Discussion:
[-empyre-] Writing and Pattern Flows
(too old to reply)
Bill Seaman
2005-10-04 12:30:57 UTC
Permalink
Bill Seaman

The central concern of my work since 1980 has been meta-meaning
production. In particular I am interested in the functionality of
language in our coming to know the world. I have developed a number
of generative systems exploring the production of meaning. In terms
of "writing" I have been using the term "pattern flows" to refer to
and reflect on embodied knowing. I am very much interested in how
multi-modal flows of experience - pattern flows - inform our meaning
becoming. I understand mind and body to be co-arising with the
functionality of pattern flows (an extended linguistics) as being
central to this process. Computers are particularly good at
generating pattern flows and thus fall within the sphere of meaning
production. In fact computers enable the continuous growth of our
relation to linguistic construction. The projective employment of
language is central to ongoing experience. The notion of fields of
meaning is central to meaning becoming, where each-media element
functions as a field of potential meaning, having a meaning force.
These pattern flow forces are summed by the body in an ongoing
manner. Each media-element has attributes which are "of themself".
Thus the computer as a pattern production mechanism enables one to
juxtapose pattern-flows with many qualities simultaneously - words,
sounds, music, images, 3D models, illustrations, diagrams, time-based
video recordings etc. etc. This meaning production sphere is
expanding and beginning to include the haptic and other physical
potentialities. Writing cannot be separated out from either pattern
flow acquisition or multi-modal pattern production. Writing always
becomes enfolded in meaning production as a living associational
relation informed by the history of multi-modal experience as it
intermingles with current context. Thus words carry a meaning force
that co-arises with ongoing experience.

I think of digital writing as employing all manner of digital pattern
flows in the service of evocation. I also see the potential of
exploring the writing space that bridges the continuum between the
physical and the digital as an exciting field of inquiry. Each media
element be they digital or other, informing the ongoing meaning
summing.



Interface is a very vague term...
--
Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Department Head
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966
***@risd.edu

http://billseaman.com
http://www.art.235media.de/index.php?show=2
http://digitalmedia.risd.edu
John Klima
2005-10-04 19:09:37 UTC
Permalink
gee whiz... wow.

Bill makes a number of points (if I understand them correctly) that
directly (or in some cases, conversely) relate to my own recent applied
studies. I'm gonna take the liberty to riff a little here, I'm sure he
wont mind. I have had very similar things on my mind as of late, though
as they apply to "real world," or more accurately "game world" problems.

" The notion of fields of meaning is central to meaning becoming, where
each-media element functions as a field of potential meaning, having a
meaning force..."

In autonomous agent technology, a common steering paradigm is known as
"flow field following," where a "surface" contains regions of
attraction/repulsion, and bots are set-off to traverse through this
"landscape." I use a physical metaphor as a means of visualization, but
these regions and their "force fields" can be visible/physical, or not.
A similar metaphor might be Einstein's theory of gravity - depressions
in an otherwise flat fabric of continuum - "meaning becoming" being our
bots, or celestial bodies in the universe.

The potential exists to apply this notion of flow field to a dynamic
narrative trajectory, where a history has an initial vector, is run
through a field of narrative possibilities, and the field of forces
result in an output vector. Specific possibilities/states can be given
proportional weights that sum to produce the output vector. These
weights are fungable as time and other forces modify the landscape
(including the initial trajectory itself - everything has a wake). I'm
currently actively exploring this potential for dynamic narrative
generation.

As Bill suggests, this weighted flow field could be applied to form an
agent's domain knowledge, again in terms of an input vector, the fields
(which the bot can never have complete awareness of, a bot is not god)
create a specific output vector of domain awareness. The vector is a
specific percept/conclusion of a "too huge to be completely knowable"
world. given our current mechanical capabilities, impressive though they
may be, that "too huge" is a shockingly small quantity. Again, i'm
actively engaged in constructing such architectures as a means of
producing rational behavior in bots.

"Computers are particularly good at generating pattern flows and thus
fall within the sphere of meaning production...."

If it can generate a flow pattern, it can conversely consume a flow
patern (though this tends to be a far more difficult task). This is, in
effect, exactly what a neural network does. Contained in the hidden
layer of a hopfield network, exists a topology of weights that recieve
an input node, and accumulate "force" until a certain threshold value
causes the hidden nodes to fire to an output layer (which can then be
fed as the inputs to yet another network). the force field is fungable,
and through back-propagation can be "trained" and additionally,
"retrained." The network, in a constant state of "meaning becoming"
though not possessing an absolute awareness of it's domain (ie its not
god), can nonetheless draw some pretty reasonable conclusions from its
percepts.

