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Re: <eyebeam><blast> poetics/ants/loc.carnival/Fissiault

6 messages, from Alan Sondheim, M. Hergueta, Milton Machado, Luke
Pellen, Jason Edward Kaufman, and Eve Andree Laramee.

Alan Myouka Sondheim <sondheim@panix.com> sends the following not as an
advertisement, but as a commentary on the subject of the list - artistic
practices in the network.  "Here are 25000 poems for gods sakes, which
transform into a _mass_ - cultural mass - by their very quantity - which
stands in for the Web itself and the exhaustion people feel - there are
indications in fact that Net usage is increasing but web usage per se is
decreasing... when I read [this] I thought it was a satire."

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<hergueta@goofy.zdv.Uni-Mainz.de> writes:




Milton Machado <mmachado@dircon.co.uk> writes:

some (some!) corrections

"- The first time, 19th century: the first favela originated from WAR.
Soldiers returning from WAR (Guerra do Paraguai, a dispute over
geographical, national frontiers), homeless, built their "barracos"
(shanties, shacks) on Morro da Providencia (Hill of the Providence) (!),
in Rio. Rio first favela is still there."

Wrong. The war soldiers were returning from was Guerra dos Canudos. 
"Favela" was the name of a medicinal plant soldiers brought to Rio from
the northeast of Brazil.  

W        .
 G               C          .
                     R                                     B       .

M      M      .


Luke Pellen" <luke@seol.net.au> writes:

> "[T]hat individual humans are emergence systems * does not negate the
> possibilities that groups of humans could also demonstrate emergent
> behavior*. even the idea of emergence goes against authoritarian rule,
> since ALL components of the system help to determine the resulting
> emergent behavior."

John C. Ippolito writes: 
> After pondering this comment, I concluded that it's ok when human
> collaboration is emergent in the strong sense--that is, when the
> complexity of the whole is equal to or greater than that of its parts.
> Unfortunately, this condition is more often satisfied when the parts are
> simple (as in the case of the center-seeking "boids" Kate cites). It is
> rarely true when the parts are as complex as a person (an example might
> be the earth's ecosystem, which I can imagine to be near or greater than
> the complexity of an individual human).

I take it that the relationship between emergence and complexity is a
bell curve so that very simple components and very complex components
[very complex components approach "randomness" - e.g. a collection of
human beings] do not give rise to any [significant] emergent properties.
The complexity of the components needs to be "just right".

I have been "lurking" on this list since it's inception, and it has
produced a lot of very interesting stuff - so much so that I have found
it difficult to post any thoughts. Most things that have been on my mind
seem to have been said by someone or another.

I live in Mt. Gambier, South Australia [pop. 27000]. The closest cities,
Adelaide and Melbourne are about 450 kms away. It is nice enough here -
the [slightly] famous blue lake, volcanic craters, limestone caves and
such. I am a writer, artist, musician and free-lance programmer.


'The philosopher is like a mountaineer who has with difficulty climbed
a  mountain for the sake of the sunrise, and arriving at the top finds
only  fog; whereupon he wanders down again. He must be an honest man if
he  doesn't tell you that the spectacle was stupendous.' - W. Somerset


Luke Pellen
e-mail: luke@seol.net.au
'A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to.'
- Laurence J. Peter
Chess anyone? Why not visit me at http://www.chessclub.com

This random quotation was generated by SIGGEN...
SIGGEN is an e-mail signature generator programmed by Luke Pellen


Carlos Basualdo writes: "I do not think there is any political gain for
Latin America in playing around with the possibility of a community of
destiny with the Anglo-American peoples."

Jason Edward Kaufman <jekauf@ix.netcom.com> writes:

Oh, yeah. Great. I suppose you think we should remain separate
economically, culturally, linguistically, and of course, politically. No
ties that bind for this hemisphere. Divide and alienate rather than seek
to construct a common destiny (under whatever name you want). Ever
wonder what those Europeans are up to, trying to form a more perfect
union? Might as well dismantle the U.N., right? Are you serious? Rest
assured. North and South of the equator, this hemisphere progressively
will unite over the next century. First, via cooperative aggreements
like NAFTA, second through defense alliances, third through more
fundamental unification. I guess you're against statehood for Puerto
Rico. Do you really think that would be such a disaster for the island?
Call it what you want. We are all destined to be one federation. Amen.

