Geo Barcan: Methods

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YEAR 1cool


SESSION 2 Today we will talk about progress on the self-directed research.

How can the methods class be useful in

1) articulating the self-directed research (what does that mean? = (all the classes you do (group crits, tutorials,methods classes &c)serve to support the work you make)

Last session:

Examples of past methods wiki pages:


Please make something like this<<


Steve wrote

Typographical Hallucinations

"As you read this text you might hear a voice inside your head. The voice may approximate your own. It may be the voice you imagine the writer of this text to have.

We are so used to reading that we forget that reading and writing are actually technologies. We forget that the alphabet is a very effective piece of software that allows us to reproduce and store human language. In the scale of human history the alphabet is a comparatively recent technology. It is not so long ago that we started to make books (analogue hard drives) and libraries (analogue servers) to preserve human memory.

These voices in our heads, these typographical hallucinations , have long since been naturalized. We think it is perfectly natural for someone who has been dead for a thousand years to whisper beautiful poetry into our ear. We gather the voices into ourselves. The voices become a part of us. In this sense the technology of the alphabet becomes an author of our subjectivity, it makes us the kind of person we are: most literally, literate.

This book starts with this simple premise.

In this book we will play with the properties of the software of reading and writing.

It always begins as a copy.

It copies itself.

It copies the human voice.

It copies the voice we carry inside us.

Because it is so successful, we forget that it begins with a copy and we hear its voice as one of our own.

It copies and it describes. It describes things in their exquisite intricacy. It holds complex and detailed memories tight within itself;

It copies, it describes and it conveys.

It carries things across from the writer to the reader. This ability to carry memories and experiences in a human voice makes us forget. Actually, it needs us to forget.

We must acknowledge the reality it conveys, the reality of the experience it describes, the sense it forms.

If it’s doing its job, all this will be obvious to you.

The ideal interface is invisible, the ideal media is im-mediate.

When the telegraph was invented people said that messages could new travel at ‘the speed of thought’. Perhaps before the telegraph people didn’t have to even consider how quickly a thought might travel. The speed of reading, of human reading, is always at the speed of thinking. Slower than the speed of transmission (an instant). The software can be tweaked in such a way as to invite differing speeds of thinking. A hot knife through butter (J.K. Rowling) or a glacier (a prime piece of po-mo theory)"

(from how the logic got fuzzy, 2017)

Text from Pzwart wiki: 'Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age'

Kenneth Goldsmith started his book altering Douglas Humbler's quote “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more” by changing objects to texts. [Goldsmith] establishes the term of uncreative writing, underlying that nowadays texts differs from each other in their ‘technical’ aspects, the way author ‘conceptualised and executed his writing machine’ to rephrase and reorganise other’s words. [...]. In his book Goldsmith cites as an example a poem that consists from shopping mall store list rewritten in poetic form or the work that put together status updates in social networks with names of deceased writers, or Flarf, the new movement in writing that accumulates the worst of Google search result. So, in fact the text I wrote so far is a shortened and rephrased version of Kennet Goldsmith text, borrowed from others he mentions in his book.

Nevertheless the new gender has its charm and evokes emotions and connotations as the reaction on writing process itself. Further development of technology became a catalyst for a new era of literature and art in complex. Contemporary artworks put to the end traditional understanding of originality and replication and brought new conception of creativity.

During his classes of “Uncreative Writing” in the University of Pensylvania Goldsmith penalised students who tried to be creative and original. “Instead, they are rewarded for plagiarism, identity theft, repurposing papers, patch-writing, sampling, plundering, and stealing. Not surprisingly, they thrive. Suddenly, what they’ve surreptitiously become expert at is brought out into the open and explored in a safe environment, reframed in terms of responsibility instead of recklessness.” He found creativity not in their texts but in the way they choose what and how to reframe, proving that “the suppression of self-expression is impossible”. So the concept of ‘creativity’ haven’t become obsolete, but transformed in compliance of new realities. In other words, creativity goes not with the object but with method, the way the object was created. In era of Internet and computers “even if literature is reducible to mere code—an intriguing idea—the smartest minds behind them will be considered our greatest authors.” [Anon] [note- Goldsmith also wrote Wasting Time on the Internet]

I am not making. I am questioning what making is for me. I am looking into the things that are relevant about the process of “making”; things that can be planted and can later sprout. I'm going through a period of research and narrowing down what I'm interested in because I get a lot of very different and sparse ideas that don't necessarily feed into each other. They are somehow like unborn babies because they are there, in the womb, they exist, but they never come to light. Each baby is from a different species. I'm trying to form this embryo that is more coherent and has a stronger root and that can be born into the world and grow an exist independently and have a path and its own life.

