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December 11, 2007

Aesthetic Impact (some notes & a guide)

Let us not overlook how digital interfaces --much of it in the manipulation of a mouse in the palm of a hand, a trackpad under fingertips-- has had substantial impact on what it means to share ideas and content (outcomes of ideas).

So much that in the past has required sophisticated, expensive, large, and specialized equipment now exists in user-friendly compact forms that allow for quick and easy image and sound capture & production, sometimes with results that can begin to rival what expensive professional equipment counterparts can produce. As an example, check out the musical offerings (visual offerings, too) from strexx.com, offerings outside of formal studio and publication protocols; some technologically empowered individual initiative.

You can listen to one sonic offering: environmental experiment 69 (New Teacher Lessons Crowding Rhythm Catalog Mix) from strexx.com right here:

The audio (and video) remix is something that has been greatly facilitated by technological developments, and is overwhelmingly collaborative as in this remix of Like Music by The Jinks also from the strexx audio lab:


The amount of sharing that occurs is staggering --I think about the number and range of cyber communities to which I belong, the good fit, the appropriateness of so many of these memberships without certain physical details or other facts (including a certain literary clout & related assumptions) interfering.

And I can easily --so I will-- inform you about GadgetTrack to help you recover your stolen portable digital devices:

(how it works diagram from InventorSpot.com )

You can watch a Gadget Trak video at KGW.com, and more information is available from Gadget Trak Recovery System blog

Knowledge of this device did not come in time to help someone from strexx.com who wrote about an aggressive ipod theft(at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor) in this post in the strexx particle labblog.

--Leave some comments at the strexx particle labblog; okay? Give strexx some encouragement & support, please--


I maintain five email accounts, each one in touch with a part of my existence, the umich account, the only one that requires me to be professorial.

But the sharing --that's a Wow! for me; the impulse to make information, aesthetic information and other information, available is stunning. Whatever someone makes, as long as there is some form of digital conversion, can be placed where there is potential for that thing to be encountered. This is downright revolutionary. And with all the shared material, it is easy to capture material generated by others and bring it into my own/your own cyber locations --just amazing, and an example of joint custody. The sharing, the potential of something I contribute making contact with someone anywhere in the world who may take interest in it is much greater than an impulse to control it; I take pleasure in finding my video poams in Russia, in Japan, in Germany, in Brazil.

So I can share with you something I find compelling that was shared in other online locations:
Introducing the conceptual text-based visual systems of Jason J Gillingham.

You are not likely to find work like Gillingham's in most anthologies of poetry, even in anthologies of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry where there is exploration of the language's inexactitude and uncontrollable interfaces so that its use does not clarify and only seems to because of the trust placed in language without considering the structural and conceptual limits and fallibilities of language. The fragmentation implicit in language usage in exposed by Language poets; there should not be expectations that groups of words can form reliable coherency when it cannot be determined with any exactitude just what is being connected and what the logic of the connections might be.

Rather than trying to produce incoherent poems, language poetry extracts the meanings and portions of meanings that might be available in arrangements operating on other logics, often based upon the nature of experiences words have endured in use, misuse, overuse, abuse. negligence, assumption, over trust. etc.


Gillingham is not deliberately making poams; while text is a part of his work, the text is not meant to convey meanings based on their definitions. The words are placed in situations that change them, revealing alternative concealments, often at the expense of kinquisitic and syntactical integrity. As the words interact with their environments, there is a physical reaction. Usually, words are representational, but in Gillingham's poams, the words have thingness, and as things they are liberated from representing what they are assigned in language systems.

Of course it is possible to view Gillingham's text objects as fragmented, but I think of it more as the splitting of pods when growth erupts, the accessing of the interios of the egg; Gillingham opens the words, none of which are empty.

The use of words as objects, and the making of poems that arrange these objects according to systems other than definitions is also compatible with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry although Gillingham's work, nor the work of Ed Rusha is usually categorized as poetry, as problem with dominant and domineering systems allowed to shape the systems of significance/insignificance that shape the rules and protocols of society.

Ed Rusha, Lisp, and Lisp detail from National Gallery of Art.


Web feature written by Sally Shelburne, designed and produced by Donna Mann, and edited by Ulrike Mills. Thanks to Jeffrey Weiss, Barbara Moore, Phyllis Hecht, Lesley Keiner, Ira Bartfield, and Ric Foster for their contributions to this project.

A special note of gratitude to Ed Ruscha and his staff for their generous assistance in the development of this online feature.


1. Neal Benezra and Kerry Brougher, with contribution by Phyllis Rosenzweig. Ed Ruscha [exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden] (Washington, 2000), 144.

