Some Thoughts Regarding the Construction
of a Fourth Generation Institute to Integrate Technology into a
Creative and Humanized Culture.
Amsterdam, december 1988
It was a dark and stormy night,
A man went searching for fire
With a lantern in his hand.
If he had known what fire was
He would have found it easier
I. Strategic Theory
1. The Need for Strategy
i. -The International Situation
a. International Agreement
After attending two international conferences (in Offenbach
and Berlin) concerning the implications of the new media for
art and design the most obvious conclusion is that the most
common point of agreement is that there is no point of
This is of course largely to be expected, when intellectuals
are in agreement there is no more discussion and without
discussion there is no longer a social role for the
Taking this into account one would expect to find at least a
common point of disagreement, but even this communal point
has not yet been clarified. Clearly, there are many pragmatic
approaches, several vested interests (both economical and
intellectual) and a growing feeling among an increasing
number of people that, unless we begin to consciously analyze
our options regarding the future, technological investment
may impose an unacceptable restriction on our future
b. Economic Myopia
The present situation regarding the use of the new media
by artists is actually a prime example of the destruction of
a conceptual ecology by a shortsighted belief in economic
For some unknown reason the producers of electronic tools for
commercial (graphic) designers and the researchers of
electronic representation of photographic reality are not
content with presenting their products in terms of what they
really are but have a passionate need to present their
artifacts as art. The banality of the results do no justice
to the technical and scientific achievements hiding behind
the facade and certainly prevent a serious use and discussion
of the new media.
The resulting schism completely obliterates
the fact that there is a long tradition of artistic
exploration of the expressive qualities of new media.
This tradition ranges from before the use of oil based
paints to the present day and includes many early experiments
by pioneers who, derived of credit, were the true originators
of current commercially exploitable techniques.
By denying this tradition, the commercial system undermines
itself by destroying the patterns of conceptual
cross-fertilization which it ultimately exploits.
Unfortunately, monolithic cultures destroy not only
themselves but also the elements which might have restored
the diversity once the error becomes manifest. Cultivating
a desert is more difficult than initiating the erosion.
Paradoxically, an absence of criteria for evaluating concepts
and events may create a chaos just as homogeneous as the result
of applying a monolithic dogma. We need a variety of visions,
a variety of ways of analyzing them and a variety of ways of
synthesizing new visions, but we must also be able to
evaluate these visions and to find a way of resolving
possible conflicts between the results of the evaluation.
ii. -The International Future
Art and culture can never be truly divorced from politics
and economics. Art tries to manipulate the social aesthetic
expressed in politics and politics tries to manipulate the
the social status of art.
In a political-economic system based on short-term profit
there is no use for culture except as a commercial product.
In an economy where the production and distribution of
material goods is becoming less important in relation to
the economic exploitation of immaterial information and
knowledge, cultural fads and fashions are big business.
In a world where chemical and nuclear pollution and the
wastage of natural resources is threatening natural ecology
a cultural and aesthetic decision may soon be required,
either we support global ecology or we abandon natural
physical systems entirely and develop a culture completely
based on immaterial simulation of a supposed or created
In a culture based on economic exploitation, what role has
an individual when their economic function is superseded
by a machine?
How is an integrated Europe with an immaterial economy based
on electronic communication to interface into other economies
and cultures? Is inter-cultural competition to be based on
sport or on war? Is inter-cultural interfacing not an
Is it possible to divorce ethics from aesthetics?
Who is to decide the aesthetics of modern culture -Confucius,
Lao Tse, Buddha, Plato, Machiavelli, Locke, Bentham, Marx,
Trotsky, Stalin, Goebbels, Gandhi, Mao, the plebeians,
the merchants, the elites or the dictators? Shall we have a
pluriform democratic culture or a monolithic dictated culture?
If we are to develop an artificial intelligence, we must also
develop a natural wisdom.
