Al Jirla

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Dec. 13 Antisocial Networking-Some quotes...Adam Greenfield[1]

  • one of my primary concerns has always been that we not accede to the heedless restructuring of everyday human relations on inappropriate and clumsy models derived from technical systems - and yet, that’s a precise definition of social networking as currently instantiated.
  • All social-networking systems, as currently designed, demonstrably create social awkwardnesses that did not, and could not, exist before. All social-networking systems constrain, by design and intention, any expression of the full band of human relationship types to a very few crude options - and those static!
  • Consider how much of your social life is built on, and derives its robustness from, very common patterns like someone you’re attracted to but dislike temperamentally, someone you care for but have little in common with, someone your connection to is primarily based on nostalgia and loyalty, a reliable show- or workout buddy you wouldn’t otherwise keep in touch with or someone you simply wished you knew better - and then try to contain these sentiments meaningfully in the penurious few options you’re offered by the social-networking application of your choice.
  • How can any community cohere if it cannot express those tensions and dislikes, internal and external, that animate and give vigor to expressions of affinity?



Dec. 12-Stuff Jason and Luce

Smithson: Mapping Smithson’s Non-Sites are maps; not only maps as representations of a physical location, but containers of the pieces of the physical location... Smithson wrestles with the idea static vs. non static existence. The site or the location is not static. When the site is taken away from its physical location it becomes static and the site immediately become a dialectic. This concept of a dialogue between location and its representation is an interesting one. How does the card catalogue shape our concept of the library differently then a hypothetical collection of unreferenced volumes? - Ben Site/Non-Site The representation of a thing can not be that thing itself, but rather an interpretation of it. Every person in a place experience only their own interpretation of it, and thus the place can be, in itself, a non-site. - Rebecca

Everywhere: Ubiquitous Computing This is a set of readings that we used to inform us of other uses of computing that may or may not already be used all around us or on its way. Through these readings we began to talk about RFID tags, social networking sites, privacy issues, information harvesting and whether we are aware of it, active or non active participation in ambient computing systems. Most of the students had a fairly adverse reaction to these reading and a lot of the technology discussed. The problem I see with everywhere is that the user cannot always turn it off or opt out.-Hannah

Public Space/Private Space Vito Acconci historical place re-created, virtual place that takes us to another space, bring people together for a common service yet allow them to occupy the same place while not necessarily to be together, but maybe they are there to be together and the service the place provides is unimportant to them as a group.- Jason 
 Like Vito Acconci, the library blends the two worlds of the private and the public. The library is a public space which is used as a personal place by each individual. When we go to the library, our intent is to be in our own workspace and in our own world, without interuptions, yet it's a place that is shared by our community. If our private space in this public space we're to be disrupted, the private space would become public, and the library would change it's purpose.

Data is Not Information Data needs accurate interpretation; it needs context to become information. Information ought to be more meaningful. It should provide insight into applicable situations. One can see how information is the building blocks of knowledge. Knowledge takes lots of information and organizes it; it is meta-information. Wisdom is knowledge that is highly refined and organized into s deeply personal understanding. - Ben “Humans are inherently creative creatures and when we have a chance to create we feel more satisfied and valuable.”

Dec. 7 User Experience Reflections

It's been a couple days now, and I have tried to think about what happened the other day, our USer Experience Testing.
So first am I glad we did it? YES! For the first time in a while I felt like something was happening, that we were actually doing something. Was I getting burned out? Yep, a lil. Did this help to get me over the hump? Uh huh. It was hard for me to film the testers and pay real close attention to what they were saying, weird I know but I was trying to stay focused getting it all on film, not he said she said.
Things I do recall:

  • Randy seemed to really intuit a lot of what we had done. This made me feel good, that we had done something that could be easily figured out with a lil thinking. However Randy was super good at this, I still feel the rst of our group. Amy and Aimee did well too, together as a group they communicated and seemed excited about the system as a whole.
  • Designing a way to go backwards. Important.
  • A way to link to the outside world, lets at least design a opening or back door into the code so this could be done by people who decide to grab our code. Even if we never link up to the outside world, I think it's a good idea. Who knows where this will go.
  • The function of the BookMark seemed a bit confusing, did it mark a page, a book? The number? did it relate to the number of comments, the book, identify the BM? Things that can be easily hashed out in a good design I think.
  • Do we want to include a search function? I thought of that watching the testers go through the steps, maybe this would defeat the interactive system or maybe just add a feature to speed up the process for people in a rush? I don't know.
  • A back button, I remember us talking about it but at a point our tester were looking for something like this. Or maybe just a viewer history drop down or something.
  • Keep it touchy feely. Tactile is good!
  • Anon or not? We should take this further, a campus wide poll? Lets not reveal too much about our project but farm for responses to anonymity in general.
  • Book shelf. I love this idea!


I'll try to recall more. I think the video's, when we can review them, will start a really great conversation. I am really looking forward to seeing them and how the other two groups functioned.
I think we did a good job. Way to go us.

Nov. 28 Data and Information


The part of this reading that caught my attention, and what I guess I had never considered before when thinking about interactivity, is that we interact with everything all the time. Ok yes, but when it comes to technology its a lil' different. There is an interaction yes, I input something with the machine lets say, the machine does what it is instructed to do. But it does not truly respond, it doesn't interact back. There is an effect put into motion by an action that begins with me, but for a true interaction there must be a response from the machine, a choice made by it that allows me to counter its reaction with another. This just made me think about interactions a lil' more and while I don't have a answer, I think this is worth considering in our project. How does/will the book mark react? Where is the conversation between me and the bookmark. There is a conversation within the planned networks participants but do our little book mark objects get a say in the conversation? Is it even possible?

Also, I like the word "participants" to describe our users.

Nov. 13 Public Space, Private Time


"A person might come here specifically for a service that, as a by-product, inserts that person into a group of people seeking the same service; or the person might come here primarily to be part of a group, the service being only a decoy, an excuse for companionship. Whatever the intention, in order o achieve that goal these people have come this particular place and no other"
.........
"Either it is a 'historical place,' a preservation or re-creation of the place it once was, as if in a time capsule; or it is a 'virtual place,' the importation of another place far away from this one in space or time that you visit as if in a space capsule, or a time machine"

I think these two quotes find us in just the right moment. Just being in the "user experience" phase and all. Well they at least found me in the right moment. Not having done the user experience exercise yet this week, these quotes just got me think about user experience, or something. This is the tough part right? I mean we are trying to do all of this by some degree, historical place re-created, virtual place that takes us to another space, bring people together for a common service yet allow them to occupy the same place while not necessarily to be together, but maybe they are there to be together and the service the place provides is unimportant to them as a group. Good, the tough part.

Today's music is provided by King Tubby, w/ Prince Jammy and Scientist - Third Generation Dub

