Seminar in Contemporary Computer Topics:
"Chaos Never Died": Nonlinear Strategies in Recombinant Culture


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Part I
Nonlinear Strategies: tendencies towards the rhizome: Theory and Practice: Modernist and Postmodernist

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Week 1

Introduction:
>  syllabus / week-to-week schedule
>  seminar topics
>  Course Requirements: Hybrid Hypertext & Multi-media Projects
>  Conceptual Aerobics
>  Final Project: panel debates

Conceptual Aerobics
Como siempre, planting a potato

Readings Due for next week:
--Gilles Deleuze, "Rhizome Versus Trees" ;"What is Becoming?"; "What is Event?"; "What is Multiplicity?"
The Deleuze Reader, Ed. Constantin V. Boundasm, Columbia University Press/ New York, 1993, pgs 27 – 53

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Week 2

Discussion:
Analogue Rhizomes
Gilles Deleuze,"Rhizome Versus Trees" ;"What is Becoming?"; "What is Event?"; "What is Multiplicity?
The Deleuze Reader, Ed. Constantin V. Boundasm, Columbia University Press/ New York, 1993,
pgs 27 – 53

Rhizome is a figurative term borrowed from biology by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari to describe non-hierarchical networks of all kinds.

Quotes from Deleuze and Guattari:

"A rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organization of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles."

"Multiplicities are rhizomatic, and expose arborescent pseudomultiplicities for what they are."

"Write, form a rhizome, increase your territory by de-territorialization, extend the line of flight to the point where it becomes an abstract machine covering the entire plane of consistency."

"Let us summarize the principal characteristics of a rhizome: unlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any point to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even non sign states. The rhizome is reducible neither to the One nor the multiple... It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion."

[The quotations above are from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Translated by Brian Massumi. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 1987.]

Presentation of main through lines and artistsŐ work

Modernism

> Early scientific and technological developments that influenced the course of interdisciplinary art.
> Images relating to early scientific and technological developments
Modernism, Avant Garde movements
Dada, Surrealism, Explanation of the Surrealist Parlor Games Exquisite Corpse
http://www.mital-u.ch/Dada/index.html
Avant Garde Cinema up to 1964
John Cage   i n d e t e r m i n a c y    various

Screenings:
The films of Oskar Fischenger 
Luis Buneul & Salvador Dali "Un Chien andalou" (An Andalusian Dog)" (1928)
"Meshes of the Afternoon" Maya Deren (film on video)
Cutup methods
William Burroughs (film on video)
Jackson Pollock, documentary (video)


Conceptual Aerobics: Socialized Vision, visual habits, framing through the oculus
Reference material

Images relating to socialized vision


To "un socialize" the eye
These excesses are intended to make apparent the limitations that are imposed on our vision through various socialization processes within Western culture, what Norman Bryson refers to as"socialized vision". After we have "seen" these limitations in action, we will take alternative actions to "un socialize" the eye and attempt to establish a connection with the present tense of unmediated, un socialized sensory information (which is, perhaps, the ultimate rhizome.). You will need a surface to draw on and a writing/drawing instrument.

Exercise 1:
Socialized vision, visual habits, visual literacy, using the oculus
> opening the Senses: considering the senses before and after they are socialized ("visuality" vs "vision")
> drawing and perception exercises,
> Conceptual Aerobics exercises to increase your awareness of visual habits that are the foundation for how our vision gets socialized.

Exercise 2: visual habits, framing through the oculus,

Due: Week 3. Be prepared to discuss your observations in class.
On an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of white cardboard, cut an oculus in the middle of the page that is a vertical rectangle 2 inches high and 1 and 1/2 inches wide. The proportions should be roughly the same as that of a conventional television set, the 4:3 ratio, (horizontal rectangle). During the coming week take your oculus with you where ever you go and use it to frame your view. As you are framing and composing these "shots" be looking for specific examples of socialized vision and the visual habits (discussed in class) you come across at home and in public spaces.Take particular notice of the site/context where you observe these examples of socialized vision. Write down you observations and integrate your responses into your writing hybrid document. Be prepared to discuss your observations in class next week. You will use this oculus throughout the semester so bring it to every class.


