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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Seeing Eyes/ Pedantry on numbers

3 messages, from Simon Biggs, Alan Sondheim, and Jouke Kleerebezem

>On Mon, 2 Feb 1998, Simon Biggs <simon@babar.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> The camera can be regarded as just as arbitrary an imaging
>> system as any other that has been devised, so why should the
>> lens based scan of an eye have any particular veracity
>> beyond the contingent parameters of our expectations of the
>> media and the 'nature' of the image? Not that this would
>> bother the computer, so long as it has an accurate map of
>> those parameters.

Jordan Crandall <crandall@blast.org> replied:

>What is interesting is the confrontation that is staged between two
>conditions of seeing – the eye having ‘met its match,’ so to speak,
>head-on, within two modes of coming-into-being through identification.
>A mirror-based process of identification clashes with the circuitous
>process of ID-ing.  One of the reasons for that post was to suggest
>seeing is no longer our (as humans) privilege, we can’t talk about
>seeing images without accounting for the processes and circuits by
>they see us.

Simon Biggs <simon@babar.demon.co.uk> writes:

The issue here is not whether seeing is any longer a privilege for
humans.  I doubt that seeing was ever a priviliege unique to the human.
Animals can see, in the fullest sense of the word. Some animals can see
in ways very similar to our own...whilst others can see in ways that we
can only begin to imagine. Even the differences between how individual
people might see are mind-boggling to consider. We are talking about
such subjective things I wonder if it is possible to identify the

What I find attractive here is the metaphor of vision, of vision as a
replicable system which can itself become an artifact. By this I do not
mean that a machine (or an image) can see (I doubt this is yet the case,
if one assumes that to see is to perceive and to comprehend) but rather
that the 'idea' of a seeing artifact has profound implications regarding
questions of our own ontology and relation to the sensorial. I do not
want to come to a conclusion on this, but just see things open up.

You talk about the processes and circuits involved in artificial vision.
Are these not arbitrary systems, reflections of our own limited
comprehension of how our own self might work? As such, aren't these
processes and circuits little more than extended metaphors, and thus
isn't their value not so much in understanding what we are, or how we
are, but rather in how they speak about how we wish to see ourselves?
That is, the interest lies in the 'value' of the 'story'.

Simon Biggs
London GB



Alan Myouka Sondheim <sondheim@panix.com> writes:

I agree with Jordan here - and network, what was once called invisible
colleges at least in California (I think by Josh White) have been
inherent in art from the beginning. Would it be worthwhile to consider
art a discursive formation, say, which then limits the interpretation of
the image as a knot or stasis? The flux of language continues on and off
the Net. I would also want to think through issues of mystification,
which serve to define art-groupings in the first place - those pages in
black, look for the place to click, etc. How do discursive formations
then interact with audience? And I think Bourdieu's work on contemporary
art is germane here.



>Paul Rutkovsky <prutkov@mailer.fsu.edu> wrote:
>Ah yes, "privilege, process, open and close," is just a reflection of
>how most major institutions now operate within a global marketplace.

Jouke Kleerebezem <jouke@xs4all.nl> writes:

and so 'operate' my studio, my living room, my kitchen, my wallet, my
correspondencies, my gaze... to name just a few live environments...

>My fear is that the privilege to make stupid comments on the net will
>shrivel up and continue to be further mediated by the intelligent
>class.  Should we really be asking for more Gate Keepers?

who's asking for gate keepers. Should we really be aking for one net? My
remarks on 'privilege, process, open and close' and 'breath' try to pump
some oxygen flowing in the otherwise suffocating number games. I
recognize the limitations of networked channels like everybody else
does: on 'the' net all access is equal but some is more equal than the
rest, s.o.s. The fact that 'a' net could be -- notwithstanding efforts
to institutionalize major parts of it -- a living environment, means
that we can scale it, and our activities, to any size. I'm arguing for
unlimited intimacy rather than grotesque publicity. So 'ah yes', the
'intelligent class': make that an abundancy of investigating classes,
which have little in common with 'most major institutions' and you'll
probably understand where a net could be heading? 'The' net is a major
misconception that stands in the way of diversity and equal

For an elaborate critique of 'one net for all, all for one net' see eg.
Paul Treanor's pages, notably


PS. Tim Jordan <t.r.jordan@uel.ac.uk> quoted Frantz Fanon (could he or
anyone mail me the source of this quote):
>'To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp
>the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to
>assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilisation.'

hence, to speak of 'the' net means to assume net culture: to support the
weight of a global monopoly.

Jouke Kleerebezem Amsterdam

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