User:Francesco

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Reading as a timelapse

Hello these are some writings from kamo. I like to develop software to inhabit complexity with visual and performative outcomes. I think about programming as about magic: before there is nothing and then something new exists. I remember that when I was a child I used to think the same thing about drawing: lucky ones those who can draw (i was not), they can have everything at will. Who knows what will come next, say: in 20 years? The problem with technology is that you always end to walk at the same time above the waters and above lava. Technical issues sprout from everywhere all the times. This is bad because they kill the relax. But it is also nice in the way that encourages collaborations and plural approaches to face problems.

Soupboat ecosystem

I dont like to write here in the wiki, sorry. As I prefer my notebooks to be clean instead of squared or lined, I also like to be more in control when it comes to keep track of my progress. Sorry again! So I'm working more on the Soupboat right now. In the past few days I tried to set up a super minimal framework to store the results and explorations we do during classes. Even if super simple I like it, because it helps me doing something I really suck at: documenting my work.

My folder in the Soupboat is a table that works as an index for all the projects I worked on since the first week at XPUB till → now.

At the moment v0.1 and super wip: it keeps track of the following properties for each project:

  • A title
  • A list of links (often a pad and a git repo)
  • A list of tags
  • A date

Next features will be:

  • Filtering through the tags (as in the chat reader)
  • Differents ways of sorting

The contents are loaded from a .json file in the Soupboat, because after the third project it was too stressful for me the idea of adding new contents via markup. Is this stupid? Someone said to me that it is not a good idea to rely only on the Soupboat because it is fragile and prones to accidents. It would be better to consider some forms of backup? Need to ask to Manetta and Michael and Aymeric.

Another thing that bugs me really really really a lot is the workflow in Jupiter. Need a better solution, maybe connecting git? I saw some extension in the Jupiter Lab, need again to ask.

update: 10/13/2021 🍳

  • init
  • mini json cms
  • added 3 projects:
  • text weaving
  • chat reader
  • cam transcript

Worlding, magic, sorcery, demonstration, violence, basket

10/17/2021

Oke hello is sunday evening today we went to the demonstration against rent and the whole housing condition in the NL and it was kinda intense. The police managed to block the march on the Erasmus Bridge untill evening, even with meaningless and unnecessary display of violence. They used a tram to take away people WTF At the end everyone was super tired when we finally reached the city center. Well done cops you can call it a day. As for the protest: it was ok. Lot of enthusiasm and positgive energy. Lot of different people: youngs and elders, queer and unqueer, differents social extractions. I liked it but also felt a bit overwhelmed.

Yesterday with Mitsa and Erica we read Chimeric Worlding, by Tiger Dingsun. He proposes a world-building approach to graphic design, in order to add a cosmologic dimension to the usually mainly functional-oriented work of designin things. Sound nice to copipaste some excerpts here:

Poetry, more so than other literatures, is concerned not only with the denotative meaning of words, but also the meaning that arises from the aesthetic quality of words (things like phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, rhyme, metre). In dealing with typography, graphic designers are also interested in both the denotative meaning and aesthetic qualities of a text they are working with. Both have a playful relationship to structure, sometimes adhering to, and sometimes breaking, form.

However, one thing that graphic design does not often do, that poetry does, is making a world, to provide a rich context for their work that reaches towards the poetic, the fantastical, the improbable, the mythological. This is extremely worthwhile for graphic designers to pursue, because worldbuilding allows for the potential for narratives to sprawl out nonlinearly. It invites a non-teleological reading (reading without a prescribed goal) of the text, (or image, or whatever the object of graphic design is) and offers a point of resistance against graphic design’s primary function as lubricant for the smooth flow of capital (be it economic, or otherwise), which relies on a singular, totalizing interpretation of the world.

And again:

Through offering both references to (perhaps multiple) systems of shared references and collective knowledge and one's own personal frameworks, poets create new worlds from this combination of different shared frameworks for interpreting reality and the poets own personal reality, worlds that the audience is able to semi-inhabit, and explore over time.

Here to me is super important the focus on the temporal aspect of the fruition of something. We were talking about that also after some lesson with Steve. What kind of temporal experience we want to create? Are we oke in doing something that will be just consumed the 17th of december on the day of the presentation? Can we imagine a more tidal way of accessing knowledge and informatio? The idea of generating an ebb and flow of contents for the distribuition of our final reader triggers me. Also because requires a kind of work that is not only an object, nor only a collection of texts, nor only an extemporary performative moment. It asks the Reader to be something as a sorcery, or rather a sets of instruction of directives usefull in order to cast the spell properly. And i really like the idea, because then it could be something able to walk on its own legs. VLTK as a framework, VLTK as a toolkit, VLTK as an attitude.

