The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

September 18, 2007

(first section at

Human modeling again (notes for a talk)

I think 4 aspects - psychoanalytics, avatar-skin, medical modeling, AI
communality/behavior/sociality - to be considered.

Well: Avatar-skin: surface of being human which is always a fiction; there
is no exacting boundary where body ends and environment begins (think of
breath, other processes). So this is splines, Bezier curves, NURBs, early
polygon work, etc. now automated by Poser etc. Avatar-skin also applies to
audio (later touch, scent, taste, etc.) - everything perceived from one
human or other organism to another.

Well: AI communality/behavior/sociality: the internally-automated behavior
of the avatar-skin; think of this as diachronic avatar, and avatar-skin as
synchronic; each moves through the other. With AI, avatar is somewhat
spread across the social; communication and communality extend the opaque
body (metaphorically) into the translucent.
Fundamental rules of the 'game' tending towards description.

Well: Medical modeling: Both diachronic and synchronic, the projected/
introjected organs of the avatar-skin, always on the level of a model,
i.e. a beating heart is fabricated on a subtextual level again from poly-
gons, curves, splines, etc. The ontology is different as long as one
remains within the realm of computational modeling. (One might say that
_inscription_ in the real is paralleled by _fissure_ in the virtual.)
Medical modeling is fundamental description tending towards explanation.

Well: Psychoanalytics: Here is where the following have to be taken into
1. The abject: epistemological/ontological/inscriptive 'smears' across
domains. Corrosive and irreducible to the other categories.
2. Introjection/projection ('jectivity') - formation of internalized
images from virtual to real.
3. Obscenity and interjections: Breakdowns of communication within
Psychoanalytics are not susceptible to mathesis beyond topology.
(Level of the metaphoric: No verification procedures.)

But of course all of this is rough, not exactly accurate; ontology and
epistemology, various branches and techniques of mathematics, can be
thrown around heedlessly. Still I'd want to begin from the four aspects
described here: body/surface, psychoanalytics/'mind', AI/habitus, and
medical/observation-experimentation. One would have to further consider
the role of apparatus, observation, observer, in all of this.

One final note - the concern - that, with formal and informal modeling
systems of organisms/physics/mathematics: How is consciousness in
relation? In other words, _what are the effects on the reader/programmer/
experimenter? How do these relate to abjection and jectivity if at all?

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