eugenio tisselli

Reading Code – Week 1

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The main prompt asks a bunch of questions that examines the different way we can look at code. We can question the functionality, the aesthetics, the representation, within the context of other work by the artist, relationship with the user, role of the user in generating the art (interactivity), the longevity of the code (preservation and documentation), the content of the piece (deforestation).

These questions vaguely remind me of Aristotle’s four causes. In reality it is no different than looking at a piece of literature or a piece of art. The difference is what are those questions that are particular to software. Looking at a piece of work within the corpus of all works by the artist is something we can do with every artist. Looking functionality is perhaps particular to software studies (or most salient)

I am going to do an ontology now.

*Commentary – this is the same as with other art forms. What does this work say about the subject matter that inspires it.

*Context within artist corpus/historical corpus  – basically the same across all creative works

*Reproduction/Archive/Preservation – pertinent across most creative works, most similar to performance base works like dance and music, but slightly different because a machine is performing the work rather than a perhaps professional musician/dancer/etc.

*Interactivity – Role of the audience – pertinent across most creative works, most similar to performance, again slightly different because the user is sometimes/often running the work as opposed to a (perhaps) professional performing the work.

*Aesthetics – most pertinent across other creative fields. There is not really an aesthetics of code practice, but this could develop.  There is also the aesthetics of the generated work.

*Form of representation – this is only relevant to software and data, since software can be represented in different ways.  It is like the relationship between a genotype and a phenotype. It is relevant to art forms that use signs and symbols.

*Function – this is also perhaps only relevant to software.  We can judge software by how well it accomplishes its task.

 

The most interesting question  to me is about the form of representation or what I call transduction. To quote Mark C. Marino and Jeremy Douglass,  “We could question its form of representation and related idioms (ASCII art, helicopter and satellite photography, et cetera).”  To me this is interesting because it is what makes code different from other forms of expression. By necessity there has to be a layer of mediation or interpretation for code and this layer is a machine not an artist. It is similar to the relationship maybe between a screenplay and a movie, or a score and a musical performance, but the intermediary is a machine itself. And beyond that there is a  multiplicity of options in the form of representation. A score must be a piece of music. But code does not have to be one thing. It is one-to-many mapping.

One of the interesting things that happened in the discussion of this piece of work is that people started to comment on it by remixing it.  Code is one of the few artforms that is so easy to remix, that is probably the mode of work native to code.

https://dev.to/samsha1/getting-started-in-cicd-for-begineers-1lp8

Musing on creative CI/CD

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This week I am doing a dojo (ie workshop) on git and CI/CD. CI/CD is a term in programming and devops that means continuous delivery continuous integration.

There are different tools to implement CI/CD such as jenkins. In this dojo, however, we are using GitLab. GitLab is a platform that implements a git repository as well as a CI/CD system. A git repository, is a place that keeps track of file changes in accordance with the git protocol. The git protocol is amazing and I’ll discuss it someplace else. Here I am going to discuss CI/CD.

So in GitLab, there is a file in the root of your repo – a .gitlab-ci.yml file. This file specifies CI/CD pipeline, that is all the different jobs that run on your project after you commit the code to the repo. These can be unit tests, linters, packagers, deployments to servers, etc.

Thinking in terms of CI/CD is new. Now it is no longer a matter of building your code, but treating your code as an atomic unit and then processing actions on top of your code. We can have instrumentation or code sanitation jobs that run on our CI/CD pipeline.

I often think of the world as a computer program. What if we think of the world as a CI/CD pipeline? A CI/CD pipeline is a computer program, but it is a particular type of computer program. It is a meta-program in a sense, or maybe meta-computation.

What are some creative things we can put in a CI/CD pipeline. What are different types of CI/CD pipelines. I am working on a poetry project right now – the tower – and I have been working on different types of tooling to help write the program. The poetry is not the tooling but it is an integral part in my process. What these toolings run as jobs on the poetry pipeline? What if I have different types of pipelines, a visualization pipeline a musical pipeline.

One of the things I think about is transduction – the change in energy from one form to another. I think about this in terms of data, for example, that we can experience in different ways as different visualizations for example. Pipelines are transduction pipelines. Here we can define the different metaphoric transformations on the energy of a computer program. We can also think of pipelines as worlds perhaps that unfold in different ways.

lucien

From Lucien Letinois

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Todays poetic exegesis is from a poem by Paul Verlaine. It is homoerotic but not classical in content. There was a Lucian, though, who was a greco roman satirist.

