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, 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 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 )

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

Knowledge of this device did not come in time to help someone from 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

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

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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November 28, 2007

Kindle & Kindness: the rise of the e-book, outsourcing impact, & a laptop for every child

Kindle (active-link version of comment from Leslie's Blog & more)

At this moment, Amazon is heavily promoting Kindle, a new wireless interface reading device whose advanced technology is supposed to simulate the visual qualities/properties of paper (not the texture, of course --Limited Fork, by the way, studies interactions in visual (any/all forms) systems and tactile systems --among others);

Kindle certainly has texture, but not the texture of paper. And it is a device to hold; there is an expected protocol of intimacy in the use of the device. A book itself is a device.

Anyway, an entire book (100+ pages) can download wirelessly, no computer connection required, in about a minute (or so).

There's also the Sony Reader, side by side with Kindle:

(from Gizmodo online gadget guide --read the specs on both).

The laptop keyboard on which I'm typing this, by the way, has interacted with my fingers; there's been structural adaptation on the part of the keyboard, adaptation that reveals patterns of use and variance in pressure as keys are depressed, so there are actual depressions in the metal keys, some deeper than others, some more like greatly-reduced scale glacial gouges. Varying degrees of discoloration, some letters completely worn off the keys. So as I use my laptop more, the laptop increasingly responds to the use, becoming more my laptop. It has been marked; I also mark my books, but in different iterations of mark.

At the moment, it is easier (for me) to overcome protocols that restrict sharing through digital means.

I have about 4,000 books in my home, and I continue to acquire them, continue to enjoy them (but they are turning my home into a warehouse --not a library because I have no space for the display they deserve, so there's quite a bit of stacking and rotation of books from shelves to stacks on the floor.

An electronic system that would allow linking of texts and passages in my library is quite appealing --and Kindle supports note-taking, cross-referencing, linking, and so forth --that sounds good, but I'm not planning on acquiring Kindle this year. Now if someone gives me one, I'll try it out, eager to see whether or not and/or how quickly it's able to show evidence of tactile interactions with my hands.

You should know that Kindle has prior association for me; I've been shaped by what has become a memorable encounter some years ago with the technologically-advenced remake of A Little Princess in which Sara Crewe sings Kindle My Heart as she does in this video tribute to the movie:


The following documentary explores the impact of high-tech outsourcing to India on traditional Indian society and communities:

Kindly watch the following update to Shift Happens, a video made available to you in a previous Illuminating post:

& now the kindness of giving the gift of technology (+ related impact): the one laptop per child get one/give one program (until 31 December 2007)

The following Wall Street Journal video about Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC project and the impact of friendly (both sides for the global good) rivalry between OLPC's AMD-chip based os and Intel's own low-cost Classmate laptop:

Read the WSJ article here

Explore XO (as the laptop is called) features here

Here Laptop Magazine offers a comprehensive review of the XO
as seen in this detailed diagram:

The interface for XO is Sugar instead of Jaquar or Windows Vista, for instance, and is discussed in full in the following You Tube video:

Of course, the XO has unergone evolution since its inception when it was not called XO, and by now (November 2007), the XO itself has been superceded by the XO-1 which is the focus of this Wikipedia entry

(which you can compare with the OLPC wiki).

One context in which to consider XO and

(by no means the only context) is juxtaposed with What the World Eats and with Material World (the related books were brought to class on several occasions).

Finally, a global lens to further illuminate and possibly shape how you configure/reconfigure your blog/video components of impact of technology enclosure:

Image from the Global Denim Project, an initative-lens (and form of enclosure) attempting to understand global impact through investigating denim as a phenomenon that crosses cultures, and most global boundaries, in some way. Spend time, please at the Global Denim Project site.

The Abstract for A Manifesto for the Study of Denim by Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward:

This paper considers the challenge to anthropology represented by a topic such as global denim. Using the phrase ‘blindingly obvious’ it considers the problems posed by objects that have become ubiquitous. While there are historical narratives about the origins, history and spread of denim, these leave open the issue of how we make compatible the ethnographic study of specific regional appropriations of denim and its global presence in a manner that is distinctly anthropological. Ethnographies of blue jeans in Brazil and England are provided as examples. These suggest the need to understand the relationship between three observations: its global presence, the phenomenon of distressing and its relationship to anxiety in the selection of clothes. As a manifesto, this paper argues for a global academic response that engages with denim from the global commodity chain through to the specificity of local accounts of denim wearing. Ultimately this can provide the basis for an anthropological engagement with global modernity.

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Hey: check this out: The Future of Books SUPPLEMENT (aka The Future of Libraries plus revival of links dead elsewhere)

Tine extension (from a comment in Leslie's Blog where the links in the comment are not active):

What about the future of libraries?

Physical space of libraries may not permit the warehousing of all titles, so criteria of selection related to significance, local user need, shared inventory avoiding duplication of certain titles in a region, those books available to customers via loans.

So books are routinely withdrawn from circulation, others added.

And not all books are likely committed to some form of digital preservation.

Physical copies of newspapers may not be stored intact, some? many? not stored at all.

