the circumstances and triggers
>>>>> for recall.
>>>>> andrew burrell
>>>>> empyre forum
>>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>00 44 (0)1273 381480
>>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
00 44 (0)1273 381480
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