The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 28, 2008

The Mess of the True World

An essay to date (rough draft with numerous slots to be filled in) culled
from outlining: "The Mess of the True World"

The Mess of the True World

  what does it mean to be in-carnated within the real/virtual/
    true world?

Carnated/carnal/knowledge - We could begin by introducing the true world,
the world of mind in relation to ontological/epistemological shifting. The
true world is primordial, in other words backgrounding.

..."however, we use the word [_materialism_] in its dictionary definition
of _embodiment,_ in contract to _mind._ Thus, virtual reality, as dis-
cussed within the art literature [...] is materialist, regardless of
whether this experience is _real_ or _illusory._ Mental constructs, on the
other hand, are nonsensory and so have no material existence." Paul Fish=
wick, An Introduction to Aesthetic Computing, in Fishwick, ed., Aesthetic
Computing, MIT, 2006. In this sense, the true world is materialist; how-
ever I would argue that mental constructs cohere with the sensory, that a
fundamental entanglement exists. For example, love or hate create sensed
bodily transformations, mathematical thought creates the sensation of per-
ceived 'symbol-clouds,' and so forth.

  what are the edge-phenomena/plastic and static limits of the body?

The limits of my body within the true world are the limits of my world;
here I include ontological shifts such as mathesis, semiosis, emotions and
the like. Given the limited bandwidth of receptors of all sorts, and the
limitations of mind (for example, in thinking through the appearance of
the eighth dimension, calculating, speaking non-native languages, etc.),
thought and the true world are based on extrapolation - the _gestural_ -
as fundamental being. (See Tran Duc Thao on the origins of language.) The
gestural follows quantum non-distributive logics (see the early experi-
ments by Land on color vision), not Aristotelian distributive logics; this
being-in-the-world is partial reception of part-objects transformed into
inherency through gesture. All organisms have this in common.

The _plastic_ limits of the body are the limits of body-inherency, whether
'real' or 'virtual' or other category - the limits of the image carried by
the jectivity (introjection and projection) braid. The _static_ limits may
be considered formal-measureable limits, whether in one or another space.

  of the geopolitical body? of the political-economic body?

As soon as one brings domain-extrapolation of the body into play (i.e.
sexual body, material body, imaginary body, natural body, and so forth),
cultural nexus is paramount, and the body itself moves within theory as
phenomenological token or punctum.

And as soon as one brings variegated ontologies and epistemologies into
play, analysis becomes a mush/mess/mass or miss. Terms slide against
terms, carrying enormous overdetermined histories with them - but these
are the only histories there are.

  what are the signifiers of bodily arousal/violence/meditation?
  how are these constituted within the true world?

Herewith bee a liste of signes, or some such. But where is the arousal,
violence, meditation, if not brainward, wearing the exposure, softening,
hardening, quiescence of the body which simultaneously is foregrounded and
absenting. In terms of emanents, the signs are symbolic; one calculates,
applies them. In term of organism, the signs are ikonik, upwelling. The
brain manages none of this; the brain manages, is managed - everything
becomes a mess as inquiry tangles uselessly. It's this uselessness, this
nexus, that is of interest - an analytical failure in the close-rubbed maw
of the world.

  readings: what does it mean to read the real body? the virtual body?

One might begin by considering language as fundamentally ikonic, that
within the preconscious ('repository' of syntactics, short-term memory -
another metaphor) language is clothed, associated with the true world.
Language then is structured like the unconscious, and the unconscious does
not necessarily splay the real. Bodies, organic and emanent (and 'organic'
references the machinic phylum as well), inhere to mind, minding, tending,
a posteriori interpretation and hermeneutics. Reading the body is embody-
ing, is against the background of incarnation. Sheave-skins need not react
or appear to sense as organic skins; the feedback is often visual or
aural, not proprioceptive. Within the jectivity braid, this is an epistem-
ological issue, not one of fundamental locus. On the other hand (real or
virtual), one can abandon the emanent; abandoning the organic is deadly.
Proceed backwards from this, from the irretrievable, intolerable, finality
of death, and reading bodies, and bodily risk, become wildly disparate.
Nevertheless both inhabit the true world, mind inhabits both, albeit often
in qualitatively different manners, depending on ontology.

  what are the ontologies and epistemologies involved here?
  ontological status of the so-called virtual -
  schrodinger's cat paradox and collapse of the wave function as model
   for simultaneous analogic/digital readings -
  seeing through microscopy (tunnel, scanning, optical, etc.):
  are ontology and epistemology equivalent at the limit?
  (are analogic and digital equivalent at a parallel limit?)

