[eyedeer] illumerates

Responding to this NYT article on Is Algebra Necessary?

I’m not going into the long ass spiel I had with bunch of people in forums, but basically I firmly and strongly believe that everyone should be able to do basic math with confidence. Anyway I started thinking about…. what if I made a math game, like a real real one? Not the usual “edu-tainment” crap (although tbh I really like Zoombinis) but one that is complex and geared towards creating a full curriculum for in preparation for pre-university and high school?

Some things I noticed about current math games:
1.  many are “casual” games with no narration or plot
2. emphasis on “quest” orientation with little or no social aspect
3. those that are actually fun, tend to de-emphasise math level in favour of replacing it with symbol/inferential logic which doesn’t really tie the idea of math and application of math i.e. RPG character skill point distribution uses math logic but it isn’t apparent

Therefore the goal of game is:
1. create a communal social math-based MMORPG
2. emphasis on familarising people with math concepts
3. making them confident to use algebra as a mathematical tool i.e. using algebra in speed problems (y = mx+c ); using algebra to solve geometry area ( 1/2abSinC )
4. integrating math into Real Life problem sets

so… presenting, illumerates!

illumerates’ premise
You start as a character who is leaving home for the first time to move into The City (a futuristic cosmopolis based on new york) with 1,000 credit. You start at the bottom and have to learn how to navigate the City, negotiate student loans, find jobs, manage budgets etc etc to become successful.

In the first levels, you live with a flatmate AI who will be your guide/mentor – learning how to use the interface and helping you move out to your own “homepad”. Later you can explore Life Paths (Design & Arts, Science & Technology, Service & Entertainment, Entrepreneur and Underworld) to gain new skills, collect better Tools, upgrade your homepad, join cliques to form power alliances etc. You can go on to become the greatest mob kingpin or the technological genius or the art director or anything…… whatever you want to be, the City will have it all

illumerates’ interface

The interface is known as Variable system – you have an interface screen with 4 open slots (to start) and a blank Equation Bar at the bottom. When someone talks to you, or when you see an object etc etc you can click and drag the item/text/object into a slot to create an XYZK variable and use these variables to create equations and “solve” the quest. For instance one of the opening problems of the game is setting up a bank account in Sector 7- Neo Brooklyn. There are 10 different banks with different plans, interest rates blah blah blah the goal of your quest is to find the cheapest credit/savings bank account plan for yourself.

Equations can be saved into a Formula Inventory and can be re-used as variables in other equations. You can also gain Tools such as graph functions, calculators etc etc as you go higher and higher levels. Each level has 20 x 5 problem sets, with 10 “boss” problem sets. The basic level starts you with an AI guide and covers basic arithmetic algebra, bar modeling, % and ratio (at this point, you are living with your flatmate AI who acts as a guide/tutor/quest giver) Subsequently you can choose “Life Paths” where you learn applied math i.e. Arts/Creative, the first task is to use equations to create the perfect colour for an advertisement; using Pi to draw fractals or in Science, application of quadratic equations in mole; using geometry to solve vector direction

Besides that, you also have Practical and Social category. Practical is things like rent (different zones have different rents), spending budget, groceries etc are covered in there, and at higher levels you can automate allocate % of spending by manipulating equations (akin to The Sims’ auto-mode). Social covers things like dating (% of chance of getting a date etc), joining cliques (cliques are basically similar to guilds, where large guilds can control markets by using hostile takeover techniques, investing in larger stock options, create companies etc)

illumerates leveling system

The leveling system is based on the way I learned math in school, which dual-tiered. The first/foundation levels of 1-5 emphasizes strongly on fundamental arithmetic calculation WITHOUT the use of calculator. Each area (i.e addition, subtraction etc) has 20 problem sets, with 10 final/boss stage problems that require integrated use of techniques learnt in previous areas (so it all builds on one another) A lot of people might ask why it needs to be so repetitious, but repetition is key to standardising mathematical ability and so everyone starts off the same before moving to Life Paths ++++ (harder abstraction math) stages. In World of Warcraft, it’s known as the “killing pigs” stage where you run around killing many pigs so that you have enough skill points to start doing real quests & stuff. At this point, it should take approximately 1hr to get through each level (or 5 hrs to get through basic levels 1-5) for an average student

