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FleshFactor: I am Nothing.



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A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"
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Is declaring yourself God all you have to do around here to get you kids
riled up?  Had I known I'd have done it much sooner! 

In Lee Grant's last message he informed us that,

>Hmmm...maybe the next great change will be to replace the audience with
>computers.  Imagine, no intervention of humans at all.  Why you (the
>artist) could even program the audience's reaction if you like.  Just
>think, rapt attention throughout the entire performance, no coughing, no
>sneezing, no talking, and then twenty minutes of applause at the
>appropriate time...  Of course, the next logical change after this would
>be to replace the artist with a computer.  Remember, in this
>techno-driven vision, no one is irreplaceable. 

Lee, if my point was the sun, you'd be in an asynchronous orbit around
Pluto.  I thought I was pretty clear in the first part of my message when
I described my live band as a group that based its music almost totally on
improvisation.  If there is anything more human in this world than the
ability to spontaneously create music with a group, I am totally unaware
of it.  Roughly 70% of the music I do is done in this manner.  On the
other hand, I believe it is equally human to want to have the ability to
actualize his or her unadulterated ideas.  Suggesting that both the artist
and audience could be replaced is as ridiculous as suggesting that I write
a program that would allow my computer to send love-emails to itself (hey,
that might not be a bad idea for a project...).

When you wrote your response to my "I am God" message, I assume that you
did it totally by yourself and without a collaborator.  Am I correct, or
did you write it with someone else?  Did the program that you used to
compose it make any suggestions as to possible content changes?  Did you
have to go through an editor, or did the (semi) free nature of the net
allow you to publish it exactly as you conceived it?  [Mark, as you know,
this is a 'moderated' list. In other words it is edited. While I stay
out of the way as much as possible, I do intervene when things are unclear
or irrelevant. But Lee's words were unadulterated. T.S.]  Guess what?  If
you consider that writing is an art (as I do) then the computer allowed
you to do exactly what I suggested be done with music. 

I think that as artists, the most important thing that the net can offer
is almost unlimited cheap distribution without the intervention of
editors and censors.  Whenever a company decides what to or what
not to publish, it is actively involved in one of the most insidious
forms of censorship that exists on this planet.  How many Bach's are
washing dishes for a living, while hoards of Madonna imitators fill the
CD shops?  What if we didn't have to rely on CD shops, radio and MTV as
outlets for hearing and purchasing new music...?  What if anyone could
make their art available all over the world?

OK, enough about Utopia.

L.H. Grant then goes on to say:

>Mark, it seems you've got your money's worth out of your little
>electronic friend.  Not only does it do most everything you ask of it, it
>has also elevated your self-esteem to a Supreme level.  However, I think
>your claim of deification would be a lot more valid if you actually
>created your computer and could keep it from crashing. 
 
When I suggested that I was my computer's God, I was joking.  I can barely
program, much less build a computer.  What I was suggesting, was that the
computer is a tool that can be wielded by an individual to actualize a
concept just as a pen, hammer, paintbrush, blowtorch, guitar or kazoo can. 

I love the relationship that I have with my kazoo.  I am its God.

(And I can build my own kazoo, you smarty-pants!)



Mark

mark sottilaro <msottila@mailbox.syr.edu>



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