What difference does it make? Begin with the mess, with the corrupted
reading of whatever consciousness has placed there, on the page, the rock,
the emanent body, the organic body. The last carries ikonic signs,
simultaneously indexical, pointing out the mute history of the being. If
there were only readers of everything! If only the book of nature existed!
The Ladder! Great Chain of Being!

Ontologies occur in local domains, rub raw against each other, problema-
tize each other. Who decided this one or that one as primordial? What's
fundamental is the mixed mess, the braid. At least as far as we're con-
cerned, the braid.

  internals and externals, static/dynamic. remnants of the visible
  human project, gendering of the visual/internal

Human skin under the microtome, sheave-skin burrowed into by camera
position. Here is the necessity of Madhyamika, co-dependent origination,
depend co-origination, braided mind, image, imaginary, entity, real and
virtual within, inhering to the true world. Striated, variegated trans-
formations characterize life; the Visible Human Project transforms
organism into emanent, habitus into data-basae.

  comfort, dis/comfort, ease, dis/ease, hysteria and abjection/fluid-
  ity (laycock's 1840 essay on hysteria, kristeva, chasseguet-smirgel)

Clearly the abject lies within the primordial, the braid is braid of
dissolution, corruption, decay; definitions flux in relation to the
contricted passing of time. Organisms flood themselves, emanents decay
with their corporations, software updating, diminishing dreamtimes as
elders die off. Hysteria is convulsion, but also spew, contrary and
wayward, the refusal of the body, just as death is such a refusal and
catatonia. Do others refuse the body? Use it? Reuse it? Are sheave-skins
exchanged? Does political economy depend on aegis?

  dis/ease, hysteria, and so forth of emanents

Dis/ease, etc. may be modeled; turning the emanent towards abjection is
necessarily a conscious decision. The hysteria of emanents is the hys-
teria of the steering mind. Proliferation of emanents, duplications and
other hacks, may be considered a form of hysteria. But hysteria is on
the surface; emanents which are autonomous or semi-autonomous agents may
exist the full range of symptoms, generated from within, without exter-
nal steering.

  medical model and technology

A medical model implies internal flows, striations, identities, vulner-
abilties, immunological defenses, maintenance and so forth. Emphasis is
on the cohering of parts, membranes and molecular channels. Organism
runs from within; emanent runs from without. An emanent may be defined
as _an image or apparition whose body and mind are elsewhere,_ an
entity that exists in relation to the jectivity braid, and has apparent,
but not genidentical, identity. Of course the organic body itself is
genidentical only to a limited extent.

One might say then that both ontologically and epistemologically, _an
emanent exists within data-bases or other entities spatio-temporally
distant from the visual or other residue._ What we see is surface, but
surface from both within and without. _The dissection of an emanent
image is the result of camera angle._

  psychoanalytics and technology, psychoanalytics of emanents

The psychoanalytics of emanents are two-fold: the psychoanalytics of
mind steering, and the internal psychoanalytics of the machinic phylum.

  analogic and worn emanent boundaries

  edge / boundary phenomena - physics and psychophysics of the game-
   world edge in second life

  phenomena of the sheave-skin and sheave-skin internals

Sheave-skin externals read as internals: anatomical mappings within Poser.

  phenomena of medical models in relation to edge/boundaries

The medical model is for learning, for analogy of surface to surface. The
medical model requires a (human) viewer. Any dissection into the substance
of an organic body results in exposed and constructed surfaces; interiors
always lie elsewhere, revealed by X-ray, MRI, and so forth.

  edge phenomena in literature, codework, mathesis of the text
    (cramer's and reith's programs)

  generalization of edge phenomena into the dialectic between tacit
  knowledge (polyani) and error (winograd/flores)

  what constitutes worlds? constructing?
  world of the text, inhabitation/dwelling/building (heidegger,

  what constitutes the true world? worlding?
  'true world' in which lines/angles are 'trued' (affine geometry),
  'true world' in the sense of 'trued' phenomenologies within which
  virtual, real, and ikonic are blurred and interpenetrating, somewhat
  equivalent, and within which traditional epistemologies of symbol/
  sign/signifier/signified/index/ikon etc. break down (kalachakra
    tantra, jeffrey hopkins)

  'reading' underlying (substructural, configuration files, guides)
  organization of mocap/scan through surface phenomena
  (and the relationship of this reading to waddington's epigenetic

  who is world? communality, consensuality?
  the problem of other minds and the problem of consensual other minds
  (group hallucinations, vijnanavada, dwarf sitings, ufos, etc.)

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