Nov. 6 (I can't believe it's November) Eye of the Vulgar: Intro


I think the crux of this intro lies in the need for a new definition of aesthetic appreciation for the forms of art talked about in this intro and what we have read in chapter 1, and how to broaden the concept of art to include them into the art world. Art by mainstream definitions is fairly narrow and as mentioned is based centrally on visual pleasure, for the most part. The forms of public and conversational arts talked about by Kestler do not fit into this framework established long ago and maintained by the art institution taste makers. The work in this intro toe the line between political and social activism making it difficult for them to be regarded as legitimate art works by the art world as a whole. But it's not just these conversational works that require a new definition of art, much of what is being done now, especially in public and technology based art challenges the traditional definition of art, I think of graffiti research labs[2] as one among many. I like the quote from Peter Dunne that these artists are "context providers rather than "content providers". Thats a fitting summary of what is being done in these pieces, now how do we get them to be accepted as art by the mainstream? I think a new definition of art and aesthetics is absolutely necessary for there to be art world inclusion of the work being done today. I am going to say this whole thing requires something like the scenario for the movie, The Warriors[3]. Lets say the art/artists outside of the art mainstream are a bunch of independent gangs like the gangs in The Warriors, The Furies, The Boppers, The Hi-Hats, The Lizzies, The Turnbull AC's, The Gramercy Riffs (The Warriors), etc. Now let's say we all start to come together by way of a common goal, we're all going to form one big all powerful gang and overthrow the cops (the art world taste makers), what we need is unity to do this. We need our own Cyrus (Cyrus can be seen either as individual leader or a symbol [I like this better] for our new definition of art), to get behind, a common unifier. What we don't need is dickhead Luther from the Rogues to break up the party by shooting Cyrus and framing the Warriors (this is our symbol for struggling against each other, bickering, elitism, etc.), Lets call Luther collective self doubt and fraction. Do you see where I'm going here?

This week I am listening to the new Burial album, Untrue. You can check out a track here: Dusted Magazine[4]

Warriors.jpg

Oct. 30 Conversation Pieces


I had to double check and make sure I wasn't doing a reading that I may have missed for my Aesthetics class. Kant, Bell, Greenberg and Fried? Not necessarily what I thought we would get into reading, however it's interesting, the fact that there is the question about communication and accessibility. I had assumed from the beginning that what we would attempt to make would be communicative. That is, not communicative in the sense of a painting, but that it would be communicative in a utilitarian way, it would serve a function and find a use and value within our community. I had envisioned a project that would make information more accessible while hopefully allowing patrons of the library to engage with the library in new ways while preserving that which was already agreed upon as being of value. I think in some way that is what many of us were considering in our augmentation (maybe that assumes too much). This may have been premature or naive in a way, for me to think along these lines. Can we make something that is not utilitarian in nature? Would there be any value in an art installation that did not tap or communicate the existing information within the library? I'm not sure. If not, if we make something that is not utilitarian in its nature or function, how accessible do we make it in as far as it communicates on a formal level? This has something of a value in itself as well. If the Installation feels out of reach, will our community appreciate it or find value in it? Is there some social commentary we wish to make about library's and our community that we wish to communicate as the high modernists of painting did? This reading I think maybe more than the others we have read lately asks more questions that it answers, which is I think appropriate for where we are as a group. Where do we go from here and is there a destination are questions I think is worth asking. What will we say with our work? How and what are communicating is really what we are trying to get at, especially with our recent exercises in class. It's exciting to think that we are getting to the center of what we will take with us shortly when we begin to augment our library space. Formal or utilitarian? Which way will we choose to communicate? Do we need to make such a distinct choice at all?

This weeks reading response was brought to you by the fine sounds of Holy Fuck. Think Liquid Liquid on meth amphetamines.

Oct. 24 Library Survey and The Poetics of Augmented Space


The Survey


Things I noticed.

  • How come so few seniors use the library? This needs to change as they are the most experienced patrons on campus (or should be) and could be a good resource to tap into.
  • 30% study visual arts, go VAPA! It aint all just pretty pictures round there.
  • 72% of patrons use the library for free printing. I say lets ditch the printer for a few weeks and see what happens, let the freeloaders print in the computer center. How come more people don't own their own printer? Is it really so outrageous to expect that we should all own a printer of our own?
  • More people wish they knew more about library resources, would find workshops helpful (even online tutorials). Maybe we need a mandatory refresher in the use of our library. A class even, for freshmen, role it into the new initiative or something.
  • 69% use google as a resource over the databases for research. Did anyone else read this and think WTF?
  • 50% of students do not own a printer. See above.


The Poetics of Augmented Space

I'm not sure. I don't think I have anything very interesting to say about this reading. I actually started a little rant about how icky some of the ideas in this reading are to me but found that to be counter productive and a bummer. So I am going to sit this one out.
I really liked the HeHe installations though. Twilight sounds very cool. Pink Noise was nice as well. I like the interaction without active participation of the projects. Also the social/public commentary without making judgments is great and I think what makes the work so compelling. Go HeHe.

