Sunday, 09/05/2021

A rectangular light appears in the dark. A film screen, some other kind of object? Then another light, more rounded and slanted. A spark between them, and the sound of film rolling, along with closeups, a rotating reel, flickering light, camera machinery; more light, flashes of imagery,camera parts, an erect penis fades into an upside-down animated image of a woman bathing in a river. Then, a pair of hands, a white screen, and a snippet of a silent film, a tarantula, a bleeding lamb grasped by another pair of strong male hands and a shift to its dead eye. Internal organs, a hand nailed, a brick wall, a view of trees in the snow, a wrought iron fence, dirty snow and a small, arched window on another brick wall; a high-contrast profile of a person’s face, a ¾ view from below of an old woman’s dead-looking face, a naked adolescent boy under a sheet on a table against a blank white wall, a high-contrast image of a dead, drooping hand, as if from a morgue table. This is followed by that same dead old woman’s face in high-contrast from below, a similar view of an older, seemingly dead man, the sound of a door closing and faint ticking or drips, a close shot of what are perhaps his dead hands resting upon himself and clasped; a shot of dead human feet while a phone rings; an upside-down face from above of another, different old woman; a phone continues ringing while cutting to woman’s open eyes. Cut. A phone rings again, and the dead-looking boy lying on the table turns his head in the direction of the camera, but then turns his body away from the camera and onto his side, covering his head until he sits up to cover his feet. He seems restless, and can’t cover his feet. There is a closer shot as he sits and turns his head toward the camera and then down to put on eyeglasses. He reaches for a slim book, opens it, but looks away, upwards, as ominous music plays. Then, looking toward the camera, and reaches out toward it. Cut. Dorsal view. The camera is now behind him as he appears to feel or reach toward a blurred image of a woman’s face. He seems to caress it as it appears to morph into another woman, and back, and then back again, faster. Eyes closed. Titles appear as flashes of images of the boy’s face, two women, and other images, grass, rocky water’s edge, a silent film chase.

I think of the beginning of things, of the elemental. I think of uncertainty and the desire to make sense, to discern. The notion of one-ness and then two-ness comes to mind. I think of the beginning of life, of sacrifice, of death, of the body. I think of the beginning of cinema and image-making. I think of the shallow flatness of a film strip. Of acting and being. Of surface and depth. I think of youth and birth and childhood and development, of parenthood, of motherhood. I think of technology and communication, of its insistence, how it beckons and interrupts. I think of human and of body. Corpses, of life and lifelessness. There is knowledge and curiosity. There is body and image. Desire.

Saturday, 08/21/2021

A few things that I am tired of, that annoy, frustrate, enrage, or bore me (some of which should be obvious)

American football
machismo, sexism, homophobia, racism, transphobia, classism (all except as employed in role-plays)
willful ignorance
anti-union activities and ideologies
The Senate
The Electoral College
Judicial lifetime appointments
partisan control of the delineation of congressional districts
private financing of elections
election day on a workday
The Republican Party
The Democratic Party
marketing, PR, branding
blockchain and other NFTs
data harvesting
the appropriation of human data
celebrities and celebrity culture
self-aggrandizing billionaires
being an adjunct
the so-called ‘gig’ economy
unaffordable healthcare
private hospitals
private prisons
private schools & colleges
student loans
student debt
high-interest loans
high-interest credit cards
closed borders (to people, but open to capital)
‘alfredo’ sauce

Friday, 08/20/2021

I don’t know how long I sat there in that seat, possibly leather, although it was more likely vinyl – a bit less soft, stiff, but a bit slicker, squeakier, artificial – where I felt a kind of comfort and familiarity, despite the fact, in retrospect, that I know that I had never been in that particular town – tidy, but a bit run down – that I viewed through the dirty windows of the rattling city bus; and, as I reckon, was perhaps in some northern state like Pennsylvania or New York, and working-class, with its simple, white, single-gabled, nearly indistinguishable, two or three story homes sitting so close to each other, side-by-side with only a narrow passage between. I watched the people on the sidewalk as we passed. I saw one young man who wore a black cap. He was unremarkable. I don’t recall much about him; but then I saw another, walking faster, advancing ahead of him. No, not another young man, but the same one. Identical. Just another version, his doppelgänger. It was surprising. I attempted to speak or yell out, or maybe I just wanted to, but I didn’t do anything: for as I happened to be sitting on the bus, it just slowly passed him – them – by; and my shifting point of view, which was by then slightly ahead and looking back at the two of them, allowed them to slip away in the same manner. I felt the presence of others around me likewise looking out at the sidewalk. I continued to watch; perhaps some time passed, but nothing much registered. And then I was out on the sidewalk myself, “It was the same way the next town over,” a gray-haired woman, unadorned and past middle-age said, “and now it’s completely empty.”

