[-empyre-] Week 4: “Convergence: expanding time-base media”

Ken Feingold kenf at panix.com
Sat Oct 26 10:58:28 EST 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In this post I will send along an update on some of my activity, and later
I will post further on the subject of convergence.

I have been writing personalities for talking animatronic sculptures and
virtual characters for some time now.  As the work has gone along – coding
the applications that run on customized computers and microprocessors
which control sculpted, molded and cast figures fitted with pneumatic
actuators, or, alternately, the digital processes control virtual 3D
figures – the central problem is in the creation of a time-based “scene”. 
So what is materialized is first imagined, written, sculpted, cast,
assembled; a convergence of processes, the “mise-en-scène” for what,
finally, becomes an artwork, usually something of a time-based
installation or sculpture.  This much has been the case for a while, and
working in this way continues to attract my attention.  To a large extent,
the focus of the work is, as mentioned above, “writing personalities” and
letting them “run” and interact with each other.  The characters need to
be doing their scene perpetually, but without explicit dialog or
repetition.  What is involved in writing a personality, or a scene, in
this way?  First, each needs a vocabulary, a database of words they can
speak.  The organization of these words becomes the unconscious mind of
the characters, and from here there is a coming and going between this
database and the surface of their language, their syntaxes and most
importantly, their ability to link one thing to another.  The speaking
character is a fountain of associations, and what serves as their mind is
a configuration of algorithms which model and remodel these links, and
through their articulation of responses to the language of each other (or
an other) they enact.  The scene becomes an image – in some cases, as in
my work “Box of Men”, a talking, moving sculpture as virtual scene/moving
image (a projection or screen); in others, as in “Hell”, it is a talking,
moving sculpture as object/image.  The continuum between them is what what
I think of as the Image-Action; and finally the screen itself is found in
the perception of the work - its mental representation - and its relations
to the experience of affect in the viewer.  This Image-Action, for me, is
a primary site of convergence, located within the subject who is
constituted by the convergence itself, and where, as I will discuss later,
we can observe with some introspection how we are experiencing affect and

All the best,

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