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FleshFactor: references...

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

Hello everybody,

Some interesting things have been brought to my attention by members of
our list.  I'd like to share them with you. 

Avi Rosen, an artist who lives and teaches in Haifa, Israel, published a
text called "Beyond Humachines" (1995) on the web-based publication Bad
Subjects (Issue #18).  You can find this text at: 


Rosen's text is a pro-digital technology manifesto, in which he makes
historical references to the futurists and other art and technology
movements.  In his text, which examines many of the ideas we have been
discussing, Rosen begins and ends by quoting from Andy Warhol.  If you
will recall, Warhol spoke and wrote a lot about wanting to be a machine. 

    "I want everybody to think alike .... Everybody looks alike and acts
alike, and we're getting more and more that way. I think everybody should
be a machine...because you do the same thing every time.  You do it again
and again... It doesn't matter what you do.  Everybody just goes on
thinking the same thing, and every year it gets more and more alike. Those
who talk about individuality the most are the ones who most object to
deviation, and in a few years it may be the other way round. Someday
everybody will think just what they want to think, and then everybody will
probably be thinking alike....." 

 --- Andy Warhol


Oliver Hockenhull, a contributor to FleshFactor from Vancouver, directs
our browsers at Digital Burgess: A Conference on the Origins and Future of
Life on Earth, to be held at the end of August at the Banff Centre, near
the actual Burgess Shale. 


Quoting from their site:  "High up in the Canadian Rockies lies one of the
greatest known records of life on Earth, the Burgess Shale. Fossils of
Burgess organisms have confounded previously held notions of evolution and
increased public interest in paleontology. The Burgess has also further
inspired a global movement to digitally model organisms and whole
ecosystems. The resulting convergence of Paleontology and the digital
world is producing powerful new tools and methods to piece together the
story of life. Against the backdrop of the Burgess Shale, this conference
will consider the following provocative questions: 

    "Humanity is perpetrating a mass extinction of life on Earth, while at
the same time creating new variants of living forms through habitat
transformation, genetic engineering and cloning. What does the future hold
for Earths biota and will we survive our own "great experiment" with the

    "In our efforts to model biological processes in software, some claim
that we will initiate a "digital Cambrian explosion" of information-based
life forms inhabiting the Earths collective compute spaces. If this
occurs, what forms and direction will opportunistic digital biota take,
and what will be the consequences for humanity?"

This site may be particularly valuable as an expansion of our earlier
'dual natures' thread and as a possible means for temporarily escaping
from the 'special zone' of our species' blinding conceit written about by
Brian Molyneaux and Ebon Fisher and others contributing to FleshFactor. 
It also resonates with ideas examined by last year's Ars Electronica
net-symposium, Memesis: the Future of Evolution, from which our
FleshFactor net-symposium has emerged as a kind of tele-social offspring. 


I would also like to turn your attention again to our FleshFactor
Substrata area, where we post reference texts to expand on our group
discussion.  To find the Substrata go to the FleshFactor menu:


Just click on the FleshFactor Substrata area and at the bottom of the list
you will find a new message submitted by an avid reader and recent
contributor to FleshFactor.  It is titled "Message from REX XIV, by REX
XIV" and I'll leave it at that.  This message makes reference to the
FleshFactor discussion, crediting the thinking of Laurie McRobert, Brian
Molyneaux and Rick Nance directly, but also 're-processes', rather
comprehensively, many of the things we've been discussing to provide us
with a fresh perspective.


Thanks to all our contributors and readers.  This net forum will remain
open and active right up until September 8th, when the live, on-site
FleshFactor symposium and festival will commence in Linz, Austria. 
Contributions to current or PAST threads of this net-discussion are
welcome.  Just reference your statements, comments, questions to anything
that has been posted (connect with us) and fire away.  Or if you have
found something relevant on another list or site or some other source,
please bring it to our attention. 

Tom Sherman, moderator, FleshFactor Net-Symposium 


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