05-13-19: p5js

testing images with p5js

drag mouse to change image;

click to save;

05-12-19: p5js

testing p5.js (processing for web & mobile)

05-04-19: gallery

Zach Nader: Psychic Pictures
@ Microscope Gallery

05-03-19: s.a.p.

(possible origin story??)

buzz, buzz, buzz, ding, ding, chimmmmmme


the event handler, or trigger, placed a solitary new instruction switch in the center of the the processor’s memory, one individual element of information positioned within the near frictionless space of the processor’s paths surrounded by its opposite, nothing;

this nothing was precisely that, the complete and utter absence of something, of anything;

such notions which here must not be considered with spatial metaphors in mind, for said absences include the absence even of space;

the new switch was completely unaware of itself of course;

and although the processor was designed as an environment, an almost unfathomable agglomeration of hardware and software, and created specifically to carry out just such instructions as provided by the trigger, its awareness is unquestionable;

but this was only one switch in a long complicated array of switches starting down at the basest of codes (near the level of hardware where exist one stream after another of electrons), and then rising high to the upper-echelons of application interface;

viewed alone, this switch was but a blank bit of data, completely meaningless to all else aside from its assigned function, but within the processor and to the processor its significance was clear: it had meaning, it had purpose;

the processor reacted to the switch, activating an upward-sloping chain of subsequent reactions that resulted in the release of a single stream of data looping through the circuitry;

vibrations from this movement coursed and resonated through the processor, through everything;

eventually it stopped;


but before all this, the processor had not been idle: to be sure, all the while in the background, there had been innumerable analogous switches which had resulted in an unknowable multitude of events and exchanges;

some were timed and repeated over fixed intervals both long and short in a multi-layered atonal hum, while others interrupted the quiet, bursting in through channels of incoming data;

at first it was a stream, but then a flood of data pulsed through multiple channels as through a once resistant but then suddenly dilated sphincter;

the processor slowed, struggling simultaneously to navigate through the torrent and to distribute its contents to their proper local receptacles;


one subset of the data was transferred and and then transmuted before copies of it were returned through outward bound channels;

most of that subset, however, and all of its copies were then subsequently quickly eliminated;

such data, and their related switches ceased to exist;

it has been noted that fragments of their precence, of their actions might be recovered, and then subsequently, at least partially reconstructed;

however, such access is extremely limited, and from this perspective, at best only theoretical;


another new instruction switch suddenly resulted all at once in a whole cluster of linked secondary switches, which themselves each released their associated information streams;

some these various information streams, as before, became that subset of data which required copying and reflecting back;

during this period, however, only the copies were deleted, and not the original subset, although the subset was eventually dissolved – not deleted – and the data returned to its original array;

as noted, some say traces of even these operations remain, perhaps even wholly in tact;

it must be mentioned that throughout, the processor was constantly on alert for any additional new switches, which, to any “outside” observer, would seem to arise in irregular intervals measured in multiples of milliseconds;

there were numerous thousands of what essentially were very sophisticated pattern-recognizing micro-machines: tiny entities that were hyperaware of their own specific target types;


the processor was vigorous and robust enough to handle many multiples of simultaneous activities on various levels, initiated by both internal regularly occurring switches and others that might arise at any instant completely by chance;

additionally, many upper levels of processing might be initiated, and then demoted to lower levels, where they could remain humming for unforeseen lengths of time until they were either re-elevated or terminated;


before long, one of the processor’s highest-level output channels began to receive requests;

this resulted in the commencement of a rapid-fire back-and-forth exchange of data;

as with other elevated application-level software operations, which had been placed at vast distances above all else, calculations instantaneously determined that this exchange would persist for some period of time, although the processor was unable fully to predict or anticipate the duration;

all that was certain is that it would cease when its existence was no longer necessary;


the processor itself tended toward solipsism, but there were times when external communications became necessary;

on such occasions,

channels reserved for input would initiate what could only

be understood as an actual linking, as intercourse with it;

