From the noun project via wikidata: https://thenounproject.com/search/?q=castle&i=232996

Object Ethics and ML Continued

poetry, the-tower

Last year at Recurse I trained a model on mala beads and rosary beads. I am sure the post is somewhere here. So there are a lot of problems with this, and with ML in general. In that these are ritual objects imbued with sacred meaning and I am stripping that away (their use value from their information value – this is a new concept introduced here folks – I just thought of it) and using the information. I am using it as pixels and a tag.

There are a ton of ethical questions. What is the proper way to interact with these objects. Do objects have ethics? What does this mean? Objects can have ethics related to their interaction with humans who definitely do have ethics. What makes a human subject to an ethical system – humans act -they are performative.  Ethics is the study of oughts and acts. How we ought to act. That perhaps means that anything that can act is subject to an ethical system. So, obviously, technology, which is performative – like code. But also legal systems – like I now pronounce you man and wife – that is performative -I am referring to the line of though that comes from Searle and Speech Acts.  Ritual objects do things for certain people.  If I interact with a ritual object, what are my ethics?

How do you create an ethical machine learning system that works with ritual objects?

Moving on, I am working on my poetry project – the Tower, and yesterday I thought I should compile a list of towers and meditate on them: the tower of babel, Bollingen Tower, the leaning tower of piza, the twin towers, the freedom tower, you get the idea, the inverted tower in Annihilation. What is an underground tower? A tunnel?

I then thought, perhaps in anticipation of the ML event I was later to attend, that I should create some sort of machine learning algorithm to determine towers or to determine feature sets of towers (e.g., what are the salient features of towers). Maybe I could new towers, or perhaps co-create new towers along with my poem.  I just need some free GPUs to train my model.  Imagine creating new poems or chapbooks based on different conceptions of towers, or users could upload their own tower and perhaps alternate the feature set. This is an example from wiki data when I put in tower.

There was a fantastic tool created by the Met that situated an artwork within its various relations and included a network graph simulation that allowed you navigate the various connections.  I want to use this to understand how all the towers I am looking at contribute to my poetic experience of what the tower means.

Side note:

As I mentioned in other blog posts, fantasy (the unconscious) does things, language does things, computers do things. These all act, or in some cause action. This is a distinction. There is a difference between an impetus for action and an action itself (or is there? maybe not).

 

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.”

 

 

 

The Tower

poetry, the-tower

Months ago I consulted the Tarot to help me determine what my next writing project ought to be.  I pulled the Tower. This is a frightening card.  It is a card of rupture and disruption. The interpretation that resonated with me, was that I should write about something that will forever change my life -that will provide a rupture. So I started working on a chapbook on eros and as it manifested in a particular period of my life.

I have transcribed all my journals, poems, and notecards related to this project into a Scrivner document and I’m now editing.

I feel like a painter and having just laid down the underwash of ultramarine blue I am now ready to mix my paints.

I have a few aesthetic goals here. First my experience of poetry is as world building, it is the rupture that creates or elucidates a new experience that other people can share and inhabit.  What do I value in poetry, and in my particular project on eros?

I identified

rhythm to create the topology of the world

metaphor as a method of creating new contexts and perspectives

language as a way to introduce surprise and to create new languages

lineage (not the perfect term) as a way to situate this piece as a dialogue with other creative works

There are many other things I could include here such as ideas, inventiveness, multimedia, and so forth but these 4 items are what I am focusing on. Truly focus on 1 would be enough.

As I am working through my material I am coming up with different processes (the scaffolding, jigs or apparatus) to help refine the work in each of these areas. This is coming in the form of traditional writing exercises, but also in the guise of creating computer program, and musical pieces. What other scaffolding can I use? Perhaps games or dance!  Part of my experience in writing this chap book is the process through which I am refining the material into a finished piece and what that means.  This is alchemy, a personal process as well as an external process.

Aside from the scaffolding, I am also reading a ton of poetry with an eye for these 4 aspects: rhythm, metaphor, language, lineage.   The first poet I took a deep dive was Lisa Roberson and I will probably write more about her in a future post.