Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Natural Selection for Evolving Remixologists

It may seem obvious to some, but as the New York Times recently published in an article titled Human Culture, an Evolutionary Force, "Although it does shield people from other forces, culture itself seems to be a powerful force of natural selection."

My question is: "How can it not be a powerful force of natural selection?" As a postproduction medium who creates intense experiences as aesthetic facts, this is the most natural thing in the world. For a thriving remixologist, naturally sampling your source material for aesthetic mutation is what developing a daily practice of everyday life is all about. Without this powerful cultural force synchronizing with your bio-being, there is no possibility of actualization.

I wrote about this in a different context for a VJ Theory essay in relation to an evolving philosophy of life that positions the artist as a postproduction medium who participates in daily remix practice:
In Pre-Internet writerly terms
Ginsberg taps into the poet's ambition
"to write during a prophetic illuminative seizure"
where the artist-medium finds themselves
"in such a state of blissful consciousness
that any language emanating from that state
will strike a responsive chord of blissful consciousness
from any other body into which the words enter and vibrate."

The vibratory effects of ecstatic expression
can be programmed into contagious media events
and are particularly useful in stimulating
developments in alternative arts and culture
(they are also useful in performance pedagogy
where a good teacher will always find ways
to integrate these effects into their
studio workshops and seminar sessions
creating an empathetic relationship with
the networked energies that form the "student body")

For Ginsberg this ecstatic expression
catalyzes into spontaneous transmissions

If you are practicing spontaneous transmission
(Ginsberg says in one of his Boulder lectures)
and by this he means to say
"transmission of your thought"

"how do you choose then what thoughts
you need to put down" while in trance?

The answer (he says, playing Guru)
"is that you don't get a chance to choose
because everything's going so fast."

"It's like driving on a road
you just have to follow the road;
And take turns, 'eyeball it'
as a carpenter would say.
You don't have any scientific
measuring rod, except your own mind.

I don't know of any scientific measuring rod
that's usable. So you have to chance
whatever you can and pick whatever you can.
So there's also a process of automatic selection.
Whatever you can draw in your net is it,
is what you got."

i.e. Remixology forms as a process of
natural selection

intuitive netting of the source material

which then can be manipulated into
the physiological forms of ecstasy
that occasionally appear and are disseminated
during your ongoing postproduction sets

(this interiorized postproduction process
turns the pure mobility of ones durée
into the ongoing satisfaction of becoming
more source material / experiential data
for others to intersubjectively jam with
during heightened states of co-emerge-agency
that can then lead to Higher Phases of Experience

in raw terms what you do is lay your data out
for everyone to use, re-use, and abuse
as "source" for a generative remixology)

Generative remixology then emerges out of
both the inherited gestures of muscle memory
and the mutating reconfigurations of style
that are embedded in the production of novelty

Creativity as a form of novel advance
becomes performance art when embodied
by the postproduction medium
whose spontaneous transmission
is transcribed into more source material

more hard code

embodied as the measuring rod
whose job it is to sense
when best to intervene
in the creative process

This measuring rod is the instrument
used in the natural art of selection
"so you have to be a little athletic about that"
says Ginsberg

(If the species remixologist
is about anything at all
it's about aesthetic fitness
i.e. using the creative process itself
to attract more intense aesthetic experiences)
The Times article states that "[W]ith archaic humans, culture changed very slowly. The style of stone tools called the Oldowan appeared 2.5 million years ago and stayed unchanged for more than a million years. The Acheulean stone tool kit that succeeded it lasted for 1.5 million years. But among behaviorally modern humans, those of the last 50,000 years, the tempo of cultural change has been far brisker. This raises the possibility that human evolution has been accelerating in the recent past under the impact of rapid shifts in culture."

Things are shifting so fast I can't even measure the measuring rod (too much noise in the mix, interference in the calculations, turbulence in the system ... though somehow I still like it -- does that make me an entrepreneur at heart, one who thrives on chaos?).

My tool kit is in my body operating in auto-affect mode as it expands like a sequence of sartorial electric impulses into my laptop connected to a network that distributes my thoughts for me in asynchronous realtime.

This "powerful force" the article above refers to is not an overgeneralized "force of nature" reimagined as cultural cachet. It's what I feel like right now, a vector of liquid lightening striking the source material that's ripe for the picking so that I can keep playing in the open field of possibilities where my aesthetic potential forever seeks actualization.

Make no mistake, ends the Times article, "Culture has become a force of natural selection, and if it should prove to be a major one, then human evolution may be accelerating as people adapt to pressures of their own creation."

And their own actualization as well.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Spring with Gun

Spring is in the air and with it comes the new issue of SpringGun is published by two of my former students, Erin Costello and Mark Rockswold, and the new issue does all of the right things a small press publication needs to do in order to mark its editorial territory. In this case, we have a variety of experimental writing that covers both literary-infused artworks that are clearly made-for-the-web and easy to read poems, interviews, and flash fictions in a print-cum-web e-book style courtesy of issuu.

Check it out -- and if you have something to share, submit.

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