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Re: <eyebeam><blast> carnival and lent
>I read Margaret Morse's posting about "symbolic events" with pleasure,
>and I have to admit, a bit of surprise. To me almost all human
>interaction is utterly symbolic - even the exchange of genetic
>information sor the birth of solar systems seems (the reproduction
>scam?) to be part of this ballgame.
Paul, you are right that all human interaction is symbolic. My
notion of symbolic events makes that point in its attempt to blur the
distinction between cognition and action, between language (including
audiovisuality) and "just doing it." This distinction becomes more and
more muddied anyway, once acts in the world are performed at a keyboard
or joystick or other telematic relay by manipulating symbols on a
Speaking of ballgames, I am interested in how sport is more and
more a screen event, reduced to a few seconds of peak performance of
triple triple loops or triples with an "iron cross." Sustained
performance isn't telegenic. Ever noticed how the media process loses
everything but the climax or high points? Meanwhile, keyboards are
clacking and (according to ads) IBM employees are working day and night
to keep the digital flow going, put up stats, etc.
I like art pieces that deal with the intersection and
interaction of on and offscreen life--whenever there is a difference. I
spend hours everyday at my computer and more hours (minimum of three
hours 2 or 3xper week) driving, that is in cyber- or protocyberspace.
>Transtextuality: movement between different thought patterns,
>expressions styles: immediate flux through the flow of human expression.
>Filtered, of course. If (x) then (?), it's all variations on the same
>pattern: expansion, contraction, ebb flow.
Also,the notion of different thought patterns is astute. I
find little "body" clues help in following the direction of others
unfamiliar expressions and assumptions. I think those clues are present
in a poster's presentational style and in content reflecting on his or
her life situation.
As for using another language other than english on the
web--something that has come up in other threads--it inevitably creates
a different discourse and a different pool of participants. The only
other foreign language I really know (rather than dabble incompetently
in) is German. When I use German, my thoughts take different directions
and draw on different reference points. It is humbling to realize how
differently the world can be mapped symbolically and that I miss that
humility in American discourse. (I do find it hard to remember later in
what language I had a thought in or read or heard something, though.)
I personally regret deeply that most Americans can do well
without feeling the need to understand another language. The dominance
of English in commerce, diplomacy, tourism and the net is a great
advantage for us that I think may also be a disadvantage to some aspects
of cognitive and moral development. However, even in American
territory, streams of other languages course, sharing the world. A
Spanish digital artist was visiting in Santa Cruz with his family in the
hopes of learning English. However, he told me it was really hard to get
practice in English, since everywhere he and his wife went for
amusement, shopping or to eat, people immediately broke into Spanish.
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