Oct. 17 Why Why Why Why Why? and Experience Prototyping


How do we want to augment the library?

Well first I don't want to change things that already work, like the computer bank, study rooms, privacy/refuge from others on campus. I would like to determine in some way we could make the library user experience a more social one. Maybe that means creating a section of floor of the library that has some quite music, or suggests in some other way either subtlety or more assertively. I am very fond of taking aspects of the library and spreading it around campus. I'll get to this in a moment.

What do we want to create?

Maybe what we need to open up the communication network of the library is to have a network that resembles a social networking site. However this would be a "friend me" sort of network, but one where you could say opt in by registering, create a reader profile that states your interests of study etc., and you could create a list of books you are reading or have read that have helped inform your process. This network could make suggestions based on your profile of other books or peoples profiles in whom you share a similar interest so you could scan through that person/s profile and see what they are reading and what may interest you. At the same time, maybe you could post problems in research you are having and take suggestions from other users. I want to be clear that this would not be a site for making as many friends as you can, ie: facebook users that have hundreds of superficial friends. This isn't a popularity contest its s place to share useful information.

What experience do we want to provide for library users?

See above, a way to share information and spark creative discussion and research, a way to help each other.

What is the space in-between etc?

Human space. Community space. Real and virtual space. Any space between me and you and our ability to help inform one another's work.

What's the most outrageous idea you have for the library?

Have large lcd or similar, screens around campus that slowly scroll the first paragraph of every book being checked out on a given day. The paragraph could be read from a digital document and called up and into action by rfid tags in the books that when being checked out call the text in question into the loop of for display around the various screens on campus. I imagine these somewhat like arrival and departure screens placed around airports, only larger and prettier.

What's the simplest idea for shifting our expectations of or engagement with the library?

An employee who roams the library with a cart and expresso machine, offering expresso to patrons, maybe also providing a list of interesting books checked out that week in the form of a hand out. Keep the doors open 24 hours a day.

Experience Prototyping

This was good to read. It alerted me to the task that we seem to be heading towards in class, that is deciding what it is we are going to do and how we can determine how it will be best implimented and used by the library patrons. Some random pieces of text that stand out:

  • prototypes for different audiences - we need to stay aware that the campus population and community is likely to change and grow, interests change, tools will too.
  • What I hear I forget, What I see I remember, What I do I Understand. Lao Tse - Enough said.
  • Understanding existing user experience and content - Before we change anything.
  • What are the contextual, physical, temporal, social and cognitive factors we must consider as we embark on design? What is the essence of existing user experience? What are the essential factors we should preserve?
  • Is it compelling (the the patrons/community) to them in their own context? - While we feel these changes may be helpful or interesting, will everyone else not in our class? How much are we just assuming?
  • So the interaction was more about the experience of the message (the Kiss Communicator) - Do we have a message to communicate?
  • Different activities require different kinds of spaces and resources - We don't have to stay in the library.Or do we?



Oct. 10 Code & Reading Response


Readings


The Hertzian Space reading reminded me very much of a lecture I saw Robert give a couple of years ago to one of Jason Zimba's classes. It doesn't surprise me at all that the gov't is trying to tap into the EM spectrum or hertzian space. Not surprised that the British cops send "text bombs" to stolen cells. Didn't find it shocking that stealth bombers can be detected by disturbances in the loss of cell tower signal strength. What I dod find interesting are the people who become allergic to electromagnetic fields. Or the people who develop special undies to protect our special parts. The allergies I think is a real concern, but I wonder how much of it is psychological rather than physical. The question of leaking home raises a very difficult philosophical question regarding electromagnetic radiation and privacy.I found the whistler hunters to be a very charming lil' story if not very weird. But the sound of the radio in its own natural form is a very strange thing to be obsessed with. It makes me wonder what the radio sounds like on its own.I think as far as giving food for thought this was a good reading. Some of these issues are good to think about when we come to the design and conceptualization phase in our own work. How much should we conceal elements of our design like the cell towers in the reading? Should we be aware of the dangers of the EM spectrum and design safety features into our work? I'm sure there is plenty more to unpack from this reading, it might be something I need to come back too when we get farther along in our work.

