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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  March 2014

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING March 2014

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Subject:

Re: Fwd: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] on interpreters and compilers

From:

Barbara Lattanzi <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Barbara Lattanzi <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 23 Mar 2014 10:26:48 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Fork-bomb is a thing of beauty but it is not a pun.  Here is a pun (at least it is in US english)...

A duck walks into a drugstore and says, "Give me a chapstick and put it on my bill."

It is a pun for two reasons:

1.  It requires cross-referencing at least two unrelated lexicons of meaning.

2.  It triggers in the brain something analogous to the computational "halting problem"...an uncomputability as to actionable meaning.

With forkbomb, the ultimate result is measurable quantifiably (its "extensive" property of running as many times as it can).

With the pun, the result is not quantifiable, but an "intensive" quality that can only exist at a bifurcation point of meaning.  (Hamlet had a similar "intensive" problem).  

A pun presents an intensive problem of meaning to solve.  But the "solution" is an endless oscillation, until a choice is made between lexicons, based on an immanent context.

The Deleuze/DeLanda example of the material expressivity of the halting problem is the formation of a soap bubble...i.e., a thin soap film that, when presented with different air pressure on either side of its surface which has reached a critical intensity, must compute and "make a decision" as to whether/when to reach the equilibrium of a sphere.

Extrapolating, I speculate that when we are presented with a pun, we *feel* the disequilibrium of the non-human, i.e., we feel our cognitive processes as autonomous from our sense of self. These cognitive processes have their own ways of dealing with the halting problem...oscillating for the sheer pleasure of it, and as the late Hollis Frampton said, doing so "whether we pay them any mind or not."

Puns are every bit as computational as fork-bombs, but not the same thing.

Barbara


---------
Barbara Lattanzi
Associate Professor of Interactive Arts
School of Art and Design
NYSCC at Alfred University
Alfred, NY USA

vimeo.com/idiomorphics/videos
wildernesspuppets.net




On Mar 23, 2014, at 7:41 AM, "D. Neal McDonald" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> That is the first  tattoo I've been tempted by in a while. Shades of
> Obfuscated C! Unix is a pile of puns and grammar jokes like this. Laft-brain
> puns. As it were.
> 
> Siri strikes me as something that could do scripting puns in a more
> right-brain manner, like when that Scot asked for a sandwitch and she told him
> she didn't know where to get pajamas. Programming languages are short on
> verbs.
> 
> -Neal
> 
>> I have a deep and long running affection for programming puns. I'm sure most
>> people will be aware of Jaromil's fork bomb
>> http://jaromil.dyne.org/journal/forkbomb_art.html
>> 
>> The elegance of this one seems like the direct opposite of other kinds of
>> programming word play (such as the ones Rob mentions below). The commonality
>> though is in the way that they sort of duck in and out of being about
>> performative action (as in being computational) and being a formal game.
>> 
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> 
>> From: Rob Myers <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] on interpreters and compilers
>> Date: 22 March 2014 22:36:47 GMT
>> To:
>> <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>> Reply-To: Rob Myers <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>> 

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