2. Benezra and Brougher 2000, 147.

3. Benezra and Brougher 2000, 145 and n. 1.

4. Yve-Alain Bois, Edward Ruscha: Romance with Liquids, Paintings 1966-1969 [exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery] (New York, 1993), 15–16."

Text & credits from National Gallery of Art


For some of you, what follows will be an introduction, for others an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with what I consider extremely significant conceptual poam work by two visual makers whose text systems are enclosed by visual systems further enclosed by the placement of text systems within visual systems and by the content of the text systems.

Those of you unable to readthe text systems literally, will still be able to read non-literal implications of the text systems. Do consider the strong possibility that the text system is not necessarily meant to be as read according to the usual protocols of engagement with text. Opportunities to encounter alternatives to pervasive (and seemingly unchallenged) (deeply embedded) protocols of existing are steadily increasing because explosions in digital technology help innovation to flourish within widespread attempts to determine what this technology can do, can't do.

Shirin Neshat is primarily visual (still and moving) poam maker whose pages (a page is a host of a poam event; where a poam event pccurs) often disallow negative space, text filling any location in the map of the poam that may be filled:

This visual poam by Shirin Neshat may be experienced in its source context, and more
of her visual poams may be experienced at Iranian.com.

Lalla Essaydi, visual poam maker of Converging Territories, a collection of visual poams in which what might otherwise be consigned to negative space is populated with text to an extent that saturated black areas of visual poams may be perceived as areas where text is so dense, so saturated, that individual parts of texts are not discernible, as evident in:

This visual poam may be experienced in its source context, a neighborhood of other Essaydi visual poams from Converging territories at: Laurence Miller Gallery.com

And, of course, this inclusion can remind us of just how strong the impulse is to supplement text with sound and image. The sharing of idea includes responsiveness to a range of human sensory perception, so sharing includes the writing of sound and image as well as the writing of words.

What I now consider my work could not exist without these advances in accessible technology.
The exploration of other possibilities of aesthetic expression has been simplified and made even more meaningful because the accessibility of technology has been accompanied by relatively easy modification of these evolving tools. I am able to bring more of what I can imagine (and what I can imagine has been extended as well) into a shareable form.

Not only has my work been transformed, I have been transformed; the very structures that produce my ideas have been reconfigured as a result of my exploring possibilities of making and living that take advantage of an examination of protocols of expectation that had shaped me without my conscious consent. Once I acquired an identity of maker, an identity as modifier of what exists; once the play-doh and tinker toys were in my hands without the manuals telling me what and how to make, I became aware of how easily restructuring and reconfiguration could occur.

Looking across scale and identifying the repetition of basic forms, using metaphor as a navigational tool instead of a literary device, investigating how systems form, how they are sustained, how they degrade and come together again as variables come and go --all this helped me understand what and where (other) possibilities were, and I continue to seek ways to utilize what I am still finding with my limited fork.

(the Limited Fork plant didn't just sprout, didn't just blossom; it took hold in a fertile area from seeds that came from something enclosed in a system just as fertile)
(image of Limited Fork plant in the Garden of Forked Delight by Proforker T Moss)

The interview Shadows, Boxes, Forks, and “POAMs? addresses some of the evolution of Limited Fork interacting systems as an enclosure system for my life.

(image by Strexx --rare view of forkergirl in AH 3241)

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December 04, 2007

Ersatz Illumination & Illumination of the Ersatz attempts to extract the genuine from genuine and bogus sources (because ersatz is too beautiful a word to have to mean fake)

No consideration of authorship and ownership would be complete (not that I uphold that completion actually occurs)without consideration of the speech of Chief Seattle.

Here the popular image of CS, the popular mythology, the, some would say, necessary spin:

(image from All Posters.com where this inspiring and illuminating poster depicting idealized Native American sentiment can be purchased.

Growing in popularity is the debunking of the ideal, and the following links will take you to locations aware of the effects of gravity.

Unforking the speech of Chief Seattle

Chief Seattle Resources from The eJournal website
Critical Thinkers Resources
where Chief Seattle and his speech are given multi-faceted consideration.

Should the beauty of the speech, should the aesthetic integrity so well imagined in the speech be tarnished and discredited by the knowledge that the speech may in fact be ersatz?

Is it not a lovely idea even if it is a lie?

What should be role of the human skill to fabricate, to create, especially if this skill is used to help humanity grow, to assist with an extension of humanity?