The higher levels integrate math with progressive difficulty. Each unit is thoroughly taught before moving to the next one, and it builds on one another. For instance a Office Junior (level 6 in Entrepreneur Life Path) starts off learning how to get a bank loan using a basic 2 unknown variable algebraic equation; a Manager (level 20 in Entrepreneur Life Path) might use a quadratic equation to determine the best time for a product launch while a CEO ( level 50 in Entrepreneur Life Path) might use inverse matrices to determine the best way of manipulating the stock market

illumerates community/marketplace trade

Users can buy, sell and exchange Equation Formulas with each other inside the Marketplace. Because the higher levels of the game emphasis a more logical algorithmic approach it means that a quest may have more than 1 answer and these answers are ranked by how concise and efficient they are (i.e. 5a + 5b can be written as 5(a+b) where the expanded equation is worth less than the more efficient/concise latter one), and these algorithms can be traded, analysed and build upon within Cliques. Conceptual problem sets or higher level mathematics i.e. Poisson distribution process, complex numbers, hyperbolic functions can be solved collaboratively by Cliques to earn larger and bigger amounts of credits and other special tools/bonuses.


I like the name illumerates because it sounds like illuminati/illuminate + numerate, and can you believe I forgot to bring paper today when I thought about it on the M train that I had to write it all over my hand??


drive thru take along

Been thinking about what to do for 3hrs of documentation. Initially I did a timelaspe of myself sleeping but it was kinda boring (seriously it’s just me fidgeting a lot, and it’s not very clear either since my sheets are navy and my room is dark so it’s like black-on-black lumps) And then I was talking to Scott, and one of the things he mentioned was he hadn’t had pg tips and shortbread! and I was o.m.g I need to rectify the situation!!!!!!!

….Thus, the 3hr condensed timelaspe of close-ups of me cooking. When I’m stressed I cook. Or bake. Or both. During my undergraduate thesis year there was never a house more well-fed; I would make things like beef bourguignon, fish head soup, handmade icecream, earl grey creme brulee, double-boiled herbal chicken etc etc basically if it was complicated, required ridiculous amount of prep and technique – I would do it. The equation was Stress = Complication. So the more stressed I was, the more complicated the dish would be. One finals week – I clearly remember – I had 2,500 words to write in 8hrs, and I was standing in front of the oven making noisettes de porc aux pruneaux (simple trans: pork & prunes – but I make mine as a pork roundale with a prune compote stuffing, roll it; tie it and bake the entire thing) and torn between utter ZEN of cooking and utter PANIC of omg-i-haven’t-finished-writing!!!!

yummy from milkred on Vimeo.

So today’s dishes is shortbread chocolate chunk biscuits and frustrated pasta. Shortbread is something I can make in my sleep – I’ve been making it since I was 10, and selling it at every single bake sale/school fair/valentine’s day/church sale/whatever. The “short” comes from the crumbly texture of the biscuit – it should be buttery but not oily; crunchy but not flakey and have a kind of “more-ish” crumbly taste. Adding chocolate makes it non-traditional (my sister calls it “a decadent abomination.” LOL)  but since everything else is oldschool – what the heck, it’s my biscuit!

1 part sugar
2 parts butter (SALTED BUTTER!)
3 parts flour

1. heat your oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
2. cream butter/sugar. add flour until combined. chuck into the fridge for 20mins
3. re-flour surface and unload dough. DO NOT KNEAD. fold flour until paste is not-sticky. put in a greased pan. top with extra sugar. bake for 15-20 mins~.

** other flavours I’ve tried is myrtle lemon & thyme; lavender & chocolate; coffee & hazulnut flour (substitute half normal/half hazulnut flour); orange & almond flour

Also I’m a proud supporter of the Salted Butter tradition. If you use salted butter you don’t need to add additional salt, plus the saltyness is mellowed out since it’s combined (it’s a creamy saltiness as opposed to grains everyyyyywhere) and the cooking purist in me just fucking hates unsalted butter.