I don't know about this one. I understand that these issues are important, and I don't mean to say we shouldn't be aware of the potential dangers involved with technology and unsavory people and corporations. But I think that anyone who has payed attention to RFID tags or any technology has read alot of this type of material. However it's good to go over it again so we are aware of the issues that could arise when we do our installation, that is depending on its form. I do feel that these ladies are a bit of the doomsday type though, conspiracy theorists etc. They have some interesting points and I'm glad some one is out there fighting for us, but from a readers point of view they don't give you, the reader, any option to disagree. They press their side of the issue and don't leave room for an unbiased decision making process on the part of the reader. I find text like this difficult, as if the author doesn't give their readers enough credit to be able to make intelligent decisions on their own. I understand what their getting at, but the way they go about it just makes them seem somewhat overzealous.

Code

Here is my numbers guessing code which works because Joe was kind enough to meet with me and walk me through it. Thanks Joe.

cupcake = rand(100) + 1
print "I'm thinking of a number from 1 to 100.\n"
loop do
   your_guess = gets.to_i
   if your_guess == cupcake
      print "way to go.\n"
      break
   end
   if your_guess > cupcake 
       print "Too high, Try again, I'm thinking of a number from 1 to 100.\n"  
   end
   if your_guess < cupcake 
      print "Too low, Try again, I'm thinking of a number from 1 to 100.\n"  
   end
end


Here is the code to grab the random wiki page. First I got this from the Ruby Cookbook, it pulls a page but has all the html garbage with it.It doesn't work. That sucks.

require 'open-uri'
 puts open('http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random').read(500)
    #  <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
    #         "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
    #  <html xmlns= "http://w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">


Next I started working with Ben, which was a great because he has a better basic understanding of the code than I do, but still our code didn't work. We borrowed Rebecca's code, which works similarly to the code posted above

require 'open-uri'
example = open('http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random')
# => #<StringIO:0xb7bb601c>
html = example.read
plain_text = html.sub(%r{<body.*?>(.*?)</body>}mi, '\1').gsub(/<.*?>/m, ' ').gsub(%r{(\n\s*){2}}, "\n\n")
require 'cgi'
plain_text = CGI.unescapeHTML(plain_text)

Then Ben And I got this code from the ruby book, didn't help, but it made sense at the time. It's called HTMLSanitizer. It's supposed to ditch all the html tags etc. and leave us with beautiful plain text. It was soul crushing when it didn't work the way we thought it would.

require 'open-uri' 
require 'cgi'
class HTMLSanitizer
 attr_accessor :html
   @@ignore_tags = ['head', 'script', 'frameset']
   @@inline_tags =  ['span', 'strong', 'i', 'u' ]
   @@block_tags =   ['p', 'div', 'ul', 'ol'     ]
 def initialize(source=)
begin
 @html = open(source).read
   rescue Errno::ENOENT
  @html = source
 end
end
def plain_text
  @plain_text = @html.gsub(/\s*(<.*?>)/m, '\1')
    handle_ignore_tags
    handle_inline_tags
    handle_block_tags
    handle_all_other_tags
  return CGI.unescapeHTML (@plain_text)
end
 private
  def tag_regex(tag)
  %r{<#{tag}.*?>(.*?)</#{tag}>}mi
end
  def handle_ignore_tags
   @@ignore_tags.each { |tag| @plain_text.gsub!(tag_regex(tag), ' ')}
end
  def handle_inline_tags
   @@block_tags.each { |tag| @plain_text.gsub!(tag_regex(tag), ' 1')}
end
  def handle_block_tags { |tag| @plain_text.gsub!(tag_regex(tag), "\n\\1\n")}
end
  def handle_all_other_tags
   @plain_text.gsub! (/8#x00A;/mi, "\n")
   @plain_text.gsub! (/<.*?>/m, ' ')
   @plain_text.gsub! (/(\n\s*){2}/, "\n\n")
 end
end
puts HTMLSanitizer.new('http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random').plain_text
plain_text.gsub!


