https://news.artnet.com/market/first-ever-artificial-intelligence-portrait-painting-sells-at-christies-1379902?utm_content=from_&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Saturday%20newsletter%20for%2010%2F27%2F18&utm_term=artnet%20News%20Daily%20Newsletter%20USE

AI Art

An AI created this painting of the fictional Bellamy family. It just sold for almost half a million dollars. The main interest here is signaling that this is worth collecting.  I am not sure why this is the first AI art to be sold? Maybe it is because an entire universe was created the fictional Bellamy family? I dont know. This does not seem to be any particular expertise associated with creating this image.

What I would do is take this image and then send it to china and have it done in an oil paint.  I mean really ink jet??

Here is another idea. I would create a series of pseudo masters (pseudo picasso, pseudo vangogh, pseudo da vinci, then you could reproduce notebooks, although the notebooks would have nothing to do with the works. It would be interesting if you could some how make the notebooks refer to the works – I am not sure how you would do this, other than create the notebook with ai create the painiting with ai, have a natural language system intepret the notebook and adjust the painting.

And here is yet another series of ideas: Fake popes, or fake religious figures (create a fake religion), fake mythological stories,  new avant-garde traditions, I could go on.

True this is a bit more interesting than the psycidelica of deep dream, but I bet someone bought this to see if anyone realized it was a fake….

hmm

 

 

The Ambrosial Hours

This week I re-started practicing Kundalini Yoga. I started practicing Kundalini Yoga almost 20 years ago – because Madonna did it and she was buff. This sounds moronic but it is true -and I am in touch with my inner moron.  In retrospect, I now understand that she probably had some help from weight training, cooks, etc to become buff, but none the less I started down the path of Kundalini Yoga. For about 5 years I only did Kundalini. Then I dabbled in Ashtanga, Hatha, random things like laughing lotus – where you laugh during your practice. I did Kung Fu and tai chi for a few years, and then returned to Bikram Yoga, which I still think is one of the most amazing work outs ever.  When I was pregnant I did a mix of Kundalini, Jivamukti, and Iyengar.

On my way home from work this week I passed a kundalini yoga studio. Unlimited 30 days for $38.  I just cannot pass up a good deal! So I have been doing Kundalini yoga every day for the past few days. This morning I went to a 2.5 hour yoga class at 4:30 in the morning. This is called virtue signaling. It was called Aquarius Sadhana.

So why at 4:30am? This is the Ambrosial hour, the 2 hours before sunrise, the best time to meditate.

Everyone was wearing white, except for me. I was in insane print all over me and I thought of Saruman from Lord of the Rings – when he becomes evil (spoiler alert). Why wear white when you can wear all the colors of the rainbow. Well I will perhaps move back to white and not wear all the colors – we must make a choice.

https://swarajyamag.com/magazine/yiwu

Ritual Objects

I was thinking the other day that in my yet to be completed magnum opus, post-human trilogy, that I have finally come up with a title for the third installment: The relic. I was also thinking of the votive, or something. The other two volumes are “the forgettory” and “the auger”. Together these are like place, person and thing,

I do not really have ritual objects. I try to have ritual objects but it is not authentic. I am trying to create an experience or have an experience that is not natural to me.  How can I create a ritual object. Everything is mass produced (probably in china). I have been to all the factories. I know. It is like in AI – the Spielberg/Kubrick Movie –  David is not unique.  How to get that uniqueness that aura for a ritual object.  It is hard for me to reconcile. This stone I am buying from the random esoteric shop on 14th street – how do I know it is what it says it is – and not some piece of plastic sold in YiWu.

If anyone has suggestions let me know…

Kundalini

I started, for the first time in many years, to do kundalini yoga. My experience of kundalini is a lot of chanting and holding positions, and focus on angles.  This contrasts with Iyengar (lots of props), Astanga, lots of changing poses, or bikram, it’s hot and I’m going to die.

Although the chanting at first is sort of jarring and the offends my rational mind I love it. I feel like the words I use during the day to communicate are so meaningless or commerce driven. There is something beautiful about hearing your voice and other voices in a chant (probably about loving kindness, forgiveness, or some other positive life affirming notion)

Is there power in this ? I don’t know but I do feel there is the personal power of transformation and beauty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command-line_interface

Unix Command Line Tools

My latest fictional project involves poetic interpretations of unix command line tools with matching tee shirts. Think Sed Awk Grep etc.