Required reading due for next week:

--Grahame Weinbren,"The Digital Revolution is a Revolution of Random Access", Telopolis

 

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Week 3

Discussion:
Analogue_to_Digital Rhizomes
Graham Weinbren,"The Digital Revolution is a Revolution of Random Access"

Presentation of main through lines and artistsŐ work

The Role of Mass Media:
An extended anecdote
--The "Mona Lisa" on a T shirt
Six waves of mass media and three waves of globalization:
the merging of technology, mass media, mass culture, fine art and popular art:
1) Invention of writing in Mesopotamia, Sumerians, 3200 BC – 1440 AD
2) invention of the printing press, 1440 - 1850
3) Industrial revolution in the 1850 – 1940s
4) Electronic media & mass communication systems, 1940s to the early 1980s
5) The introduction of home computers on a mass scale. 1980s to 1993
6) The internet, cyberspace/Interface culture, 1993 to present
Three waves of Globalization and "Telematic Culture"
first wave: Industrial Revolution 1700 - 1900
second wave: Electronic Mass Media 1900 - 1993
third wave: Digital Mass Media & the WWW 1993 - present

No objects, please: The disembodied message and messenger
--the "dematerialization of the art object"

Post Modernism

Post Modernism      and
Experimental Film and Video

Rhizome
--recombinant culture: appropriation, plagiarism, "death of the author", etc

The Digital Rhizome
--Rhetorical Question (Natalie Bookchin):
Doesn't language both enable and limit our understanding of all things? Why should digital work be any different? Don't existing categories used for "old" media often start to slip when applied to "new" media? For example, where is the "object" in RSN? Is it the computer, the camera, the server? and who is the artist?
> Early Experimentors of Telepresence

> Ken Goldberg (California)
> Eduardo Kac (Brazil)

Artists
> http://this.is/pallit/
> http://www.digibodies.org/online/
> Mark Amerika Hpertextual Consciousness 1.0
> Mark Amerika How To Be a Net Artist
> http://www.seemen.org/
> Stelarc

The Australian performance artist, Stelarc , claims the body is obsolete. "We are at the end of philosophy and human physiology. Human thought recedes in the human past. Virtual Reality technology allows transgression across boundaries between male/female, human/machine time/space. The body becomes situated beyond the skin."mind body split is simultaneously growing and disappearing.
> Stelarc "Ping Body"
> http://www.prop.org/
> http://www.telepresence.com/index-main.html
--David Blair (USA). "Wax Web" 1994

--Demo: Nonlinear editing systems: Final Cut Pro, et.al,

Conceptual Aerobics: Socialized Vision, visual habits, framing through the oculus

--Discussion: your observations and writings on last week's Conceptual Aerobics.


Required reading due for week 5:
--Peter Weibel, "The World as Interface: Towards the Construction of Context-Controlled Events-Worlds". Electronic Culture, Technology and Visual Representation. Ed. Timothy Druckery. Aperture, 1996. 338-351

Static image rhizomes
--Timothy Druckrey, "From Dada To Digital: Montage in the Twentieth Century", Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age , Aperture, 1992

Time-based_postmod_rhizomes

--Stan Brakhage. from "Metaphors on Vision". Film Theory and Criticism, Introductory Readings. Ed. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. Oxford Press,
1999. 228-234


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Week 4
First Critique of Hybrid Hypertext and Multi-media Projects
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Part II
Nonlinear Strategies: Static and Time-based Visual Art

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Week 5

1st Discussion:"The World as Interface"
--Peter Weibel, "The World as Interface: Towards the Construction of Context-Controlled Events-Worlds". Electronic Culture, Technology and Visual Representation. Ed. Timothy Druckery. Aperture, 1996. 338-351

2nd Discussion: Static image rhizomes

--Timothy Druckrey, "From Dada To Digital: Montage in the Twentieth Century", Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age , Aperture, 1992
A history of Photomontage

3rd Discussion: Time-based_postmod_rhizomes
--Stan Brakhage. from "Metaphors on Vision". Film Theory and Criticism, Introductory Readings. Ed. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. Oxford Press, 1999. 228-234
--Data-based narratives
--Academy-of-converging-media


Presentation of main through lines and artistsŐ work

Screenings:
Photomontagist, John Heartfield
George Legrady "Slippery Traces", 1995
"Slippery Traces"
, demonstration of linking structure.


Screenings:
Stan Brakhage, "Hand Painted Films" (film on video)
Jim Shedden, excerpts from "Brakhage" documentary
Stanza
Belief.com
David Blair, "Waxweb"
VBlogs:

http://tinkernet.org/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/videoblogging/
Minnesota Stories
Rocketboom
http://www.undergroundfunkstarrailroad.com/zblogs.htm
Distributed Network
Distributed Networks


Conceptual Aerobics: 'Exquisite Corpse"

This exercise will address issues such as the mechanisms of recombinant culture, authorship, collaborative creations, appropriation, plagiarism, hypertextuality and alternative narrative structures. You will need to bring to class several pictures (taken by someone else) of the four major parts of the human body (male or female): head, upper torso, lower torso and legs. You will also bring to class fragments of found text on the Internet and will read your fragments of found text as you place the photographs onto the group Exquisite Corpse. I will have a camera set up to record the making of an Exquisite Corpse.


