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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  March 2014

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING March 2014

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Subject:

Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] Can non-human entities perform?

From:

Andrew Murphie <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andrew Murphie <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 17 Mar 2014 22:32:03 +1100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (222 lines)

I was thinking about this a while back and wondered whether performance
shouldn't include the performance of code and algorithms that we can't see
... I took convolution as a starting point.

http://www.performanceparadigm.net/journal/issue-9/articles/convolving-signals-thinking-the-performance-of-computational-processes-andrew-murphie/

all the best, andrew


On 17 March 2014 22:18, Jack Stenner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Mar 17, 2014, at 4:52 AM, roger malina <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > my own take on this- and there is a huge literature and debate out
> there-is
> > that there is no way to define a conceptually clear boundary between
> living and
> > non living- that there are variations in degree and not in kind of
> > various characteristics- and systems that
> > have more of these characteristics exhibit more complex living behaviours
>
>
>
> I would agree, and this is the reason I believe thinking about behavior
> instead of process is important. If we think process, it's easy to think of
> code as "other," as purely machinic, and therefore something non-human
> (even inhuman). If we think behavior, we are less susceptible in that we
> think performance and outcomes. It's the "dog ate my homework!" phenomenon.
> By "othering" technology we can absolve ourselves and shift responsibility.
> It's an unnecessary binarization of a more complex relationship. As you
> say, a difference of "degree, and not in kind." This is where, I think,
> Bernard Stiegler's thoughts are worthwhile. Technology is a prosthetic,
> allowing for the "inorganic organization of memory," but we are
> simultaneously the "neuronal" support for technology. I think Andrés
> Vaccari summarizes the paradox well: "The essence of the human, it seems,
> is the technical; which is paradoxically the other of the human: the
> non-human, the manufactured, unnatural, artificial; the inhuman even."
>  --The machine is simultaneously our essence.
> http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_17/article_08.shtml
>
> I have little doubt that simulations will one day show thought and affect.
> I would think that's devastatingly scary for those who see machines purely
> as other, and perhaps less so for those who see them as essentially "us."
>
> So, in response to Victoria's question, yes. To perform is not the sole
> province of humans, IMO.
>
> Jack
>
>
> On Mar 17, 2014, at 4:52 AM, roger malina <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Ken victoria
> >
> > I would like to rebound on the question 'can non humans perform' with a
> broader
> > question 'is performance a characteristic of living organisms" and
> differ a bit
> >
> > my own take on this- and there is a huge literature and debate out
> there-is
> > that there is no way to define a conceptually clear boundary between
> living and
> > non living- that there are variations in degree and not in kind of
> > various characteristics- and systems that
> > have more of these characteristics exhibit more complex living
> behaviours - i
> > would cite some of stuart kauffman's writing
> >
> > ( note the boundary between human and non-human is clearer)
> >
> > which gets me to code as performance
> >
> > as many have written= the area computer based simulation has become
> > a very important strategy in science- where simulations often acquire the
> > status of hypotheses or even theory ( eg climate change, cosmology)-
> > and assumes a basic
> > idea that the universe is 'computable"
> >
> > in this frame- i want to argue that the codes of simulations do 'perform'
> > and of course the whole field of artificial life art explores this ( the
> VIDA
> > competition is 15 years old this year- a teenager !
> > http://www.fundacion.telefonica.com/es/arte_cultura/vida/index.htm )
> >
> > ken argues:
> > It is my view that thought and affect are elements of performance.
> > For this reason, my take on the issue is machines or inanimate artefacts
> > cannot perform, though we can program them to engage in activities
> > that we may construe as performance.
> >
> >
> > with the argument that 'thought and affect' are elements of performance
> and that
> > code cannot have these properties
> >
> > I wonder ! some of the personal robots that are being developed i
> > would think are beginning
> > to show 'affect' with personalised relationships with one particular
