[PD] Re: Code Art

B. Bogart ben at ekran.org
Sat Dec 20 18:36:59 CET 2003

I wonder if there are OT threads such as this on the MAX lists!

I do think that traditionally art has been more about dichotomy than
dialectic but there does seem to be a contemporary interest in looking
at things (art) beyond a dichotomy.

Congrats on the last semester, what were you studying?!

I've been thinking about a second paper based on that first one, more
concentrating on the idea of metaphor in relationship to information-media
(hmmm I like that term much better than new-media). I think one of the
core ideas of information technology (after symbolic representation) is the
ability to transcribe from one system of symbols into another. George Lakoff
talks about metaphor as a transference from one conceptual domain onto
another. Leading up to using PD to create "metaphorical networks".

Oh course conceptions are what allow us to understand, identify and organize
our world. My point was not the lack of conceptions, but perhaps the
that our conceptions are the world. It is my personal view that awareness is
actually the creation of structure, perhaps from randomness. Any sophists in

Information-media of informatic-media (hmm does the info part even cover

Yes, chaos is not about randomness.

Ah yes, noise is the absense of signal, so depending on what "signal" your
for, the noise would be different. Is noise then a signal your not looking


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mathieu Bouchard" <matju at sympatico.ca>
To: "B. Bogart" <ben at ekran.org>
Cc: "thewade" <pdman at aproximation.org>; "the list" <pd-list at iem.kug.ac.at>;
"Pall Thayer" <palli at pallit.lhi.is>; "Michael McGonagle"
<mjmogo at comcast.net>
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2003 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: [PD] Re: Code Art

On Sat, 6 Dec 2003, B. Bogart wrote:
> On Sat, 6 Dec 2003, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
> > I don't think it has anything to do with fuzziness. It has to do with
> > stereotyped material/conceptual dialectic that assumes that the concept

> > never can be about the material used, from the axiom that the art is an
> > idea first, and it's just a sad thing that it has to be incarnated into
> > puny petty materials [that make it impure]. ;-)
> Agreed, In fact dialectics are not just blank and white anyhow. I'm happy
> you say dialectic here and not dichotomy! Oh the impurity of reality!

Actually I meant dichotomy :-}. But then I was not expressing how I think
about things, just an impression about how some may be thinking about art;
I mean in the same way that some "pure" mathematicians seem to frown upon
practical applications, because the concept is everything.

BTW I finished my semester last monday. Yay! (and that's my excuse for
replying late)

> On this topic I have some (related) writing:

cool. i really like it!

> Absolutely, I would say for myself (dispute the eductation perhaps)
> that both sides have to be taken in a dialectic relationship. Not one
> being the master of another.


> > > Neil Postman said that "For a programmer, everything in the world
> > > becomes an algorithm."
> > It is also that the world also lends itself to be seen as such.
> I find it hard to seperate our world from our conceptions of it.

If you don't have any conceptions about the world, then when things
happen, you cannot have predicted them nor say that in retrospect they
were likely to happen. Therefore you don't have anything to say about the
world. That's why the conceptions are essential. Separating yourself from
the conceptions, you cannot say much more than that there exists a world
that you can have conceptions about, and that there exist different
conceptions, and that one's conceptions change over time. (And I guess
even that could be disputed.)

> > It depends which compsci you are talking about. Topics of computing have
> > grown like mad in the 50 last years and have invaded all surrounding
> > domains. It reaches around for logic, mathematics, statistics,
> > research, linguistics, psychology, engineering, and so on.
> definatly true, even more reason for a better term! But what?

Informatics, from French "informatique". Where I live, a compsci
bachelor's degree is called a "baccalauréat en informatique".

> > > don't reductionists think thought processes can be reduced to
> > > compuation?
> > Yes, but it depends: if it is the case that the reduction is valid, it
> > doesn't mean it is useful, and still the higher levels of thought may
> > remain better ways of thinking.
> This is also a great point. A reduction may be technically/empirically
> valid, but that does not mean something has not been lost. (Postman
> talks a lot about this)

Which is why, in practice, several models of different levels are
superimposed and used simultaneously, and then one chooses the model that
best fit a problem or discourse; like, chemistry and classical physics are
now considered to be consequences of quantum physics, but still we use the

> > A small bit about noise: every noise has its distribution, and a
> > distribution is a pattern. Noise/randomness has _some_ structure, albeit
> > less than anything else.
> Very true, I was talking about uniformly distributed noise. But does
> this really exist?

The domain over which uniform noise is uniformly distributed is a pattern
of the noise.

Now if you are looking for a domain the least "patterny" possible, maybe
you'd try the biggest possible domain in a given context, but usually it
does not make sense; for example, uniformly distributing noise over all
natural numbers (or all real numbers) is a mathematical contradiction.

> Or is all noise also chaos? (structure and indeterminacy)

What is considered noise is relative to the observer, and in particular to
its ability to see patterns in it, and its willingness to do so.

I don't think you can prove that there exists an absolutely unpredictable
source of data, and I don't think you can prove that there doesn't exist
any. Those are largely metaphysical questions.

> What is the lyapunov (measure of chaos) exponent of white/brown/pink
> noise?

The concept of "chaos" as found in mathematics is not founded on
randomness at all. It merely refers to how, often, knowing the rules of a
system doesn't mean that you can make much accurate predictions about it.

Now, if you have a source of white noise, then by definition, the only
knowledge you have of white noise values is their probability
distribution; for if you happen to know anything else about how those
values go about, it's not white noise to you anymore, as its values are
not independent from each other.

Therefore you can compute a Lyapunov exponent on white noise iff you can
do it only considering its probability distribution; and briefly looking
at what the definition is, I don't think it makes sense at all to try to
find a Lyapunov exponent on white noise.

Mathieu Bouchard                       http://artengine.ca/matju

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