Readings Due for next week:

--John Cage, "Introduction", Themes and Variations, 1982, Station Hill
--Ernst Berendt, "Relativity Isn't a Problem for the Ear", "Listening is Improvising", The Third Ear, 1988
--Billy Kluver, "The Great Northeastern Power Failure", Multimedia: From Wagner To Virtual Reality Edited by Randall Packer and Ken Jordan, 2001

--Tony Scherman,"Warhol: The Herald of Sampling", The New York Times, December, 1998

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Part III
Nonlinear Strategies in the Rhizome of the "Sonosphere": Music and Sound Art

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Week 6

Discussion:
Nonlinear Strategies in the
analogue Rhizomatic"Sonosphere": Music and Sound Art
--John Cage, "Introduction", Themes and Variations, 1982, Station Hill
--Ernst Berendt, "Relativity Isn't a Problem for the Ear", "Listening is Improvising", The Third Ear, 1988
--Billy Kluver, "The Great Northeastern Power Failure", Multimedia: From Wagner To Virtual Reality Edited by Randall Packer and Ken Jordan, 2001

Presentation of main through lines and artistsŐ work

The work of John Cage
--Stochastic processes, Use of Chance
--John Cage   i n d e t e r m i n a c y    various
Screenings:
John Cage, "4 Minutes 33 Seconds" (Video)

Nonlinear Strategies in the
digital Rhizomatic "Sonosphere": Music and Sound Art
–-Tony Scherman,"Warhol: The Herald of Sampling", The New York Times, December, 1998

Screenings:
Golan Levin "Dial Tones, A Telephony"
Visual Sound art, Paul DeMarinas "The Edison Effect" (video)
Tony Allard and the Reverend Dwight Frizzell, "world_mix_nagoya"
Craig Baldwin, "Sonic Outlaws" the work of Negativeland


Conceptual Aerobics:

"Echo Location"
"The Hollering Event"

Readings Due for next week:
--William Burroughs"The Future of the Novel" from Multimedia; From Wagner To Virtual Reality Randall Packer and Ken Jordan
--Peter Lunenfeld"Hypertext: The Alphanumeric Phoenix", Snap To Grid, 2000, pgs 44 – 54.
--Critical Art Ensemble. "Utopian Plagiarism, Hypertextuality, and Electronic Cultural Production." The Electronic Disturbance. Autonomedia, 1994. 83-101

Note:
Before coming to class next week, research the history of copyright. Can you explain why the title of today's reading contains the word "utopian"? What is recombination and how do you experience this in your life? Why do we give such high status to work which is "original"? What are the functions of reproductions in any culture?

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Part IV
Nonlinear Strategies in Recombinant Culture: Literature_Hypertext_Text-based Computer Interfaces

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Week 7


Discussion:
Hypertextuality and the New Narrative in recombinant culture: Modern and Postmodern

1st Discussion: Early Modernist Experiments
--William Burroughs "The Future of the Novel" from Multimedia; From Wagner To Virtual Reality Randall Packer and Ken Jordan
Reference material

Modernism and the Avant Garde
Dada, Surrealism, Explanation of the Surrealist Parlor Games Exquisite Corpse

--James Joyce's multilingual, nonlinear novel "Finnegans Wake"
--The Cut up technique of William Burroughs
--A non linear reading through ?_______a text______________


2nd Discussion:
Postmodernist Experiments
--Peter Lunenfeld "Hypertext: The Alphanumeric Phoenix", Snap To Grid, 2000, pgs 44 – 54.
--Critical Art Ensemble. "Utopian Plagiarism, Hypertextuality, and Electronic Cultural Production." The Electronic Disturbance. Autonomedia, 1994. 83-101

Reference material
--Postmodernism, a brief historical background
--The term "hypertext" was coined by Ted Nelson, who defined it in his self-published Literary Machines as "non-sequential writing" (0/2).
--Hypertetual transformation of the static word. Spacializing the text and incorporating nonlinear editing and story telling strategies.
--Hypertext links
--Wikipedia
--The Electronic Labyrinth is a study of the implications of hypertext for creative writers looking to
move beyond traditional notions of linearity.
Michael Joyce's Afternoon, A Story
Eastgate Hyper Fiction
Feminist Hypertext

Storyspace
The Mobius Text
Jenny Holzer Truisms
Craig Baldwin
Craig Baldwin

Conceptual Aerobics:
Hypertext Cutup

As the late William S. Burroughs put it, "When you cut into the present the future leaks out."