2. The need for Responsibility
The greater our power to understand and to control global cultural,
political, economic and ecological systems the greater is our
responsibility to make our decisions with respect to these systems as
wisely as possible.
How can there be a democratic discussion if our artists reduce
themselves to entertainers and are unable to fulfil their role as
developers and transmitters of cultural traditions and concepts?
How can the public decide about solutions when it has no experience
of the problems and no way of visualizing them?
How can the politicians build cultural models if they have no
cultural background and no understanding of the cultural process?
How can the technicians build machines if nobody knows what the
machines are supposed to do?
We are all citizens, and we all have responsibility.
3. The need for an Aristocratic Culture
In a professional society it is difficult to remember that the
fundaments of most professions were laid by amateurs and dilettantes
with a genuine interest in the material which they investigated
(sometimes even contrary to their own financial interests).
Probably no society has been able to develop a highly developed
culture without the use of slaves to free the citizens from time
wasting work. On the other hand, the divorce of social leaders from
the realities of daily life is probably a prime cause of social decay.
In an automated society the economic exploitation of human beings
may be redundant. A re-evaluation of the function of mankind in
terms other than as a unit of economically exploitable labour may be
essential. An intensive use of computers and the resulting complex
problems of ontology and organization, implies a shift in human
function away from the operative and towards the contemplative.
Automatization generates metamorphosis and meta-structures.
4. The need to Educate the Educators
Given the high level of uncertainty regarding the present situation
it would seem that we are not yet in a position to develop training
schemes for students or even training schemes for teachers.
What can we tell the public about the new media when the pioneers
of the new media are hardly capable of discussing the implications
because the universe of discourse has not yet been defined.
Probably there is not even a common language within which this
universe can be defined and explored.
First we must develop a strategy which will enable us to develop a
language to formulate the questions -in order to begin the search
5. The Need for Multi-dimensional Models (Continuity and Discontinuity)
i. -The Need for a Bootstrapping System
Even the apparently simple question "Do the modern
media imply a cultural break in Western Culture?" implies
that we are capable of defining "Western Culture", that we
have theoretical tools with which to analyze the implications
of the modern media and that we can specify the cultural
parameters in order to decide whether continuity or
discontinuity is the most prevalent.
Clearly, the boundaries of cultural continuity would play a
role in defining the culture, so that a cultural break must
either imply the end of the culture or a re-definition of
the culture in order to reduce the break to a shift within
The tools which we use to analyze our culture are of course
part of our culture (and can be used to define that culture).
The result of our analysis may cause us to redefine both our
culture and (by implication) our tools. If we allow our
definition to modify our actions then our actions are limited
by our definitions of our tools; if we do not let our culture
modify our actions then we have no culture. The question
therefore defines the answer and the answer therefore implies
The problem is that our cultural tradition does not include
conceptual tools capable of accepting the existence of such a
tautological interaction between subject and object or
cause and effect. Therefore it is impossible for our culture
to be analyzed and understood without a radical change
in our cultural tradition.
ii. -The Dialectics of Theory and Praxis
Rapid technological change (which appears to be becoming
an autonomous process seemingly opposed to the dialectics
of theory and praxis) demands the rapid training of
technicians in order to maximalize the economic exploitation
of the technology.
Rapid technological change demands a profound educational
and cultural support system capable of sustaining the
continual cultural re-evaluation required in a dynamic
If we are in danger of forgetting the importance of the
dialectics of theory and praxis, we should study the effects
of Western technology on indigenous peoples throughout the
world. What we have done to so-called primitive cultures is
what we are in danger of doing to ourselves now. If we are
not careful we may all find ourselves in the position of an
Eskimo with a refrigerator, an electric fire and a vacuum
cleaner capable of clearing snow.
iii. -Technological Over-commitment
In a rapidly changing technological environment one needs
to be aware of the paradox of the delaying advance: in order
to be in the forefront of technological advance one must
make a large investment in equipment which may commit one
to a certain strategy which may be obsolete even before
the equipment is fully operational.