best,
j
Post by Bill Seaman
Bill Seaman
The central concern of my work since 1980 has been meta-meaning
production. In particular I am interested in the functionality of
language in our coming to know the world. I have developed a number of
generative systems exploring the production of meaning. In terms of
"writing" I have been using the term "pattern flows" to refer to and
reflect on embodied knowing. I am very much interested in how
multi-modal flows of experience - pattern flows - inform our meaning
becoming. I understand mind and body to be co-arising with the
functionality of pattern flows (an extended linguistics) as being
central to this process. Computers are particularly good at generating
pattern flows and thus fall within the sphere of meaning production.
In fact computers enable the continuous growth of our relation to
linguistic construction. The projective employment of language is
central to ongoing experience. The notion of fields of meaning is
central to meaning becoming, where each-media element functions as a
field of potential meaning, having a meaning force. These pattern flow
forces are summed by the body in an ongoing manner. Each media-element
has attributes which are "of themself". Thus the computer as a pattern
production mechanism enables one to juxtapose pattern-flows with many
qualities simultaneously - words, sounds, music, images, 3D models,
illustrations, diagrams, time-based video recordings etc. etc. This
meaning production sphere is expanding and beginning to include the
haptic and other physical potentialities. Writing cannot be separated
out from either pattern flow acquisition or multi-modal pattern
production. Writing always becomes enfolded in meaning production as a
living associational relation informed by the history of multi-modal
experience as it intermingles with current context. Thus words carry a
meaning force that co-arises with ongoing experience.
I think of digital writing as employing all manner of digital pattern
flows in the service of evocation. I also see the potential of
exploring the writing space that bridges the continuum between the
physical and the digital as an exciting field of inquiry. Each media
element be they digital or other, informing the ongoing meaning summing.
Interface is a very vague term...
angela ferraiolo
2005-10-05 13:23:37 UTC
Permalink
Wow is right ... what an amazing exchange. I'm sort of a lurker on this
list, so hello, my background is some digital writing for games. While
doing that, I soon realized that the idea of pattern flows and an
awareness of them is critical. In a game, narrative can be a traditional
pipeline of information or series of events, but feels more exciting as
an exploration of modes and/or fields of persuasion. On some level, the
nature of a given pattern flow, how it updates itself, the feel of its
evolution, how it alters its methods, can become the meaning of the
story, a model of experience, even a form of cognition. For me, the
question is how can these modes be combined in ways that first, feel
responsive thereby creating expectation and second, create dynamic
meanings? Writing can't be separated out from pattern flow acquisition
or a multi-modal pattern production because in a fundamental sense the
writing that needs to be done in these narratives is the creation of
those arrangements or the construction of environments that lead to the
creation of those arrangements. That way we should be able to encourage
meaning that is emergent due to the interplay of fields or modes and
their response to audiences/readers/players/etc . . .

-- Angela
John Klima
2005-10-05 20:53:41 UTC
Permalink
good points all. my personal dissatisfaction with the current state of
game narrative (other than it's general subject matter) is a result of
it's implementation as a "string of pearls" where story is not
significantly modified by the player's actions in-game. sure, if you
kill or don't kill a certain character, the play changes, but basically
the narrative vector remains the same, just some parameters have
changed. the good guys become bad, the bad good.

a second major problem is a lack of "character" in the characters.
characters tend to be generic with no significant variation in their
behavior. again, you may have good guys or bad guys, but when was the
last time anyone had a bad day? or had a bad burrito for lunch? complex
behavior requires more than a few dozen character traits and some random
number evaluation.

for complex narrative and characters, what is required is a constant
modification of field effects from the moment you install the game, to
the very end of the story. but also what can not be "coded out" from the
game is the author's voice. the author needs to maintain control of the
parameters of the narrative vector, so that a story with meaning can
emerge, rather than a chain of basically insignificant events, no matter
how dynamicaly they may have been produced.

j
Post by angela ferraiolo
Wow is right ... what an amazing exchange. I'm sort of a lurker on
this list, so hello, my background is some digital writing for games.
While doing that, I soon realized that the idea of pattern flows and
an awareness of them is critical. In a game, narrative can be a
traditional pipeline of information or series of events, but feels
more exciting as an exploration of modes and/or fields of persuasion.
On some level, the nature of a given pattern flow, how it updates
itself, the feel of its evolution, how it alters its methods, can
become the meaning of the story, a model of experience, even a form of
cognition. For me, the question is how can these modes be combined in
ways that first, feel responsive thereby creating expectation and
second, create dynamic meanings? Writing can't be separated out from
pattern flow acquisition or a multi-modal pattern production because
in a fundamental sense the writing that needs to be done in these
narratives is the creation of those arrangements or the construction
of environments that lead to the creation of those arrangements. That
way we should be able to encourage meaning that is emergent due to the
interplay of fields or modes and their response to
audiences/readers/players/etc . . .
-- Angela
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
angela ferraiolo
2005-10-06 14:57:59 UTC
Permalink
yes, this is exactly the case with games, they follow the "string of
pearls" model, ignoring the idea of a pattern of fields, or a pattern of
states -- possibly because many game designers are projecting the idea
of an epic story pattern, a rigidly sequential construction, on to what
could be a dynamic grouping of patterns in a constant state of
construction and reconstruction. so their initial conception of story as
a sequence of events rather than an exploration of patterns has led the
game form to a really narrow set of AI tools. games move the player
through terrains very well, but do not have good ways of dealing with
the issues of character you're describing, which is one reason they can
all feel more or less the same. essentially, we're experiencing the same
fields and patterns over and over again, and only the wallpaper changes.
games provided an initial toolset, but now it's up to artists to
overwhelm that, move away from games, and create dynamic fields that
allow people to experience patterns that are self-navigated in the hopes
of taking the first step towards emergent narrative. it would be
interesting, for instance, to put a beckett character into a simulator,
rather than an rpg, one backed by a really smart database, give this
creation some method rules, and see what happens to the field when
players interact with this "person". can their interaction change the
field? will that affect surrounding fields? will that affect the pattern
overall? and so on ... of course, there are other ways to go about it as
well ...
Post by John Klima
good points all. my personal dissatisfaction with the current state of
game narrative (other than it's general subject matter) is a result of
it's implementation as a "string of pearls" where story is not
significantly modified by the player's actions in-game. sure, if you
kill or don't kill a certain character, the play changes, but basically
the narrative vector remains the same, just some parameters have
changed. the good guys become bad, the bad good.
a second major problem is a lack of "character" in the characters.
characters tend to be generic with no significant variation in their
behavior. again, you may have good guys or bad guys, but when was the
last time anyone had a bad day? or had a bad burrito for lunch? complex
behavior requires more than a few dozen character traits and some random
number evaluation.
for complex narrative and characters, what is required is a constant
modification of field effects from the moment you install the game, to
the very end of the story. but also what can not be "coded out" from the
game is the author's voice. the author needs to maintain control of the
parameters of the narrative vector, so that a story with meaning can
emerge, rather than a chain of basically insignificant events, no matter
how dynamicaly they may have been produced.
j
Post by angela ferraiolo
Wow is right ... what an amazing exchange. I'm sort of a lurker on
this list, so hello, my background is some digital writing for games.
While doing that, I soon realized that the idea of pattern flows and
an awareness of them is critical. In a game, narrative can be a
traditional pipeline of information or series of events, but feels
more exciting as an exploration of modes and/or fields of persuasion.
On some level, the nature of a given pattern flow, how it updates
itself, the feel of its evolution, how it alters its methods, can
become the meaning of the story, a model of experience, even a form of
cognition. For me, the question is how can these modes be combined in
ways that first, feel responsive thereby creating expectation and
second, create dynamic meanings? Writing can't be separated out from
pattern flow acquisition or a multi-modal pattern production because
in a fundamental sense the writing that needs to be done in these
narratives is the creation of those arrangements or the construction
of environments that lead to the creation of those arrangements. That
way we should be able to encourage meaning that is emergent due to the
interplay of fields or modes and their response to
audiences/readers/players/etc . . .
-- Angela
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
marcus bastos
2005-10-06 16:53:17 UTC
Permalink
Dear Angela and John,