I call this my Frustrated Pasta because I only cook it when I’m frustrated. It’s an unbearably tedious thing to make because it involves ridiculous amounts of chopping – you have to made the sauce from scratch (luckily, I usually make a ton and keep it in the freezer), and then involves more chopping etc etc

Base Sauce
5 green peppers (cleaned, halved de-seeded)
5 red peppers (cleaned, halved de-seeded)
** 3 fresh birds’ eye chilli (clean, halved de-seeded)
8 beef tomatoes or 10 roma tomatoes
1 whole bulb of garlic
fresh basil
black pepper
balsamic vinegar
-glazing marinade (melted butter, tsuyu (japanese soy sauce), brown sugar, olive oil)

1. heat oven to 350f
2. dump and dunk all your veg in the marinade, including the garlic (skin and all)
3. roast veg for 20-30mins until charred and soft
4. blend all your veg + spices together (for garlic, squeeze the goop out. it’ll come out like jam). leave it to cool. pour a layer of oil to preserve

Frustrated Pasta
frangrancers (garlic + 1/2 green pepper + onion + fresh basil) <– sliced
hard veg ( 1/2 eggplant + 1 zucchini + kale stems + cherry tomatoes) <– chopped, chunked
soft veg (kale leaves, rocket)
meat ( 5 stripes of bacon)

butter/olive oil/balsamic vinegar/tsuyu/sugar/base sauce/pepper/tabasco

1. heat your pan, add oil. heat somemore until the oil is fucking hot then add all the frangrancers and turn the heat down to low and wait for the veg to sweat

2. once the veg begins to sweat, add a lob of cold COLD butter and whisk it into the hot oil with sugar and tsuyu. you’ll produce a creamy sauce base (in french, it’s a buerre monte)

3. turn the heat up, add your sauce base + balsamic vinegar + tabasco and let it thicken until the sauce begins to caramelise (it’ll turn darker) add your bacon strips to the demi-glace  ( you’ll get glazed bacon which is 100x superior to plain fried bacon)

4. just before it burns, add you chunky veg, turn the heat down, stir. If it’s too sticky, take a ladle-ful or two of pasta water (cos obviously your’re multitasking, right. right???!) simmer the stuff until it’s goopy and soft and smells like the Italian grandmother you don’t have.

5. turn the heat off, add your soft veg and mix it in. add your pasta and let it cool a bit. the sauce will become thicken once cooled (personally I think it tastes best the next day)

and ta da!! not only are you LESS frustrated (all your energy in the chopping and boiling and sweating on stove) but you also have a fantastically delicious meal that can keep for a week or two AND you have 3hrs of documentation completed AND you have yay! shortbread to snack/bring to school. It’s usually too much for one; so I pack it up into tupperware. Pasta feeds 8 meals for 1 person.


So Berlin show is coming on nicely (kindof?) and I wrote up a sexy production spreadsheet here: http://tinyurl.com/cco76bp actually re-looking at it, I should probably pass it to Juan or someone in DT bootcamp since the 1st years would probably find it useful

Today suddenly I had this idea, a performance piece that involves an artist asleep and people can walk into this room and sleep together (in the same bed) with the artist. To ensure that the artist is constantly asleep for the performance, I guess you would have to take sleeping pills in cycles …. and I wonder what the experience would be like, to be constantly asleep? with strangers unknown? do you feel a loss in the sense of time, a slowness? Of course there should be a level of security, but overall I think the idea of being asleep and yet performing and in conversation – is very interesting. Also the idea of audience/audiences watching you sleep, and perhaps joining you in bed (would they sleep too?)