A possible solution may be to invest heavily in conceptual
analysis before starting, keep material investments to a
functional minimum and share physical resources as much as
possible between partners using different strategies in
order to spread investment risks. A phased development is
essential, as is a period of re-evaluation between phases.
iv. -The need for a Conceptual Ecology
In an unified Europe with centers of education and
research interconnected by means of an instant electronic
communication network there is a danger of conceptual
uniformity. This is especially dangerous in new areas of
development where there are a limited number of experts
working in areas with many economic and political implications.
A dynamic mixture of conflicting (formalized) interests and
paradigms can provide a stimulating polemic. Conflict and
chaos should never be completely removed from a system if it
is to be creative. The amount of chaos acceptable (or desirable)
is probably a question of individual and cultural aesthetic.
II. Towards a Universe of Discourse
1. The need for a Meta-Linguistic Interface
In order to establish a common universe of discourse a
language is required in order to analyze and define this
universe and to make statements regarding it.
Unfortunately, language is not neutral. The elements and
the grammar of a language are derived from ontological
assumptions regarding the universe which is to be
primarily represented by that language. The language defines
the universe and the universe justifies the language.
Perhaps the only way to escape from this inescapable
tautology is to accept it on the basic level of existing
languages and try to develope a new language and
universe of discourse which in principle is not concerned
with defining a new universe but with the relationships
between existing universes of discourse. Quite likely,
this meta-linguistic interface will then naturally generate
new universes of discourse, in which case the process will
probably need to repeat itself on a higher level of
abstraction. One may then expect a continuing process to
develop, based on periods of increasing complexity
due to practical expansion of theoretical concepts followed
by periods in which the existing pragmatic situation becomes
conceptually simplified. In a complex nexus of universes one
cannot expect that all parts of the system will be in the
same phase of expansion or contraction.
When designing a new institute for art and media technology it may
be sensible to consider this organization as being a linguistic
structure not only capable of making statements about the use of
practical and conceptual tools and their relationships to cultural
environments, but also capable of making statements regarding its
own use of tools to generate these statements. This may be a way
to ensure a dynamic response to the institutions own development
within a changing environment within which it is (itself) a
principal instrument of change.
2. Some Initial Tools
i. -The Computer as a common matrix
Some people suggest that the computer is a common medium
used by many disciplines and that it should therefore
function as a common language. To be honest, my own
reasons for investigating the computer as an artistic
medium are based on this assumption. Nevertheless, one
should be aware of the dangers of confusing cause and
The computer, based on the concept of the Universal
Turing Machine, is a multi-purpose machine capable
of simulating any process which may be described in
terms of one of the languages simulatable by the machine.
Certainly, the same machine may (even apparently at the
same time) appear to understand Cobol, C en Lisp and may
be of practical assistance to both users who have a
natural affinity with one (or more) of these (and other)
programming languages or to users who are even unaware
that a language has been used.
Strangely enough, the universal simulation machine
has given birth to a number of specialized languages
which are more or less specific to the applications
which generated them. An attempt by the Pentagon to
develop ADA, a universal computer language, appears to
be about as successful as the development of Esperanto
was. True, there is a permanent evolution and cross-
fertilization, both between the languages and between
the languages and their applications but this occurs
because (except on the primitive binary level which
everyone is trying to avoid) there are fundamental
differences between the applications.
It would seem that the computer is not a common matrix
for communication. On the contrary, it is the failed
attempts to make it a common matrix which are generating
interesting insights into linguistic processes. Possibly
these insights may eventually lead to a common system
of communication but, if achieved, this unification might
reduce the dynamic creative interaction of different
disciplines to an uncreative tautology expressed in a
single language. This may be the basis of a paradox
by which every dynamic and successful culture eventually
makes itself extinct by reducing environmental complexity
to such an extent that the decadent pursuit of pleasure
is apparently the only possible remaining activity.