I am learning a lot from your exchange, thanks for the posts.

Reading about the current state of the games narrative, it occured to
me that there are also some games that explore coding as language in
itself. One example is JODI´s compilation "Untitled Game"
(http://untitled-game.org/download.html). These games (or meta-games?)
programatically move away both from structured narratives and pattern
generation; instead, they "manipulate the surface of the system",
assuming that an "interface is a translation of code and your
understanding is what you believe and that's all there is to a
computer, it's a language" (cf. Interview with Jodi,
http://rhizome.org/thread.rhiz?thread=1770&page=1). Given that JODI
uses coding to desconstruct, instead of using it in a constructive
way, this is probably a bit far away from your interests, but it might
be worth taking a look at this material, since, by moving away from
expected solutions, it broadens the perspectives of game development.

btw, here we are facing once again a definition that relies on the
concept of interface to describe the mediation of programmed code.
(I wonder if Bill could explain a little more why he does not consider
the concept to be useful and if Giselle could talk a bit about her
statment that, on digital media, "the interface is the message")

best

ps. There´s a nice review of JODI´s "Untitled Game" @
http://www.opensorcery.net/2reviews.html
Post by angela ferraiolo
yes, this is exactly the case with games, they follow the "string of
pearls" model, ignoring the idea of a pattern of fields, or a pattern of
states -- possibly because many game designers are projecting the idea
of an epic story pattern, a rigidly sequential construction, on to what
could be a dynamic grouping of patterns in a constant state of
construction and reconstruction. so their initial conception of story as
a sequence of events rather than an exploration of patterns has led the
game form to a really narrow set of AI tools. games move the player
through terrains very well, but do not have good ways of dealing with
the issues of character you're describing, which is one reason they can
all feel more or less the same. essentially, we're experiencing the same
fields and patterns over and over again, and only the wallpaper changes.
games provided an initial toolset, but now it's up to artists to
overwhelm that, move away from games, and create dynamic fields that
allow people to experience patterns that are self-navigated in the hopes
of taking the first step towards emergent narrative. it would be
interesting, for instance, to put a beckett character into a simulator,
rather than an rpg, one backed by a really smart database, give this
creation some method rules, and see what happens to the field when
players interact with this "person". can their interaction change the
field? will that affect surrounding fields? will that affect the pattern
overall? and so on ... of course, there are other ways to go about it as
well ...
Post by John Klima
good points all. my personal dissatisfaction with the current state of
game narrative (other than it's general subject matter) is a result of
it's implementation as a "string of pearls" where story is not
significantly modified by the player's actions in-game. sure, if you
kill or don't kill a certain character, the play changes, but basically
the narrative vector remains the same, just some parameters have
changed. the good guys become bad, the bad good.
a second major problem is a lack of "character" in the characters.
characters tend to be generic with no significant variation in their
behavior. again, you may have good guys or bad guys, but when was the
last time anyone had a bad day? or had a bad burrito for lunch? complex
behavior requires more than a few dozen character traits and some random
number evaluation.
for complex narrative and characters, what is required is a constant
modification of field effects from the moment you install the game, to
the very end of the story. but also what can not be "coded out" from the
game is the author's voice. the author needs to maintain control of the
parameters of the narrative vector, so that a story with meaning can
emerge, rather than a chain of basically insignificant events, no matter
how dynamicaly they may have been produced.
j
Post by angela ferraiolo
Wow is right ... what an amazing exchange. I'm sort of a lurker on
this list, so hello, my background is some digital writing for games.
While doing that, I soon realized that the idea of pattern flows and
an awareness of them is critical. In a game, narrative can be a
traditional pipeline of information or series of events, but feels
more exciting as an exploration of modes and/or fields of persuasion.
On some level, the nature of a given pattern flow, how it updates
itself, the feel of its evolution, how it alters its methods, can
become the meaning of the story, a model of experience, even a form of
cognition. For me, the question is how can these modes be combined in
ways that first, feel responsive thereby creating expectation and
second, create dynamic meanings? Writing can't be separated out from
pattern flow acquisition or a multi-modal pattern production because
in a fundamental sense the writing that needs to be done in these
narratives is the creation of those arrangements or the construction
of environments that lead to the creation of those arrangements. That
way we should be able to encourage meaning that is emergent due to the
interplay of fields or modes and their response to
audiences/readers/players/etc . . .
-- Angela
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
Bill Seaman
2005-10-06 23:48:41 UTC
Permalink
Concerning [-empyre-] Writing and Pattern Flows

Klima:
"The potential exists to apply this notion of
flow field to a dynamic narrative trajectory,
where a history has an initial vector, is run
through a field of narrative possibilities, and
the field of forces result in an output vector.
Specific possibilities/states can be given
proportional weights that sum to produce the
output vector. These weights are fungable as time
and other forces modify the landscape (including
the initial trajectory itself - everything has a
wake). I'm currently actively exploring this
potential for dynamic narrative generation."