The other day I was having a conversation about the Paris Commune. I don’t know much about the Paris Commune other than the fact that one of my favorite poets, Rimbaud, was there. I love poetry of Rimbaud, but really I like the life of Rimbaud.  He gave up poetry and moved to Africa to become a trader. That is sort of poetic.

Anyway, Rimbaud was Verlaine’s lover. They had a very tumultuous affair in which Verlaine shot Rimbaud. Read the poetry of Rimbaud, but also, read a (few) biography(ies) on Rimbaud. Anyway, this post is about the poetry of Verlaine (which I is not as great as Rimbaud’s IMHO), but here we are and let us begin!

Lucien Letinois VVIX (24)

fyi Lucien was one of Verlaine’s lovers…

Stanza one – Lucien’s Voice.

Who does not love a velvet analogy?I love one. The voice is grave, low, and soft. I would not use the word grave it reminds me of gravel which is not soft. But perhaps the word in french is different. I don’t know what word Verlaine uses here, so I cannot say.

‘Trembling over moss’ I am personally smitten by moss. It is through the work of Robin Wall Kimmerer, who wrote Gathering Moss, and Braiding Sweetgrass, that I first fell in love with moss.  I love moss, they are like tiny forests. Is moss a fungus or a plant? It is a plant, a non-vascular plant. I just finished reading a book about how reason is related to our skeleton, perhaps I should write about about how reason is based on plant morphology.  But, I find moss fascinating, there are so many different kinds! I go on hikes with my children and continuously force them to look at different kinds of moss.  Droplets of water do tremble there.

A voice like velvety dewy moss – delicious!

Stanza two – Lucien’s Laughter.

Sparkles –  I think this is Cara Delevingne’s pet name for Ashley Benson. I do think bird songs as metaphor for laughter creates a new language.  This stanza does not do it for me.

Stanza three – Verlaine’s memories of these qualities – voice and laughter. I guess because the love affair is over and all we have now are memories.  What I (Verlaine) remember of you (Lucien) is your voice and laughter, not say, your chiseled jaw. “Like the ringing glory of holy martyrs”  – sort of over the top. There are many ways we can talk about memory, I would like to workshop this paragraph.

Stanza four – How Verlaine feels. I can tell you this one – SAD.  And in fact that is the first line of stanza four, “The sadness you leave” . It is more like Lucien leaves sadness not that the poet feel sadness. This is where the poem really starts to get going.

Scatters – scatters like what – perhaps like Lucien’s ashes.  Scatters with these murmurs (murmurs are sort of like gurgles like water, like Lucien’s voice). The murmurs are “courage!” again I don’t really feel an exclamation point jives with murmur – but lets go with it.  The murmurs urge courage to a heart in tumult filled with fluttering fluttering and such sad anxiety. I think the translator has done a good job here with alliteration (‘s’, ‘f’), also I like the phrase ‘sad anxiety’ I like the rhythm and s and x, and the anxiety is that is sad, not jittery or some other anxiety.  Nice work!

Stanza five – Anger! the poet/Verlaine is angry that lucien is gone (dead probably). Storm, still your rage. The poet is not himself. The poet is a storm. It is jungian – I am possessed by my complex. Still your rage so I “can speak with my friend who seems asleep but only rests in ancient wisdom…” This is very cryptic and mystical. I really love it.  I must calm my self, I must heal myself so I can commune with my dead lover ..

What I love most about this poem is the structure. I love the organization and flow: things i miss/love about my lover my lover’s voice, laughter, feelings, hearing the lover, how to speak with my lover.  Some of the descriptions/stanza  I love- they create a new feeling for me, the particulars of the lover’s laughter, the attempt to talk to my dead lover. Some don’t resonate however, like stanza 2.

The whole poem is interesting as a snapshot of the state of the mind of the poet – Verlaine. What we have are particular details about Lucien, Verlaine’s particular way of missing him, of how the poet/Verlaine is trying to move on, how the poet is trying to communicate with Lucien -perhaps through this very poem …

 

 

 

The Roman Baths at Nimes

poetry

Herein I continue down the rabbit hole of homoerotic greco-roman inspired poetry.  I feel like this blog post has been inspired by the spirit of VH1’s pop-up video.

