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September 02, 2008

420.000 Humanities & Technology Limited Fork Theory Interface

Welcome to the 420.002 Humanities and Technology Limited Fork Theory Interface! (in the Limited Fork Theory: Development Practicum Atlas)

This is not a new development practicum, but an extension that embraces the 420.002 interface system. Feel free to explore the entire development practicum (and a related Limited Fork Theory Atlas, an(other) applied LFT blog.

Your initial compound assignment includes the establishing of an online location for your project log, a location that does to have to also serve as the project location, though it certainly can fulfill that function.

There are a number of free blog(for instance:Blogger, mblog), wiki (such as pb wiki and wet paint wikis) and website hosting locations (such as weebly and um.sitemaker), many of them jampacked with automated tasks that you can take advantage of without shame and/or frustration; not only do automated tasks save time, but there is always the risk that a particular code becomes obsolete. That said, I'm using some basic html to maintain this mblog --I like code, and enjoy configuring the blog as I want it (within the limits of what is possible in the framing system of the blog host).

Please leave a comment to this post with your blog url; if you don't know how to generate a clickable link in a more manual blog, we'll go over that in class tonight.

Initial questions that you can (begin to )answer in a variety of forms are: what is included/excluded in a humanities framing system, and what is/isn't technology.

What is the role of access in determining these boundaries?


What follows is a plunge into limited fork theory concerns regarding elements of access, humanity, and the humanities.

It is a huge immersion, but as it is immersion with a limited fork, some of what is encountered will slide through the tines, so at best we access prtialities of partialities;

enter the extended entry as often as you like;
take ideas visited in the extension and extend them in your own thinking, perhaps toward the configuration of (aspects of) your project.

Please also begin reading Lawrence Lessig:
The Future of Ideas

Are you familiar with olpc?
the kindness of giving the gift of technology (+ related impact): the one laptop per child get one/give one program (until 31 December 2007)

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

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.

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.


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)

Posted by thyliasm at September 2, 2008 05:32 PM



The Noise of the Street Enters the House is the name of my web home. Which is apt, road construction has me awake this morning...

Posted by: lmuackas at September 3, 2008 08:28 AM

G'day. The Noise of the Street Enters the House is the title of my blog, named after an Italian futurist painting of noise.

Posted by: lmuackas at September 3, 2008 10:42 AM

This is the link formy project space. I'm going to be posting an entry hopefully sometime tonight about my impressions from last night's wonderful class and my initial hopes/goals/thoughts on my project for the term.

Posted by: sbregman at September 3, 2008 05:58 PM

Posted by: elainefs at September 5, 2008 05:43 PM

Posted by: elainefs at September 5, 2008 06:59 PM

Posted by: colleeny at September 7, 2008 12:55 PM

The link to my site is:


- Livia

Posted by: livcohen at September 8, 2008 06:40 PM

Posted by: marcgale at September 9, 2008 03:17 PM

blog for andrea


Posted by: andlrobb at September 9, 2008 03:50 PM

blog for andrea


Posted by: andlrobb at September 9, 2008 03:54 PM


Not very pretty, alas.

Posted by: mikage at September 9, 2008 04:18 PM

oh my BLOG!

Posted by: farrilin at September 9, 2008 10:00 PM

Posted by: brenemer at September 9, 2008 11:45 PM

Posted by: zhelen at September 10, 2008 02:27 AM

Posted by: jklimo at September 14, 2008 03:27 PM

http://www.weebly.com/weebly/main.php# BLOG

http://infiniteviews.wetpaint.com/ PROJECT SITE

Posted by: livcohen at December 9, 2008 01:54 PM

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