----------

I spent two weeks in deep discussion with Otto
Rössler. 45 hours of interview/discussion was
recorded. Among other ponderings, Seaman and
Rössler are collaborating on the
creation/generation of a sentient machine. Our
title for the initial concept is the Benevolence
Engine. Needless to say, Rössler was writing
about related force fields in 74 in his equation
for a brain[1]. The most important question here
(for this discussion) is how our notion of
writing is expanding. We inscribed (clay tablets
etc.), we later used pens and pencils and
beautiful brushes (including pictographic
language systems), we used typewriters
(skewmorphs as Kate Hales describes),we
generate/listen to music, watch TV and movies
[and in particular now play games]Š and now we
are on the cusp of a number of open areas of
research.

1) Will someone develop an interface that enables
us to write with media-elements with the ease of
use a typewriterŠ (My World Generator [programmer
Gideon May] is a first attempt)[2]
2) Will real time natural language processing and
multi-modal search algorithms aid in this new
form of writing?
3) Will real time employment of code
constructions find related information as we
speak and present it to us as an alternate mode
of association?
4) Will code-based authorship alter all
authorship as we know it (see Jon's game
perspective)(remembering Wittgenstein's language
games)and open out writing to entirely new modes
of narrative and non-narrative construction.
5) Will generative tool kits based on object
based programming alter language use as we know
it?
6) And will we create sentient entities that can
write for themselves (generate pattern flows with
a particular depth of contextual understanding)Š
(a subsection of Seaman's and Rössler's goals)?

We are on the cusp of developing new
communication systems that will enable us to
write in very new waysŠ

Seaman Oct. 6 2005

[1] Rössler, Otto, Adequate Locomotion Strategies
For An Abstract Organism in An Absrtract
Environment - A relational Approach to Brain
function, as found in Lecture Notes in
Biomathematics, Managing Editor S. Levin, #4,
Physics and Mathematics of the Nervous System
edited by M. Conrad, W. Güttinger, and M. Dal
Cin., Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, new
York, 1973. p. 342

[2]See Billseaman.com for dissertation and other texts
--
Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Department Head
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966
***@risd.edu

http://billseaman.com
http://www.art.235media.de/index.php?show=2
http://digitalmedia.risd.edu
John Klima
2005-10-08 22:23:41 UTC
Permalink
1) Will someone develop an interface that enables us to write with
media-elements with the ease of use a typewriter (My World Generator
[programmer Gideon May] is a first attempt)[2]
Maybe. I don't doubt that the interface for such a device can built
(thankfully, the "infinite monkeys" rule would still apply), but I think
it will require the author to acquire as deep an understanding of (or
perhaps "feeling" for), the nature of the generative processes in play,
just as a traditional author understands or intuits language. The
requirement for writing a novel extends far beyond the operation of a
typewriter. Perhaps this seems an obvious statement, but the
ramifications of it are deeper than one might imagine. I believe it will
require the generative author to comprehend the structures and
algorithms of the generative processes, to squeeze the most out of them,
and perhaps to squeeze anything out of them at all. Trust me, these
structures are not so easy to wrap one's brain around.
2) Will real time natural language processing and multi-modal search
algorithms aid in this new form of writing?
Maybe. The problem of generative narrative is not one of a "search" in
the google sense of the word - it's more a problem of association and
influence than of criteria (I think). Also, the technical demands of a
multi-model search such as: "Find all pictures that look like this
picture that also relate to Paris Hilton" is a daunting one indeed.
First you need to patern-match on the image data itself, then sift
through the meta-data if there is any, and then you need figure out if
the user means the hotel in the city of Paris, or the celebrity. In a
case like Paris Hilton, the search mechanism needs to know the searcher
well enough (back-propagation) to be reasonable sure they mean the
hotel, but then what if, in this case, the searcher really wants the
celebrity? And then there's the fact that Paris Hilton is the heiress to
the Hilton hotel fortune, making the agent decision's muddier and
muddier. My guess is that usable generative narrative tools will exist
prior to an adequate and generally applicable resolution to the Paris
Hilton problem (though perhaps I underestimate the gains in the field
thus far). In my research, i'm not really considering multi-modal
searches per-see, as the knowledge base for my domain does not exist as
variable media. Though the elements are multiple, the modalities are
singular. I have one general abstraction that applies to the varied
elements in the domain. In other words, I'm in complete control of my
data sources and formats and can unify them under an umbrella
abstraction that makes a multi-modal search unneccessary. Also, as I am
in control of the abstraction, I'm not so burdened with the need to
decipher the language of the questions.
3) Will real time employment of code constructions find related
information as we speak and present it to us as an alternate mode of
association?
I think this will occur by accident as much as by design.
4) Will code-based authorship alter all authorship as we know it (see
Jon's game perspective)(remembering Wittgenstein's language games)and
open out writing to entirely new modes of narrative and non-narrative
construction.
Just as painting has exhibited influences from digital imagery,
undoubtably traditional authors will be influenced by digital writing.
we may even consider the techniques of authors such as Burroughs (and
others), as pre-sages to early results from generative authorships. What
generative authorships need to automate, in a sense, is the intuitive
filtering mechanisms that Burroughs applied to random gobbledy-gook, to
extract something poetic.
5) Will generative tool kits based on object based programming alter
language use as we know it?
Absolutely. I can attest that my 20+ years working with code has
influenced the way I think and speak. Oddly, I often find the
"acceptable" grammar of english inadequate for describing certain
concepts, and wish i could just speak code. This is not surprising, as
Leibniz and Newton invented symbolic languages to communicate the ideas
of the Calculus (ahh those were the days).
6) And will we create sentient entities that can write for themselves
(generate pattern flows with a particular depth of contextual
understanding)Š (a subsection of Seaman's and Rössler's goals)?
Absolutely, That is exactly what I'm working towards. I'm trying to
create a system where a game bot could potentially:
1. eat a bad burrito
2. perform poorly in a critical situation.
3. conclude with relative certainty that the burrito is at fault (and
not the grime on his +3 ring of fabulousness).
4. complain about it.
5. (very important) Not eat from that taco truck in the future.