This article, E-books and Their Future in Academic Libraries is from a Journal with content directed toward porfessional librarians.

A few years ago, Nicolson Baker published Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, a book that ignited quite a furor among Librarians, Patrons of libraries, and other lovers of books, including those whose livelihood is book-related.

The following excerpt is from part of the enraged part of the Library community against Baker's Book:

Pulling no punches, novelist Baker (Vox) is a romantic, passionate troublemaker who questions the smug assumptions of library professionals and weeps at the potential loss of an extensive, pristine run of Joseph Pulitzer's New York World. For him, the wholesale destruction of books and newspapers to the twin gods of microfilming and digitization is an issue of administrators seeking storage space not of preserving a heritage. He contends that the alarmist slogans "brittle books" and "slow fires" are intended to obscure the reality and the destruction. Throughout his book, Baker hammers away at the Orwellian notion that we must destroy books and newspapers in order, supposedly, to save them. Particularly singled out for opprobrium are University Microfilms Inc. and the Library of Congress. This extremely well-written book is not a paranoid rant. Just this past October, Werner Gundersheimer, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, said at LC's "Preserve and Protect" symposium that, amid all the smoke and fury, Baker was essentially pleading for "a last copy effort of some kind." Double Fold is the narrative of a heroic struggle: Picture Baker as "Offisa Pup" defending "Krazy Kat," of the printed word, against the villainous "Ignatz Mouse" of the library establishment all in glorious, vivid color on brittle (but unbowed) newsprint. Highly recommended for all libraries.
-- Barry Chad, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh; Library Journal, 12/00

The following links go to articles and commentaries that respond to the implications of Baker's expose (that italicized e is a proxy for an accented e) and/or to the death by digital technology of the book:
"Preserving" vs. "Conserving": Librarians and their hatred of paper
Libraries, Books, and Academic Freedom: Can academic freedom survive the death of the book?
A review of Double Fold from Science Matters Bookclub
Do Online Resources Destroy Student Research Papers? by John Jaeger, Reference Librarian
Paper Chase:Nicholson Baker makes a case for saving old books and newspapers
Preservation Advice for Libraries, Historical Societies and Home Collections from The Connecticut State Library
Q and A in Response to Nicholson Baker's Double Fold from ARL: Association of Research Libraries

These links go a little further out on the tine, but what impact:
Book Autopsies by Brian Dettmer for aesthetic purposes
Hollowed out editions of your favorite books

(image of Brian Dettmer's Book Autopsy from Future

Here's something else (also from my comments in Leslie's Blog with the links made active):

Whether or not a manuscript becomes a book free-of-charge to the writer is usually up to book publishers who often have an economic decision to make, and an aconomic reason for making those decisions --I'm not approving/disapproving that right now

because I want to emphasize that some manuscripts are not going to become print books unless the writers absorb some or all of the cost. A variety of online companies including/notably and Cafe Press are offering self-publication services, including, especially with Lulu, available (for a fee) distribution services, both domestic and international. --This is quite a shift from the vanity presses of the past. Blurb is offering a service to turn blogs into print books.

So digital means of text production & text delivery (the only way to submit work --for audio and video discs also, and an assortment of 3D objects including T-shirts -- to Lulu, Cafe, Blurb is via digital interface, I believe) are extending/enhancing the life of print objects. The sense of touch itself is powerful, and touch still dominates in how digital devices/materials are used. We get a feel for what we use.

Anyway, both Lulu and Cafe Press offer their authors storefronts and print-on-demand services, so customers can purchase print object or digital versions. Online bookstores (and other cyber retailers) also sell some of the Lulu and Cafe Press merchandise. Blurb, too, has an online store, but last time I checked, no separate storefront for each Blurb author.

Amazon is inviting authors to submit direct-to-Kindle work.

I began this comment with economic choices and conventional publishing (publisher-controlled author work, permission to use portions can be granted/denied by the publisher, usually not by the author) and return now to that tine, the other bifurcations adding texture/context to what follows:

I have amassed a number of manuscripts that my publisher has deemed unmarketable. Now if I insist upon conventional publication, I can revise the work, so that it adheres better to protocols consistent with economic hopes of the publisher for the book (the costs for book production must be recovered, and surely, some reasonable --at a minimum-- profit margin, or I can submit it to other publishers until, if ever, there's acceptance of the ms. on terms mutually agreeable to publisher, author, and, often, also to an agent who will try to negotiate the best contract for a work the agent considers marketable (we all have to eat).

That said, I've set up e-fib e-(forked indie books) where I'm thinking about offering some of my conventionally unmarketable print poams in both electronic and print object forms (so it's set up just in case for if and when I commit to this idea). I'm also using the blog A Limited Forker Girl's Tines as a place to deliver active content, content in which the behavior and activity of a neural network specifically, and other dynamic systems more generally, is important to the emerging themes.

Work there, such as Neurological Winter, subverts conventional publication protocols and allows display more compatible with the implied structure of the poam; even reveals meanings of structure as well as meanings of content --even renders/can render implied structure active through links and motion graphics.