Focus on the computer as universal machine may also
prevent us from seeing other things (such as holography,
transputers, networks and even natural systems) as useful
models of systems that generate and communicate (new) ideas.
ii. -The Computer as an Organisational Problem
Because the computer is a machine there is a tendency
to consider it as being principally the concern of the
technical scientists. Certainly there is a tendency for
scientists and technicians to try and persuade others
that the computer should be left to them and one should
not trouble ones pretty little head with problems about
what goes on "under the motor-cap".
In practice, because the computer is a universal
simulation machine, the technical problem is almost
reduceable to the question "How many bits can we get
on the head of a pin?". Questions regarding which
processes can be simulated, how they are to be simulated
and what are the implications of the simulation are often
infinitely more complex, interesting and, in general,
more relevant to the social and commercial structure of
Gradually it is becoming (almost painfully) obvious that
the principle problems involving the computer (even on a
technical level) are concerned with the definition and
description of universes of use and the organization of
the resulting complexity. Perhaps in the future the
question "How can the computer scientist use the artist?"
may be even more important than "How can the artist use
iii. -A Linguistic definition of Technology
Just as some musicologists and some art historians need
to be reminded that history does not end around 1900,
so do most people who talk about technology need to be
reminded that the concept of technology was not
discovered in mid-twentieth century Europe or America.
By considering technology as a linguistic process (which
generates sets of objects, procedures and grammars in
the physical domain) the technological process becomes
easier to study in a broader context. Our understanding of
the effects of the introduction of iron smelting on stone
age societies, or the effect of the steam engine on
Victorian rural England may be relevant to our understanding
of the post-industrial electronic revolution (and visa versa).
The problem is (once again) how can one develop a "linguistic
interface" which is as ontologicaly neutral as possible but
still enabling a study of the relationships between grammatical
structures existing in different domains.
iv. -A Linguistic definition of Art
Art can also be seen as a linguistic process producing
(material or immaterial) objects which are not only generated
by complex interactions of personal, social and technique
oriented grammars but are also a way of defining these
grammars (or traditions as they may be called).
The culturally most important function of art is not its
financial aspect or even its expressive aspect but (to the
contrary) is concerned with its role in the formalization
Formalization is important not only because a work of art
(in any medium) is a perceivable structure defining a position
within a nexus of traditions (or grammars) and therefore able
to function as a focus for personal and social identification
but also because it is the struggle with the formal structure
that often forces the artist to break the tautology of his
Every artist has experienced the autonomy of their own work.
It is the excitement of wanting to know what the work is going
to become that causes the addiction to the working process. Art
is not the mirror of the artist's soul, it is the alchemical
laboratory which transforms that soul. The observer can only
attempt to reconstruct that process but without direct
experience there is a great danger of confusing the moon with
the finger that points to the moon. This ambiguity may be
useful in breaking the tautology of the thought processes in
v. -A Linguistic definition for Science
Because the paradigms and methodologies of science are more
explicit and universal than those in art, it should be
relatively simple to define science as a grammatical process
designed to uncover the grammatical processes active in the
world around us.
In practice, the formal demands of the scientific process do
(often) make the scientist aware of inconsistencies in the
current working hypothesis -just as the formal demands of
a (non-explicit) aesthetic may force changes to be made in
the current working hypothesis of the artist. Nevertheless,
with the possible exception of mathematics and/or logics
there are no formal processes within science to generate the
models which form the basis of the scientific process.
Art and science then appear to be truly complimentary. Artists
develop strategies for generating works of art which are
models of unspecified universes. The truth of these models
is then pragmatically tested by the public by means of the
simple formula "If the cap (model) fits then wear (use) it".
