Member 1020
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Daniel Rourke (M, 39)
London, UK
Immortal since Dec 18, 2007
Uplinks: 0, Generation 2

MachineMachine / Portfolio
twitter @therourke
All things would be visibly connected if one could discover at a single glance and in its totality the tracings of an Ariadne’s thread leading thought into its own labyrinth.
- Georges Bataille
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    From sjef
    A Basic Introduction to...
    From Robokku
    The thing modelled
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    The informational realm -...
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    A CyberReader
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    The Medium is the Massage
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    The thing modelled
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    Temporal hypertext
    Rourke’s projects
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

    The Total Library
    Text that redefines...

    Start your own revolution
    Catching up with the future. All major institutions in the world today are grappling to come to terms with the internet. The entertainment...

    What happened to nature?
    How to stay in touch with our biological origins in a world devoid of nature? The majestic nature that once inspired poets, painters and...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From Rourke's personal cargo

    The Metaphor is the Message Part II: PalimpsestsPalimpsestsPalimpsests
    This slice in hyperspace follows on from these past posts:
  • How things 'become': The infinity of definition
  • The Archaeology of 'The Book'
  • hypertext/?="The Metaphor is the Message" (Part I)

  • ...and is a direct response to this post by Robokku:
  • Temporal Hypertext

  • Time is important in the definition of any model, hypertextual or otherwise. At the moment I am interested in how new technologies allow us new ways to see, to realise the world around us. This constant re-definition of our realities can actually add temporality to mediums which previously had none.

    Modern technology has allowed art historians to 'look' at paintings with new, multidimensional, eyes. Shine certain wavelengths of light onto a Picasso painting and it becomes possible to read marks under the surface of the paint. What's more, apply several different wavelengths of light to the same painting and multiple layers, painted by the artist at various different times, become visible.

    In a sense, once an available technology has re-examined the painting its process is more obvious: the non-temporal becomes temporal. Each layer is like a snap-shot of the artist's process, their vision, even their 'mistakes'. The laser/x-ray imposes a kind of hyper[textu]ality upon the painting which previously was unavailable (but not absent - only hidden). Of course this causes the art historian to weep with joy, but it also causes an exponential explosion of interpretation from that moment onwards. Any further examination of the painting now occurs in hyper-reference. The painting can never be seen as merely 2-dimensional again.

    The example I have given can be extended to countless other mediums and medias. Film has its cutting room floor / multiple editions. Ancient manuscripts have their palimpsestic layers, just as the painting does. In fact palimpsest is THE word to use here, as it applies to all medias.

    Examine the outside of an old brick building and very often you will find the outline of a window that was bricked in, a foundation that no longer leads to an out-house, or a patch of brickwork that had to be fixed. Even the photograph has had its dimensionality extended. These are remnants of temporality, just like the layers under the painting: the word is a palimpsest, and I've grown used to using it often.

    Now here's the bit which leads back to my original post. and acts as in answer to Robokku's questions...

    How does/can this palimpsestic awareness apply to the future of information/expression? The internet contains copies of its former self, hidden not so far from view. Wikipedia has its history section and google has its cache. The Internet Way Back Machine allows ghostly simulacra of webpages to be pulled out of the deep freeze. My 1998 homepage is alive, somewhere.

    But is this layering of information the same as a palimpsest? I am not sure. Binding time together with human reality are the narratives that anthropomorphises it. Follow the xray-defined marks under the painting's surface and you can actually see the former brushstrokes of the artist, layer after layer, hour after hour: time is made real in the narrative story of the artist's action.

    This kind of narrative arc does not really exist in internet archives. The user is taken out of the equation and all that is left is a username editing the entry on 'Defenestration' for the 12th,17th or 26th time. A ghost of personhood can be seen, but it is far inferior to the powerful force of just one single hidden Picasso brushstroke.

    How can we infuse our new metaphors with these narrative dimensions?

    I linked to a Seed magazine conversation in my Archaeology of the Book piece that NEEDS to be read (or watched) again and again. Please come back after the layers have realigned themselves and add some layers of your own to this (or Robokku's) post.

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    Synapses (6)

    Robokku     Fri, Apr 25, 2008  Permanent link
    Some really good links in this post!

    I replied back in the comments of my post. I even added a colourful picture to make it less boring to read.