best,
j
CP
2005-10-09 02:30:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Klima
I'm trying to
1. eat a bad burrito
2. perform poorly in a critical situation.
3. conclude with relative certainty that the burrito is at fault (and
not the grime on his +3 ring of fabulousness).
4. complain about it.
5. (very important) Not eat from that taco truck in the future.
This is perhaps similar to the project I'm currently working on - which at this stage exists in a basic state - but one in which the central figure 'the client' (whom one trains) can learn based on a simple pain/pleasure model. The game is mainly an exploration of Artaud's idea of the intellect apprehending the flesh, and carries over into concerns about the positive and negative effects upon the self via institutions. The Greek idea of 'Gnosis', 'knowledge for salvation' - specifically knowledge gained via participation, is something I want to play off against knowledge imposed by pure instruction. Nothing new here - but I'd just like to say the dynamics of narrative discussed here have been invaluable reading.

Thanks,
Chris Poole
http://poole.zoob.net/projects/
Jim Andrews
2005-10-07 03:53:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Seaman
The most important question here
(for this discussion) is how our notion of
writing is expanding. We inscribed (clay tablets
etc.), we later used pens and pencils and
beautiful brushes (including pictographic
language systems), we used typewriters
(skewmorphs as Kate Hales describes),we
generate/listen to music, watch TV and movies
[and in particular now play games]Š and now we
are on the cusp of a number of open areas of
research.
Yes. Expanding. Comprehensive of writing media and code, for instance.

Non-euclidean geometry expanded geometry. But it also involved simplifying
the notion of the straight line. As in keep the notion of it being the
shortest distance between two points, but chuck out the specifically
Euclidean portions of the definition. Same with writing now perhaps. Keep
certain parts of the notion of what it is to write but chuck out the
specifically print-oriented notions that constrain writing from developing
freely in the newer spaces.
Post by Bill Seaman
1) Will someone develop an interface that enables
us to write with media-elements with the ease of
use a typewriterŠ (My World Generator [programmer
Gideon May] is a first attempt)[2]
Interesting. Of course there are many interactive pieces in which keyboard
input triggers media and/or behaviors. Keyboards, as you point out, are
capable of allowing us to write many types of things.
Post by Bill Seaman
2) Will real time natural language processing and
multi-modal search algorithms aid in this new
form of writing?
What do you mean by "multi-modal"?
Post by Bill Seaman
3) Will real time employment of code
constructions find related information as we
speak and present it to us as an alternate mode
of association?
I have a piece going at http://vispo.com/dbcinema that is in development.
Currently all it does is you type in a concept, it does a Google image
search, and presents images. More planned. It will be an imengine for
various apps. One app would use speech recognition. Instead of typing in
language to summon images, it will take voice recognitions. Also, it will do
processing on the images.
Post by Bill Seaman
4) Will code-based authorship alter all
authorship as we know it (see Jon's game
perspective)(remembering Wittgenstein's language
games)and open out writing to entirely new modes
of narrative and non-narrative construction.
5) Will generative tool kits based on object
based programming alter language use as we know
it?
People now can shoot and edit video whereas for a long time it was too
expensive. The new modes of narrative and non-narrative are around, but
currently they are not so much too expensive as require more programming
skills than most have. That will change. But it will change like the
pre-packaged changes. If no programming is required, the pre-packaged isn't
far behind, if behaviors are involved. Programming is a form of writing that
becomes personal (as well as impersonal). Will programming skills become
more ubiquitous and also more widely understood to be expressive as poemy
poems can be? Not the way the education systems seem to be going. But that
is something artist-programmers need to work toward and help the education
system with.

ja
http://vispo.com
Bill Seaman
2005-10-07 22:57:02 UTC
Permalink
Dear Jim,
Sounds like you are doing interesting work related to mutli-modal
writing(multiple sense and media modalities)... i.e. google image
search.
b
--
Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Department Head
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966
***@risd.edu

http://billseaman.com
http://www.art.235media.de/index.php?show=2
http://digitalmedia.risd.edu
Jim Andrews
2005-10-08 04:56:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Seaman
The central concern of my work since 1980 has been meta-meaning
production. In particular I am interested in the functionality of
language in our coming to know the world. I have developed a number
of generative systems exploring the production of meaning.
Is the notion of an 'ontology' relevant here (as described at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology_%28computer_science%29 )?

I guess an 'ontology' is what a 'world view' is predicated on.

