The future is not what it used to be

I am (still) reading Walter Benjamin’s Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction I enjoy the quote that opens it by Paul Valerey. Sounds like Mcluhan, but he is talking (Benjamin too) about shifts due to mechanical development – reproduction, now this needs updating with an essay about art in the age of electronic production.

More Paul Valery quotes follow, including the bit I have paraphrased above from the Benjamin essay.

Continue reading “The future is not what it used to be”


Post 2/2 (this follows from the previous post)

Wayne Thibaud in a recent rather interesting talk spoke about the magic of having a flat sheet of paper and being able to create the sense of space on that sheet. In other words use 2D to create 3D effect.

In a book I just finished about Australian art, it mentions somewhere that the great break through that the moderns made last century was to realise that canvases were flat, and no illusions of depth were needed.

Contrasting values here, but to my mind not contradictory. Postmodern we have the choice. It is ok to be flat, ok to be fake, it is all ok.

So here, now looking accidentally like a Wayne Thibaud food picture is the sketch I made in the last post, with depth added. Note however that it is the depth of the world that I fake here. I am not using the computer to fake the depth of the paint.

To my mind, if there is anything aesthetic at all about any of these doodles, it is that flat (the last one in the last post) one with no light & no fake anything that has the most appeal, whatever that is.

Light on, light off?

I have used Corel Paint, Photoshop, Deep Paint and may other programs but the most innovative and surprising is ArtRage 2. Just updated it today with an update and learnt about a new feature, or perhaps it was always there? I wish I knew about it when I was doing my Thousand Sketches . F5 turns the light on or off. I am not really blogging a feature. It is the concept behind the feature that interests me.

Have a look at this one from here :


#310 Salvaged
Click for larger image.

This was done in Deep Paint, one of the best to achieve that 3d effect. That is what “Light on” does it creates a computer generated effect lighting up the brush strokes as if they had thickness.

Sometimes that is fun, but is it fake!

I think the use of 2D is just fine. It is 2D. Light of for authenticity.

Here is a quick go with light on and off, spot the difference?

More thoughts on space & 3d coming up.


That last post is something I have been thinking about for ten years. Here is the proof, a proposal I made for a cybernetic conference in 1997, on the theme of Neccessity & Metaphor

Here is the relevant bit:

Possible theme of a paper could be the — Necessity and Metaphor. Contrary to popular belief ‘we can not think what we like’, words and metaphors have a power of their own. I would draw on the ideas of Jung and Hillman and relate it to metaphors of cyberspace. An example I am pondering at the moment is the word ‘depth’ — is the medium conducive to depth, or only breadth, and height?

So when I listen to Collings (see previous post) these old ideas are stirred. Perhaps proving that cyberspace doeas have depth, especially when old ideas can surface.

Matthew Collings, deep and shallow

I listened to a podcast today for the second time – Kim Hill interviewing Matthew Collings. I realised I had blogged it before in Thousand Sketches, and there is a link there too – I recommend it.

If this is an age of shallowness then it is sort of deep to be shallow. Kim: “Shallow is the new deep”.

I don’t buy that though. It is an age where we are more conscious than ever and we flee. There are oceans of depth and we flee to the shallow. But not everyone. The “long tail” comes into play. At the top of the zeitgeist it may be shallow, ironical & tabloid, but down the tail it gets more interesting, there are activists, thinkers, and people having real relationships.

Anyway, it was a good listen even for the second time, happened cause I was cleaning up after re-installing a backup.



Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for long years;
and even to anchor at the isle when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Love this poem by Constantine Cavafy. Thanks Stephen, for sending it along a few years ago.
Continue reading “Ithaca”

Pioneer Anime : Lain

lain image
lain site

”There is the world around us, a world of people, tactile sensation, and culture. There is the wired world, inside the computer, of images, personalities, virtual experiences, and a culture all of its own. The day after a classmate commits suicide, lain, a thirteen year-old girl, discovers how closely the two worlds are linked when she receives an e-mail from the dead girl: “I just abandoned my body. I still live here…” Has the line between the real world and the wired world begun to blur?

layer 03: PSYCHE
lain receives mysterious circuit called “Psyche” that improve functions of any type of NAVIs.

layer 04: RELIGION
lain is into remodeling her NAVI after getting Psyche. Outside of her room, the real world and wired world start mixing.”

I find it all intriguing, mainly because it is so psybernett-y and so matrix-y. ”Has the line between the real world and the wired world begun to blur?” What a nice question… and though it seems that it is treated literally here, as if the dead can email from the grave, the power of that notion is interesting. Like all stories, their truth is not related to what actually happened. The two headings, Psyche and religion – are just interesting.

Update: Later I return to this theme in my weblog post re Axis Mundi Plan. It comes up there because of the church thing they have going.

NY Arts magazine item by Scott Weiland

Virtual 2
NY Arts magazine item by Scott Weiland

In Becoming Virtual: Reality in the Digital Age, Levy presents the notion that art virtualizes the virtual. That is, it is possible to become structured by those virtual aspects of the real which in their function bear agency upon us as objects. If it is possible to understand the virtual through media theory, it is the artist in Levy…

Somehow the soul has to be mediated. In that way it is like or is information. Art is one way and the NET is another – that may be a starting point for my essay!