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mfa MODELING page

mfa: [Intro] [creativity] [modeling] [tools] [text] [ZeitRaum - Time/Space] throw your hands in the air; {.} (a dot) see also: -[tri-text]- Text: Being a forward looking, backward glance at "text". [phrase borrowed from Dr. Seuss's book of the same name] NOTE: Much of this page owes its structure to the Law Firm of Reb Beach, Richie Smbora, Ingveh Malmsteen, Paul Gibson, et al. Noetic beginning: Shall i go on? To live without art, it seems rather pointless. Everyone and everything must have a point. My point is: Conincidence is that which happens to keep the random number generators fully charged; after all, can you EVER know when you will need to use a preposition as a verb, of? On this page: {Intro} {Text As Art Object} {Word Play}


This section of the iconosphere (actually technically *outside* the iconosphere, or for that matter ANY iconosphere) [
Note 1] disucsses text. We start with Umberto Eco's observation: Context is King. -[contesdt]- (philo entry) We take that as not only read, but as axiomatic as well. In this section, we want to gently start examining text from an artisitic point of view. Text can in itself be an art object (as with any line on the page, in space, in time, etc). The deconstructionists/constructionists including of course Derida, Barthes, etc would say that we can re-structure text to represent something else. My own (rather shakey) contribution is as follows: Any text of "sufficient" complexity, contains every other text of equal or less complexity. A clear exampole would be a dictionary which would contain all texts written in that language. Note: There is no attempt to ORDER the system of a text. That is, while a dictionary (eg, Polish-English) might be usefull to a translater, it is less useful than a SUB-SET of the Polish-English dictionary as given by a "Frohmer's" or a "Polish in a Nutshell", etc, text. We automatically include the concepts as follows: a concordance - a letter by letter decomposition of a text; eg, the word "apple" is listed FIVE times in the ordering: v (pivot point) a apple apple apple apple ^ If we then add the word "dabbler" we get the new concordance: -^_6 v (pivot point) a dabbler dabbler dabbler dabbler apple apple apple dabbler ^ Note in practice, most conconcordances are NOT complete. dictionary, Roget's synonym/antonym dictionary, etc. as per their commonly accepted "definitions". Again, context being king we might look at the following and wonder what is going on: Bun, wacket, buzzard, stubble and boot. Owl Stretching time. Arthur Megapodes' Cheap Show. All is revealed by the KEY phrase: "Monty Python's Flying Circus". None of which *mean* anything outside of the context of humor. Now, let us look at the text AS art object.

Text as art object

Examine the following drawing of a tree: A crudely drawn tree, with the text 
(scattered in a downward flow) through its 
branches: This is not a written stmt The statment (as text) "This in not a written statment." is of course self-referential and as such contradictory, and therefore (commonly) a paradox and (less commonly) an imaginary statement of the 2nd order [i think]. Regardless, we can examine the nature of line (i've never been very good drawing with a mouse) as well as the value of the text: line -- thin, erratic, almost frenetic (no surprise there) text -- (as filler element) bold, times roman (and no surprise) Now, because we (presumably) speak English, the FLOW of the text from top to bottom IMPLIES a flow of time, and a flow of causality. The flow of time is by the way that we "read downwards" along the branches of the tree. These occur sequentially, and we "understand" them to form a sentence -- despite the apparent paradox in its meaning. The flow of causality is implied by the fact that the words CAN be read in order. But, as Rudolf Anrheim reminds us: +---+ ..... | A | --------------->. . +---+ ..... +---+ ..... | B | --------------->. . +---+ ..... (given as "Figure 252", LocCit) The "red" square (B) is moving quite rapidly [from the centre of the screen] to the right. A, moving even faster, catches up with B. At the moment of their contact B, suddenly slows down considerably and continues its course at the reduced speed. Under these paradoxical condidtions, perceived causlaity is particularly compelling. "Art and Visual Perception", by Rudolf Arnheim, LCCN XX-####, ISBN 0.520.24383.8, (Univ. California Press, Berkley, 2004). Thus, in the same way that we "attach meaning" to words to given them some sort of "causal essence" we prescribe casulality to things that may have no causal connection. A clear example of this is of course music that does not conform to the "usual rules" of composition; eg, Jazz, works by John Cage, Stomp, the rhythm of rain, etc. Of course we know that we can describe ANY music in terms of am infinite Fourier Series of powers of Sine and Cosine trigonometric functions. None of these include causality. Although one could argue that even A following B implies the flow of time. Thus, we see how motion, sound, and of course text itself can be represented as text. And this in turn can be expressed as pure arithmetic, as per -[
Kurt Goedel's]- "numbers". We return briefly to Borges' -[]- to continue the following discussion. Consider our squares above. I have (copied) created a cute little graphic of two squares going merrily upon their way. (Does the previous sentence create a noetic reference? I would say yes). Clearly using a "flip book", we can create an animation of the movement of the two squares. Further, we can describe them mathematically by a function, or by exhaustion a complete table of values. Further, we can think of the text in one of the volumes of the Library of Babel as "encoded" -- that is, while seeming to be gibberish it could be the HEXADECIMAL (ascii) codes for a .gif or .jpg or .mov file. Thus, context again comes into it. Given the correct DECODERl, we can decipher the text. Again, this problem is similar to that of translation from one language to another. Let us go further and talk about text as art object outside of ANY textual meaning. As with density plots, we can create a vairety of textures using the physical properties of individual letters, symbols, etc. Compare; +---------+ +---------+ +---------+ | . . . . | | ZZZZZZ | | ####### | | . . . . | | ZZZZZZ | | ####### | | . . | | ZZ | | ### | | . . | | ZZ | | ### | +---------+ +---------+ +---------+ Thus, the physical properities of a "." a "Z" and "#" convey varying degrees of density (here left to right: faint to darkest). These are of course ignoring the textual properties. But, by the same means we can create (artificually) space on a page. In his, "Winnie The Pooh", A.A. Milne describes how Pooh and Piglett wandered down one page and up to the next, using the flow and spacing of words around a drawing to convey the conept of "following a path"; similarly for e.e. cummings, etc. Thus, the text object (and here we must expand this to include all calligraphies of existant/existent languages, as well as maths notation, symbolic algebra, etc.), can be applied with its own aethetic and convery meaning on several levels.

