Random Ramblings Concerning Art:


        Ratio:  "Relationship" -the basis of "Rationality"

                Concerning Form and Content:
                     Structures, Meanings, Ethics and Aesthetics

                Integrating Science, Technology, Art and Culture
                Integrating Intuition and Logic

                Understanding the World as it Is
    in order to Explore the World as it could Be!

      Using the Computer as a "Simulation Machine"     to test     ideas
          and not simply as a "Communication Machine"  to exchange illusions

      It is time for the prisoners to come out of their cave!


      Our (West) European culture is a strange historically developed mixture
      of (bastardized) Hellenic, Christian and Humanist values.

      We are not the inheritors of a great Mediterranian/Middle East culture,
      but the inheritors of the barbarians who tried to reconstruct the
      culture their forefathers had destroyed.

      We have evolved from a "Land based culture" via a "Money based
      culture" to a "Technology based culture" -although we still have
      problems in relating "Technology" to "Science" -and "Art" and "Culture"
      are still suspicious of both.

      Most of the autocratic War Lords now appear to have (re)learned the
      principle of "Tribal Democracy" -but we still have problems defining
      the limits of the tribe and the relationship with other tribes.

      However, the concept of tribalism loses meaning as members get
      dispersed through war and poverty -especially when modern communication
      systems together with global coporate capitalism reduce the world to
      a single global village.

      So where are we heading? Are we losing control? Will the drug of
      consumerism protect us from the gods of war? Is global democracy
      desirable? If so: -what form should it take? -how can we achieve it?
      -and how can we sustain it? If not: -what alternatives do we have?


      We need to look backward in order to reappraise our Hellenic,
      Mediterranian and Eastern cultural roots and to reconsider the paradoxes
      of Christian Humanism.

      We need to look forward in order to (re)integrate our intellectual and
      our emotional modes of experiencing, expressing and processing information.

      Hopefully, if we can understand our historical evolution(s) then we
      shall be able to find ways of escaping from the mistakes that have
      been made and to find ways of developing and exploring alternatives.

      Perhaps our first priority should be to make the academy once more
      into a garden -and not the factory it has become!


(ecology, simulation, space, aesthetics, ontology)



                 -How do things begin
                 -How do they end
                 -What happens in between


                 -How do things relate to each other?







                 Art and Reality

                 Art as Local Broadcasting System
                 Artist as self-reflecting mirror

                 Art    as expression
                 Computer as tool

                    emotiion, formalism and reflection

                    Is freedom possible with   rules ?
                                         without chaos ?
                    Is freedom possible with   chaos  ?
                                         without rules ?

                    Art    as shamanistic process
                    computer as medium

                            The computer as linguistic apparatus
                                   language as simulation
                              simulation as ontological research


               Image   Generation
               Video   Transformation
               Procesc Control

                   -Describing       machine
                   -Operating         machine
                   -Programming   machine

                   -Social, Political, Economic                            models
                   -Philosofical, Linguistic, Psychological          models
                   -Astronomical, Geografical, Atomic               models
                   -Normal and Abnormal, Real and Imaginary  models

         Languages, Translations and Codes:

                   -Point, line, form, texture
                   -volume, perspective
                   -light and dark



         The Thinking eye
         The Thinking machine

SIMPLE  PROJECTS (pedagogical or art colabourations)  


  What's in a name?
        -what is the difference between media-culture, techno-culture, net-culture and cyber-culture?
        -what is the relationship between eco-nomy and eco-logy?


  "Universal" Project:
    Inventorisng the Technology (ontology) hidden in the "universe" of different things
   i.e.  -Programming concepts
         -Mark Up Languages
         -Plug and Play


 "Number" Project
    Inventorising the enumerated concepts
    i.e.  -the four winds
          -the seven graces
          -the three wize monkeys

Ruskin's Regret

   A possible Answer to "Babbage's Dream", a Dutch exhibition in Groningen?  

   By chance, or not, Oxford was I believe the domicile of Ruskin
   -the famous english art critic who (as many others) was repulsed
   by the flowering Industrial Revolution and sought refuge in a
   return to a romantic rural (imaginary) past. Ruskin thus laid
   the mental foundation for a legacy which is now irretrievably
   part of the english tradition.

   The famous Bauhaus, which is also not completely irrelevant to
   the ideological tradition of the AKI, was partly a reaction
   against the romantic notions of the time and an attempt to
   rationalize the design process in accordance with the industrial
   production process which had proved inevitable.

   As Media Artists we are inescapably infected by the spirit of the
   machine. We may embrace the mechanistic, deny it or search for a
   balance between man and machine but in all cases the machine remains
   as basis for our reaction.

   Presumably our exchanges with Oxford will be located somewhere in
   the area between Ruskin and the Bauhaus.

