[-empyre-] scalable relations-- how does this matter?(orde-materialize?)

Lynn Hershman lynn2 at well.com
Mon Feb 16 10:27:38 EST 2009


What a fascinating discussion.

It seems to me that cinematic cuts, at least the good ones, are not  
simple and in most cases trigger time associations that can not be  
instantly shifted, at least not yet.
l
On Feb 15, 2009, at 1:23 PM, <Christiane_Paul at whitney.org> wrote:

> Sheldon wrote:
> "For my work, the use of the term Scalable with City is to push the  
> morphological implications of scalability against a structure where  
> it isn't typically considered. Scalability as a spatial/temporal  
> transformation is readily available with digital activities, as  
> facile as other gestures such as translation and rotation and as  
> simple as a cinematic cut."
>
> Nice comparison, scalability is indeed one of the intrinsic  
> characteristics and possibilities of the digital medium. I'm not  
> sure if we have reached a state of media literacy yet where this is  
> as obvious to everyone as the function of the cinematic cut in a  
> movie. Both scalability and the cut can be considered "spatial/ 
> temporal transformations," but they work in very different ways.
>
> Sheldon wrote:
> "Scalability is not as available a gesture in the material world,  
> and produces some tensions with the physical domain, abstracting  
> certain conditions, and presenting other possibilities of  
> consideration while keeping a symbolic connection to the original."
>
> I think one of the achievements of "Scalable City" is that it plays  
> with these tensions between scalability and the more static  
> conditions of the material world, literally unhinging the  
> (simulation of the) material world and creating 'twisters' of objects.
>
> Sheldon wrote:
> "But my work isn't meant to be bound up by the use of the word  
> Scalable, other terms could be used (emergent, algorithmic) rather  
> I hope it is a nod towards the mutability of the processes of data  
> collection, algorithmicization and dynamics simulation which  
> provide for our emerging schemes of representation."
>
> This emerging scheme of / shift in representation is particularly  
> interesting to me. The digital medium brings about fundamental  
> changes in representation through these mutable processes you  
> mention -- the 'images' of the world are calculated rather than  
> filmic or photographic, which has numerous effects on understanding  
> phenomena such as space, time, materiality etc.
>
>
> Christiane
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Sheldon Brown
> Sent: Fri 2/13/2009 1:50 PM
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] scalable relations-- how does this matter? 
> (orde-materialize?)
>
> Of the term "scalable", used in the title of this exhibtion, and has
> been part of the title of my project "Scalable City" as it has
> developed over a few years. For my work, the use of the term Scalable
> with City is to push the morphological implications of scalability
> against a structure where it isn't typically considered. Scalability
> as a spatial/temporal transformation is readily available with digital
> activities, as facile as other gestures such as translation and
> rotation and as simple as a cinematic cut.  Scalability is not as
> available a gesture in the material world, and produces some tensions
> with the physical domain, abstracting certain conditions, and
> presenting other possibilities of consideration while keeping a
> symbolic connection to the original. Toys, games, simulations, are of
> course one way this is used.
> But my work isn't meant to be bound up by the use of the world
> Scalable, other terms could be used (emergent, algorithmic) rather I
> hope it is a nod towards the mutability of the processes of data
> collection, algorithmicization and dynamics simulation which provide
> for our emerging schemes of representation.  And recognizing that our
> schemes of representation are not simply reflective but they are
> productive.
>
> Sheldon Brown
>
>
> --
> http://crca.ucsd.edu/sheldon
> --
> http://crca.ucsd.edu/sheldon
> Sheldon Brown
> Professor of Visual Arts
> Director - Center for Research in Computing and the Arts - 0037
> Director, UCSD Experimental Game Lab
> University of California at San Diego
>
>
>
>
> >
> >>I want to start by asking Christiane about how she may place the  
> 'scalable'
> >> morphology as a significant discovery?
> >
> > In fact I would not call scalable relations or morphology a  
> significant
> > discovery at all -- it simply is an intrinsic quality of the  