Points made in the, researchers have explained, likely spurious speech are ethical points, ideals of integrity, and quite similar to a Native American Legend retold and illustrated by John Steptoe (from the cover of the Caldecott Honor Book: The Story of Jumping Mouse, shown below):

(image from ccfpl.org)

This story approaches ultimates, ideals in sharing and sacrifice, so it has incredible usefulness in promoting compassion and ethical behavior

yet even in this story, there are several versions,, Steptoe's (the one with perhaps the most aesthetic accomplishment) emerging as the one best known and widely shared with (American) (North American) children.

Can illumination based on the ersatz be considered real illumination?

What about illuminating visions, dreams, mirages?

Alan Sokal's Social Text Affairs experiment on the ersatz intellectualism examines some of these implications.

Perhaps it is useful for us to remember, from time to time, just how much of we interact with are forms of human construction --should this devalue that which is primarily or to some (please specify) degree human construct?

How would this (humanly constructed) label weaken or undermine or threaten or enhance that which is assigned (by humans) such a label?

Please consult the Science Wars homepage for more about the ethics of Sokal's experiment.

Where would you place Stephen Glass in this commentary on the ersatz? Would using the word genius be permissible, the word defined, of course, according to the perception of the one using the humanly-coined term?

Do you think that his creative writing for The New Republic was better than his creative writing in his autobiographical novel The Fabulist?

(image from Slate.com where you cal also read a review of the novel)

Click here to read the Forbes.com story that exposed the beautiful hoax that did in fact bring fame to Mr. Glass.

Read some of Glass's fabulous fakes originally published in The New Republic as authentic fact instead of authentic fiction at Rick McGinnis.com: a tissue of lies

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December 03, 2007


FORK: for attempts at access

(including the accessing of illumination)

With a fork ~most definitely with a Limited Fork~ we can, we do Bifurcate.

You have considered situations of fork, properties (plural) and property's (possessive) of fork; multiple and separate bifurcations can occur in a simultaneity that is not confined to a single increment of time for its measure; each tine or prong of a forking system can approach something different, in different planes of existence, locations of different materials and substances, tines of different materials at different times in different locations --some ideas which may be used as models for situations of human populations in various global locations.

(map of Worldwide Internet Usage as of March 2007, from eBiz Tutors.com whose source is: iPligence.com where you can see and study this map & related maps full size).

iPligence also has lists and maps of the number of IP addresses per geographic area, and a comparison of population density with IP addresses.

This is where the XO easily enters again:

(Refer to 28 November post: Kindle and Kindness for details.)

Whether or not members of these human populations share their poams (which include political, social, religious, and cultural policies), there is direct and indirect, circumstantial sharing of the earth itself: the populations are on (a changing or forking) earth.

This is where (one of several wheres) the practice of Internet Filtering can enter: Study: 25 Countries Block Websites

Documentation of Internet Filtering

Reporters Without Borders is dedicated to forking information and here provides a list, as of November 2006, of 13 Internet enemies.

RWB is also the source of the following map of internet black holes, locations of filtered access:

Read about implications of this mapped data at: Strange Maps.

The limited fork functions within the parameters of what is possible for the device (the specific fork used varying according to the situation), those possibilities adapting to what is possible according to the particular iteration of fork in use.

These are quite generalized comments; they are not made in reference to an enhanced or extended or magnified surface or layer or scale of fork dynamic behavior; modifications will be made to account for specifics according to the situational focus of some aspect at some moment in some investigation.

Bifurcations may occur at either end, along tines, along the handle, at any location of the forking system of which an eating utensil fork is only a generalized model.

A generalized static model of a bifurcating system, image by Linda Wright/Science Photo Library. Includes interactions with sub-effervescing(a bifurcating form) system and interactions with light.

No information is given at SPL about the material of the fork, the weight, the length, the design of the handle or even whether or not the handle extends.

Here is a generalized diagram of how a fork eating utensil is made:

(from How Products Are Made: Volume 1: Cutlery

**Tine shift: Science Photo Library is a great location for science-related images which may be freely downloaded in their low-res versions as long as the credit is given fully. The fork image used here is an example of SPL's low-res quality.**

My favorite limited forking system, my favorite situation of fork, my favorite fork property is the mouth of the Ganges

as shown in this NASA satellite photo of southwest Bangladesh shows where the mouth of the Ganges River meets the Bay of Bengal (as featured on the Georgia tech research News site):

A model of the Ganges bifurcating system is available for purchase from Hidden Art Shop.
The Ganges Delta Cube by DH Products

Photo by Full Focus.

The Ganges Delta Cube is based on an aerial photograph. The delta could be seen as a huge evolving drawing made by nature. It is long lasting, in contrast to the transient qualities of lightning.
(from the Hidden Art site)

(recall the Lichtenberg Figure as seen below, image from Bert Hickman's Tesla Mania site, gallery 2)

FORK: for attempts at access

(including the accessing of illumination)

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