Seattle Public Libarary-Some Observations


  • 1)The Windows block sun (sound familiar?), keeping views.

The all-glass walls of the library posed the challenge of protecting the books and visitors from direct sunlight. Expanded-aluminum mesh sandwiched between plates of insulated glass deflects 90 percent of direct sunlight while retaining clear views. Areas of the building that are not exposed to direct sun did not need the mesh and were left clear.

  • 2)Coffee cart on the third floor living room area!
  • 3)"This is a building designed to be understood inside out." Quoted from PacificNorthwest Magazine
  • 4)"The problem of the future, they decided, will not be the scarcity of information that libraries have traditionally addressed by sharing books. Rather, it will be the over-abundance of information brought on by the Internet." Another quote from the same article.
  • 5)[5]Something on the Art installations at the library. On a side note, this reminded me that not everything we do in our own library need be so technology based, some of what we do can be low tech.


I'll try and add more in the morning.

Sept. 25 Everyware II

Links:
[6] nike+ shoe
[7] Phillips Electronics New Nomads-NOT sexy fashion
[8]Exoskeleton Stuff
[9] Wired Sidewalks that convert energy for use in street lamps etc.
While reading through this section of Everyware I began to think of the amazing design potential needed for something like ubicomp to be successful on a large scale. I think this is something in which apple is obviously great at. The section beginning on pg. 43 about the cartographers at Applied Minds and interactive map interface. This reminded me of Robert and his iPhone, the gestural motion of zooming in and out on a picture by opening and closing your hand against the screen. Later in the essay it touches on the need for universality in this sort of physical language. This need for an accepted universal language comes up again later, implying a need for this to be something that is given a great deal of thought, hence the need for good design. Good design doesn't need to tell you what it requires from yo, it's suggested in its inherent usability. Poor design fails to grasp the publics attention, good design becomes the iPhone. A uniform language for interfaces is at the heart of a successful networked ubicomp system. Which I don't need to imply that the language or interface should be dumbed down, just well concieved. Good design could also be used in ways to get ubicomp interfaces to not only make adjustments in an environment but can also be used to power it (link 4). There are many green uses that could come from such interfaces.
The toilet that measures your blood sugar, pulse etc is really funny to me, but this is good design, you don't have to do anything, no thinking required, just sit and download.
As the reading continues we get more and more into data mining. This makes me uncomfortable. I think we need to be aware of the people who are not interested in interfacing with this technology no matter how helpful/invisible it is. This requires some careful planing; I didn't mean, I wasn't aware, I don't want, are all things that need to be addressed in this technology as it moves forward and becomes more prevalent in our daily lives. There is already a vast amount of information being farmed right under our noses every time we use the internet. For some this is no big deal, for others it's a major concern and I think a valid one which should be addressed.

REFERENCE CB9 N49 2005 Vol. 3 - The Dictionary of the History of Ideas
Interdiscipliarity pg. 1126

