Archive for May, 2005

Incarnation and the nature of words

Truth and Method

Below is a smattering of quotes from some passages in Gadamer’s Truth and Method that are serving as part of the inspiration for my final project in DXARTS 202.

Experience is not wordless to begin with, subsequently becoming an object of reflection by being named, by being subsumed under the unversality fo the word. Rather, experience of itself seeks and finds words that express it. We seek the right word–i.e., the word that really belongs to the thing–so that in it the thing comes into language. Even if we keep in mind that this does not imply any simple copying, the word still belongs to the thing insofar as a word is not a sign coordinated to the thing ex post facto…

There is, however, an idea that is not Greek which does more justice to the being of language, and so prevented the forgetfulness of language in Western thought from being complete. This is the Christian idea of incarnation

For, in contrast to the Greek logos, the word is pure event…

…that which emerges and externalizes itself in utterance is always already a word…

The inner word remains related to its possible utterance…

…it is the act of knowledge itself.

The meaning of the word cannot be detached from the event of proclamation…


Visual intelligence and line construction

Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See

This morning’s reading is for my class. It’s from a book called Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See. One of the things it talks about is how our brain constructs lines from the light that enters our eyes:

And that is what you do each time you see a line. You construct it from receptor responses. This is not so easy as you might think. Just ask researchers in computer vision. They have worked on “edge detection” or “line finding,” an apparently simple problem, for decades. They have made progress, but their current solutions require much computation–on the order of tens of millions of multiplications and additions just to construct lines in one small image. Even so, their performance is no match to yours.

Constructing a line from what clearly looks like a line seems like a pretty easy problem. (Of course it would.) But after recently working with the “bitmap trace” feature in products like Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Flash, which tries to recognize lines in order to create vectors from pixels, I can vouch for the fact that computer scientists still have a long way to go when it comes to the “line finding” problem. “I see the line so clearly, why can’t the computer?!”


Brainwave biofeedback in the arts

This makes for some fascinating reading.

On Being Invisible is a self–organizing, dynamical system, rather than a fixed musical composition. The title refers to the role of the individual within an evolving, dynamical environment, who makes decisions concerning when and how to be a conscious initiator of action and when simply to allow her or his individual, internal dynamics to co–evolve within the macroscopic dynamics of the system as a whole.

One of the primary objectives in this research was to achieve the technical capability necessary to create an attention–dependent sonic environment. I wanted to create a situation in which the syntax of a sonic language orders itself according to the manner in which sound is perceived. To accomplish this, components of the electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded from the brains of on–stage performers, known as event–related potentials (ERP’s), are detected, measured and analyzed.

I’ve gotta get me an EEG machine…


“Introduction to XSLT” tutorial

I’ll be giving a tutorial on XSLT 1.0 at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention this August.