Again from Chimeric Worlding:

This designer is able to connect their (somewhat arbitrary) designs with the existing Western eschatological tradition, loading whatever they are making with the invitation for the audience to step into a world where texts and graphic symbols operate under some hidden logic, and have greater power than in conventional reality.

[...]

There are all of these ways that writers expand a world through it’s lore, and the great thing about that is that building up a lore suggests the existence of even more lore, that just happens to have not yet been made explicit to the audience, and is open to speculation. This is the kind of thing that fuels fandom. What if graphic designers could create worlds capable of garnering fan theories, multiple interpretations, and wild reimaginings? It would mean a depth of engagement with graphic design beyond the singular goal of clarity and communication.

Now that taking these notes I recall how exoteric and demanding was the cult built around the Tool band, their aesthetic, the USBs hidden in the toilets during live concerts, the wild speculations that every song triggered.

And again about the slow process timing thing:

Because if the graphic designer develops a rich, hybridized, internal logic through which their body of work functions, even without explicitly explaining that logic, the audience is able to slowly piece that together, and excavate the lore of the world that is created.

It was nice to read this text right now that we are working on this peculiar way to think about natural language processing. Finally I started also reading Technic and Magic, by Federico Campagna and the combo between this book and the NLTK one is crazy. I experienced a similar thing a couple of years ago reading at the same time Hyperobjects and the trilogy of the Area X by Jeff Vandermeer. Now with T&M vs NLTK the relation is more adversarial tho, they are in a way complementary, or they just function as an evidence of what the other book is trying to conveyz.

On one side you have the critical reconstruction on how Technic reduces the world to a set of identical pieces ready to be configured by its own grammatik, and on the other one you have the very practical way of doing it with text corporas and digital informations. Not that I'm sayng that the NLTK book is something EVIL, but now it kinda makes sense what Cristina and Manetta and Michael and Steve and Aymeric was talking about when they presented us the general trajectory for a Vernacular Language Processing Toolkit.

While we were reading we ended up talking about how language generates value in the technic reality, and how could we digest this idea of (economical) value towards some other kinds of vlaue. (Social? Cultural? Spiritual? Situated? Funcional? Vernacular? we dont know yet). At some point I wrote these phrases on my notebook:

  • Taxonomy as enchantment
  • Programming as enchanting
  • Poetic devices
  • Every world (text? cultural object?) is a gated garden

Also, because our next meeting for the special issue will be a brainstorming starting from the idea of rejection, some other notes:

  • rejection as a discourse
  • rejection as a continous renegotiation between filters
  • rejection as exclusion
  • rejection as fractal
  • rejection as spectrum
  • rejection as contingency (really like this)
  • rejection as violence
  • rejection as ritual
  • rejection as border

At the beginnning i was really not to much into this rejection thing, but then i started seeing it as the performative act of rejecting, and so the act of filtering. Something is filtered out, something is filtered in. I would like to investigate the discourse between these two positions, continously influencing each other. The idea of exclusion was more a situated one: an external point of view, the eye of the outsider. The fractal and the spectrum were two images against the binarism of exlcusion / inclusion, in the way that a rejection maybe could be seen as something scalar, more than boolean? This takes me to think about a gradient way of filtering, or bookmarking, or taxonomying? And as in fractals, the more you zoom in the more you still find the complexity and richness that carachterize the visual value of that object. And so in filters maybe? An approach that does not tries to cut again and again in thinier slices something to define it, but rather that tryies to tune in those features to see how they return with ebb and flow, at different scales and in different times.

Something that was really intresting was the idea of rejection as contingency, or in other words all the coincidences and randomness that end up producing a rejection. The idea that some rejections are more random than justified and the possibility to develope different patterns of contingencies in order to transform some rejections in acceptance, or vice versa.

The idea of violence is really only violence, again a situated point of view from the part of the rejected. The ritual was more a focus on the act of rejecting and the border to the actual interface between the rejected and the accepted ones, so, again, a focus on filters.


bonus: we are playing basket almost every day now and i like it

Reading List

  • Life of Lines, Tim Ingold 👌
  • Technic and Magic, Federico Campagna 👀