Category Archives: Quick Thoughts

unedited initial thinking

Halcyon Maps

Vargic’s Website, Halcyon Maps

Only today did I catch up with the world of Martin Vargic and come across his work, which continues a tradition of making moral maps and other maps that by their difference from maps made to help us to navigate actual physical space relate rather to conceptual and other spaces.

When considered together with similar maps we begin to see how challenging it is to navigate the multidimensionality of being.






The overcode; a consequence of mapping behaviour?

A few year ago I came across Brian Holmes’ blog post ‘ESCAPE THE OVERCODE: Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Cartographies, or the Pathetic Core at the Heart of Cybernetics’ and it really got me thinking to find that this idea, that had been knocking around in my head for years, regarding mapping behaviour had emerged among a zeitgeist of a particularly well-read and presumably better academically-informed people who might have already discussed the idea at length, perhaps using a different expression to describe it. That I had perhaps picked it up or reconstructed it from partially formed ideas left over from reading material that intersected this area of discussion seems to hint at a way that mapping works. But also how vulnerable we are due to it possibly being at the core of being human if wea re not aware that we are doing it.

The relationship between the overcoding concept and my concerns about the use or misuse of concepts drawn from solutions to programming computers but applied in the human realm appear to shared and well-articulated. More links about this in the future I hope.

Conway’s Game of Life

I first came across ‘life’ when I was a student at The Slade School of art in the 1977-79. I had previously been fascinated by the storyboards generated by an artist John Crabtree (known as Chris at the time) and work being done at UCL on studying how to generate homeostatic patterns of population growth. The game got me interested in emergence and as I had already been interested in the way we appear to make sense of phenomena by  looking for patterns that we recognise (or perhaps projecting patterns into phenomena) I was really taken with the idea.

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson’s book Snow Crash included a virus like a computer virus but which could effect people. As I recall, characters who understood programming techniques were more vulnerable. I wonder if it was this idea that led me to be concerned about the influence of the fundamental basis of computer architecture on the way our lives, and thoughts, are being organised?

A few years ago, looking at a job description I was intrigued by the term matrix management, so I did some cursory research. What struck me about it was its similarity in some respects to a symbol state tables. I had based the behavioural design system of my suite of agent based interactive art works Smallworld on this approach to representing dynamic systems and recognised that such a system could very easily be set up to generate closed loops.