This comes from a period of puberty in my work; a transformation. I don't really relate to what I was doing previously and I think this is because I'm pretty young, I just turned 23. So what I'm doing now is getting back into a cocoon in order to come back differently.

Currently I am focusing on what the Internet is, how do we navigate it, how do we exist on it, what are its aesthetics, its politics, its impact and how does it shape society and the contemporary world. There is this big misconception that there is a division between the virtual and the real but they actually merge so much to the point that they are the same thing. Therefore, I feel that in order to make sense of this reality I need to understand the machine that creates it, I need to speak its language. So now I am trying to learn coding and creative web design or interactive programming because I want to be able to speak the language of the world.

I'm doing it because it's part of my life. I’m a kid of the Internet. I grew up on the Internet and it influenced a big part of what I know and what I am today. Probably 70-80% of what I've learned is from the Internet. I got to the point where I started inquiring my past, my upbringing, my class, and I can barely separate them from the moment I got a computer. I come from a working-class family and a very backwards, post-industrial city, where there was nothing to do. So I didn't have any access to culture, to exhibitions, to engaging in cool activities and such. Everything I know about art, about philosophy, about history, about all this kind of stuff, is from the Internet. 90% of the artworks I've seen that are relevant to me they were on a picture on the Internet.

I'm going through puberty now 'cause I'm taking a different approach to what I'm doing. I think it is it is different not thematically maybe, but more practically, structurally.

Therefore, I am working on thinking.

I am like a matriarchy – making multiple babies – but not in the same womb- through the world wide web.

I’m rooting

I’m seeding

I’m pending

Instead of reading, reading, reading and then storing it in the folders of my mind- most probably for a short period of time, before everything gets absorbed by the black hole of forgetting, which only leaves me with the shadow of that information, I decided to take a different approach to doing research. To internalize and personalize the information, I have been putting it into images, collages that speak both about my experience and the theory. It all started with Vito Campanelli's book "Web aesthetics" and Hito Steyerl's essay's "Too much world: Is the internet dead?", where they discuss different aspects of the life on the web, but more precisely, one's identity in relationship to being on the internet. According to Campanelli, "the Self is actually a bunch of memes. (...) Men and women might deceive themselves that they are driven by a conscience or by a deep self, but they are nothing but meme machines (made of brain, body and memes)." and Steyerl suggest that "one cannot understand reality without understanding cinema, photography, 3d modeling, animation or other forms of moving or still image. In the meantime, I started thinking about where it all started, about the beginnings, when the internet was still not in everyone's houses and when it was exiting and fun to surf the web. My nostalgia lead me to listening to a lot of Britney Spears and watching Paris Hilton's show The simple life. I kept jumping back and forth to internet eras and looking at the current one it is impossible not to think about fascism, so I kept digging into how this happened and I ended up looking into vapor wave, memes and the alt-right lexicon by one of the previous XPUB students.

Nevertheless, I gathered my personal information and the research into images and texts and decided I will collect this into the form of a zine. An early prototype can be found here: Aesthetically, I was drawn to Olia Lialina's work and and the relics of the Geocities they have been saving. This is due to the way part of me is negating the contemporary, shiny, boring, corporate looks of social media and the net in general, as well as the nostalgic feelings of when I was a teenager playing dress up games and sims 2 with my friends, and making fake Yahoo Messenger accounts to anonymously talk to the boys in our school.

All the information I have been gathering will hopefully later result into a bigger project. The zine is a way of approaching research differently and visualizing ideas as well as sharing and contextualizing them.


Question: people are building their wikis.


My Method: take notes and write own analysis and make glossary

                           The form of annotation describes the process of reading.

Letter writing is a great form of making essays; dialogical form is very useful: find out more about your peers.;

you, Martin and Sylvie are all working in different ways on the wiki;

Returned to writing style-

Writing stories based on real life experiences and spinning into fiction... Story notebook has appeared...

What forms could it take? Audio; text as read; text in various published forms; illustration; or get someone else to illustrate it. (exploit the forms)

YEAR 2innocent

  1. What do you want to make?
  2. How do you plan to make it?
  3. What is your timetable?
  4. Why do you want to make it?
  5. Who can help you and how?
  6. Relation to previous practice
  7. Relation to a larger context
  8. References/bibliography