> digital medium,
> > which has the capacity to establish relations between large  
> quantities of
> > data through filtering and processing according to different  
> criteria.
> > Perhaps this scalability was a 'discovery' at the time the  
> relational
> > database was formalized in the 1960s -- as a data structure that is
> > organized and accessed according to relations between tables. The  
> relational
> > database implies a certain flexibility and scalability in  
> generating new
> > relations from existing records that meet specified criteria.
> >
> >>Is 'scalable' like 'granularity' or is it something more like a  
> series of
> >> cascading iterations?
> >
> > Definitions of scalability would include the ability of a computer
> > application or product (hardware or software) to continue to  
> function well
> > as it (or its context) is changed; and the property of a system  
> that can
> > accommodate changes in transaction volume without major changes  
> to the
> > system. As such, I would see scalability as very different from  
> granularity,
> > which could be defined as the relative size, scale, level of  
> detail, or
> > depth of penetration that characterizes an object or activity.  
> Granularity
> > cannot adapt to context changes of the object or activity, and  
> cascading
> > iterations would be more like single-moment snapshots of a  
> scalable system.
> >
> >>Are these qualities valuable for us as a use factor-- or as  
> something
> >> intrinsically beautiful, or both?
> >
> > Scalable Relations can be a use factor (when it comes to empirical
> > investigations of data) and they can be beautiful (for me, the  
> works in the
> > exhibition are). I identified the concept of 'scalable relations'  
> as a
> > common denominator of the wide range of works that was submitted  
> to this
> > show (which started with a call for submissions to the UC  
> faculty) and what
> > interested me, in particular, was the question how these scalable  
> relations
> > affect both the production of meaning and the understanding of  
> aesthetics of
> > a work of art.
> >
> > I am not looking for a single, simple answer to this question -  
> although our
> > discussion this month might provide some answers. I'm more  
> interested in how
> > this question manifests in the different works. To use just a  
> couple of
> > examples (I hope the artists can chime in and we can discuss the  
> works in
> > more detail):
> >
> > Sheldon Brown's "Scalable City" (http://scalablecity.net) transforms
> > real-world data through algorithms and makes it shape elements  
> (roads /
> > houses / cars) of an urban condition. In this case, issues of  
> scalability
> > both literally and metaphorically play out with regard to urban  
> development
> > and how our world is being shaped through algorithms and  
> databases (think
> > the algorithmic determination of distribution of chain stores; or  
> databases
> > that construct a social profile of a neighborhood that in turn  
> solidifies or
> > enhances that very profile etc.)
> >
> > In a more metaphorical way, Sharon Daniel's works "Public Secrets"
> > (http://vectors.usc.edu/issues/04_issue/publicsecrets/) and  
> "Blood Sugar"
> > (http://arts.ucsc.edu/sdaniel/bordertech/bloodsugar/ 
> bloodsugar.html) examine
> > the social and political construction of justice/injustice, poverty,
> > alienation and addiction through relations between individual  
> testimony and
> > public evidence and social theory.
> >
> > I'm interested in how these relations between shifting contexts  
> affect how
> > we understand art or the world. How can meaning be 'grounded' (or  
> does it
> > have to be)? Is there an increased need for stable belief systems  
> (from
> > religion to others) and b&w interpretations of the world because  
> of the
> > relativity of meaning resulting from scalable relations?
> >
> > Christiane
> >
>
>
> --
> http://crca.ucsd.edu/sheldon
> Sheldon Brown
> Professor of Visual Arts
> Director - Center for Research in Computing and the Arts - 0037
> Director, UCSD Experimental Game Lab
> University of California at San Diego
> 9500 Gilman Drive
> La Jolla, CA 92093-0037
> sgbrown at ucsd.edu
> http://crca.ucsd.edu/sheldon
> voice (858)534-2423
> fax (858)534-7944
> _______________________________________________
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> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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>
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