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Polytopia

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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    “The deterritorialization of the self is the essential feature that marks human entry into cyberspace. In the universe of infinite connection and possibility the only possible ontology is magical; reality as that which is invoked, the world conformant to will. The techniques of magical will, quintessentially linguistic, require a conscious mastery of the relationship between word and world. At the end of history comes the Word. “


    Ritual and the Virtual
    Mark Pesce



    “Contain yourself!
    “I can’t! I am bifurcating into everywhere!”
    “Well, let yourself flow as fluid silk down the throat of time”


    (From “Spheres of Glowing Minds” –coming up soon)

    The point of course is that for a commitment to be taken seriously, it need passionately introduce into our minds an array of possibilities and diversifications that for all practical purposes allow a multidimensional representation of our nature, a multiplicity.

    Let us start with a movie:
    Akiresu To Kame (Achilles and the Tortoise (アキレスと亀):
    An array of possibilities

    {image 1}

    If you’ve never watched Takeshi Kitano : Achilles and the Tortoise (アキレスと亀 Akiresu to Kame) you are missing on a fabulous piece of visual poetry, an exploration by an artist (played eventually by TK himself) on the nature of art and the nature of an artist. (let it be said that I am biased and a great fan and admirer of Takeshi Kitano)
    Many will not like this movie and I am not even sure what TK desired to portray in this cinematic representation of an artists claim to fame. wealth and audience acceptance.
    However, the reason I am mentioning this film that I watched few days ago is directly correlated to the idea of intelligence and the search for a total re-orientation of intelligence within an evolving playfield (in this case Art), our cultural cyberspace.
    I see in this movie a motion that depicts in visual poetry the seeking individual and his capacity (and willingness) to undergo extreme self-inflicted circumstances for the purpose of what may rightly be called the de-territorialization of the self.




    Actually if we are to follow the protagonist of this adventure what we will find there is a total de-contextualization of the concept of art in which imitation and copying are enmeshed into an inextricable continuum of trial and error with no positive conclusion (apparently so). The artist, Machisu, does not recognize his own uniqueness and in an ironic twist of self-perception the very fact that his uniqueness is unrecognized allows him to experiment with all possible styles (Rothko and Miro, Dubbufet and Kokoska and so on) of painting. In a funny sense I believe that what TK is portraying is the very fact that an artist that lacks essentiality (in the sense of a unique nature) paradoxically is able to explore and express a phase space of possibilities otherwise not achievable.

    {image 2}

    In a certain (and not so funny) sense Achilles and the Tortoise represents an adventure of non-discovery (socially and financially apparently a failure) but seen through the lens of intelligent exploration the oscillating paradox becomes clearer and clearer. It appears that what happens to the mind in question is an endless voyage, at each intersection becoming more extreme, finally not even able to self-destruct and relinquishing the path/goal. But to my eyes the artist in this case has correlated his non-discovery (of his so-called unique essentiality) to a process of a much greater discovery, namely, that he does not have an essentiality as such but is able to contain all essentialities.
    The idea of connecting all forms of exploration both inner and outer into a coherent whole is not new, but the manner in which we may describe at present the multi-phased approach is changing. And this film definitely does induce in the critical observer a fresh approach to the concept of de-territorialization. What I saw in this film is a representation of a commitment to multiple essentialities.

    {image 3}

    Commitment to multiple essentialities

    The idea of multiple essentialities implies a fundamental approach to life in which no pre-programmed model or a conceptualization of a model is already present in the mind of the committed. In fact given our multi-modal manner of beingness based on an evolutionary and open-ended approach to the exploration of our minds we may correlate the idea of commitment to multiple essentialities to the idea of variation and diversification in the process of evolution. Moreover if we are to relinquish, as Deleuze suggested, the perception of tree-like hierarchical structures in favor of the rhizome conception we may finally get rid of the idea that one essentiality covers all of our needs, both as individuals and as a culture.

    This kind of perceptual approach is not for the faint of heart, neither is it for the non-courageous, far be it from the moment of emptiness to be re-absorbed into consensual everyday like conscious awareness. In fact we may need go as far as saying that to reach a state that we rightly can call a state of independence we need relinquish completely the idea of one essentiality and embrace the conceptual borderline of instability (found on the edges). This is an exceptional state of mind, an accomplishment of the first magnitude. For the exceptional accomplishment of independence and self-openness is a process of multiplying essentialities requiring the acceptance of the evolved state of affairs of the world (that of multiplicity).

    {image 4}

    Freedom, liberation and independence can be said to be found on the edge, on the borderline of experimentation in which our minds explore the diversity of our perceptual existence.
    The perceptual richness encountered in cyberspace in fact allow our minds a new degree of freedom (implying pleasure) in which we are de-territorializing ourselves.
    It is a pleasure unlike any other to partake in the cyber hyperstream of multiple realities, a cyber experimentation in which we become the artists by mingling with the art itself, not knowing what the program is all about, for there is no set program.

    By being committed to multiple essentialities we claim a claim, a very special kind of claim:
    We claim that we do not adhere to a unique pre-programmed view of the world and ourselves in it. We claim however that we are committed to the very sense of the flow of exploration, dynamic, all-inclusive and endlessly open.
    The Polytopian stance which I espouse, denies the weight and authority of the past, allows the significance of the moment and implies a critical reading of the state of affairs of our conscious aware inherent multiplicity (a multiplicity of knowledge, intelligence, emotions and feelings).
    The hyperconnected reality of cyberspace conjugated with our inner virtualized multiplicity will eventually generate a re-orientation of our perceptual cyber-existential desires.
    The future of our multiple states is thus a great unknown, but it promises to be interesting in many many unanticipated ways.

    Inventing the future requires giving up control. No one with a compelling purpose and a great vision knows how it will be achieved. One has to be willing to follow an unknown path, allowing the road to take you where it will. Surprise, serendipity, uncertainty and the unexpected are guaranteed on the way to the future.


    George Land




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