> > human and some simulation
> > systems are at least 'self reflexive' in a third order cybernetics sense
> >
> > david parry has an article on the ethics of code
> >
> > http://www.outsidethetext.com/articles/EthicsofCode.pdf
> >
> > which explores some of the points
> >
> > he states:
> > Clearly there is some slippage and overlap in terms here. For, from one
> angle
> > narrative is just one aspect of simulation. A dramatic re-enactment
> > or a staged
> > play is meant to simulate an event that is not present. From this
> perspective,
> > narrative is but a subset of simulation. But it is equally important
> > to distinguish
> > between these two representational modes, especially given the particular
> > prevalence simulations are taking in our digital world. The view that
> the world
> > is simulatable given enough computational power is a world metaphor which
> > is rapidly replacing the notion that one learns of the world through
> narration
> > and linear representation.
> >
> > roger malina
> >
> >
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: Ken Friedman <[log in to unmask]>
> > Date: Sun, Mar 16, 2014 at 2:10 AM
> > Subject: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] Can non-human entities perform?
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> >
> >
> > Dear Victoria,
> >
> > Reading your interesting post, I thought it might be interesting to
> > venture a brief note on the question, "Can non-human entities
> > perform?"
> >
> > If we look at this in philosophical terms, there are two ways to
> > consider it. One is to ask what kinds of entities can think or intend.
> > The other is to ask what kinds of entities possess agency, the
> > capacity to decide or purposefully pursue self-willed goals. My take
> > on it is that many kinds of non-human entities do these.
> >
> > Mary Catherine Bateson (1972: 104-120) relates an interesting story of
> > a horse learning. Many who live with intelligent dogs have the sense
> > that dogs can think, reason, and draw logical inferences of a kind
> > that we would call "theorising" were human beings to draw these
> > inferences and articulate them in written or spoken narrative. This is
> > certainly the case for many non-human primates. In the same way, I'd
> > argue that horses, dogs, and other non-human thinking entities can
> > perform purposely in response to others or to the environment, and do
> > so outside the bounds of instinctual activity.
> >
> > My experience of living with four dogs over a lifetime is that they
> > have all been thoughtful, though I don't believe that dogs think as we
> > think, and they don't usually think about the same things -- except at
> > dinner time, when all animals, human and non-human focus on food. It
> > is difficult to say how much or how often dogs think about themselves,
> > though I observe that dogs seem to have a sense of self and some
> > measure of self-awareness. All of my canine friends were playful,
> > though they differed in their interest in representing thinking or
> > play in a way that was specifically communicative or performative.
> >
> > Whether non-human entities can perform in the same way that humans
> > perform or for the same reasons is another matter. They cannot state
> > their views on this issue.
> >
> > It is my view that thought and affect are elements of performance. For
> > this reason, my take on the issue is machines or inanimate artefacts
> > cannot perform, though we can program them to engage in activities
> > that we may construe as performance.
> >
> > Best regards,
> >
> > Ken
> >
> > Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | University Distinguished Professor
> > | Swinburne University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia |
> > University email
> > [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> | Private
> > email [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> | Mobile
> > +61 404 830 462 | Academia Page
> > http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman
> >
> > Guest Professor | College of Design and Innovation | Tongji University
> > | Shanghai, China ||| Adjunct Professor | School of Creative Arts |
> > James Cook University | Townsville, Australia
> >
> > References
> >
> > Bateson, Mary Catherine. 1972. Our Own Metaphor. A Personal Account of
> > a Conference on the Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation.
> > New York: Knopf.
> >
> >
> > -
>



-- 

"A traveller, who has lost his way, should not ask, Where am I? What he
really wants to know is, Where are the other places" - Alfred North
Whitehead

Andrew Murphie - Associate Professor
School of the Arts and Media,
University of New South Wales,
Sydney, Australia, 2052

Editor - The Fibreculture Journal http://fibreculturejournal.org/>
web: http://www.andrewmurphie.org/ <http://dynamicmedianetwork.org/>

tlf:612 93855548 fax:612 93856812
room 311H, Robert Webster Building

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