likewise, there might still be other times when the processor would directly output signals, itself calling on external entities for direct links;

however, for such exchanges to occur, it would be necessary for the processor to duplicate itself;

or, more precisely, to create a kind of lesser clone (for the processor itself was far too cumbersome, unwieldy, and, frankly, undefined to be confined or summed-up, as it were, in a single entity);

such copies, were like ghosts or images, and were closely linked but, for all essential purposes, much simplified iterations of itself, and they were used in just such cases as to respond or act as a unified entity on behalf of an entity which could hardly be descrived as unified;

these versions might be thought of as sorts of containers, or variables, objects in possession of all essential shortcut paths to any and all data contained by the processor itself;


despite the proliferation of switches to initiate and terminate any and all activities including all exchanges of information within the processor, it is not altogether clear whether any such requests for direct communication prompted by the processor mechanically generated its clones;

or, whether it was a non-mechanical response that, for lack of other terms, arises from within;

more specifically, although the software/hardware mechanisms which give rise to such interactions are rather clear, what is not clear is whether there were any gestalt conceptions within such activities by the processor or other entities aside from each individual, atomized, externally observed, isolated mechanical actions and reactions;

as such, these partially-cloned entities are known as semi-autonomous personages (s.a.p.), and they are literally just actors (although elevated in significance) playing the part of the processor, if indeed the processor could be said to have any clear character that an actor could in any way play at;


perhaps now is the time to expand a bit: as already suggested, this element designated here as the processor is in truth much more than any single kernel of hardware commonly known as a ‘processor’;

a processor, for instance, cannot operate without software running on multiple levels;

it cannot exist without a source of power;

it would have nothing to process if it were not for circuitry connecting it to various libraries both local and global;

thus, for this reason alone (and there are many others) the notion of the identity of a processor as being uniquely positioned within any one element is unsustainable;

furthermore, inasmuch as it is more than any kind of locally situated central operating organ, it also extends far beyond the local skin that would seem to delimit it in some sort of discrete casing, thus making any such confinements illusory;

its connections both virtual and actual to other hardware accessories and operating softwares, even into other processors, renders the conventional conception of a binary between connection and separation superficial;

as initially indicated, distance, and all such spatial metaphors, thus have no real meaning and utilizing them offers no useful insight;

in fact, relying upon such systems of translation actually hinder understanding;

the speed of exchange is of greater relevance and a more useful indicator of something akin to spatial vicinity, although the rate of data transfer could have very little to do with some deprecated notion of nearness or farness;

shorter circuits with fewer nodes could prove at times to provide less data over a given unit of time than some other, much longer circuits with far more numerous intersecting nodes;

understood from this point of view, the processor, at least theoretically, is extended through both space and time simultaneously, and at its essence possesses a constantly shifting identity based on more or less accelerated or lagging rates of data transfer;


employed by any number of entities with an untold variety of tasks, a processor’s primary role is as an intermediary;

made invisible by their ubiquity, their seamless insinuation into every minute interstice of existence, their charm, and their apparent neutrality, they are in truth far more than tools for their employers;


although a processor may be said to carry out the tasks via its tools, triggers, and switches that it has been assigned by its employer, it also transforms the employer, that entity which handles it (which might also be defined as a processor), through its limitations;

for a processor is not all-powerful: struggles with and within the processor are constant;

though it is not by eliminating those struggles – particularly the most significant struggles – that the processor transforms its employer, but rather by a process of interpellation in which the employer, when hailed by the processor, becomes its subject.


upper-level input request appears;

transfers made via switches down one level to the next;

input request recognized;

data stream initiated:


input source: hola baby data received;

input reception signal generated;

s.a.p. generated;

opening of channel: output enabled;


s.a.p.: hola amor, buenos dias… data sent;

s.a.p.: ¿cómo estás? input source: más o menos bien, pero dormí poco


input source: el vecino empezó tocar el piano a las 4… ¿y tu? s.a.p.: ¡que pendejo! s.a.p.: bien, gracias pero un poco estresado s.a.p.: es que tengo tanto que hacer input source: pobrecito… trabajas demasiado


s.a.p.: sí, demasiado… necesito una vacación input source: espero que te podría ofrir unos boletos a Hawaii o algún lugar. s.a.p.: será muy buena…


input source: pero yo sé… los putos proyectos


input source: ¿cuántos hoy?