I love command line tools. It is like using magic. Each tool is perfectly suited for a particular task.  It is beautiful technology. It does remind me of a prayer or a magical incantation. Different prayers are said on the sabbath and on passover, for mercury and for mars.  How do we combine the atomic pieces and create something new and powerful? A Hypersigil?  I do realize this blog post is sort of going off the deep end, however I recommend everyone read In the Beginning Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson.

The command line and its unix tools are a beautiful and glorious thing

http://brucefenton.info/2017/02/08/ancient-handbags-in-stone-and-art-true-origin-and-meaning-revealed/

Pleiades Worm Hole

I went on a Pleiades art googling binge.  The Pleiades is a start cluster also known as the 7 sisters and is a much storied and mythologized astronomical feature.  I do not know why this would be the case. The traditional greek story is that Orion the hunter desired the sisters and Zeus helped them escape by changing them into doves and they became the constellation.

I find this such as strange story. Why is it so important to be preserved in the sky?

We do still hear about groups of women chased by men. The one that comes to mind immediately is the Boku Haram kidnapping.  Is this constellation a reminder? A warning?

There are also myths about the Pleiades and sailing. Theoretically, this has something to do with the time of year and ‘sailing season’. But I think it is interesting to think about this as a vehicle and a star cluster about a vehicle. The other vehicle we have is a chariot and then perhaps Sagittarius, which is more like a cyborg than a vehicle.

What is the difference between a boat and a chariot as a vehicle. Well one goes over land, one water, one is for one or two people, the other is for a group. Women can be on the sailboat, not sure about the chariot.  Sailboats are at the whim of nature, the winds, they are slower. Chariots are faster and under the control of the horse and charioteer.

What of the vehicles for enlightenment such as the greater and lesser vehicles of buddhism. And this I interpret as ‘tech’ this is the technology to get somewhere and what is your tech. Or what is your way, or method. I really translate all this as tech. So we can imagine the Pleiades as a sort of star tech – it is a vehicle for something.

 

https://thatdamnpixel.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/there-are-a-lot-of-doctor-who-easter-egg-across-different-video-games/

The Ontology of the Easter Egg

I was thinking about the easter egg in a video game. What is the easter egg? The easter egg is a hidden prize that you win by breaking the rules of the game in some way. You do not find the easter egg by following the rules, you find them by breaking the rules and this is the highest achievement in a game.

What does this say about rules, or about system based rules.

On second thought, is really about breaking rules, or breaking the system. It is about finding a contradiction in the system rather than breaking the rules. You use the rule to break the system. It is not the creation of a paradox, like travelling back in time and disrupting your parents meeting so you are never born. But it is about using the system against the system finding the limits of the system.

Kant was all about finding the limits of human thought. The division between what we can think about rationally and what is speculation or what is dogma.   And this leads to the transcendental deduction and categories of thought.

What about the limit of a system? What is the limit of a model, of a computer simulation, of a set? what is the internal logic of the system?  The easter egg is at or beyond that limit. So then is the easter egg in the system or outside the system?

Or are easter eggs just an aesthetic piece? An idiosyncratic piece  of the game designer’s desire fit into a system designed to hide the creator.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150213-art-historys-greatest-kisses

Culture Art Criticism and Politics – reading back issues of partisan review

In this week’s reading of back issues of partisan review, one of the pieces I read was 10 propositions on the War. How this applies to art, at first I had no idea, but I came to some conclusions.  However it was a thought provoking piece with notions I had not considered. I will not go over each thesis but will discuss my over all impressions.

A Democratic Society cannot beat a Fascist Society. This is interesting. Here “Society” is treated as a technology, perhaps as a techne.  Perhaps,  when everything is a techne then everything becomes art.  In the past how would we judge a ‘society’? This is a good question and I, for one, am not too sure.

The notion of war versus revolution.  The idea here is that world war 2 is not a war (or a continuation of ww 1), but a revolution. And you fight wars and revolutions differently. What is a war versus revolution? Revolution is a revolution in civilization and therefore CULTURE. So yes, art would be affected. If your culture changes, your values change, and yes art will change as well, since art is an expression of culture.

