Saturday, September 08, 2018

Arm and Hand Access Grid Worldwide Tour video

from nearly before or after 2007-2008, early experiment using
the access grid which allows multiple cameras and microphones
from a single location to connect to the same at another
location. designed for invisible walls classroom use, the setup
is complex. we used the access grid at the virtual environments
lab at west virginia university in a number of ways; one of the
main ones involved bouncing an audio/video signal around the
world through other nodes, back to the lab in morgantown. by
using video feedback, i.e. the camera and mics aimed at the
receiving monitor, we were able to create closed circuits or
loops from morgantown through various other sites, including one
in new south wales, australia. in other words, the usual video
feedback occurred, but with delay occasioned by each layer
looping the entire globe. we used azure carter as subject for he
most part, looping sound and site and motion; in this earlier
experiment (which btw involved multiple computers in morgantown
as well; the software was complex), we used my waving hand for
proof of concept. the delays and color shifts were the result of
the signal travel. the procedure reminded me of the even older
email bangpaths that allowed one to send a file anywhere through
specified nodes.

in those days, not very long ago, i was also thinking about net
weather, the conditions of the routers, interferences, bad
connections, local gaps, and so forth; i remember being able to
tell the 'state of the net' in a particular direction by the
rate and interruptions of packets. michel serres' book on the
parasite was in the back of my mind, as was the collection of
texts on the very early net by peter salus. the only originality
i could claim here is the use and present/presencing of the body
itself, the somatic and almost punk register of the process or
piece, something i continue to think about and work through.
because we have our bodies have us and it's the appearance of
this momentary thickening we call a lifespan that's dependent on
the permeability of the world's fabric.

this quote from a letter by dylan thomas to pamela hansford
johnson, in october 1933, is relevant i think:

"I fail to see how the emphasizing of the body can, in any way,
be regarded as hideous. The body, its appearance, death, and
diseases, is a fact, sure as the fact of a tree. It has roots in
the same earth as the tree. The greatest description I know of
our 'earthiness' is to be found in John Donne's _Devotions,_
where he describes man as earth of the earth, his body earth,
his hair a wild shrub growing out of the land. All thoughts and
actions emanate from the body. Therefore the description of a
thought or action - however abstruse it may be - can be beaten
home by bringing it on to a physical level. Every idea,
intuitive or intellectual, can be imaged and translated in terms
of the body, its flesh, skin, blood, sinews, veins, glands,
organs, cells, or senses."

(p. 27 The Notebooks of Dylan Thomas, ed. Ralph Maud.)

the gendering is a problem of course, but the thinking of earth,
what i consider emanant, emanation or effluvia, avatar imaginary
or dissipating rootedness, relates well to the body immersed
within the access grid, or rather the imagine/imaginary of the
body traversing the access grid, and i, we, they will stop here.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Internet: Origins, Theory, Practice

Syllabus for a special topic university course on digital
culture and the Internet - comments welcome.

This course will cover a wide variety of topics, centered on
digital media and the Internet, and on the profound changes to
society that the digital revolution has brought about. There are
no prerequisites except online access.

The course will be structured around informal lectures and
in-class discussion, coupled with student research; by the
fourth week, please choose a topic to present in-class and
online. Attendance is mandatory.

All readings will be online; given the fast-forward nature of
the Internet, the urls will be assigned on a week-by-week basis.

Week 1:


What do you do online? How many hours? What do you do offline?
How many hours?

Introduction to the field of digital studies - the past,
present, and future of the Internet and online communication in
general. We will discuss the basic similarities and differences
between analog and digital media, focusing on both the 'natural'
and 'human-created' worlds. Illustrations from antiquated
technologies like look-up tables, abacuses and slide-rules.
Brief discussion of breadth versus depth approaches to

Week 2:

Early history of the Internet - the text-driven digital world,
including early search engines (gopher, archie, veronica),
email, and communities (the Well, Spoon, etc.). The RFC
directory. Earlier Internet handbooks. The concept behind
TCP/IP. Newsgroups and computer BBS (bulletin boards), Fidonet.
The Yanoff list. How should the breadth of information be
organized? The Hobbes Timeline.

Week 3:

Mozilla, Netscape, and early Web browsers. Early online
communities. MOOs, MUDs, MUCKS, and early text-based games like
Adventure. Newsgroups, IRC. Stormfront. The beginnings of Net
culture, and its relation to offline communities. CB, ham radio,
telegraph communities.

Week 4:

Beginnings of multi-media online. POWWOW, CU-SeeMe. The idea of
the "homepage" - various kinds of homepages. Using the WayBack
site. TheCastle and other early virtual worlds. The rise of
blogs. We want to begin thinking about the construction of the
online subject or user - what being online means for society as
a whole.

Week 5:

Wikipedia, online information, fake news, bullying, online
scholarship. The growth of the Internet, the digital divide.
Generation gaps - thinking also about early boys' radio clubs.
Online relationships. Sex, love, and death in cyberspace.
Postmodernism and the fragmented self.

Week 6:

Facebook, Instagram, G+ and Gmail, Yahoo and other social media.
Online addiction, the psychology of the screen. Messaging.
Modalities of online subjectivity, the MULTI directory of
presentation of the self in everyday online life. Is online
always virtual? Is the virtual always online?

Week 7:

Online education, plagiarism, MOOCs (massive open online
courses). Psychology of learning online. Kindergarten block
play, STEM, STEAM and other national initiatives. Bottom-up
organizations, TAZ (temporary autonomous zones), hacker and
maker spaces, collaboration spaces, Occupy. Fast-forward
political actions, cellphone organizing.

Week 8:

Hacking, cracking, 2600 magazine, the politicization of hacking,
script kiddies, cyberwarfare. Information wants to be free. The
case of Trolling, Dibbell's A Rape in Cyberspace.

Week 9:

Economics of Amazon, etc. The effect on brick and mortar stores.
Mobile platforms and platform dominance. The trajectories of
money in the digital world. Offshore accounting, immediacy,
virtual currencies.

Online from top-down - Who controls what? State supervision of
the Net, issues of Net neutrality. The EFF, Electronic Freedom

Week 10:

Internet art, blockchain, Furtherfield, digital art in general.
DIWO, Do it with Others. Collaboration, makerspaces. Codework,
Jodi and others. Randall Packer and Networked Art. Online
identities and their expressions. The Arab Spring.

Week 11:

Micro-cultures, fandoms. alt.society.neutopia, monster truck
neutopians, Walkers in Darkness, Body-mod sites. How is Twitter
organized? Presentations, discussions.

Week 12:

Presentations, discussions.


Monday, January 22, 2018

It's a dark world out there, I haven't posted here in five years. If you receive and read this, please let me know. I'm writing into the dark...
and we hadn't seen scaup before, neither greater nor lesser.
Today I will write about useless ambitions in the age of Trump, and the notion of thwart. Later, and if this is published... and if there are readers...