Another thing I’ve been thinking about a lot of, is the idea of silence = resistance. Actually in the email I wrote: ““Silence as an artistic strategy should not be understood as mere political indifference,. Rather, it can be conceived as a strategy of resistance […] that opposes hegemonic cultural values by opening voices and points of view. It is an anti-authoritative mode that is not oppositional.” I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot, because it rings very cultural-politically specific to me and what it was like, growing up in Singapore

Politics has never been really discussed in Singapore, even though we’re technically a democracy the same party has ruled for the last 50 years – and our current PM is the son of our previous one (nepotism, much?) There isn’t really much opposition – political, social or civil. Part of it is because the government takes the phrase panem et circuses to new levels or what they call “the carrot and stick” methodology. As a student; first child then teenager I always got into trouble for speaking out.

The most common form of protest then, was silence. For instance a government official would be invited to give a talk in the school, and during the Q&A session there would be absolute silence. Zilch. Nothing. I remember one year, 17 years old – the teachers were so desperate that they wrote questions on pieces of paper and forced students to ask questions (“or else.”) It was the most amusing and ridiculous theatre I have ever seen – an entire lecture hall, 2 floors high – filled to the brim with 17-18-19 y.o teenagers (about 800 of us) and the teachers/school desperately trying to get volunteers while the government official waited for students to ask the “acknowledged” questions and the students – sleeping, chatting quietly, texting and blatantly ignoring everyone. It was theatre, not debate. Our apathy was a silent protest against the farce.

Also recently I met artist Paolo Ventura (and his wife + child):

Can I just tell you he is the COOLEST DUDE EVER? So cool. I have a pic of him + myself, but I am the epitome of uncoolness+unphotogenic in photos so here’s a pic of him + his wife, whom I reckon is kinda cool as well. I adore his work btw, my favourite being the Automaton series. Here’s his website: http://www.paoloventura.com/ and when I told him I wanted to be like him one day he was like: “I hope that day will come soon *twinkly smile*” and I was like OMG SO COOL and we talked a bit and yea… … it was ~awesomesauce~

Here’s a page from Germania, with an interesting quote about Kassel…. and guess what? is absolutely true. I was there with the rest of the Parsons IS group (a mix of photography, fine arts and dt students) and I was like: “this place is unreal, like some kind of fairytale” and they kinda laughed at me for it…. lol now I feel entirely justified in my feelings though. I actually want to talk more about Kassel and what happened there, and how I could use it in my work but yea, once I sort it out later.


You know what is the most horrifying thing in the world? (besides, the usual) It’s refreshing your facebook feed and seeing one of your ex-schoolmates saying: “hey let’s do a class reunion” and you’re like “oh my god, NO.” and thinking of one million zillion ways of declining (including a half-ass idea of cancelling your flight home, if only so you have a valid excuse).

Because I’m the most avoidant person ever ever, here’s my domain map:

because art, like life; is full of dicks.

….. if you think this domain map is bad, you should see the one I did in first year

Material – anything related to mediums/materials, including chemical nature of materiality or physical properties, or cultural implications of using a material i.e gold as a denoter of status/luxury; material can be intangible such as electricity; material is defined as the presentation of a material i.e. NaCl is a solid form of sodium (compared to sodium nitrate) or it can also mean exhibition; or linseed oil (as a vehicle or presentation to paint)

Myth – anything related to mythology, story or a socio-cultural motif (Barthes). I understand history as a form of narration or emplotment (Hayden White) where history and myth are inseparable aspects in proving the creation of cultural history. “Myth” covers all aspects of folklore, fairytales, oral history and common knowledge i.e. the story of snow white is a myth, so is the stereotype or character of a “princess” as a socio-cultural motif

Personal – dealing with the many wonderful and countless adventures of my very short but eventful(?) life. I think, looking back at all the work I’ve done – the best work is almost the most honest work, where I was unafraid to acknowledge an aspect of myself or relationship with someone. When I thought about it, I’m not interested in social issues or having a social user base or whatever…… a kind of nakedness, of soul? that makes people interested or compelled to watch, because it’s a very human thing; to not understand, to want answers too, to be afraid – and in exposing that, creates art.