The modern scientist uses the same formula although the
methodology of the test is somewhat more demanding and a
magic hat is required to generate the model. Science is a
model testing process and art is a model generating process.
vi. -Concept-driven Technology or Technology-driven Concepts
A linguistic approach to artistic, scientific and technological
processes would probably make it easier to unravel the
interaction between the way technologies may be developed out
of existing needs and the way in which new desires may be
created by new technical possibilities (the artistic problem
of form and content).
Linguistic research may thus make it easier to understand
the current period of technological change and possibly
help to develop methods to evaluate and mediate the change.
At this level of abstraction it is impossible to avoid
the implications of political structures. Not only is
there the practical question of the survival of a
political-economic structure which will permit (even for
its own self-survival) a high level of undirected (and
unpredictable) social (and politicological) research. There
is also the question of visualization, analysis and
evaluation of the cultural implications of competing
political/social/economic models in order to facilitate
democratic discussion in a period of increased
complexity and social evolution.
A more dynamic concept of aesthetics is also needed,
possibly based on a series of personal and social equilibria.
Why (throughout history) have some political structures tried
to repress some aesthetic systems and to encourage others?
Is it possible for artists to do "aesthetic research" and to
produce new aesthetic topologies which can be translated into
viable and acceptable social models? Is this desirable, and
vii. -An Artistic Meta-language
Although discussion between different scientific disciplines
may not be completely free of problems the situation is
certainly much easier than in the arts where the absence of
a common language makes it difficult to compare basic concepts.
Traditionally, mathematics and logic have formed the binding
element within science and also the basis of the division
(when present) between science and art. The ambiguity of art,
and the complexities of the artistic space made the artistic
languages mutually unacceptable to the Euclidian and Platonic
scientific languages essentially derived from the geometry
of a flat Earth. It was probably the unacceptability of the
common scientific language that was responsible for the
artists autistic efforts to develop an individual means of
expression which, paradoxically, made communication impossible.
The importance of a meta-language in formalizing the artistic
formalization process can be seen by the relatively easy
integration of the computer into musical practice where a
programming language could be seen as a variation of traditional
notation compared to the situation in the visual arts where any
explicit meta-language not only does not exist but is positively
rejected as an intrusion into the freedom of the artist.
viii. -Modern traditions
Recent scientific theories in astronomy, sub-atomic physics,
mathematics, logic, philosophy, linguistics and computer science
have (at least in theory) completely destroyed the scientific
belief in Euclid and Plato. By traditional standards, scientific
models in physics are becoming more bizarre than the nightmares
of even the most neurotic artist. It is probably the artist
more than the scientist who preserves an unnecessary barrier
between science and art.
The successful application of scientific multi-dimensional
parametric space to the description of musical events (by
Xenakis) and the resulting effect on compositional practice
demonstrates the possibility of integrating scientific
meta-languages into artistic practice.
The incredible advances in computer simulation of photographic
realism also prove that mathematical representations can (as
Linehan claims) relate algorithmic representation to the iconic,
although the renaissance experimenters with perspective and
protective geometry knew that. Probably it is the fact that
the computer freaks seem to be addicted to photographic realism
in Euclidian geometrical space while neither realism nor Euclid
are particularly relevant to modern art history, and not the
principle of algorithmic representation, which creates the
artistic resistance. Certainly, despite a general rejection of
formalism in the visual arts the pioneers of twenty years ago
were mostly (due to a tradition of constructivism) attracted to
the computer because of their interest in an algorithmic
approach to visual art. Unfortunately, the scientific knowledge
regarding representation of objects and processes and the ability
to implement this knowledge in the computer was very primitive
twenty years ago, while at present the commercialization of the
society plus the individualization of computing via the personal
computer seems to make it difficult to continue the earlier
tradition because information is now valuable and dispersed.
The fact that Xenakis was also an architect is significant,
probably architecture and (especially) town planning have the
strongest meta-linguistic tradition within the visual arts.
