brief musings on deeply interconnected media synthesis, generation, accumulation and organisation.
inspired by the shortcommings of many computer based 'multimedia' systems, and the high degree of componet isolation in these potentially maleable, fluid machines.
see also: Xanalogical Media,
This paper discusses the need for a shift of focus from multimedia to 'intermedia' and has two primary threads: In Multiplex Translations we suggest that current computer based systems which separate different media, and reinforce the traditional approach of separating authoring from representation do not meet the needs of developers. We look at the problems and the opportunities of a 'media synesthesia' and discuss properties of an intermedia environment Entangled Aphasia analyses the current problem of tools and environments that do not degrade gracefully, aphasic systems unable to remember their past or current conditions. Systems not even able to make basic associations or interconnections between the myriad of content which flows through them. We examine the possibility of viewing the computer as an interwoven mnemonic space, where the techniques of remembering and forgetting information may lead to [re|de]construction of media rich environments, unique to the computer systems and responsive to the needs of the people that use them. In conclusion, we will propose the necessity of looking at computer supported collaborative tools, rather than focusing on tools for single authors and disassociated media.
Keywords: context, translation, synesthesia, mnemonics, construction, collaboration
went silly on some notes after reading it, here they are. i've forwarded it to maja also.
as you know i work as digital practitioner in several different fields at once, as this becomes increasingly important to me, frustration at the binds of protocol and format intensify - to the point of it all feeling like a conspiracy over my agency - which it is. i could really use more intermedia, especially to tell me more about how my work is constructed by the very vehicles of it's production. the idea of all my digital content [executables and all] as articulations and flow of a deeply rhizomatic synthesizer is exciting.
what follows are some thoughts on intermedia, neither of which may have any impact on your work personally! some outline problematics, some outline others. this comes as a cursory and surface response to the paper. remember i'm considering intermedia in the absolute sense for purposes of these notes.
THE OBJECT OF PURCHASE TRANSLATION AS COMMENT [HABIT] THE OBJECT OF THOUGHT
1 THE OBJECT OF PURCHASE:
the 'multimedia industry' is still driven by the desire to produce equitable articles, while culturally there is still a strongly felt sense of need for the artifact - albeit contricting. what you are proposing is important, but you cannot detach this aim from a simultaneous demand for a broader cultural and economic transformation.
eg it is exactly the incompatibility of file formats that maintains the stronghold of software and platform giants; they are used that they are used strategically as a hold or 'patent' over the production needs of the user herself. in this way 'intermedia' poses an extreme threat, as a dissolve of this hierachical bind -
here, the maldistribution of wealth itself = the maldistribution of means.
this is the evil you are inevitably fighting. a war not symptomatic of the advent of intermedia, but one that has been fought since the first occurence of the patent.
2 HABIT, OR PROCESS AS INTERSTITIAL COMMENT
A transformation is still a kind of statement; this *becomes* the content. eg. translation always produces commentary about translation.
i often use a fun little app called coagula, which can turn 'any bitmap image into sound'. what coagula does is take a bitmap image [bmp] and interpret the x axis as time and the y axis as a freq, using colour as tonal and timbral information. eg a 640 * 480 image would produce a 20 to 20000hz spectral spread for about 7 seconds. i expected this would have a huge impact on the way i worked. i even imagined developing the application so that it could accept a stream of 320*240 bmps at 20 frames a second… after working with a hundred or so images i'd gathered i realised that the only way to avoid continuous images trnasducing into blocks of non-iterative, drab noise was to ensure that they were mostly black , used the colours red or green, and did not use the y' dimesion too heavily…….in other words looked like a typical spectral image! best results were outputs from my sound editors spectral window… a timbral tweak of my spectrographic window…not just 'any bmp image', useful all the same - <the very way the bmp data was organised for tranform coded my use of the system itself…>
the closest example of an intermediated system in my working process is txt to midi to sound to bmp to sound to txt etc. consider just a single node of that tanslation:
txt turned into sound
txt into sound communicates two things: the existence of that process. and an early transcendentalist notion - one that has been increasingly prevalent in converstations about digital media since people decided it existed….
