calin dan on Wed, 11 Feb 1998 12:11:32 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Batman & Lem

Brain space. Data is virtually (yes) innocent; interaction & connectivity
are not. Are interactivity & connectivity about dialogue or mainly about
content manufacture & consent manipulation?
The realists relate this Triad 2 war, and use it both as metaphor and space
for expansion of technological borders.
The utopians relate the Triad 2 the brain. Among utopians, artists try 2
literally install the Triad in environments suggesting brain processes. The
result might be seen as relying on the 19 century belief in the power of
>la reverie<. Also as a critical warning against the consumerist danger
brought by the offensive of responsive machines. This objective might be
ideologically questionable since it ignores the more trivial but still
unavoidable aspects of content (entertainment); and raises a methodological
question since it makes obvious what should be concealed - the instruments
of data - interaction - connection, whose symbolic impact is limited.
But this is just the avant-garde of digital art, as op art and kinetic art
were the avant-gardes of following meetings between art & technology.
Avant-garde troops are usually killed first.

Batman & Lem. The brain is a model of inquisitive functionality and
recurrent impulses. It gives patterns of deployment, aggressivity, storage
and manic depressive activities. It justifies data bases, communication,
war & lust. It argues 4 speed and entertainment. It does not necessarily
encourage the mist of mysticism ; @ least not more than other types of
In those times of commercial stress and collapsing industrial democracy the
goals of strategy remain the discovery of new philosophical paths for
survival, while the tactics adopted the soapy cartoon model. What pop
culture developed is a kind of users that can download amounts of Batman
and some Foucault (etc.) with it, but not the other way round. So, if you
want Foucault (etc.) to get through...
What stays as a basic principle in the operative developments of responsive
technologies is the necessity to APPLY the brain modeling, not to mime it.
Making obvious data bases and/or connectivity, basing interaction on
browsers, building philosophically heavy or just nature-likely environments
is already archeology.

In Stanislaw Lem's "Solaris", the brain of the heroes and the intelligent
planet are interconnected via 3d fantasies, real audio ghosts, sensorial
reconstructions. Basically, each character experiences a revival of his
past in a flesh & blood reality manufactured via neuro scanning and
enhanced holograms. My terminology is outrageous, since the novel is not
about Sci Fi hype but about Death, Love , Guilt & Memory. I guess
interactivity is about that, also. 2 put it more directly - free dialogue
should be the goal. The question is who are the partners and respectively
what quality of exchange one can expect when talking 2 a machine.

Calin Dan
Akademie Schloss "Solitude"
Studio 22
Solitude 3
D-70197 Stuttgart
T: + 49 711 69 930 122
F: + 49 711 69 930 150
ONLY Receive mail: calin @ 

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