……….yea, saving the world through design is not really my thing. I think my first real breakthrough was in Happy Birthday, the performance piece made with a blood cake, and people singing happy birthday to me, and eating/sharing the blood cake with the other celebrants. It was about finally acknowledging that I wanted to be an artist (after fighting it for 20-odd years, trying to please the expectations of my parents but most of all – accepting the instability and life and responsibility of being an artist. That I would never have that iron rice bowl, or a secure job, or make the people closest to me happy) And doing that exhibition really helped me get over some of the issues I had about art, being an artist and the label of “artist”. And what really interested me was how many people were affected by the performance-retold or the exhibition, and how it spread (even to the people who never saw the performance) – really amazed me. And then, I just want to keep doing that.

Other things: Resistance idea seems to be going over well (we’ll see when school starts, how many people start dropping out because of work commitments) and more importantly, Franca and I are closer to hammering out the details of the final for the Exhibition in Cloud (talk more about that later)

Jellyfish; or problems of documentation

I’ve never liked documentation. There, I’ve said it. I’ve never liked it because first it goes against every ounce of my upbringing – my mother was always: ‘don’t talk to neighbours, don’t tell them anything’ and later when I started my own uh…. less-than-legal activities, not leaving a trace was modus operandi. Leaving traces meant getting caught, and getting caught meant that I was unsuccessful in dodging the hell out of everything.

The second part of it is that I think overemphasis on documentation leads to the idea that a performance cannot exist without documentation; and sometimes the documentation supersedes/overshadows the performance itself – and this is a problem from the beginning since the days of performance art/body art. How they solved it in previous generations was by creating objects, which were the imprints of performances and therefore could be sold to buyers/whatevers. The problem is that performance is becoming more and more intangible and exhibitions are moving further and further away from the aura/authenticity of objecthood – so how do you deal with this problem???

On one hand you have artists like Tino Sehgal and Walid Raad: masters of non-documentation. They have rules when you attend their performances: no videos, no photos, no uploading on youtube or any form of recording. When you are there, you are at present. That means that you are forced, in a way, to be 100% present for the performance, your very presence – mental, physical, spiritual; is in attendance. I cannot emphasis this enough, because this is something recording/documentation never succeeds in. The moment you have recording, you have safety nets and that brings a totally different feel and atmosphere. By removing all traces of documentation, there is only ONE form of documentation left – which is oral history. This means that performances are spread through word of mouth, and every storyteller adds a different spin to it, creating multiples of narratives that spread form like a viral rhizome

…….. or, as I said on facebook to ken wark: “the marketing of [it], an artform too?”

I’ve always been in this camp, because by and large I’m a storyteller. I have a mad, bad love of anything with mythology/folklore/fairytales in it – partly because of the socio/cultural magic-motif inherent in stories (a princess is a princess, in whichever language or nationality you live)  partly because I have serious issues when it comes to talking about myself so I use mythology as an avenue for retelling. After all, it’s a storyteller’s prerogative.

Then you know – check out this brilliant quote: “I had a very strong sense of historical responsibility. From an early age, I always thought about documenting. [sic] I didn’t know whether I wanted to have photographs big or small, but I knew I wanted to have documentation. [sic]

and another:

… I didn’t have any experience with the video camera, so I didn’t give any instruction to the guy who was filming. Immediately after my performance I saw the material, and I was so disgusted, so unbelievably appalled, that I loterally asked him to erase the recording right there on the spot. [sic] It was such unacceptable material, I mean it was like he was making his own work. It wasn’t my work. And I redid the performance in the back room just for the video camera and instructed him the same way I instructed the photographer. [sic] …. because from that moment I had a very clear idea of how someone should be instructed to make the documentation.”

