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FleshFactor: Re: Something has been bothering me...

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

It's strange. I'm in Finland at the moment, and basically am using the
same format machine I would normally use if I was in NYC. There's a sense
of displacement, but then again, human beings have always tried to
normalize and codify our relationships to the objects around us. If it
wasn't machines, it would be plants, if it wasn't plants, it'd be
something else. 

The common denominator of all of this is a kind of inscribed alienation
that seems to be prevalent whenever human beings engage in the creative
act of externalizing the thought structures we use to think our crazy
little thoughts.

I'm doing an ISDN session with a group of artists back in NYC, and they
flew from Finland to NYC, while I flew to their city in Finland (Pori). 
It's for the Pori Jazz festival, and it's based on a kind of expansion of
the artistic vocabulary of geographically localized identity (umm, that
kind of went out the window as we flew to each others' respective
countries) and digital identity (that remained the same, although we have
radically shifted our coordinates in the dramaturgical grid of the
contemporary geopolitical. 

In Aristotle's *Politics*, published a couple of thousand years ago, he
worked out this thing about what separates humans from the tools they use.
One kind of tool was the slave, and the other kind was a kind of inanimate
object that he just put in a category for use by all to ''free the noble
man'' from the activities of normal production so that he could devote his
time to more noble pursuits like thinking... 

All of this is kind of humorous in light of the new kinds of fictions that
have highlighted a similar condition of the ''living machine'' -
everything from Bladerunner to the latest toys coming out of Otaku (hyper
consumer) generation Japan, to cyberpunk writer Rudy Rucker's Wetware
series, points to a similiar zone:  when we begin to assign human behavior
to the machines that hold our work-world together, a kind of bad faith
(right in the Sartrean tradition, mauvais fois) occurs. The question with
all of this is is this fun though? If it's boring, then maybe we need to
reconfigure our perceptual platforms until they can deal with the new
difference, or get ourselves together to build machines that better
reflect this kind of psychological disjunction.  Metropolis, anyone? 

Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid


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