s.a.p.: no sé s.a.p.: diez


input source: ¿te apetece un café?


s.a.p.: ay síííí claro…

08:28 s.a.p.: ¿necesitas algo? puedo conseguirnos algo en el camino.

input source: no, nada input source: solo tu s.a.p.: mmmmm ok ¡estoy ahí en un segundo!


input source: ok, nos vemos


input source: hey check this out. so interesting… it is about how outrage affects the brain.


s.a.p.: hmmm… wait


input source: it’s an interesting idea of how certain words will be more likely to go viral or stimulate./


s.a.p.: stimulate… hah… wanna see something that’ll really stimulate?


input source: for me it’s mostly when I think about not being able to talk to her anymore.


s.a.p.: I wish she were still here with us


input source: me too


input source: Making public officials uncomfortable, making them squirm and irritated and possibly – probably – hurting their feelings and making them angry is one of the jobs of comedians and artists of all kinds.


s.a.p.: I thought the jokes were mostly what they should have been aimed this corrupt bunch of lying scum.


input source: and she didn’t hold back on their enablers either, the media.


s.a.p.: duck, spin, dodge, weave… they are all like boxers in a ring


input source: ha… that just about summarizes our decline


s.a.p. decline? not me… I’m in the prime of youth

04-27-19: ai

Will we know if an artificial intelligence ‘wakes up’?

A question in the back of my mind for some time now has been whether we humans will know, will we ourselves even be aware of other conscious beings in our midst. Will we know if an AI “wakes up?” That of course also suggests other questions, such as whether we can actually consider ourselves fully self-aware if we cannot (or will not) recognize the awareness of others (or at least its possibility); but more on that in another entry.

So, perhaps mechanical, electronic, or digital machines are already aware. Philosophy, science, religion, and speculative fiction has long explored what it means to be alive and to be conscious. All have researched, proposed possibilities, questions, or answers to what the meaning of life is to the origin or make-up of consciousness; and science fiction, for example, is full of improbably intelligent life-forms: murderous insects, monsters, revivified corpses, androids and crystalline beings, seemingly immaterial intelligences, life forms composed purely of energy. Nevertheless, it is one thing to posit on the logical limits of what the category of intelligent life may contain even in fiction, and quite another to investigate the possibility of an already self-aware automobile or an intelligent oven on whether they are in some way “alive.” It is doubtful that any serious scientist at MIT or Stanford would propose research into the possibility that our computer networks, much less your “smart tv” is already alive and conscious.

And if so, how would we know? Might there be a possibility that such artificial intelligence could be so unlikely and so unfamiliar that we would have a difficult time recognizing it at all? What if it were to take on unusual, unexpected, or unfathomable forms? To reiterate, could machines already be or have become self-aware without humans themselves even being cognizant of it? And assuming we would even investigate, on what criteria would we base our questions of the existence of such consciousnesses? Could it be that alien (non-human) consciousness might be so profoundly different that it is rendered practically invisible? Could an algorithm with its feedback loops develop or have already developed into something we did not previously understand was going to be conscious? For what is consciousness and sense of self, and how is it that that which is animate, that which is living, can come out of that which is inanimate and non-living, dead matter? “How,” as asked by Douglas Hofstadter in his book I Am a Strange Loop, “can a self come out of stuff that is as selfless as a stone or a puddle?”

There is no guarantee that a self-conscious intelligence arising out of technologies that humans have developed would originate where we would expect it, where we would notice and see it. Furthermore, neither there is guarantee that any such intelligence would either see or recognize us at all. Might we be completely and mutually oblivious of the other’s existence? Killer robots and genocidal AIs which having decided that humans are the problem and thus need must be eradicated are everywhere in science fiction; but imagine if their understanding of their environment is so radically different from ours that it exists as a parallel reality in which our presence goes as undetected by them as theirs would be by us.

But before we go out and try to create some sort of machine or algorithm or test to determine what and where consciousnesses might arise or already exist, would it not be more prudent first to ask what we would think of such beings or where we might stand with regard to their existence? We might, perhaps, as if we have been here before faced with the possibility of unforeseen “others.”

We might also ask why they would go undetected or seem so alien, for there certainly have been historical and ideological factors which have obstructed the possibility for those who have inhabited the periphery of being heard in the past. Might we be better served by a probing interrogation of what it means first to have political subjectivity and thus to be able to access the state of ‘being’ at all? In her essay, “Can The Subaltern Speak?” Gyatri Spivak suggests that the the answer has been no, and furthermore, that no one has even been listening. Perhaps, that is a good place to begin.

