The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

June 10, 2009

Talking points (OCAD talk)

1. The virtual and real are united by inscription: inscription is a form
of mark.

2. The body is always already inscribed.

3. A 'metric' is associated with every phenomenology - a certain _tenor_
of behavior, style of inscription.

4. The 'metric' sets forth 'geodesics,' paths of least resistance; it's
easiest to construct along them - in which case what might be considered
'corporate style' dominates.

5. There is always the possibility of the cheat, kludge, or hack:
a. Cheat: something appearing as more or less than it is, something
b. Kludge: making do, using available tech: the clumsy.
c. Hack: beneath the surface, something doing something it wasn't 
'intended' to do. Along this line: reality was intended to _do nothing_
of course.

6. Inscription is information; the more information, the less entropy.
Information is of various sorts:
a. Autonomous: Information within event horizons (black holes, universes).
b. Intended: Information created by _agency_ - in which case one might
speak of residue and parasitism.
c. Unintended: residue or trace.

7. In my work I want to make a mess, something apparently disordered,
something _abject._
a. Abject because impossible to disentangle.
b. The world is deeply entangled.
c. Outside of narrative, the world is _inherently_ entangled.
d. Through reduction, narrative tries to make sense of the world.
e. Through expansion, non-narratives inhabit it, i.e. are _equivalent_
'one way or another.'

8. Intended or interpreted information:
Information is a way of looking at the world; in-formation characterizes 
the world. The body looks at the world which is of and not of the body; 
the world is therefore abject, debris - almost, but not quite escaping. 
What escapes is articulated by mathesis; mathesis is our window on the 
existent. Mathesis grasps everything and nothing; an equation cannot 
_directly_ move an object, but describes its structure to the extent that 
its structure is nothing. Mathesis is what lies beyond the reach of the 

9. The ontology of mathesis is neither real nor virtual: Mathematics, in
other words, is elsewhere.

10 The more the universe is 'comprehended' in terms of fundamental
characteristics, the greater the mathesis required.

11. Eventually mathesis dominates and the use of 'proper models' falls by
the wayside.

12. The question: 'How are we' within the alien - i.e. within a knowledge
that we occur, inhabit, the alien?

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