(Marina Abramovic interviewed by Klaus Bisenbach)

I can understand that, documentation as a presentation of work; just like an exhibition is a presentation of art….. so in a way, we have to consider documentation in itself as a produce-able, quantifiable aspect in the presentation in the work of art…… therefore, in a way, it can also be considered as a medium of art in itself? perhaps, one day – to have a piece of documentation that *IS* the art?????

sing sang sung

hello~ it feels nice to be back, however weird it seems (how do you ever come “back” to a piece of webspace anyway?) It’s weird, but virtual spaces always feel more like ‘home’ to me than any physical location lol

Anyway summer projects!!! Actually I have a whole pile of film to develop and scan – lovely ISO 100 ektrachrome colour film from Berlin/Kassel/London/Brussels/Amsterdam and even better, I have sketches. I’m not an illustrator but sketching for me is a kind of ‘thinking’, the day I give up the pencil is the day I give up and stop living. I also went book-mad and bought a whole pile of books – spent slightly over 100euros at hackershermart bookstore to my sister’s horror (it was on sale!!! to my defense lol)

in a totally different summer project:


I’m planning to sew another dress, a shirt-waist one this time, very 50s/New Look inspired meets Brit prep – tailored bodice, double? pockets, silver emblem buttons and a full box pleat skirt. Originally I was going to get this set of regimental stripes, but then I went to Mood and it was such a mess (they sent me to the silk blends, then printed silk, then twill and then someone said: ‘oh it’s in the warehouse’ wtf! Its not like I didn’t have a product number) Anyway in the end I found some really lovely summer-weight silk which I’m matching with navy cotton shirting (for lining, and to give it a bit of weight so the skirt will swing). The shirting actually costs more than silk, but eh I think about it like this: I’m not mass producing anything, and lining is worn next to the skin so it’s worth paying a bit more, and combed cotton = 10000xxxxx better than the shitty polyester un-breathable stuff.

The staff esp. the dude named Hassan was really nice though – he thought I was 19! and he really liked my sketches too (he seemed really surprised that I wasn’t in fashion lol no thanks) so I promised once I’m done sewing I’ll come back and show him 😀 plus he gave some really good advice on cutting since I’m doing contrasting directions.

More sketching, this time it’s an idea for the Resistance exhibition which I’m hoping against hope to pull off at the end of the year (I’m seriously thinking of dropping one of my classes, because I don’t think I could cope…… but the only class I want to drop is collab, which I can’t since I need to fufill the requirements :/ ) The idea behind Resistance is to 1. a subtle protest against the costs of renting a venue in NYC to exhibit 2. proof that a ‘White Cube’ is not the only way of doing exhibitions

The execution is exploring the use of vehicles such as lorries (or trucks, if you’re American) and other forms of transport i.e. chariots pulled by bicycles, wagons, parade floats to exhibit artwork ranging from projections (perhaps, a pull-up theatre?); games (games that can be accessed via social mobile phones, and played against the side of a truck?); performance art (transparent containers on flatbed trucks); photography (billboards? spaces usually used by adverts but now re-appropriated for art?) to “deliver” art. So instead of journeying or going to an art gallery, art gets delivered to you instead (like postal service!!!)

It’s also a nice tie-in to the Resistance idea, like de certeau’s concept of tactics/strategy where the governments/insituitions are Strategic in their survelliance of people, and people use/apply tactics to overcome these bureacractic practices. One example of tactics would be not paying a train fare while on the subway, or jaywalking. It’s a subtle fleeting “of-moment” form of protest.

Anyway my idea of what I want to show is a shadow puppet theatre – like totally oldschool, in wayang kulit style…. except using handdrawn papercuts and using AfterEffects to make the transitition from “non-tech” to “tech” in a totally magical way. So it’ll have fake curtains and everything and then after the show is over the container will be lit from *inside* and people can go into the container and see the hand-made “scenes” inside lantern boxes. How cool would that be? It’ll be like IMAX in a box!

Stylistically, I’m testing out sketches that are a mix of Javanese and Arabesque influenced designs, will probably end up sketching a dozen before settling on one. I’m thinking of doing a lesser known story like Seven Swan Brothers or a SouthEast Asian one – there aren’t many SEA people here (actually in DT, there’s only one aka. me) so stories like Sang ila Utama, or Princess of Mount Ophir or ghost stories like Pontianak are unheard of here. I remember trying to teach Juan some Singapore dialect in Kassel, and he was like: “that doesn’t sound like Mandarin!!” and I was like: “duh, I’m Singaporean.”