Possibly, the way many aspects of communal requirements can
be integrated within the single multi-dimensional system formed
by a city could be a useful model for a more general artistic
Research may prove the fundamental difference between art and
science to be based on the ambiguity of interpretation of the
artistic model (which is also permissable in pure mathematics),
and the freedom of the artist to change the domain of
interpretation of the model as part of the creative strategy.
This is of course what Gáöádel did and what was forbidden by
traditional logicians, because they all knew that any theoretical
(or ideological) model destroys itself when interpreted. That is
the generative paradox of art and the destructive paradox of
science. The differences between art and science based on the
topologies of the ontological spaces has (in theory) disappeared
by the scientific acceptance of non-Euclidian space.
III. Practical Strategies
1. An Initial Structure
a. Conceptual Structure
Parallel to a practical division in terms of work spaces
equipped and dedicated to specific activities such as
video and sound recording, digital and analog signal
processing, listening, viewing and reading rooms is the
following inter-disciplinary conceptual organization
suggested. By assuming all machines and human procedures
to be grammatical structures operative on different
domains the first step is made towards the construction of
a conceptual interface permitting a truly multi-disciplinary
approach to media technology.
b. Procedural Structure
i. Physical meta-domain ( Technological and Natural Systems )
etc... (analog and digital)
-Biological Hardware and Ecologies
ii. Conceptual meta-domain (Cultural Software)
-Theory of linguistics, mathematics, logic and automata
-Visual and musical grammars (art history & ethnography)
-Cultural and philosophical theories and histories
-Individual theoretical development and testing
iii. Meta-linguistic Interface (A Theoretical Ecology of Ontologies)
-Development of theoretical tools to enable
an intelligent multi-disciplinary discussion
without too much misunderstanding or loss of
integrity between the disciplines.
-definition of disciplines
(domain, axioms and grammar)
-relation between disciplines
(convergence/divergence of domain)
(convergence/divergence of axioms)
(convergence/divergence of methodology/grammar)
(convergence/divergence of discussion points)
-development of conceptual interface
Basic activities such as research, education and dissemination
of concrete or theoretical results are not incompatible with
the above conceptual structure because these activities can
also be considered as grammatical operations in different domains.
c. Pedagogical Structure
In order to be able to understand the relationships between
different techniques it would be useful if there was a common
framework. In some cases, the fact that this categorization
does not work may also lead to new insights. In general the
following points should be considered as important:
elements -what are the basic building blocks?
(how are they defined and in which domain?)
operators -what can be done with the building blocks?
grammar -what are the combinatory possibilities?
procedures -compound operations forming gestalts
(primitives on a higher level)
topology -of the grammatical space
calculus -which operations give specific transformation?
(in which domain?)
interface -relation with other systems/domains
d. Project Structure
Any temporary set of procedures designed to modify a state
(or set of states) of any system in any domain can be
considered to be a project.
The main function of the institution should be the formulation,
realization and presentation of (multi-disciplinary) projects
concerning technical, sensory and cultural aspects of media
technology approached from a scientific and/or artistic viewpoint.
A project oriented structure could be expected to contain the
-Formulation of Project Aims
-Practical Realization of Project
-stimulation of thinking process
-development of technical skills
-availability of tools
-Supervision of Project
-realization of intentions
-time and money
-Presentation and Evaluation of Project
-coherency of internal logic
e. Organisational Structure
The conceptual structure could be used throughout the whole
institute or just within a single work group if required. It
might be a potentially interesting organizational structure if
organized not in terms of rigid departments such as "Visual Art"
and "Music" but in terms of elements, operations and domains.
The institute would then itself become an multi-dimensional
procedural model with potentially different structures being
experienced by the individual participant dependant on their
own activity or function within the institute at that moment.
The salaries administration may, for example, see a hierarchy
(based on age and educational background) which may not be
visible during theoretical discussions or the concrete production
of a video-tape. A person may be a lecturer in one seminar and
a student in another, today a composer of musical structures and
tomorrow the subject of scientific research. Each change in
function may imply a different nexus of inter-disciplinary
connections, which must not be made impossible by the internal
organization of the institute.