Jason Edward Kaufman


Eve Andree Laramee <wander@earthlink.net> writes:


                              She couldn't stop watching his eyes.
                              They were bright black,
                              surrounded by an incredible network of
                              like a laboratory maze for studying
intelligence in tears.
                              -----------Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of
Lot 49

The traffic on the backchannel about the Yves Fissiault/Thomas Pynchon
Internet connection has been staggering. I thought I'd best introduce to
the list how I became involved in this "secret history".

The artwork of Yves Fissiault (b. 1908) first came to my attention in
1991, when I was named, to my surprise, executrix of his estate. I had
briefly worked for Mr. Fissiault as a research assistant while in
college in California in the 1970's. He had been employed in the
aerospace industry as an electrical engineer, and his many hobbies
included the study of comparative religion. My assignment was to
research utopian communities that believed in alternative cosmologies.

After his death in Los Angeles in 1991, I found myself in the possession
of five small suitcases and one steamer trunk filled with notebooks,
drawings, paintings, photographs, small devices and personal effects,
much of which had apparently been locked in the trunk of a Chevrolet
Impala for years. Bewildered, yet intrigued, I took it as my task to
unravel a life; to decode these artifacts and begin to reconstruct the
history of this unknown artist of the Cold War Era.  Last spring, at a
small museum on Long Island (NY) I mounted an historical exhibition to
introduce to the public the works of Yves Fissiault, artist, engineer
and inventor. There was a review in the Long Island edition of the New
York Times, Sunday, April 13, 1997 written by Helen A. Harrison
entitled, "Yves Fissiault, Artist of the Cold War Era."

What has been most compelling for me was the discovery (through reading
his personal papers) of Fissiault's place in the recent (since 1946)
history of computing technology and the role he played in the
development of the Internet. Equally intriguing was the discovery of his
long friendship with Thomas Pynchon. The archive I am in the process of
setting up contains letters as well as numerous photographs of the
reclusive author, Pynchon. Interestingly, an article appearing in the
March 4, 1998 edition of the New York TImes states:

>  The exchange begins in 1963, the year that Pynchon's masterly first novel,
>"V," was published, and continues through the time he was working on
>"Gravity's Rainbow," published in 1973. He typed the letters single-spaced on
>graph paper, until his Olivetti broke; then he switched to printing in
>  He moved from Mexico to California, from Texas to London, trying to preserve
>his anonymity and privacy. Occasionally, he appeared in public, at one point
>acting as best man at the wedding...

>>On March 4, Ben Williams wrote:
>>"I look forward to someone's post on the pleasures of randomness...

Brian Holmes replies:
>>The pleasures of randomness... are well known to any lover of modern art
>>from Kandinsky to Cage. Art has long
>>been conceived as a field of catalysis for subjective energies, and a
>>lot of work on that basis has been successful. I have no doubt that
>>anyone willing to make something of good hypertext fiction can develop a
>>degree of self-emancipation

Brian, I couldn't agree with you more, there's nothing like a good
hypertext fiction and this perfectly describes Fissiault and Pynchon's
intersubjective exchanges.  Regarding the pleasures of randomness.....
Mr. Fissiault, who (believe it or not) was the second cousin three times
removed of Felix Guattari, in discussion with Maurice Nadeau, states
that "(Randomness) is less a question of pooling knowledge than an
accumulation of our uncertainties." Guattari, in response states,
"Theoretical work shouldn't be reserved for specialists......It will be
necessary to forge another breed of intellectuals, another breed of
analysts, another breed of militants, with the different types blending
and melting into each other." (see Chaosophy, 1995, Semiotext(e))

>Susan Hapgood wrote:
>>Have any good texts been written that analyse the patterns and
>>structures of formations and dissolutions of art movements?

