Member 1447
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Contributor to project:
The Voyager update project
Los Angeles, CA
Immortal since Jan 9, 2008
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  • tank’s project
    The Voyager update project
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    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 tank's personal cargo

    Final Thoughts and Appendices on the Human Suit, written in a car racing up Interstate 5, inbetween nonviolent actions, and amongst the redwoods
    Project: The Voyager update project
    Friday, March 21, 2008 – Santa Cruz, CA

    In keeping with the experimental nature of this course, and with what I consider to be the main thrust of the prompt for this paper, I would like to submit this poem that I wrote midway through the quarter as my final assignment.

    I’ll include the other thoughts I have written over the past week regarding the Human Suit, simply because I do find them to be interesting - but really these appendices cannot be logically concatenated into a “paper” in the traditional sense. They are merely a bunch of stream-of-consciousness media-arts blog-post whatever that I have written in the off-time I’ve had this week while I have begun to truly inhabit my human suit again after a long quarter of mediated technological existence. However, the following is a much more meaningful product of this course than any I could write by continuing to burn the midnight oils. It’s still sorta rough, but I’ve performed it a couple times and it’s been received well.

    Enjoy. I'm going to go enjoy my human suit for a couple weeks.

    Christmas day, nineteen sixty eight
    in the winter twice after the summer of love

    on that day
    a single photograph encircled the globe. humanity,
    no more a brain divided into east and west lobes. it was
    the first photo of the earth as a whole. we instantly
    saw ourselves as one species whole.

    we gave premature birth to global consciousness that day.

    when a human child is born, they say, their eyes stay fixed 'n' focused
    not more than one foot through the space in front of their face
    this is precisely the distance from their eyes to the eyes of their father's mistress
    as they are savoring the milk from her breast.

    and for one day our eyes were focused on Earthrise
    it was no big surprise to those of us who’d just arrived

    after birth, soon we notice children's eyes start to wander
    they recognize patterns and the world fills with wonder
    the eyes develop depth perception, sensitivity to motion
    and they turn from their mothers - interested in the abstract notions
    their absent fathers attached to the celestial motions

    and so we, three years after our due date, sent a message to the stars
    to an unknown species inquiring quietly as to who we are
    thus again we turned our backs and all humanity was distracted
    our mothers skin we peeled away and fossil fuels we extracted
    blind eyes to our plunder like government memos being redacted
    we lifted candles to the sky as if the stars were interactive

    and we were the say hey kids and we thought these lighthouses were there
    to guide others through the night and say "hey! somebody's there!"
    but only distressed vessels carelessly dare
    burn their rations of ancient sunlight

    a newborn’s pleaing and crying through the night to tell its mother that something's wrong
    i am crying, something's wrong in my world - my mother is dying!

    and i hold today
    her last photograph from a satellite flying, and its plain to see
    on the print there shine a million candles lifted skyward, crying
    out a fiery message of distress past the hospital bed to the ether at the universe' end

    and this candle is trying to speak not with aliens but with future generations
    on behalf of an alien species, baby humans just developing the hand-eye coordination
    to facilitate the movement by which the woman on the bed will collectively awaken
    to communicate this condition in the languages learned during gestation
    to send a kernel of information to we who will soon be a mature and native product of speciation

    because soon after the child begins to understand that sunsets lead to dawns
    the trauma of childhood will be repressed into the collective subconscious
    lessons learned, without memories to linger on
    only hospital records and photographs of our mother lighting birthday candles

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008 – in a car racing through the night up Interstate 5

    WiiWare has a really striking parallel from media-arts history that I recalled when we were researching sensory experience. There is a long history of hoax products that have been advertised over the Internet, ranging from the Bonsai Kitten to vegan alternatives to human flesh. Ten years ago, the website (pronounced “F You F Me” purported to sell computer drives that would allow people to engage in penetrative cyber-sex. There was a male and female model of the drive – the male being a hilariously-sized dildo sticking out of the front of the computer, and the female resembling the Facebook Gift representation of Justin Timberlake’s “Dick In A Box.” The site demonstrated how the drives work, showing step by step mockups of 3d-generated models climbing onto their desks to straddle their PC towers in order to use these specialized cyber-sex drives.

    In our research for the human suit, we found that ten years later, these peripherals actually exist and are in production! Though these modern tools of teledildonics are attached to the computer by external cable (allowing for much more convenient usability than the version), it is fascinating and even ridiculous that the concept of remote sexual stimulation was taken from a media-arts hoax into viable market production. I would not be surprised if in ten to fifteen years WiiWare, like Fufme, is actually introduced onto the market in ten or fifteen years as the technology needed to provide the WiiWare experience is developed.

    I still question whether the WiiWare experience would be a useful thing to introduce into our culture – in fact I highly doubt that its users would be able to focus and increase their awareness of their own bodies. Truly, the only thing WiiWare explores is technological interpretation and manipulation of bodily sensation. In this respect, WiiWare is not very innovative as a device that provides for the enhancement of sensory experience through technological media – it could be argued that all media does that in some form. Both WiiWare and Fufme represent how radically our modern culture is missing the point of what it is to inhabit a human suit, instead seeking out disembodied, mediated, and technological experiences to such an extreme that we in fact forget that we embody a human suit to begin with. I am not convinced that this awareness can be taught through technological means.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 – Diridon Station, San Jose, CA

    For me the most fascinating piece of the human suit has always been that it held a philosophy of teaching, rather than merely delivering a message, and I am happy to say that WiiWare retains this principle. There is no assumption of intelligence on the other end of the line – only an understanding that the recipient would, in the case of the human suit, share some or all of the five senses that humans use to experience the world. This concept stems from our initial research on Astraglossa, which through all its shortcomings in transmission was conceptually sound as far as teaching an alien species the logical thought processes of humankind – essentially starting from scratch in creating human experience.

    WiiWare It provides the ability for a mental exchange to take place between two people, which is fantastic. This is in concert with other ideas we had in the formative phases of this project: for example, I was particularly excited about marketing a toy that would begin communication with the bees, encouraging pollination and hopefully averting the colony collapse syndrome that we are facing right now.

    Friday, March 21, 2008 – Porter College apartments, Santa Cruz, CA

    The human race truly is in a situation where it is necessary to teach the next generation the meaning of what it is to be human. Yes, this is the story of human civilization in general - hell, every species performs this process of teaching our young’ns somehow. In this era, however, it seems that there is even more at stake. Our generation has already lost many of the cultural skills that our grandparents had – the resourcefulness and conservation ethic, the creativity and ingenuity of everyday life.

    The Human Suit points at the sensory and motor skills that we have developed over our lifetimes, since we were in the wom, and calls into question whether or not these, too, will fall by the wayside to the manipulation of our sensoriums by the mass media. Increasingly, our modern culture is missing the point of what it is to inhabit a human suit, instead seeking out disembodied, mediated, and technological experiences to such an extreme that we in fact forget that we embody a human suit to begin with.

    Fri, Mar 21, 2008  Permanent link

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