So lets talk about Nimes – It is a city in the south of France and there is indeed a ruin of a roman bath there.  But I think perhaps we are talking here about bath houses frequented by gay men in the 70s.

Lets talk more about the south of France, Occitanie.  This is an interesting place. It is the land of the troubadours. It is also the land of the Cathars, a heretical christian sect massacred by the king of France.

So some background on what it means to go to a bath house in Nimes.

“In the hall of mirrors no body speaks” – why not? Do they just look? I guess in a Anechoic hall people may speak – for the novelty of not hearing an echo. But you know where else there is a hall of mirrors… Versailles – Also France. lets proceed.

“An ember smolders before hallowed cheeks”  speaks/cheeks. I get it. I dont really get this line.  Smolders is an exciting and evocative word. Cheeks is like butt cheeks – maybe too much too soon (dont give it all ways).

The next line – emptying pockets – to me this is auditory. i hear it. In the hall of mirrors where no one speaks. There is only the clanging of disrobing.

“My god forgive me” – I don’t love this line -the Romans would not have a problem with disrobing. Perhaps there is another way to express guilt.

“Some say love” This is a the beginning of a Bette Middler song – The Rose. It is also a film staring the divine Ms M, which I think is a fictional rendering of the life of Janice Joplin. Bette Middler played a lot in Bath Houses (also apparently my parents saw her at the Copa in the 70s).

“love, repels what it sees” – interesting. Not my love language, but create a new lexicon for me and introduce me to new ways of loving.  Love as magnetic is a language, but love as the magnetic repulsion this could be a new language. It is not explored in the rest of the poem.

“In the steamroom, inconsolable tears” This is beautiful and heart breaking.

I don’t understand the little green crests in the whirlpool. Really it is green that I’m hung up on. Because little green men are aliens or maybe leprechauns. Otherwise I could guess what this whole section is about … riding against death… – wink wink – hot.  This rises above cliche. So another interesting thing poetry does is take existing languages, idioms, and vocabularies, and refines them.

“bright beach towel” I like this alliteration.  It is also very visual. There is only darkness until this line.

“and tongue, good things, make something sweet

of fear.”

A beautiful last line. We dont discuss bodies at all in this poem until the end

although we know that is it is about bodies. Make something sweet of fear– sigh…

 

 

 

Death of Antinous

poetry

This is the Death of Antinous by Mark Doty.  Why did I read it? Why did I want to focus on it? To Meditate on it?  Write about it? What draws me to this poem?

Is it the classical nature, the subject matter?

Images of perfect proportioned marble muscles (or has he writes nipples)

“Accidentally, swimming at dawn” I love this line. It is not exciting, or purple. But swimming at dawn. This is a beautiful image. I love it, I want to swim at dawn. We dont know what it is, the sea or a lake. But I imagine the sea. A haze. A lightbox. As it turns out, its the Nile he drowns in. The image changes and I imagine the dwat. The funary boat of egypt. What god was the oars man, the cybernetic? How do you accidentally swim at dawn, or at any time really?

Something about the rhythm of that line, and about the sounds, the musicality. Maybe the N’s – entally, ing, awn.

“Squalid little crossroads.” This is not really what I think of when I think of crossroads. I think of … old scratch … but are cross roads squalid.  Evocative.

“What do we want in a any body

but the world? And if the lover’s”

Ahh – we get it now, its a love poem. Antinous was Hadrian’s lover, I guess. Hadrian has a special place in my heart.  The map of the Roman Empire in the front flap of my middle school latin textbook depicted Hadrian’s wall – a very notable landmark in a part of the world that does not speak a romance language. Long before I knew who Hadrian was – I knew about this wall, and that sheep grazed on it now and it was not much of a wall any longer. Boundaries.

Some lines I dont like

“the he would find it everywhere”

Do we need lines like this in our poems? Copulas?

Shakespeare does not.

“Embodied him.” This I also dont like. Too abstract. Too passive.

“Turn of his shoulders”… I prefer marble nipples.

“merely takes in anything

without judgement or expectation”

is this love too – is the nile love? the poet’s reflection on his own love?

“chiseled liquid waist”

(paradoxes)

I hold because I cannot hold

(paradoxes and all the meanings of hold)

and a great last line – limerence

“that desire can make anything into a God.”