A difficult question, no doubt, but what is 'meaning', fundamentally?
Post by Bill Seaman
In terms
of "writing" I have been using the term "pattern flows" to refer to
and reflect on embodied knowing. I am very much interested in how
multi-modal flows of experience - pattern flows - inform our meaning
becoming.
Meaning becoming?
Post by Bill Seaman
I understand mind and body to be co-arising with the
functionality of pattern flows (an extended linguistics) as being
central to this process.
The process of manufacturing meaning, you mean?
Post by Bill Seaman
Computers are particularly good at
generating pattern flows and thus fall within the sphere of meaning
production.
I'm not sure what you mean by "pattern flows".
Post by Bill Seaman
In fact computers enable the continuous growth of our
relation to linguistic construction. The projective employment of
language is central to ongoing experience. The notion of fields of
meaning is central to meaning becoming, where each-media element
functions as a field of potential meaning, having a meaning force.
What is a field?

What is a field of potential meaning?

What is a meaning force?
Post by Bill Seaman
These pattern flow forces are summed by the body in an ongoing
manner. Each media-element has attributes which are "of themself".
Thus the computer as a pattern production mechanism enables one to
juxtapose pattern-flows with many qualities simultaneously - words,
sounds, music, images, 3D models, illustrations, diagrams, time-based
video recordings etc. etc. This meaning production sphere is
expanding and beginning to include the haptic and other physical
potentialities. Writing cannot be separated out from either pattern
flow acquisition or multi-modal pattern production. Writing always
becomes enfolded in meaning production as a living associational
relation informed by the history of multi-modal experience as it
intermingles with current context. Thus words carry a meaning force
that co-arises with ongoing experience.
I like the way this broadens the notion of language. But I don't get a lot
of it.
Post by Bill Seaman
I think of digital writing as employing all manner of digital pattern
flows in the service of evocation. I also see the potential of
exploring the writing space that bridges the continuum between the
physical and the digital as an exciting field of inquiry. Each media
element be they digital or other, informing the ongoing meaning
summing.
Can you give a little example of meaning construction in a multi-modal
scenario?

ja
http://vispo.com
Kenneth Newby
2005-10-08 17:24:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Andrews
Is the notion of an 'ontology' relevant here (as described at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology_%28computer_science%29 )?
I guess an 'ontology' is what a 'world view' is predicated on.
Meta-data... but one always has the nagging feeling that the map may be
trying to become the territory!
Post by Jim Andrews
A difficult question, no doubt, but what is 'meaning', fundamentally?
I find Michael Polyani's notion of subsidiary and focus to be useful
here. He achieves a balance between what he terms "personal knowledge"
and the more universalizing tendencies of an abstract rationalism. In
programming things like art machines, encoding media practices,
encoding culture, and encoding the poetic, I often think of this in
terms of procedural vs. declarative knowledge: How vs. What. Deleuze
further articulated the production of ideas (meaning?) as a process of
deterritorialization... of associative relationship "and", rather than
disjunctive/propositional "or" "is". Making meaning is an active
performative gesture on the part of the one constructing the meaningful
relationship, synthesizing the datum of sense/body into a focal point
of meaning/awareness. This is also resonant with Michel Chion's
characterization of what happens in the multi-modal, audio-visual
medium of cinema: the visible and audible streams are synthesized
through a process he terms synchresis into an experience that contains
new elements contained in neither the audible or visible. Collisions
of media modality in time....

Good conversation!

Kenneth.

_______________________________
Kenneth Newby, Assistant Professor
Computational Poetics
School for Interactive Art & Technology
Simon Fraser University
_______________________________
Bill Seaman
2005-10-08 00:45:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by marcus bastos
(I wonder if Bill could explain a little more why he does not consider
the concept to be useful and if Giselle could talk a bit about her
statment that, on digital media, "the interface is the message")
The notion of interface seems to be clear but when one studies deeply
the variety of interfaces and differing ways to interact with code,
this begins to disappear. We need a sensing system (of some variety)
that transduces behavior, eventually becoming a code input that can
interact with the code of a chosen system. This is a very open
situation. This can be motion, voice recognition, pattern
recognition, movement recognition, heat recognition, all manners of
affective computing (skin galvinization) etc. physical computing,
sonar, radar, infrared, eye tracking etc. etc.etc. So one doesn't
inscribe on these interfaces (transduction vehicles) --- they
interact through them. [this is a very partial list], and the output
that this interaction brings about can be equally abstract/open...

[[I can't find the book - but there is a wonderful quote in the book
about the inability to break down what/where an interface is ---
where it exists... in Sciences of the Interface...I'll try to find it
for tomorrow.]]

The interface certainly can be the message in some works and it is
very important to Giselle's practice but there are other kinds of
interface that may or may not become enfolded in the reception of a
work.
i.e. a mouse and keyboard/screen have a kind of transparent content
[especially on the net](often) where someone else might make an
interface that becomes enfolded with the meaning in a deep manner.
"Text Rain" (Utterbach) is such a work.

