Thursday, December 30, 2010

Activate the Mass Transference Device

“9 x 7 is 63, and I don’t need a computer to tell me so. The computer is in my head.”

From a passage by Isaac Asimov, renowned science fiction writer, titled “The Feeling of Power”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Land of the Spotted Eagle

Land of the Spotted Eagle, Luther Standing Bear, 1933
Book Review

Very intense. Exhaustive. Encyclopedic in its delivery of Native American Indian culture. Upon reading, it transforms one’s perspective of such basic concepts as human knowledge and the human condition. Via the Indian perspective, as Luther Standing Bear calls it, one can grasp a much simpler comprehension of the social fabric as a form of infrastructure that services the human condition (spiritual and physical needs included). One can also see, using the Indian experience in America as a microcosm, how the unraveling and dissolution of this fabric affects the complete well-being of its members/users.

This is a study of art as human expression, necessary to the well-being of both the individual and the group. It is a reminder of the unifying features of all spiritual endeavors: We live as a means for life to enjoy itself – the Greater Life that is in all things – hence it is our purpose and our pleasure to ritualize our human experience through dance, music, art, thought and action. These ways are so embedded in every human that to ignore them is to cause harm. The fate of Standing Bear’s people shows this truth.

This story stirs deep anger and confusion in the 21st century reader. Anger at the force, greed and disregard used by the European Americans of the time. Anger, most of all, at the loss. One is forced, at the conclusion of this book, to penetrate deep into one’s heart to find the reason for their sacrifice. Finally, one realizes that this story, already one hundred years since its beginning, is still teaching, not in the oral tradition, but in a new way, for a new people, and in that, there is hope.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nothing Says Romanticism Like "Microhip Patterns"

Romanticism was an art movement in late 18th century Europe. It was expressed by artists, musicians, writers and so on. Visually, it is characterized by dynamic, flowing compositions and sumptuous, visceral colors (see image: Joseph Turner, Slave Ship, 1840).

Romanticism was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and the scientific rationalization of nature. It placed an emphasis on the power of nature and emotion, and on nationalism, local customs, and folklore.

The microchip has within it the power to harness more energy per gram per second than anything in the known universe (Kevin Kelly, Technology's Epic Story, TED 2010). All of the things the microchip stands for - the power of technology, interconnected globalization, and binary logic - are antithetical to Romanticism.

The sensuous experience that delivers Romantic inspiration and expression is antithetical to the experience that we access via the digital interface; it is, in a way, the anesthetic experience.

Finally, Romanticism spawned in collusion with the Counter Enlightenment, a period that we may now be entering relative to the Information Age.

All this being said, I submit the following:
I ran a search for “microchip patterns” looking for good reference for a drawing. I found a good one and ran an image match. You would expect something like this, pretty straightforward:

Or perhaps something a bit more interesting, in regards to the inner-workings of the image match process (notice the color/compositional relationship between the host and the match):

But instead, the first one clicked brought me this:

For a moment, I thought I was hearing voices and seeing things.

Then I realized there is a man behind the curtain here, and unfortunately it’s not as magical as it seems. This is actually not an image of a ‘microchip’ but a reference to Persian calligraphy. It lies in an article mentioning how ancient designs can look strikingly similar to microchip patterns. The similar images searched up are not, in fact, those of a Romantic-era artist, but of an artist on a page that had to be translated from Persian, so I’m guessing that’s the connection here. That’s what’s really happening.

I prefer the former, in agreement with the title of this post, “Nothing Says Romanticism Like Microchip Patterns”.