Sept. 19 Everyware

There are certain aspects of this article that really appeal to me, weather report on my bathroom mirror,ambient light sensors etc. but at the same time I agree with the author that these choices need to be considered carefully as we move into the inevitable. For instance when he's talking about walking into a Starbucks or McDoanalds and your cell phone getting coupons sent to it automatically, no, hell no. I get enough spam in my email and enough junk mail in my mailbox everyday, I don't need that, and I'm not even touching on the privacy issues involved. Also the break downs of technology that is self actuated and controlled, and which interacts with our daily lives so intimately, quick response from repair tech's will be a must. But while on the idea of break downs, I can very much relate to the break down in user ability and the learning curve involved, Audex voice recognition systems (invented by Xerox) have until recently been very difficult to use. Self check out lanes are a great idea in theory but are terrible to use presently and will until they iron out the kinks, not to mention they still need to be monitored by a sales clerk. Its all little stuff, but it will be a while before it works well enough to be accepted on a wider scale. Personally I'm all for it as long as it works well and doesn't make my life more difficult, isn't the idea convenience? I look forward to a time when this technology is all around us but out of sight enough to not even register in our perception. Privacy is a big issue though, an opt out for some of the new technology is important, and for the eventualll break downs a manual work around is necessary as well. "The most profound technologies are those that disappear."

Relations to Public

What I found in this reading was the section on Singles and Withs. It struck me as maybe something that crosses over to user interaction of the library. Being that when in the library one is almost always alone, a Single, some of the interactions we observe in ourselves or others while using the library may be part of an unspoken set of rules and etiquette of interaction based on being alone in a semi-social setting.

Some quotes:

"Singles... make an effort to externalize a legitimate purpose and character, that is, render certain facts about themselves easily readable through what can be gleaned by looking at them."

"A single is relatively vulnerable to contact"

I'm sitting here, could you not sit here also.

"Members of a with might be approached more safely"

I feel this is true in the Library especially in the case that With constitutes party of 3 or more, and if they are chatty. A small but chatty group is much more approachable for help or answering a question than a Single who is quiet and looking studious.

"Social setting and social occasions are not organized in terms of individuals but in terms of participation units"

For this weeks observational experiment, which will be discussed in class, my group found that in a group of 3, looking studious but friendly, even smiley (Luce), we still seemed on some level unapproachable, even when we advertised our availability. This is some way fly's in the face of the approachable Withs.

Sept. 12 Site Mapping

I had to read this a couple of times to try and make some sense of it, especially the
Borges (which I still don't think I've made much of it), anyways the Smithson article first...

Mapping Site: Smithson


>First off I think site should be thought of more as sight since so much
of what these installations have to do with is seeing, or more specifically perception.

>"the experience of site is one of limitlessness, the Non-Site establishes itself as a limiting mechanism."
I'm still grappling with this concept some, but I very much like the idea of the gallery
or museum as a container for limitlessness.

>Non-Site points in the direction of the site as point of origin-This idea is as perfect a description
conceptually, to what we normally think of as a map, that I can think of.

>"the Non-Site functioning as a mirror and the Site functioning as a reflection. Existence becomes doubtful."
For me this is what this work is all about, and I may be wrong, but this concept brings up questions of which is the authentic,
Site or Non-Site? Is the authentic or original even necessary, does it need to exist at all? I feel that the Non-Site is the mirror
which reflects the Site in its imaginary form(for the viewer), or from memory of the artist. The reflection is experience whether real
or imaginary. "the site is neither that which it was, a stable point of origin, nor that which will be, a specific, 'knowable' point
of destination... There is no authentic original site to be grasped as that to which the Non-Site refers." Maybe?

Borges Library of Babel


I have never read Borges before and found this complicated and confusing. Maybe that's the point.
A list of impressions in no real order-

>Chaos-I think this is the idea of this library, no order.
>Numbers matter, although I'm not sure how. MCV?
>Somewhere in this library is a book that makes sense of it all, and among these books
lie more books that reveal how to find it.
>This short story feels like a metaphor for the universe or mankind, I'm not sure which.
>All books no matter how diverse they might be, are made up of the same elements: the space,
the period, the comma, the twenty-two letters of the alphabet. Perfect! I love this short passage.
>A sense of despair or hopelessness; Obviously, none expects to discover anything.

Library of Babel did make me wonder however, if our own Library were a book, what sort of book would it be?