This is a group project and will consist of each group member contributing individual cutup writings to the larger group hypertext cutup. The final group hypertext cutup will be performed by the group using "chance operations" to determine the order in which each individual group member will read their portion of the hypertext. In the spirit of random access memory and chance, we will form the groups by using a method of chance (names drawn from my hat) of 4 or 5 students.

Part I
Each individual of the group will create an analogue cutup of a "found text" (on actual paper), using a variety of "cutup" techniques, such as the fold-in method that Burroughs used, or whatever methods you come up with. For instance, you can take your found text and cut it up word for word, draw them out of a hat randomly and then glue these words down on a sheet of paper in any order. Here is a link to a Wikipedia description of William Burroughs' cutup techniques: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut-up_technique

Part II
As was the case with the analogue part of the project, each group member will make an individual digital cutup (in html file format) using the text from your analogue cutup. You can bring your analogue cutup text into the digital realm by using a variety of methods, such as a word-for-word transcription from the analogue cutup into an html page. Or, you can bring it into Photoshop and cut it up visually and then bring the images into an html page. Once it is brought in, you will then cut it up again. If you bring it in as a text you can use this cutup machine to cut it up--just copy your text and paste it into the cutup machine and push the cutup button--amazing results! Here's the link: http://languageisavirus.com/cutupmachine.html Once your individual cutups are complete, you all will then move on to Part III to complete the project.

Part III
Each group member will have now created a digital cutup on an html page, which will now be hyperlinked, in a random fashion, to each of the other group member's digital cutup. The final reading of the group hypertext cutup must include both your analogue (print) and digital hypertexts. The order of who goes when for the final reading of the individual cutups needs to be determined by chance as well. For instance, the decision of who goes when could be determined randomly by the role of the dice. Also, keep the option in mind that more than one person at a time can be reading!

Some technical considerations:
--The analogue cutups can be integrated into the digital cutups by way of scanning, still photos, and by any other means you come up with to cross over into the digital realm.

--The digital cutup must be constructed as a hypertext (with hyperlinks), therefore, working as a group, you will have to create a group folder to place all linked and related files in one folder.

--The multimedia presentation/reading of the text, in addition to the hypertext documents, might also include: screen shots, gif animations, unconventional projections (physical manipulation of the projected texts), text-to_speach functions, etc. I will discuss further ways to present in class.

--Keep in mind that although the assignment is about writing it is also about interactive texts, vocal performances and visual presentations.


Required reading for next week:
Teshome H. Gabriel, "Thoughts on Nomadic Aesthetics and Black Independent Cinema: Traces of a Journey." Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures. MIT Press, 1990. 395-410.

Readings due for next week:

1st Discussion: Nomadic Art

--"Nomad Art: Space", The Deleuze Reader, Ed. Constantin V. Boundasm, Columbia University Press/ New York, 1993, pgs 165 - 172
--Gypsies in the US

2nd Discussion: Nomadic Aesthetic in Black Cinema
--Teshome H. Gabriel, "Thoughts on Nomadic Aesthetics and Black Independent Cinema: Traces of a Journey." Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures. MIT Press, 1990. 395-410.

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Part V
Culture Jamming:"Chaos Never Died"_random access to "heredom"_

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Week 8

Discusions:
1st Discussion: Nomadic Art

--"Nomad Art: Space", The Deleuze Reader, Ed. Constantin V. Boundasm, Columbia University Press/ New York, 1993, pgs 165 - 172
--Gypsies in the US

2nd Discussion: Nomadic Aesthetic in Black Cinema
--Teshome H. Gabriel, "Thoughts on Nomadic Aesthetics and Black Independent Cinema: Traces of a Journey." Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures. MIT Press, 1990. 395-410.

Using Teshome Gabriel's essay on black cinema, we will entertain the notions of "nomadic aesthetics" and how they are a sign of resistance to mainstream Hollywood film while viewing work from Australian Aboriginal filmmaker, Tracey Moffet. We will also look at the interactive multimedia work by Keith Piper, entitled "Relocating the Remains". In this CD-ROM Piper questions the dominant culture's official history by engaging a "nomadic aesthetic" and proposing a personal, alternative, changeable, nonlinear history.