Robert Atkins replies:
>>In the recent past, most artists I have ever worked with
>>do not like to be associated with groups or with movements; they wish to
>>be recognized for their own contributions. But if we look at what we
>>have learned historically about art, it quite often comes to us in the
>>form of "movements," which must be related to how we behave socially,
>>how we package and understand some of the bigger cultural changes.

This is exactly why an artist like Yves Fissiault, who was identified
during his lifetime as an electrical engineer and not as an artist,
could have fallen through the cracks of art history, and who was too
eccentric of a scientist (because of his strange beliefs in alternative
cosmologies, etc) to become part of the "official history" of digital

Or, as he stated in a private correspondence to Michel Serres at the
University of Paris, Sorbonne:  "...like the laminar flows of
encrustations of bird-droppings (merde d"oiseaux) on the pigeonholes of
culture." Serres responded in a text in _Hermes: Literature, Science,
Philosophy,_ "....living beings are born from flows. And these flows are
laminar, their laminae parallel to one another; the declination is the
tiniest angle necessary and sufficient to produce turbulence."  The
letter continues with a discussion of the physics of randomness...."The
fact that life disturbs the order of the world means literally that at
first, life is  randomness."

Jon Ippolito wrote:
>>Just because my mouth, pen, or keyboard
>>structures my thoughts into a single linear flow doesn't mean they
>>started out that way.
>>Schizophrenically yours,

Ben Williams wrote:
>Recombinant artworks of the hypertextual type tend to involve
>connections that are closer to randomness, although again I don't think
>they're totally random because the author usually has some control over
>the range of links that can be created, if not the exact links

Athena Tacha wrote:
>Finally, how interesting that beetles can be part of a" concscious
>global intelligence that has a very long memory" according to
>cybernetics engineer Octavio Ruiz de Leon of Mexico City, as reported by
>Eve Andree Laramee, in her message of the same date and time.

Jon, Ben and Athena, Michel Serres goes on to write: "The new knowledge
is mindful of stochastic phenomena...it simply means random dispersion.
Since Democritus, the new knowledge is aware of infinitesimal questions.
It gets its inspiration from hydrodynamic models and turns its attention
toward the formation of living systems. It is more physical, less
mathematical (since the probabilist organon is missing) than Platonic
knowledge, more phenomenological and less measured. But, most important,
Athena is in the ocean. The chosen model is a fluid one. It is no longer
a crystal, nor the five regular polyhedrons that are the solids of the
Timaeus; it is flow. " (from Lucretius: Science and Religion, 1982,
Oxford U Press) (Sidebar: for more on stochastic phenomenon and
third-order Henshaw events, check the eyebeam archive for Duane
Griffin's posts)

Gred Ulmer wrote:
>No matter if the posts themselves are not fragmented, random
>        they may be read in this way...
>                (MAY be; it is not a law).

Greg, thank you for quoting the Fissiaultian Paradigm's  second law of
randomness. Regarding these issues of localization, fragmentation and

Thomas Pynchon wrote:
"Though found adrift and haunted, full of signs of recent human
tenancy....it isn't bounded so neatly, these tracks underfoot run away
fore and aft into all stilled Europe, and our flesh doesn't sweat and
pimple here for the domestic mysteries, the attic horror of What Might
Have Happened so much as the knowledge of what likely _did
happen_......when there is no more History, no time-travelling capsule
to find your way back to...after the capital has been
evaculated....cousins wait for you at the edges of light....fallen
silent....they are unique to the Zone, they answer to the new

Welcome to the eyebeam forum! Thank you for joining us. There have been
a lot of interesting questions asked during the forum, to which I am
sure our subscribers would be delighted to hear your answers. May I
re-present question number  222. Given that computers can house
"recombinant" digital elements of image, sound, and text, how can the
artist become an "author" of responsive, self regulating systems that
enable "intelligent" emergent poetic responses to user interactivity via
the encoding, mapping and modelling of operative poetic elements?

All best regards,
Eve Andree Laramee
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