I think it’ll be helpful for me in thesis too – cos it’s back to what I love; fairytales/stories mixed with different types of mediums and materials. I really want to explore the exhibition as a medium, not as a format for representation but presentation (very deleuzian, I know) It would be a good way (good vehicle? hahaha) of testing ideas for thesis I think

A Reading List (instructions for reading)

Preparation for a reading list:
1. Steal a cat, preferably your neighbour’s
2. Place said cat on the comfiest sofa, placated with one of your old shoelaces
3. Make tea; make it the whitest white man tea with PG-Tips (splash of milk, no sugar), toasted shortbread and post-colonialist irony
4.  Settle with cat, sofa and biscuits balanced with books; say the last line very quickly without tripping over your tongue twenty times. (enjoy the run-on plosives.)
5. aim to be an educated personage
6. open the first page

A reading list (with suggested <rhythms>):

1. Flusser – Towards a Philosophy of  The Black Box Photography

2. Heidegger – Essays on Art and Technology

3. Hans-Ulrich Obrist –  Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating But Were Afraid to Ask

<here, take that mental break you wanted –
take a piss,
read some tabloids,
watch a youtube video

4. Beuys – What is Art?

5. A favourite book from your childhood; the one you went to when no one was at home; the one you were always wanted to be in <eat a biscuit contemplatively>

6. Do a multiple-choice on futures:
a) genius children who play at war and games? <enders game – orson scott>
b) a vocaloid, 7/11 and a microwave into cyberspace? <idoru; virtual light – gibson>
c) republican-missouri took over america? <a handmaid’s tale – atwood>
d) everything made, ever more, ever many, ever much? <midas’ touch – pohl>

<take a shower. think of the filth, the glory, the dirge, the ever-rising crescendo of humanity; the heat of bodies, crowded and compressed; a population of 6.8 million; wasteful and beautiful and childishly cruel and wash them off>

7. A book with beautiful pictures; the one you feel closest to visual pornography; so beautiful it makes your eyes dry and heart ache to look at it <to restore your faith in humanity>

8. Benjamin – The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction <you have read it a million times as an undergraduate, perhaps a bit more. his words are as soothing and real as any coffee-stained lullaby>

9.  Deleuze – Desert Islands <jump> Society of Control <jump> Difference & Repetition: Introduction

< all that jumping has made you tired; your mind swirls like a rhizome, lines explode into butterflies, a chaos only controlled by a fisherman in his net; art is an organisation of things… you fall into a nap >

10. write a blog post. read it. re-read it. edit yourself to become a critical work. edit more, become a work in progress. edit until you have nothing left and repeat the process again and again and again again again again again again

A reading

here: http://www.mediafire.com/?2z1guaqbg6aq64u

A reason for reading

Flusser’s Towards a Philosophy of Photography covers what I think are the 3 main questions of technology today. The first ‘chapter’ (use the term loosely, it doesn’t really have any real chaptering system) deals with the hallucinatory effects of the spectacle and the ‘idolatry’ of images and I think – most importantly, he tries to go beyond the concept of ‘representation’ (Bergers) and ‘spectacle’ (Debord) which imho, are really tired and overused concepts.

The 2nd chapter deals with the apparatus or ‘black box’. Interesting the original translation of the title (written in Portuguese is ‘towards a philosophy of a black box’). This brief but amazing chapter covers the basics of the politics of platform and distribution – the mystery of ‘black box’, how it affects production and ownership and output, the nature of abstraction (beautiful metaphor of a camera being an abstraction of the eye) and introduces the idea that objects can be actants affecting situations. The final and 3rd chapter explores the idea of game theory within the apparatus, the field of possibilities that is both impossible to complete yet finite.

It’s also one of my favourite essays ever, I read it years ago and even today it blows my mind with new stuff every time I re-read it.

And the cliff notes for those with tl;dr issues

ch 1:  worship of images
ch 2:  politics, power and control of apparatus
ch 3:  gaming and possibilities of apparatus