The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

June 3, 2008

Access Grid resonance and selenite filtering

For us at AG, an exciting group of videos/images!

This has been a dream: to bounce a video signal repeatedly around the
world, creating video feedback as the signal resonates with itself. On a
laptop, my video camera received an image from the West Virginia
University Access Grid that bounced from the Asia Pacific Access Grid
Lobby in Queensland. My camera sent the image back to the APAG Lobby where
it was transmitted and picked up by a camera on the WVU Access Grid. The
camera transmitted the image to the Asia Pacific Access Grid node,
whereupon it bounced back to my laptop, where it was received ...

A similar looping was created using the Argonne National Laboratory Access
Grid Lobby in Chicago. Another looping used two cameras and transmissions
from the WVU Access Grid across to Argonne and / or the APAG; the looping
was picked up by the laptop which sent the image back through the Lobby to
WVU where it was inserted (medium against large) into one of the WVU
images ....

I wanted a sense of the distances covered. We did ping and traceroute and
found that while Argonne came back around 38 ms and Queensland hit some-
where around 152 ms, the looping through the latter seemed considerably

The first of the files below is a series of stills from the whole process.

The second is video feedback with the usual tilted camera and infinite
regress circling the planet.

The third is a somewhat steady-state blob of light, oddly breast-shaped,
that pulsed and sometimes disappeared on the screen; again, this was built
up through / by planetary circulation.

The fourth is Azure Carter singing with room and Access Grid resonance
through Argonne; she's locally on four different cameras, and the reson-
ances bounce through the WVU AG room and across the network.

Finally the fifth video explores an odd quality of a selenite crystal
which produces a series of rings for 'fuzzed' sources of light and color.
One might think of this as a simulacrum of resonance as well. (series of stills) (series of video
sections with the usual feedback infinite regress circling the planet) (video of breast-shaped
almost steady-state light partially filling the screen, regress
circling the world) (azure carter singing with
access grid sending voice to argonne national laboratory and back with
additional local room resonance) (imaging through selenite

couple of portraits of me and cat

working the access grid - two screengrabs -

our strange cat Ossi, named after Ossi Oswalda -

Modeling, filtering, resonance, transmission (in recent work?) and bad
theory -

Bad theory: Because distorting concept and process, constructing 'fit'
where most likely there's none at all.

I want to transmit this. I am transmitting this.
I am applying a filter to this. I am filtering this.
This is resonating. I want to make this resonate. (I am resonating this.)
I am modeling this. This is a model. This is continuou modeling.
  -- I am continuously modeling this.

These terms are interconnected; they assume energy pooling and structure,
and are processes with process control. The control structures divide the
configuration into semantics (with internal syntactic control) and syntac-
tics (with external semantic control). The latter is the control structure
proper - a formal program or filter whose semantic control is an intention
to harness, modify,, transmit, or otherwise control the former. The former
might loosely be considered 'content,' i.e. on the plane of content, which
necessarily emphasizes semantics - the sememe of the content - that relies
on internal syntactics to configure the sememe for others. This is a false
model of course since the content seeps through both semantics and syntac-
tics, but these domains are still 'somewhat' uncoupling; similarly, cont-
rol structures are entangled between intentional semantics and process
control itself. All of this is clear in transmission and filtering; the
latter might be considered a form of transmission itself, although it is
usually taken to refer to a cutting-away of tranmission contents. Like-
wise transmission can be considered a form of dynamic filtering which
parcels and configures content dynamically from one to another site.
Resonance is an internalized filtering and transmission tending towards
the best of all possible (local) worlds; it achieves this as a steady-
state maintained (other than at temperatures near absolute zero) by an
external energy source which keeps the resonance alive. Otherwise reson-
ance, like transmission, is dampened and dies out. Filtering in this
regard may be considered passive; a filter need not consume external
energy for maintenance, but may just gate whatever content comes through.
Finally, modeling - not models - may be considered a continuous process of
adjusting to the world; resonances are appearances of entities that seem
somewhat steady-state. Modeling transmits a series of models-in-process,
behavioral dynamics, flux; filtering is at the heart of modeling, shaping
whatever raw data comes into the process. It would be literally fitting to
establish a procedural dynamics moving from (modeling filtering) through
(transmission resonance) but this seems problematic; all that can be said
is that these processes are all involved in situating the subject dynami-
cally in the world, and are intentionally configured and active within the
digital. (Resonance itself is analogic, I think; while it operates digit-
ally, through positive feedback it might break out of any potential well
designed to contain it. Of course this depends on the variety of resonance
- and all of this points, I believe, to the above as bad or broken theory,
groping at something and groping in the wrong direction.

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