I don’t necessarily see art critics today engaging with the major issues of the day like climate change, or #metoo.  This is a failure of criticism. Most of these news events  -or perhaps pseudo-events, to use Boorstein’s phrase, make no sense when you apply logic (legal logic or rhetorical logic). They unfold like a performance, and traditional categories of judgement do not seem applicable, relevant or impactful. Instead of a meeting of global leaders to draft up accords, instead we should have an art symposium.

https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/03/22/blockchain-future-record-keeping

Logic and The Blockchain

I have been thinking about different proof protocols in the blockchain. So different systems have different methods of verification. With the blockchain, we want to verify that a digital currency is not spent twice, so we need to have some consensus algorithm to determine who has the correct digital currency transaction (or list of transactions).

There are a bunch off different types of consensus proofs. Proof of Work, that who ever does some work first has the proof, because who would do all that hard work if they were a bad actor (this is simplistic), Proof of Stake, people that have the most verify the transactions, because they have the most at stake in the system so they have the most at stake in having correct transactions (and no fraud), and then proof of authority, that is one person  or node decides what the right transaction is. This is also called a private blockchain.

There are some very interesting parallels to this sort of thinking and the sort of thinking involved in judging an argument, judging data, judging a scientific theory, judging a post of facebook.

It is different from the Aristotelean syllogism where the proof was itself in the argument.  In this case the proof stands outside the system. There is a judge and the judge abides by certain rules.

https://www.amazon.com/Placing-Space-Picturing-Time-Pictoriality/dp/1570273014

My Haul From NYABF

I have been making my way through the books I took home from nyabf. Print All Over Me (paom.com) does the tees and the totes for nyabf and we have a small table where we sell some books from our collaborators that have book practices.

One of my favorite publishers is Autonomedia, they make an amazing calendar as well, where every day features the birthday of an artist/writer.

So today, in the bath, it was Placing Space, Picturing Time. A book by poet Charles Stein (readings) about artist Terry Winters. Really I did not know anything about either of these figures, but I love Autonomedia and this book was a)  not expensive b) short! Also I have been trying to read more art criticism. So I was delighted to learn that there are many points of intersection between both these figures and my own: Jung. Computation, Space, Topology, Charles Olsen,  and poetry in general.

 

How does an image emerge? Stein talks about the pre-presentational realm and the emergent picture as following a path similar to that of a developing organism. This also somewhat makes me think of Bergson and the uni-directionality of creation or creative activity.

This activity is laid out in contrast to traditional ‘Demiurgic’ creation, which is creation according to a plan. If there is no path the creation will be random. Winters calls his method,  chreod (following a necessary path). Stein makes the analogy to the expression of DNA. There is a plan or a blue print, but we don’t know how this will be represented.

How different is this sort of emergent system from an agent based system (something like John Cage composing music from the I Ching. In one case you have the complex expression of an initial rule set, in another you have autonomous agents with their own rules and creating something through their interaction. Both things tho are creation via system design.  Only by implementing the system can you uncover the creation, to phenotype from the genotype.

In Stein’s discussion of Winter’s artwork, there is the notion that the creative processes itself, through intuition is itself creative, not merely rule following, but constrained by the rules.

If the frame is no longer the window, as Stein writes, what is it? We do not have to look at the painting as a window into another world, but we can experience the work by an extension as experience creating the work. I will add to this that the work is constantly in creation as it leaves the chemical or material intuition of the artist and engages in an experiential way with the viewer.

The study for a Winters’ painting is a diagram. What is a diagram versus a study? Or a diagram versus a picture? This is discussed with various solutions – my favorite is that hold the abstraction of the image while providing a place for the image.

In thinking about diagram vs picture, I think about my own interest in transduction, or translation. How does a data turn into visualization. What is this visualization? Is it necessary, the translation from data to visualization? Is this the right question. I a diagram is a point of view on an object.  Perhaps we could call it a phenomenological representation. What happens when we use it as a study for a painting? Does this even make sense? It reminds me of Simondon and concretizing – the becoming of a technical artifact.

Does not the diagram turn the object being diagramed into a tool, into a technological apparatus. In painting or rendering the diagram actualized we are concretizing in a way perhaps different than Simondon anticipated, but I am thinking that this avenue is worth exploring.