briansholis + computers   3

Lindsay Caplan, "The Social Conscience of Generative Art," Art in America
"Importantly, computers continued to make their way into art and culture not in spite of their entanglement with the military-corporate research complex, but because of it. The artworks, exhibitions, actions, and texts that comprise the early history of generative art were meant not only to integrate computers into artmaking, but also to reimagine the political agency of artists and artworks alike. Generative art, in other words, was tied to a generative understanding of art’s political role."

"The political impetus of generative aesthetics might be easily lost in this sea of equations, formulas, and technical language, if not for Bense’s own insistence on the urgency of this approach. Bense argued that rationality is humanity’s first defense against fascism."

"Bense’s theory of generative aesthetics works to remove subjectivity from art and aesthetic judgment and imbue both with the transparency and clarity of science—striving, in his words, to “transform the metaphysical discipline into a technological one.”4 Underlying all the technical language of information, complexity, redundancy, and signs was an attempt to salvage meaning in an increasingly dispersed and confused information age, while at the same time expressing an anti-totalitarian skepticism about whether such shared meaning was possible or desirable."

"What is crucial to auto-destructive art is that disintegration, ephemerality, and, most important, destruction all figure centrally in the work."

"The worst manifestations of destructiveness—war, waste, environmental catastrophe, and the capitalist system behind them—all need to be laid bare and eliminated. But destruction, at the metaphorical level of the artwork or social critique, can be wielded to create a productive opening."

"Metzger’s values of spontaneity and randomness seem to contrast starkly with Bense’s prioritization of programming and transparency, but both are resolutely concerned with communication. Each sees the computerized creation of artworks as a concretization of some kind of more ethical collective life.

For Bense, this manifests in a circuit of communication based on universally affective signals and signs; for Metzger, in a shared social space that can connect individual and collective experiences, events, and temporalities. For both, the ethics of their envisioned systems stems from their transparency, dynamism, and ability to be understood by everyone. Both Bense and Metzger produced elaborate theoretical treatises—be it manifestos or multiple philosophical volumes. Clear communication is central to what they thought computers could give us, and essential to whatever future collective life they imagined such technologies might support."
2020  2020-01  LindsayCaplan  ArtInAmerica  MaxBense  GustavMetzger  art  ArtHistory  computers  GenerativeArt  aesthetics  politics 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Amanda Mull, "Laptops Killed Work-Life Balance," The Atlantic
"Some disagreement exists over whether 2007 or 2008 was the first year that laptops outsold desktops in the general market, but 2008 was the first year that American employers bought more laptops than desktops."

"Instead of liberating white-collar and “knowledge” workers from their offices, laptops turned many people’s whole lives into an office. Smartphones might require you to read an after-hours email or check in on the office-communication platform Slack before you start your commute, but portable computers gave workers 24-hour access to the sophisticated, expensive applications—Salesforce CRM, Oracle ERP, Adobe Photoshop—that made their full range of duties possible."

"More than the smartphone, laptops ended “work hours” as a concept."
laptops  technology  computers  AmandaMull  2020  2020-02  TheAtlantic  business  WorkLifeBalance 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Yangyang Cheng, "I Save You in the Clouds," SupChina
"The Chinese word for “remember,” 记住 jìzhù, can be broken down into three distinct chunks: the first character, 记, is formed with a speech radical and the character for “self”; the second, 住, means “location.” To leave a mark, one needs language, as well as a medium — be it oracle bones or bamboo scrolls, paper or parchment, a floppy disk or hard drive."

"Despite my childhood ambition to one day revive my father’s research, I chose particle physics out of personal interest instead of my father’s field of mechanical engineering. My profession traces the origin and evolution of the universe. The tiny wrinkles of heat and light on a smooth, boundless sky hold the answers to our cosmological history. We build powerful telescopes on the top of mountains or the wings of satellites, searching for the faintest signals from the deepest time. We construct magnificent colliders underground, where beams of particles smash at nearly the speed of light, blooming into miniature cosmos in their infancy. We design state-of-the-art computing facilities that store, process, and transmit oceans of data to collaborators across the globe."

"Nature builds its library with no regard for our attempted reading."

"We are driven by our own desires, compelled to satiate our own curiosities. What we make of our time — the work we do, the stories we tell, the people we love — is what gives our lives meaning. Whether anything we produce has a longevity beyond our bodies is never as important as the act of living."

"My mother needed to hold on to the wish so that my father’s death was not only a personal loss but that of humanity’s. By preserving his research, my mother invited the future into her private mourning, so that she was not so alone in her sorrow."
YangyanCheng  SupChina  parents  death  mourning  computers  memory  astrophysics  science  China  2020Faves  2019  2019-12 
10 weeks ago by briansholis

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