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Hey: check this out: The Future of Books

Hey; check out this 280 post by Leslie: The Future of Books

as you think about the packaging, the system(s) of enclosure you're going to use to (temporarily) conclude (for the purposes of a class) your 280 blogs with a showstopping bang concerning well, of course, given an anticipated showstopping bang, impact, technology, and what's yours in that, what has joint ownership (covert and overt) in that, and so forth.

I'm so looking forward to the videos!
(need help with that?)


I'll be posting the fatter packaged entry on packaging soon.
Remember to re-visit, offer further comments on posts in this blog and posts in your blog and the other 280 blogs --and yes; you can leave comments on your own posts (oh the lovely layering, the meeting of so many interior/exterior surfaces).

(Mike C has links (in a link list) to most of the 280 blogs in his 280 blog, so that link list (that's in a convenient/prominent dedicated--static, that is-- blog location) can easily function as a 280 blog-access hub. Leave a comment with your blog's URL if you're not on the list, and Mike C --you will, won't you?-- will add your blog to the link list --Oh, Mike C.; please add this blog and the related Limited Fork Academic Split Tine to the list --that is, if you don't mind --I promise not to hold it against you if you do mind. Thanks)

--how's that for pressure, mild abuse of power?)

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November 20, 2007

More ILLUMINATION (resisting, for as long as possible, a Lights Out philosophy & policy)

To know that we are in fact seeing, to be able to recognize (our own, self-constructed) barriers —there's need to determine what those barriers could be, what they are, and whether or not these barriers may be manipulated.

Once somehow determined that we are in fact seeing, perhaps we will be more able to take advantage of what is illuminating, what can be illuminated, what we have the power to shine light on.

Hence your opportunity to play The Situation of Fork mind-tech game.

Please record the situations and how well the situation illuminates the fork, is illuminated by the fork.
What happens as the situation changes? what happens as the fork changes?
What are the limits of seeing --as suggested by the situations you construct?
What are the limits of fork --as suggested by the situations you construct?
What are the qualities of your seeing? How can you use really seeing the fork to help with other seeing?
How does transparency affect the situations of fork? How does transparency affect really seeing and the sameness of your forks?
How do you determine the situations in which you attemot to see the fork?
How do you determine that seeing has occurred? That really seeing has occurred?
Have you seen the fork in the situations that best exemplify the possibilities of fork?

By the way, are there differences in illuminating the fork and in being illuminated by the fork?
Please elaborate.

In debate, the spotlight can bounce back and forth; a light show, a substitute for either aurora in the light play, borealis, australis.

And that light bounce brings to mind (awareness: inner illumination, firing of a neural network) searchlights, the 20th Century Fox twin columns of moving light, the light columns standing in for the WTC, police searching for perpetrators with light).

--Have you visited one of the course resources Specifically, have you seen her photo essay Watching the Changes? --a slideshow of photographs, taken from her East Village bedroom window, of the NYC skyline over a period of years, including images, as was her routine, of the skyline (with WTC+ and WTC-) on the morning of 11 September 2001. A Watching the Changes poster is available. Cynthia malaran's project began as a tribute to the view she grew up with from her bedroom window. --Did you know that the exterior of the WTC twin towers was a system of forks? See that here, a large-scale (on some scales) situation of fork.

Cynthia Malaran's Watching the Changes poster:

(poster by Cynthia Malaran, and available at the link. All Rights Reserved)

WTC forked:

(image from: 9-11 Research)


(okay, so there might be some coercion from the approaching holiday; if you like, check out, out some light on The Culture of Glass, a poem about Columbo at

for the technology, for the machinery of the mind that can be used to reshape, reconfigure, reassess.

(rendering of Columbo with fork (!) --Trident Columbo--from: OpenLSD

_____ _____

Let us consider, for a few moments, the technology of The Limited Fork, the primary technology I use to reshape, to reconfigure, to reassess; my light source so as to see better what is occurs in the reshaping, the reconfiguring, the reassessing.

**Please note: to reshape implies shaping has previously occurred; to reconfigure implies that configuring has occurred before; to reassess implies that assesment has occurred before**

And to do it again requires giving some thought to the prior shape, the prior configuration, the prior assessment.


Take your fork, examine it; come up with (at least) 10 properties of fork, and 10 ways that each property could have some impact on reshaping, reconfiguring, reassessing.

Work solo or in groups.

Enlist input (including me) from others or do not.

Reconvene at 8 p.m.

Read & listen to Fork by Charles Simic.

Using the technology, the machinery of the mind to reshape, reconfigure, reassess is to use that technology to make, remake; to keep structures active, maybe even an attempt to make structures (more) accountable (according to some criteria --that must be made); Make magazine might help keep the illumination going in the mind (at the very least, a forked experience).

I'm going to shine a spotlight on an article from Make's Heirloom Technology section:
The Widowmaker: Cutting Down a TREE.

Please also check out Moco Loco for forked disign.

--okay; of course you can eat some turkey with your fork--

(that is: remember to have fun with your fork; Alan Sokal did; read/re-read all about the Social Text Affair).

Rethink, reconfigure, reform: watch this video:

glumbert - Shift Happens

and visit

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