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Thread: Dematerialisation.

  1. #511
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    I'm trying to catch up on the thread, which is tricky as there are so many useful sub-threads here. But I really like it, as long as it doesn't end up in a walled compound.

    Starter for ten - are there any key points/moments in this process of dematerialisation that could have been otherwise/ could have led to alternative histories, or was this path more or less inevitable given the conditions of late capitalism? I have no preconceived answer, going to go outside and give it some thought myself now.

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  3. #512
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    )))))))(((((((((((

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    The MP3 Deviation album contains pieces that are results of the collaborative research by a team of the New Aesthetics in Computer Music (NACM) and myself, led by Tony Myatt at Music Research Center at the University of York in UK in 2009. My idea was to develop new software based on the disruption of the MP3. Primarily I thought the MP3 as reproducing device could have created very new sound by intervention between its main elements, the compression encoder and decoder. It turned out that result was not satisfactory. However, we found that if the sound file had been corrupted in the MP3, the corruptions generated 21 error messages, which could be utilized to assign various 21 lengths of samples automatically. Combining with different play back speeds, it could produce unpredictable and unknowable sound. That is a main pillar of the software. We, also, added some other elements such as flipping stereo channels and phase inversing alternately with a certain length of frequency ranges, which resulted different timbres and pitches. I performed several times at the MRC and I was certain that this software would be a perfect tool for performances. I have tentatively performed the piece in public in Kyoto, May 2009 and in New York, in May 2010. I also performed it successfully with totally different sound sources when I was invited for The Morning Line in Vienna in June 2011.


    http://editionsmego.com/release/eMEGO-125

  6. #514
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    Feel like I'm jumping the gun by jumping into this stream because I have only read maybe 25% of these posts, but I'm so inspired and hungry to speak I have contribute. So I started a Google Doc last night, titled Dematerialization, and I've jotted down some notes. Hell one day I might make it public. Here's one of the paragraphs, hope I'm not re-treading:

    I think we can extend digitalization beyond life in or on the screen, and into life experienced through the screen. Examples: people at events like concerts who “experience” the event through the phone. It’s as if the event exists not to be experienced but to be “recorded” and “shared.” But to me this just means devoured and homogenized. Or say someone who takes photos of their meals. What is the primary experience, what matters more, making their friends jealous with this glamorous photo of their fucking meal, or the experience of eating it? I mean, you could keep going. Every experience now is an opportunity to photograph, film, record and share the “experience.” I mean honestly, when a young person visits the Eiffel Tower or the Sistine Chapel or whatever, what do you think they want more, what is primary in their minds, is it to experience this great monument, or is it to photograph or film themselves there to show all their "friends"?* This applies not just to experiences but to thoughts and internal consciousness itself. When you have an interesting idea or insight, or a funny observation, is the first impulse to develop that idea, turn it over in your head, make it grow? Or do you want to let the screen suck it in, devour it, record it, neutralize it, and “share” or spread it on social media, which is like this smooth flat all-enveloping surface where everything is equalized/neutralized/homogenized?

    *(or is it "followers," or is either appropriate... it just seems like "machinic appendage" or "parasitic symbiote" might work just as well)?

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  8. #515
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    And praise luka. What a badass motherfucker. Enjoying the blog too. Cheers. I love everyone here.

    BTW, what happened to nomadthethird?

  9. #516
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    was this path more or less inevitable
    there are always points where history could have diverged. identifying those points, let alone quantifying their possibility or what alternate paths a particular history might have taken, is very difficult for just a narrative of events, let alone a process like dematerialization which combines events and developments in the material world with intangible concepts like identity, cognition, etc and possibly even murkier concepts like the soul. the one rule is that the further along any path you go, the more alternate paths close off, so it becomes a question of how far back you're going and how far you can then project forward from any points of divergence.

    that said - there is almost definitely a large of element of technological determinism, as previously touched on in a couple aspects. there's always going to be a chicken-egg argument when it comes to the feedback loop between technology and culture - at both an individual and societal level - but it's undeniably true that very large parts and maybe all of what we're referring to as dematerialization would be impossible without the relevant technologies, and that those technologies were developed in a modern capitalist context - if not always as consumer products (I imagine a great deal of the relevant research was military in focus) then certainly monetized and popularized as consumer products. how or whether they would have developed in a different context can only be speculated upon.

    I think there's also a big question about how this dematerialization relates or doesn't reflect the will to and pursuit of dematerialization throughout prior epochs of human history leading up to this moment. someone (blissblogger, I think) mentioned gnosticism. that is an example one particularly specific, extreme form of will to dematerialization, but it permeates many (maybe all, inherently?) types of religious belief, mysticism, etc at some level. while not being a scholar of mythology or comparative religion, I do believe the trend has long been to de-emphasize Golden Bough style universalism, but I think at the least you could say human existence has always contained some tension between flesh and spirit, or however one wants to put it, tho I have no idea exactly how the high-order simulacra of screen-mediated perception and existence fit into that tension.

    even if one, for the sake of argument, was to see it as basically a priori, there's still all those nebulous concepts - identity, cognition, soul, etc - which are even harder quantify, are possibly not quantifiable, on a historical process level, but still crucial to trying to understand dematerialization.

    so your question really has to be broken down into multiple component parts, all of which are difficult to answer and in some cases unanswerable.