In the work where people jumping off a bridge is recorded by a
camera, one does not easily "write" through the interface of this
system unless they want to die...(Jeremijenko)

b
--
Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Department Head
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966
***@risd.edu

http://billseaman.com
http://www.art.235media.de/index.php?show=2
http://digitalmedia.risd.edu
Jim Andrews
2005-10-09 10:36:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenneth Newby
Post by Jim Andrews
A difficult question, no doubt, but what is 'meaning', fundamentally?
I find Michael Polyani's notion of subsidiary and focus to be useful
here. He achieves a balance between what he terms "personal knowledge"
and the more universalizing tendencies of an abstract rationalism.
Hi Kennth, yes, I can see the need for such a balance, ie, for both, and
functioning together. What is the goal of Polyani's writing? Is it work in
AI? Semantics? Something else?
Post by Kenneth Newby
In programming things like art machines, encoding media practices,
encoding culture, and encoding the poetic, I often think of this in
terms of procedural vs. declarative knowledge: How vs. What. Deleuze
further articulated the production of ideas (meaning?) as a process of
deterritorialization... of associative relationship "and", rather than
disjunctive/propositional "or" "is". Making meaning is an active
performative gesture on the part of the one constructing the meaningful
relationship, synthesizing the datum of sense/body into a focal point
of meaning/awareness.
Yes, the emphasis you put on the production of meaning as process seems
right. The mechanics of making meaning from language is not solely a matter
of working with more verbal language but perforce also involves other things
like images and sounds, sensations, etc. And it is this multi-modal
aspect--admitting it as language, though not verbal--which is what many of
us have been on about for some time concerning 'new language'.

That we are coming to notions of writing that entertain such language is
part of the exciting change in writing. There has been considerable
discussion of, say, the synthesis of the visual and language, but this is
broader than that.

And this is not solely a change in literary art but accompanies efforts in
computer science, for instance, in grappling further with notions of how we
process experience, read the world, respond--how and what we are.
Post by Kenneth Newby
This is also resonant with Michel Chion's
characterization of what happens in the multi-modal, audio-visual
medium of cinema: the visible and audible streams are synthesized
through a process he terms synchresis into an experience that contains
new elements contained in neither the audible or visible. Collisions
of media modality in time....
Interesting. Yes. There are some new media literary works that operate on
this sort of level of language. And this can be quite complexly meaningful,
actually. In the same way that memories of moments can be complexes of
'multi-modal' impressions and associations, for instance. Intensely
poetical.

Thanks for your post, Kenneth. That helps me a lot.

ja
http://vispo.com
Kenneth Newby
2005-10-09 16:30:57 UTC
Permalink
Hi Jim,

Polyani's field in this case is philosiphy/science and the goal is a
critique of pure rationality (logical positivism) and a recuperation of
meaning through myth, art and a spiritual impulse. Not that he wants
to break with rationality, but rather integrate it with these other
modes of knowing and making meaning. I've found myself increasingly
interested in this topic myself as I struggle with the clash of
cultures in an interdisciplinary school (art, design, IT) at our
university where ideas like these are contested (not that that's
necessarily a bad thing).

Kenneth.
Post by Jim Andrews
What is the goal of Polyani's writing? Is it work in
AI? Semantics? Something else?
_________________________________
Kenneth Newby — Computational Poetics
School for Interactive Arts & Technology
Simon Fraser University 778.858.0359
_________________________________
Christina McPhee
2005-10-09 22:51:18 UTC
Permalink
Ken, can you offer a couple of specific references in Polyani? maybe
a book title or better yet an online paper?

Christina
Post by Kenneth Newby
Hi Jim,
Polyani's field in this case is philosiphy/science and the goal is
a critique of pure rationality (logical positivism) and a
recuperation of meaning through myth, art and a spiritual impulse.
Not that he wants to break with rationality, but rather integrate
it with these other modes of knowing and making meaning. I've
found myself increasingly interested in this topic myself as I
struggle with the clash of cultures in an interdisciplinary school
(art, design, IT) at our university where ideas like these are
contested (not that that's necessarily a bad thing).
Kenneth.
Post by Jim Andrews
What is the goal of Polyani's writing? Is it work in
AI? Semantics? Something else?
_________________________________
Kenneth Newby — Computational Poetics
School for Interactive Arts & Technology
Simon Fraser University 778.858.0359
_________________________________
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
Mark Shepard
2005-10-10 01:47:13 UTC
Permalink
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Polanyi
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0226672883/
ref=sib_rdr_dp/104-3536059-4835925?%
5Fencoding=UTF8&no=283155&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER&st=books
http://www.spcps.org.uk/style.htm
Post by Christina McPhee
Ken, can you offer a couple of specific references in Polyani?
maybe a book title or better yet an online paper?
Christina
Post by Kenneth Newby
Hi Jim,
Polyani's field in this case is philosiphy/science and the goal is
a critique of pure rationality (logical positivism) and a
recuperation of meaning through myth, art and a spiritual
impulse. Not that he wants to break with rationality, but rather
integrate it with these other modes of knowing and making
meaning. I've found myself increasingly interested in this topic
myself as I struggle with the clash of cultures in an
interdisciplinary school (art, design, IT) at our university where
ideas like these are contested (not that that's necessarily a bad
thing).
Kenneth.
Post by Jim Andrews
What is the goal of Polyani's writing? Is it work in
AI? Semantics? Something else?
_________________________________
Kenneth Newby — Computational Poetics
School for Interactive Arts & Technology
Simon Fraser University 778.858.0359
_________________________________
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
Dirk Scheuring
2005-10-09 11:19:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Klima
1) Will someone develop an interface that enables us to write
with media-elements with the ease of use a typewriter (My World
Generator [programmer Gideon May] is a first attempt)[2]
Maybe. I don't doubt that the interface for such a device can built
(thankfully, the "infinite monkeys" rule would still apply), but I
think it will require the author to acquire as deep an
understanding of (or perhaps "feeling" for), the nature of the
generative processes in play, just as a traditional author
understands or intuits language.
Yes, I think so, too. This is where the computable meets the uncomputable, where science meets art. In terms of skills needed, the new requirements are beyond what "traditional" programmers can do as well as what "traditional" writers can do. And it's not as simple as adding writers to programmers, either; we have to find ways to /multiply/ what writers can do with what programmers can do, so that we can move from the n++ content production model to the n^2 content production model we need in interactive media.