                                                    Trevor Batten
                                                    February 1997

 General Themes: (Amiga notes)
  i.e.   -Virtuality
              Some Possible Topics for Further Discussion:

    I.    Educational Issues:

                 (The Role and Structure of Art Education)

          i.   Course Aims
                  -Learning or Discovering
                  -Employment possibilities
          ii.  Course Structure
                  -Formal or Informal Structures
                       -Developing Knowledge (Information)
                       -Developing Skills
                       -Developing Attitudes
                  -Broad or Narrow based Studies
                       -Specialists or Generalists?
                       -Integration of Knowledge and Skills?
                       -Multi-disciplinary Research Teams?
                  -Ignoring the Information Landscape?
          iii. Artists and Academics
                       -The Role of Professional Intellectuals and Story Tellers
                              -Research and Development

    II.   Artistic Issues:

                (Between Babbage and Ruskin)

          i.   Formal and Informal Language Systems
                  -Personal or Social Systems
                       -Between Autism and Cliche
                       -Talking, Listening or Showing Off?
                  -Rituals, Exploration, Communication
                  -Technology, Medium, Concept
          ii.  Simulation, Metaphors and Stories
                  -Is Art True or False?
                  -How Real is Real?
                  -Symbol, Sign or Situation?
                  -Implicit and Explicit Stories
                  -What is Significant?
          iii. Time
                  -Object or Process?
                  -Simplicity and Complexity
          iv.  Interactivity
                  -Manipulation or Manipulated?
                  -Topological Exploration

    III.  Personal Issues:

              (Personal stories and Metaphors)

                 -Documentation of AKI/Brookes Work Presentation

                                                    Trevor Batten
                                                    April 1997

                       ONTOLOGY <-> LANGUAGE Studygroup

       Some Initial Suggestions for Parallel and Sequential Development.

   I.   Potential Research Areas:

     1.  Theory:

             -Inventory of Related Concepts
             -Definitions and Relationships between Related Concepts
             -Investigation of Ontological and Linguistic Strategies
             -Orientation towards Potential Meta-Ontology

     2.  Applications:

        a. The Contribution of Ontological Analysis to Curriculum Development.

        b. The Contribution of Ontological Analysis to Inter-disciplinary
           Communication and Project Development in Research Teams.

        c. The Role of Informal Ontologies in Cultural and Artistic Practice.

     3.  Tools:

              Development of (Mark-up) Language or Protocol for Ontological
              Processes and Processing.

   II.  Possible Methodology

      1. Strategy?

                (Modified Kaegi/Sonology Model)

        a.   Data Collection (Empirical Definition of Space):

               Discovering points of contact

        b.   Data Reduction (Points to Space):

               Definition and Development of:
                  -Patterns and Links
                  -Grammars, Rules and Laws
                  -Models and Theories

        c.   Data Mapping   (Data to Information):

               Interpretation of Models
               Implementation of Models

      2. Basic Models?

        a.  Process:

                    pre-condition ---------> post-condition

          i.e. process acts on pre-condition and transforms it to

          The Process can be tautologically defined:

               i.e. Any member of the basic trilogy can be defined
                    in terms of the other two.

        b.  Meta-Domains?:

          i.   Strings and Grammars (Logic and Linguistics?)

          ii.  Systems and Interfaces (physical universe?)

          iii. Points and Spaces (conceptual universe?)

          iv.  Actors and Goals (intelligent systems?)

Trevor Batten
Amsterdam, June 1997

     Laboratory For Non-linear Cognition

         -Post Graduate Studies in Non-linear Cognition
         -Artists in Residence

        -Algorithmic Topology
        -Synthetic Ecology

                 -The Limits of Laissez Faire
                       (unintelligent people in an intelligent world)

            -Space/Object Definitions        (identities and locations)
            -Free and Bound Variables      (limits of freedom)
            -Accessability of Information   (communication flow)

    cage: 28 oct 88

       Notes for a Cage project:


       NEW AGE

           art is vision, aesthetics is politics
             An objective and testable world
             A chaotic and unpredictable world

           knowledge is power"

             Democracy of power
             Privatization of knowledge

           man is anti-entropic

             What is the future of man
             in a world without work?

               A goal directed  hierarchy
               A pleasure  directed anarchy

               A  natural   ecology
               An artificial universe

           communication is infection

             Hygienic electronic communication
             Viral transmission by sticky stamps

         In an objective universaly available multiple-choice menu system

                      -acceptance  (use it)
                      -expansion   (beat it)
                      -destruction (sweep it)

         may be the only possible strategies within
                          the electronic vacuum cleaner

                          the exchange of aesthetic strategies
            may be the only possible human activity within

                                       The John Cage Adventure Program

Trevor Batten
(date unknown)