Nomads on the Internet
http://www.thehacktivist.com/?p=131
Reference material

Screenings:
Keith Piper, UK, "Relocating the Remains", (www)
Spike Lee, "She's Gotta Have It"
Tracy Moffatt, Australia, "Bedevil" (video)

Kristine Diekman, "Drift to Dust"

Conceptual Aerobics:
Working with oculus, smooth space vs striated space

Required reading for next week:

--Guy Debord,"Theory of the Derive", Situationalist International #2 , December 1958
--Hakim Bey, "T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism" An experiment in "un-mediated reality", Autonomedia

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Week 9
Guy Debord's Theory of Drift and Hakim Bey's T.A.Z. or Temporary Autonomous Zone
(or, how I spent my thanksgiving vacation culture jamming)


Culture Jamming
Early Culture Jammers, 1850 - 1970
Modernism

> Culture jamming in cyberspace has its roots in late 19th century and early 20th century
  avant garde art and the Modernist movement.
>
Modernism and the Avant Garde 1850s to Early 1970s
Contemporary Culture Jammers, 1970s to present

Post Modernism

> Early 1970s to Present The New Avant Garde
> Paper Tiger TV
> Negativeland, video excerpt from Craig Baldwin's "Sonic Outlaws"
Culture jamming in Cyberspace
>
http://creativecommons.org/
> Opperation Re-information
> Electronic Civil Disobedience
> Hacking
> Alexei Sulgin and Nathalie Bookchin Introduction to net.art by Alexei Shulgin and Nathalie Bookchin
Manifestos of Culture Jammers both positive and negative

> Culture Jamming
> Hakim Bey T.A,Z Ontological Anarchy and Poetic Terrorism and Boycott Cop Culture (iToons)
> Lazlo Toth  and The Lazlo Toth School of Art
> Technomanifestos
> Ted Kasinski, "Unibomber Manifesto"
> Ken Kesey Kesey and the Merry Pranksters
> Zane Kesey
> Merry Pranksters history
> Guillermo Gomez Pena, The Virtual Barrio @ The Other Frontier
> "Media Burn" by Ant Farm and Culture Jamming http://www.levity.com/markdery/culturjam.html
> Weather Underground, Documentary
> Adbusters
> http://rtmark.com/
> Alexei Sulgin and Nathalie Bookchin Introduction to net.art by Alexei Shulgin and Nathalie Bookchin
> Bureau of Inverse Technology
> Electronic Civil Disobedience
> http://www.alexrivera.com/
> http://tacticalmagic.org/CTM/project%20pages/Outpost.htm
> http://www.sniggle.net/trickster.php
Related Links

> CTA
> 2600.com
> Cult of the Dead Cow
> indymedia.com
> Free Speech TV
> Zapatista
> MTAA
> Market Research
> BURN
> Patrick Lichty, Grasping at Bits: Intellectual Property in the Digital Age
> What Color is the Net
> Temple of Confessions
A challenge to act up and culture jam: hacking, protest, pranks, performance art
>
Hacking
> ObeyGiant
> Ron English http://www.graffiti.org/ron_english/billbord.html
> San Diego Independent Media Center
> Linux VS Microsft for open source. New York Times Ad for Linux and a Microsoft ad for "Visual Studio"
> Recent protests
Pranks

> Heckety reads from V Vale on Pranks
and Kansas City Art Institute Student Pranks (yarns from back in the day)
> The Prank Institute
Performance Art:

> Performance art, because it is a public art form, has historically been the medium artist gravitate
  when they want to make a direct statement, protest, or create an intervention in the dominant, mainstream culture.
> Burning Man Event

Discussion:
--Guy Debord,"Theory of the Derive", Situationalist International #2 , December 1958
--Hakim Bey"T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism" An experiment in"un-mediated reality", Autonomedia.
Reference material

TAZ
Culture Jamming

Conceptual Aerobics
After a discussion on the TAZ, we will go on a TAZ and experience first hand the directionless adventure in unmediated reality.
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Week 10
Second Critique of Hybrid Hypertext and Multi-media Projects
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Part VI
Final  Debates

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Week 11
Presentations for Debate

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Week 12
Presentations for Debate
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Final Debates
Week 13
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Part VII
Work in progress and final critique of Hybrid Hypertexts and Multi-media Projects

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Week 14

Work in Progess
Be prepared to present your Hybrid Hypertext and Multi-media projects. During this class we will trouble shoot your work and discuss your final presentation.
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Week 15

Work in Progess
In-class work time on your Hybrid Hypertext and Multi-media projects. Once again, during this class we will trouble shoot your work and discuss your final presentation.
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Week 16
Final Critique of Hybrid Hypertext and Multi-media projects

Thanks for your interest in learning.
Onward