Dirk
--
_______________________________________________

Search for businesses by name, location, or phone number. -Lycos Yellow Pages

http://r.lycos.com/r/yp_emailfooter/http://yellowpages.lycos.com/default.asp?SRC=lycos10
Jim Andrews
2005-10-10 01:07:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenneth Newby
Hi Jim,
Polyani's field in this case is philosiphy/science and the goal is a
critique of pure rationality (logical positivism) and a recuperation of
meaning through myth, art and a spiritual impulse. Not that he wants
to break with rationality, but rather integrate it with these other
modes of knowing and making meaning. I've found myself increasingly
interested in this topic myself as I struggle with the clash of
cultures in an interdisciplinary school (art, design, IT) at our
university where ideas like these are contested (not that that's
necessarily a bad thing).
Kenneth.
One of my fave stories in this regard concerns Hippasos, a contemporary of
Pythagoras (circa 500 BC). Pythagoras thought all numbers were rational (the
ratio of two 'natural numbers'). When Hippasos proved that root two is not
rational (is irrational) he was murdered or exiled basically for heresy. The
irrational just won't go away and theories that exclude it exclude dense
portions of the real. After all, the irrational is not so much 'non
sensical' as not constructed according to the usual ratios.

speaking of meaning and writing and recuperation, i thought this was well
done and amusing:
where stories came from:
http://www.lycettebros.com/shocked/wscf.htm

I take it your school is unusual in the proximity at which art and science
are held. Sounds interesting.

I have trouble learning tech stuff. To make it bearable, I ponder the
literary/artistic possibilities. So, like, ponder the literary possibilities
of innerHTML or copyPixels etc. That's what gives tech its 'meaning', to me:
the literary/artistic/communicative possibilities; their possibilities for
delight, mutual understanding and, as you say "Collisions of media modality
in time" much as we ourselves have sensoriums in which there are constant
such collisions, veritable sledgehammers in the fruitcage.

ja
http://vispo.com
Roman Danylak
2005-10-10 00:20:19 UTC
Permalink
On cultural clashes

As a performing artist, completing a practice based PhD in HCI, I constantly
find that the diversity of audiences I write/speak to means that someone out
there will find what I do as incomplete.

Convergence, that all encompassing action of digital technology on
information seems to go against the grain of the categories established in
so many disciplines as we try to solve new problems with the old language.
We can only ask "What is it that you see/hear and how does that compare to
my experience?"

Even in description of the three disciplines of art, design and IT as
'cultures' this surely makes an anthropologist somewhere sit up and take
notice... but I think I catch your drift.


Roman


Roman Danylak
Doctoral Candidate
Creativity and Cognition Studios
Faculty of Information Technology
University of Technology
PO Box 123
BROADWAY NSW 2007
SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

http://www.creativityandcognition.com

Tel 61 2 9514 4628
Fax 61 2 9514 4761

-
Post by Christina McPhee
Ken, can you offer a couple of specific references in Polyani? maybe
a book title or better yet an online paper?
Christina
Post by Kenneth Newby
Hi Jim,
Polyani's field in this case is philosiphy/science and the goal is
a critique of pure rationality (logical positivism) and a
recuperation of meaning through myth, art and a spiritual impulse.
Not that he wants to break with rationality, but rather integrate
it with these other modes of knowing and making meaning. I've
found myself increasingly interested in this topic myself as I
struggle with the clash of cultures in an interdisciplinary school
(art, design, IT) at our university where ideas like these are
contested (not that that's necessarily a bad thing).
Kenneth.
Post by Jim Andrews
What is the goal of Polyani's writing? Is it work in
AI? Semantics? Something else?
_________________________________
Kenneth Newby ‹ Computational Poetics
School for Interactive Arts & Technology
Simon Fraser University 778.858.0359
_________________________________
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
Roman Danylak
2005-10-10 00:20:19 UTC
Permalink
On cultural clashes

As a performing artist, completing a practice based PhD in HCI, I constantly
find that the diversity of audiences I write/speak to means that someone out
there will find what I do as incomplete.

Convergence, that all encompassing action of digital technology on
information seems to go against the grain of the categories established in
so many disciplines as we try to solve new problems with the old language.
We can only ask "What is it that you see/hear and how does that compare to
my experience?"

Even in description of the three disciplines of art, design and IT as
'cultures' this surely makes an anthropologist somewhere sit up and take
notice... but I think I catch your drift.


Roman


Roman Danylak
Doctoral Candidate
Creativity and Cognition Studios
Faculty of Information Technology
University of Technology
PO Box 123
BROADWAY NSW 2007
SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

http://www.creativityandcognition.com

Tel 61 2 9514 4628
Fax 61 2 9514 4761

-
Post by Christina McPhee
Ken, can you offer a couple of specific references in Polyani? maybe
a book title or better yet an online paper?
Christina
Post by Kenneth Newby
Hi Jim,
Polyani's field in this case is philosiphy/science and the goal is
a critique of pure rationality (logical positivism) and a
recuperation of meaning through myth, art and a spiritual impulse.
Not that he wants to break with rationality, but rather integrate
it with these other modes of knowing and making meaning. I've
found myself increasingly interested in this topic myself as I
struggle with the clash of cultures in an interdisciplinary school
(art, design, IT) at our university where ideas like these are
contested (not that that's necessarily a bad thing).
Kenneth.
Post by Jim Andrews
What is the goal of Polyani's writing? Is it work in
AI? Semantics? Something else?
_________________________________
Kenneth Newby ‹ Computational Poetics
School for Interactive Arts & Technology
Simon Fraser University 778.858.0359
_________________________________
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
_______________________________________________
empyre forum
http://www.subtle.net/empyre
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...