AlgoMantra, b. 2005

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Go Crystalpunks!
Browsing through text about the Chinese game Go, I wondered whether one could step back a bit in the game's architecture and make the board not just a stage, but 'a part of' the progress of the game. Initially there could be a limited number of squares, which grow as pebbles are placed. So if you place a bead on some lone square, it might now "grow" neighbouring empty squares. I believe this would be a worthy experiment, and increase the complexity of the binary representation into trinary - just the way I like it.

In other news, my friend Wilfried Hou Je Bek (Social Fiction) has released yet another crazy product of his fertile mind - Gargoyle: A Crystalpunk Automaton for the Chain-Reaction Glitterati. An excerpt from his introduction, with my favorite themes as usual:
The automaton provides a framework for creation as much as playing a goad game of chess or go is a form of art. Herman Hesse seems to have hinted at the possibility of writers refusing to write any more of them library cluttering books, and would instead create new games in which readers can contruct their own novels and music and metaphors. This automaton is the crystalpunk gesture towards this idea.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Virilio: Games, Love, War
An interview with Paul virilio that simplified many of the things I've been thinking about these past few months, by Jérôme Sans:

Two attitudes are possible with respect to these new technologies: one declares them a miracle; the other—mine—recognizes that they are interesting while maintaining a critical attitude. The imminent home installation of domestic simulators and virtual space rooms for game-playing, poses many questions, and in particular this one: "What is a game once the virtual invades reality?"

There are two ways of understanding the notion of play: playing cards, dominos, checkers; or the play of a mechanical part when it is loose in its housing. I think, in fact, that the second is the angle from which we should envision play today. Play is not something that brings pleasure; on the contrary, it expresses a shift in reality, an unaccustomed mobility with respect to reality. To play today, in a certain sense, means to choose between two realities.

[LINK] to another interview called Future War
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Is rhizogramming the new kinetic art I'm looking for?
Michael Betancourt's essay Motion Perception in Movies and Painting:
Towards a New Kinetic Art
veers quite close to the kind thing Mahesh Senagala has described in his paper on Rhizogramming : A Synaesthetic Transformation Of The Designer's Mind (PDF). Betancourt writes in conclusion:

The possibility of a cognitive link in our interpretation of movement in both painting and movies also proposes the possibility for hybrid works that employ aspects of both art forms. One such potential is the flickering shutter (literally a strobe or flickering light) used to illuminate and create motion in what are otherwise completely static images. In effect this places the movies' content literally on "screen." Such a kinetic painting is a logical potential that resides within this conceptualization. To even consider it a possibility requires that the basis for motion in film and painting be examined with the framework described in this paper.

1. [LINK to Essay]
2. [LINK] to Bin Danh gallery
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Found while rummaging at Social Fiction.

"I have made a simple flicker machine. You look at it with your eyes shut and the flicker plays over your eyelids. Visions start with a kaleidoscope of colors on a plane in front of the eyes and gradually become more complex and beautiful, breaking like surf on a shore until whole patterns of color are pounding to get in. After awhile the visions were permanently behind my eyelids and I was in the middle of the whole scene with limitless patterns being generated around me. There was an almost unbearable feeling of spatial movement for a while but It was well worth getting through for I found that when it stopped I was high above the earth in a universal blaze of glory. Afterwards I found that my perception of the world around me had increased very notably. All conceptions of being dragged or tired had dropped away..."
- Brion Gysin [LINK]
Friday, October 20, 2006
McKenzie Wark is the author of GAM3R 7H30RY, where he makes some interesting observations. allegorism is a tempting word, though (para 030):

Perhaps a game like The Sims is not just an allegory but also an ‘allegorithm.’ To be a gamer is a slightly different persona to being a reader or a viewer. Lev Manovich: “As the player proceeds through the game, she gradually discovers the rules that operate in the universe constructed by this game.”19 Alex Galloway: “To play the game means to play the code of the game. To win means to know the system. And thus to interpret a game means to interpret its algorithm (to discover its parallel allegorithm).”20 What is distinctive about games is that they produce for the gamer an intuitive relation to the algorithm. The intuitive experience and the organizing algorithm together are an allegorithm for a future that in gamespace is forever promised but never comes to pass. The allegorithm by which the gamer relates to the algorithm produces a quite particular allegory by which gamer and algorithm together relate to gamespace. In a game any character, any object, any relationship can be given a value, and that value can be discovered. With this possibility a destructive but just verdict can be passed on the profane world: it is characterized as a world in which any value is arbitrary or absurd. [LINK]

Also notable is the book's use of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies cards.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Deleuze: Cinema Of The Brain
Some new Deleuzean connections have emerged to support my ongoing study of life as a movie - [Excerpt taken from the book: Cinema 2: The Time-Image, by Gilles Deleuze, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta, Althone Press, 1985, pp. 204–215. All Rights Reserved]:

The film does not record the filmic process in this way without projecting a cerebral process. A flickering brain, which re-links or creates loops – this is cinema. Lettrism had already gone a long way in this direction, and, after the geometric epoch and the ‘engraving’ epoch, proclaimed a cinema of expansion without camera, and also without screen or film stock. Everything can be used as a screen, the body of a protagonist or even the bodies of the spectators; everything can replace the film stock, in a virtual film which now only goes on in the head, behind the pupils, with sound sources taken as required from the auditorium. A disturbed brain-death or a new brain which would be at once the screen, the film stock and the camera, each time membrane of the outside and the inside?

In short, the three cerebral components are the point-cut, re-linkage and the black or white screen. If the cut no longer forms part of either of the two series of images which it determines, there are only relinkages on either side. And, if it grows larger, if it absorbs all the images, then it becomes the screen, as contact independent of distance, co-presence or application of black and white, of negative and positive, of place and obverse, of full and empty, of past and future, of brain and cosmos, of the inside and the outside. It is these three aspects, topological, of probabilistic and irrational. which constitute the new image of thought. Each is easily inferred from the others, and forms with the others a circulation: the noosphere.