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  11. #517
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    generally, historical divergence is a good critical tool - and fun as a leaping off point for counterfactual speculation - but not something that can produce definitive answers

    intuitively, it seems very likely there's powerful feedback loops operating in both directions between production and end user.

    a better question would be at what point this particular form of dematerialization become more or less inevitable, and how are specific qualities driven by some of those "late" capitalist conditions. I don't think that would be an easy question either, but more manageable at least.

  12. #518
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nucleus View Post
    BTW, what happened to nomadthethird?
    gone years since. become a professional of some kind, I think? was studying to be one, the last time I talked to her.

  13. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    that said - there is almost definitely a large of element of technological determinism, as previously touched on in a couple aspects. there's always going to be a chicken-egg argument when it comes to the feedback loop between technology and culture - at both an individual and societal level - but it's undeniably true that very large parts and maybe all of what we're referring to as dematerialization would be impossible without the relevant technologies, and that those technologies were developed in a modern capitalist context - if not always as consumer products (I imagine a great deal of the relevant research was military in focus) then certainly monetized and popularized as consumer products. how or whether they would have developed in a different context can only be speculated upon.
    This is the bit I'm primarily interested in - the other questions are interesting, but as you say, just range far too widely to admit of easy answers or any answers at all. It would seem that dematerialisation would become unstoppable at that point at which many people (primarily in the West, I guess) have lost any hope of changing the material conditions of their lives/making them more interesting, and so escape/transformation becomes sought within screens rather than in the traditional world. And the unstoppability of it is predicated on addiction, hence the emptiness when/after using the internet that Luka referred to earlier. It has no end, so nothing is ever satisfying. It's a consumer capitalist's wet dream, beyond all previous expectations. This is what makes me feel the recent path has been inevitable - there's just too much to be gained for it not to have happened this way.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 08-10-2018 at 10:26 AM.

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  15. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nucleus View Post
    I think we can extend digitalization beyond life in or on the screen, and into life experienced through the screen. Examples: people at events like concerts who “experience” the event through the phone. It’s as if the event exists not to be experienced but to be “recorded” and “shared.” But to me this just means devoured and homogenized. Or say someone who takes photos of their meals. What is the primary experience, what matters more, making their friends jealous with this glamorous photo of their fucking meal, or the experience of eating it? I mean, you could keep going. Every experience now is an opportunity to photograph, film, record and share the “experience.” I mean honestly, when a young person visits the Eiffel Tower or the Sistine Chapel or whatever, what do you think they want more, what is primary in their minds, is it to experience this great monument, or is it to photograph or film themselves there to show all their "friends"?* This applies not just to experiences but to thoughts and internal consciousness itself. When you have an interesting idea or insight, or a funny observation, is the first impulse to develop that idea, turn it over in your head, make it grow? Or do you want to let the screen suck it in, devour it, record it, neutralize it, and “share” or spread it on social media, which is like this smooth flat all-enveloping surface where everything is equalized/neutralized/homogenized?
    The last point is a great one, which is why the complaining about people sharing food photos on social media (though they are fucking awful) eventually becomes hollow. Everyone is meticulously curating their own 'content' for public consumption, to a point where it's become utterly unremarkable, conscious to the nth degree of how every picture, word and emoji contributes to their persona(l brand). Competition used to be limited to certain sectors of life, now it's a way of life.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 08-10-2018 at 10:29 AM.

  16. #521
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    the one rule is that the further along any path you go, the more alternate paths close off, so it becomes a question of how far back you're going and how far you can then project forward from any points of divergence.
    yes. this is the point of pure potentiality. the centre at which the radial roads
    converge and depart from. this is the chamber-outside-of-time. and as you say, the first step
    along any one of of those innumerable paths collapses it. back into history.
    incarnate.

    I think there's also a big question about how this dematerialization relates or doesn't reflect the will to and pursuit of dematerialization throughout prior epochs of human history
    and this is where we have to talk about this aspect of turning ourselves inside out- of literalising our internal experience as technology and the concomitant impoverishment and flattening that accompanies this process- to go back to porn, porn is a crude representation not of the sexual act but of the sexual fantasy. television is the crude representation and literalisation of the individual imagination. to put it, as a good crypto-christian, in a religious framework, it seems to raise the possibility that what we are seeing here is the anti-christ building itself into existence, stage by stage. which goes back to the AI-theology I was talking through with firefinga.

    now what you get in exchange for this coarsening and this literalisation, is the ability to share the experience, the dissolution of the borders and the creation of the flat plane. Finnegan Wakes.
    Last edited by luka; 08-10-2018 at 10:33 AM.

  17. #522
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    I think we can extend digitalization beyond life in or on the screen, and into life experienced through the screen. Examples: people at events like concerts who “experience” the event through the phone. It’s as if the event exists not to be experienced but to be “recorded” and “shared.”
    and this is a neat concept because it suggests that our own eyes are now only secondary and that our real eyes are the cameras we carry.

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  19. #523
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    been into this guy out of iran these past few years, Ash Koosha.

    like a more concentrated fly low style glitch hop. at least if i want music for the 600 tabs open feel.

  20. #524
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    and you have to share the experience, else you'll go mad. You have to know what world it is you're living in, and repeat this constantly.

    Has anyone watched The Circle on Channel 4? I found it jaw-dropping - contestants in apartment-pods communicating with others only (or almost only) through the internet, being watched as they construct their personas for others to absorb. People developing sexual obsessions with avatars. Mainstream media as ever is way ahead of the theorists.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2018/...om-species/and the mainstream (ish) pretends they're not as mendacious or vain as those on screen, when a gigantic mirror is being held up to them.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 08-10-2018 at 11:11 AM.

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