<that of the digital, as an alchemical magama or plasma, leading us through example to the realization of the interconnectedness of all things…>
universe as hologram. matter + thought as light etc. floating point consciousness etc…
using a bug in 'cooledit pro' i can turn txt documents into raw [PCM] data, and vice versa. but this has no significance except to a learned few - even so it would be barely recogniseable unless mentioned in the sleeve notes. so what work is really being done in this example other than the purely sensorial joy of new kind of of air-pressure animation?
3a THE OBJECT OF THOUGHT - author
the content here is transmuted into context, that of this transmutation of media simultaneously priveledges the artist as spectator, dis_solves the author yet territorialises the field effect of communication. but anyway, has the author really been dissolved? the sound scene the world over is now full of code virtuoso's [whether team or individual is of little significance] instead of instrumentalists. re: mcartney quotes on the fals.ch site…alchemists yes [and in a corporeal world that still organises people iconographically and economically] they are still very much 'authors' for these reasons:
they are objects of thought. they are opaque. they are organised as human even if they are not. they are 'an entity' whether or not they are cybernetically extended across several heart organs, CPU's, modems and fridges. they are named, even if temporarily.
so here the war against the author [re: the CAGE's chance operations made him quote “the father of modern music”] is war against a deep and muti-threaded cognitive subsrate. one that [i argue] is due to the geometric composition of the body - the unfortunate fact we are bilateral, brachiated, [typically] symmetrical, and have linear + stereospcopic vision.
interesting therefore that aurality leads us away from pointillistic cognition habits…
3b THE OBJECT OF THOUGHT - difference + repitition.
eg considering spoken languages as file formats, if every language could be passed through a lingua-cuccoon and made infinetely soluble for exchange into any other language we would be left with a very dull and useless language. as adam phillips [after Derrida] pointed out, difference itself produces meaning - we would have nothing to learn..other than that which relates to the system of translation itself… this of course is in itself very useful. another long awaited mirror.
THE OBJECT OF THOUGHT - inputs and outputs.
when i was working with stelarc on a 'ping body' performance [four hours of electrocution using ping values of remote audiences logging into a stelarc site. ping values determined voltages. a ping-bod-box randomnly ditributed those across any one of thirty electrodes]. stelarc started to have a seizure and so he decided to fake it. from the perspective of audience, output was the same, despite the fact the input was turned off… this is significant for the performing arts - when autopoiesis, or cybernetically distributed process meets performance. we see a closure of an age old complex system of meaning production - that of the suture -an extended empathic reflex between performer and audience. the technological internalisation of the process that produces inputs and outputs becomes less recogniseable - communication dilutes into the world of pure effect. this is the evolution of the worldscreen. this is what we're getting used to.
my mother always wondered how they managed to get cardboard so shiny in the ads…
3c THE OBJECT OF THOUGHT - the abstract expression.
intermedia's sublimation of content into context highlights an important distinction - they need each other. if the output 'window' is exemplified in this model for the audience, it becomes the rarified knowledge of the facilitator [artist]. 'new media' is in the throes of a coming of agar, whereby it wants to leave home and explore it's body. [as lecercle pointed out: the word 'freedom' originally meant 'to flee']
iterative, intelligent, synaesthesiacal and generative systems are in this way more than just divine evidence, they are a kind of punk. why should we have to modalise our communcations, why should we model roles, why should we reinscribe the known? abstract expressionism was the fine art's answer to these questions. it's about time new media smeared some lipstick…
this moves the transmission of meaning into a syntactical / cursory stream. as techno + the aria show us, any elements may be used, it is how they are organised that produces meaning. [why meaning?, because meaning organises experience.]
here the objects of thought struggle for debri to cling to. qualia levels are high. you can't talk about the effect using words anymore because your words might be a part of the effect [or the other way around]. it feels
really good, like falling in several directions at once.
it's at this stage we start to learn lots about language and alot about thought. intermedia will give us this.
i'll write back with:
porous media brachiated media