Word Play

If we step back one level from text as "pure" art object, we can then construct "word streams", "cross word puzzles", etc. This can then be used to create non-sense streams or actual streams of meaning. Here we take it as read that when we say "non-sense" we do not mean something that is encoded in a cryptic way and thus appears to be "hidden"; eg, "zoxxy, zixxy, zool" are clearly alliterative and could be takken as a "poetic stream", while something like: 01x2bx3cx5dx (a hex stream) would be considered as garbage, gubble, or blurble -- ie, meaningless and therefore non-sense. Once we "allow" the use of word streams and word play, we can create art objects which "just happen to be made out of words"; in a very important sense, the iconosphere is "merely" an art object that just happens to be composed (mostly) of text. In such cases, do we allow more "lee-way" in the details of compostion? Yes and no. If there is a chance that (eg) a fictious dictionary might be mistaken for an actual dictionary, perhaps the reader (participant) should be "clued in". Of course in terms of an absurdist POV, this is precisely what should NOT be done; for example, the song "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam" by Monty Python, or "Ubu Roi" by Alfred Jarry. Note that by "cluing in the viewer/participant", we create a contextual key to the even/object. This is the case with the "Dinner and Murder" theatre style where in particpants and actors mix together and become involved a form virual reality. Clearly the same aethetic applies to such things as "Pig Latin", "Star Trek Speak", etc. In such cases, the text and its content are altered whether performed, read, or re-expressed in another form. This is in fact the "game" that is played in translating one language to another. Further, if text is expanded to include sung pieces such as in opera where a duet has two people inter-spersing different dialogs to create a new "message". In this case, the "message" given by each is sung. But, a similar effect can be achieved by the use of music (played), spoken text, and sound effects. For example in one of Charles Mingus' works, spoken non-sense words are used (non-sense unless one speaks the African language of Bantu) along with African-themed sound effects. Some of the words are part of the *presumed* context of most listeners; eg, "Simba" (lion). Suddenly, intoduced are words which are *clearly* expressed in English; notably: "Russia", "Africa", and "Freedom". Thus, the way that TEXT is woven is only *apparently* different from the way that lines, cotton threads, or even paper are woven to form patterns.

A conclusion of sorts

Thus, in the limit the way that text is expressed becomes performance. And doesn't matter what message is intended since we can not help but express a message being embued by the semi-mysteical powers of presence and being associated with being an "artist" or a "scientist", etc.
[1] Briefly, at the "mfa" level (which i use rahter loosely, rathern than formally), the descriptions are included to be a sort of meta-layer above the iconosphere itself. Thus, if we were to construct a meta-iconosphere, we would still need a meta layer above that to be able to discuss certain things. And if we were to construct a meta-meta-iconsophere, then quite naturally it would be turtles all the way up to the four elephants upon rest the FLAT earth. [google: "flat earth society"] {
Back to the TEXT (!) above} [2] What is the real aesthetic of text? Imagine (if needed) that you are deaf (mostly def?) and watching the "signer" on TV who uses sign language to show what the person is saying. But the emotions that the signer (who is not an empty transmission channel) and their emotion may convey beyond hand signals. Contrast this to a crane operator receiving hand signals from a person on the ground. An excellent example of this occurs in the film "What's the Worst that could Happen?". And if one is blind and receiving hand signs in the palm of the hand - again the force, "emotion" etc that is transmitted goes beyond something called "pure" text... And even written text can have colours, fonts, size, and s p a a a cing... We now return you to: [artist: dot return] {text: dot return}