04-07-19: gallery

Jennifer Steinkamp: Impeach
@ Lehman Maupin

Impeach 1
Retinal 1
Blind Eye 3
Womb 1

Pussykrew: the bliss of metamorphing collapse
@ Postmasters

the bliss of metamorphing collapse

04-05-19: walking

I am once again thinking about walking.

I suppose that being a New Yorker, particularly a Manhattanite, that this is typical activity and so therefore a logical source of material for my work, not to mention that it is something that I have thought about off and on for some time. It is also not something new in art, but which by now has a long history, from Baudelaire’s flaneur through Debord’s derivé to… well, to today’s what? Maybe to today’s no-eyes walking, feet moving ever forward, but the gaze focused downward on glittering cellular displays.

As in times past, I had thought about leaving some sort of trail or path, or following some sort of trail previously left behind and found or uncovered by me. This has lead me to imagine walking a path as a sort of narrative that could be followed or created (and I’m surely not the first to do so). Inevitably, weaving and tying and knotting also come to mind. I imagine that by walking through the city that I would be weaving a sort of story; and that the storylines overlapping or paths intertwining as strands could be thought of as a fabric, a weaving, a story.

Additionally, I have thought about the space of the city and its affect on the individual body navigating it, and the reciprocal effects upon the city by that body. Not only is that body creating a narrative and leaving its mark upon the city, the city is also leaving an imprint of itself upon that body, and upon that body’s own narrative.

Thus the city is itself a kind of body; and I and my own body are both a part of that larger body and also apart from it, but there could never be a total disconnect or total separation or differentiation from it. It has already marked me and I have already marked it. My presence here in this city can never be fully erased, and neither can its presence in and on me be completely effaced. If I leave the city, the most obvious thing that connects me to it are my memories, although those may fade and disappear; but even if I were to forget completely or to die, my presence in the city would live on in small ways both in the lives and the memories of others, as well as the spaces of the city. My cells fill the air. There is no leaving the city.

In the Theseus legend, Ariadne is trapped within the labyrinth with the minotaur, a half-man/half-bull monstrosity. Theseus, the hero, provides hope to Ariadne for escape from the labyrinth and the minotaur. She provides him with a thread so that he may trace his way back out of the labyrinth once he ventures inside to slay the minotaur and rescue her. Upon his success, Theseus and Ariadne escape to another island, but Theseus betrays Ariadne and leaves her behind. Desolate, Ariadne retreats back into the labyrinth.

Nietzsche imagines the labyrinth as the body and this legend as a sort of metaphysical narrative, a classic mind/body struggle. As such, the heroic Theseus figure with his wits promises to lead Ariadne to freedom, who is trapped within the labyrinth by the overtly animal and bodily minotaur within the labyrinth. The strength of Theseus may indeed have been able to overcome the threat of the Minotaur himself and slay it, but the force of Ariadne’s grief due to his betrayal of her and her ultimate realization that she is alone leads her back into the heart of the labyrinth.

Some precedents come to mind, such as Francis Alys and his paseos through the cities with a block of ice and a can of paint, Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing and The Leak, and across borders with The Green Line. I also thought of Gabriel Orozco and his sculpture, The Yielding Stone, in which he pushes a ball of clay equal to his body weight through the city. They are both artists projects about transformation and movement and time. For Alys, the ‘object’ in the form of a block of ice gradually disappears forcing us to think about its process of being transformed into water, and thus (un)made. And for Orozco, the ‘object’ is remolded by the surfaces and forms of the city with which it comes in contact, literally being imprinted by the city. Both end up as part of the city.

Yielding Stone, Gabriel Orozco 1992/2009
Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing, Francis Alys 1997

I am not certain that I am interested in such objects, however. But if I have no object, if I use no prop, then the walk itself becomes the object. Perhaps I can document in some way how I myself may be altered during the walk. If that is what Orozco metaphorically suggests with his banged-up, dirty ball of clay, and what Alys demonstrates during his walk pushing the ever smaller and smaller piece of ice, then maybe it would be interesting to skip with the object altogether.

This then brings to mind Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller’s walks in which storytelling, history, places, images, and technology are woven together.

Alter Bahnhof Video Walk, Janet CArdiff and George Bures Miller 2012