A multi-dimensional unstructured data-base may be a useful model
for the internal organization -and one may need one to understand
f. Intern and Extern Interfacing
A consequence of the dissolution of well defined boundaries
between the activities within the institute is that there would
be no specific department concerned with the general public. This
may have advantages. In general, everybody not working in the
institute may be considered to be "public". In some cases, for
example during a lecture or a concert, staff members would be
considered to be "public".
The function of an external interface may be not only be concerned
with the presentation of concerts and lectures, the distribution
of texts and tapes and the organization of workshops but also
the coordination and possible financing of projects initiated
by individuals or other institutions, the maintenance of libraries
and the recruiting of potential participants. The development
of ways of presenting knowledge that allow teachers to concentrate
on discussion and interpretation would be a useful task.
Television programs (from the BBC) such as "The Ascent of Man",
"Life on Earth" and The Royal Institute Lectures are excellent
examples of complex material well presented.
An internal interface would of course be responsible for internal
coordination and communication including information storage
It is assumed that the prime responsibility of an interface is
communication (in a broad sense) and that the interface can be
modified as a result of changes concerning the elements which
2. Towards a Practical Start
Probably the greatest potential danger of any large scale
institution is a monolithic inflexibility. Possibly, certain
elements of the plan may even be obsolete before the system
is fully operative.
The basic problem is that each of the following four elements
may have influence on one or more of the other elements. The
question is -in which order should they be decided?
- Topics for study, discussion and communication
- Communicating Participants
- Facilities for Work
- System of Interfacing
People suggest topics and activities, these imply people and
facilities and the facilities and the people suggest systems
of activities and interfacing.
The best answer is possibly that one should just begin and
see what happens. In practice this may be chaotic and an
efficient way of loosing friends.
Despite the practical disadvantages, it might still be advisable
to get started as soon as possible. Probably, facilities for work
are available in cooperating institutions. Potential participants
should meet each other as soon as possible to discuss concrete
issues and possible strategies, to discover mutual interests and
antipathies, to specify working requirements and to experiment
with systems of communication and collaboration.
A series of confrontational workshops, seminars, presentations
and publications could be used to plan and select permanent and
temporary teams and to organize external contacts.
Activities could include workshops with students and teachers
from different backgrounds (and countries), exhibitions and
concerts of potential participants, written and verbal discussion
via newsletters and seminars and formal participation in academic
research projects. If the institution is expected to cater for
a wide range of interests and educational levels in the public,
then it should begin as soon as possible to experiment with ways
of integrating these levels.
Considering the popularity of virtual memory and virtual
disk drives, it might be worthwhile experimenting with virtual
institutions. Taking the risk that things can go wrong in the
pre-planning phase probably reduces the risk in the post-planning
period. Prototyping is a useful concept.
3. Some Initial Topics for Study and Discussion
-Open or Closed Universe
-avant-garde or post-modern
-natural and artificial ecologies
-creative intelligence or tautological knowledge
-Context free and context bound
-mind and body
-male and female
-nomads and farmers
-theory and praxis
-avant-garde cultural patricide
or post-modern cultural cooking
-abstraction and formalization in art and science
-distributed processing and the human experience
-the destruction of reality by simulation
-Non Euclidean Geometry
AND logic instead of XOR (synthesis AND analysis)
loops and Meta-loops (conceptual Máöábius-loops)
-An Understanding of Metaphors
The Alchemical process (creative logic)
Conceptual Acupuncture (creative ecology)
-A Concept of Aesthetics
Information -the difference that makes a difference
Aesthetics -deciding which difference makes difference
Politics -Implementing the differences for survival
(social identity and aesthetic choice)
1st, 2nd and 3rd World interfacing
(autonomy and control in distributed systems)