- 1 My New Plan
- 2 Fireflies and Bioluminescence
- 3 Older non-firefly ideas
My New Plan
My stupid 80 gig laptop hard drive that only will work when connected externally to a Mac G5 desktop (I've tried practically every other type of computer known to man) did this:
I have no idea how... but it's perfect for my new project idea.
Fragmentation: The idea started off with me becoming increasing frustrated with feeling like some sort of precious feared item on display that people are in awe of, and infatuated with, yet, afraid of (I know this sounds pretty narcissistic probably... but it's not in a fun way). This has been a reoccurring theme in my life, which I generally just shove aside because it seems so self-important. After a lot of consideration I just thought, fuck it. So I came up with the idea of putting myself in a display case made of plexiglas (with air holes of course). I needed something more though. So I decided to include copper plates inside the case that I could use to interact with participants, and they could use to interact with me. The catch is every interaction is a falsity. No one really has to interact with me, everyone's safe on the outside and doesn't actually have to encounter me, but can just watch safely from the other side of the glass and run away if they're too afraid or whatever. For me on the inside, certain things can only happen when someone from the outside makes contact with the copper plate and I choose to make contact with the plate on the inside. I thought about the part of myself I present to the world (well what everyone presents to the world) and how we all only present fragments of ourselves to each person we encounter. Acquaintances only known corrupted bits of our true being, and once better relationships are formed, more of that gets exhibited. But does it really?
So... what this installation will be is me in a display case surrounded by hanging rectangular pieces of fabric. These pieces of fabric will originally have the fragmented images I posted above projected onto to them, flittering back and forth. The set up of the fabric will ad an extra element of fragmentation. Once a participant comes into contact with one of the copper plates on the outside of the display case a non-fragmented video or picture of me will play/be displayed. These will end up being fragmented by the fabric... which is symbolic I suppose because the video are also just fragments, bits and pieces of a larger whole that no one can actually get to, that is trapped in the display case.
Fireflies and Bioluminescence
This is gonna be sort of ghetto at first... but I'll fix it.
So currently I'm working on making a physical model of a firefly that responds to the light in a space and maybe vibrates or flaps it's wings. I've got a couple tiny motors, some yellow LEDs, phototransistors and an Arduino. I'm having issues because I haven't been able to download the wiring environment for Arduino onto my computer. The zip file is all fucked up. So that sucks. Also I need to figure out a good way of attaching power to the tiny motors. Right now it's attached in a very precarious, ghetto fashion, but it won't do for a lasting prototype.
This sounds cool, I can't wait to see it. I also liked what was being said in class last week about using the metaphor of the fireflies as a sort of jump off point to create something different that conveys your same ideas. I think the example that was discussed in class was creating some stations around campus that would light up at night and entice people to come out to them. There are sooo many neat ideas coming from these fireflies but I think you could get bogged down if you feel like you have to actually create a physical, working model of one and I don't think anything would be lost if you didn't. --Jfunston 11:31, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
Started making fireflies. I'm using a phototransistor as a sensor. I'm still not sure what exactly I want the interaction to be. For now I'm working on a side project using max. Three insects interact with one another and the user depending on how much light one allows each bug to get. The sounds they make get more electronic and bothersome depending on how much light each is getting. I also may try to attach a vibrating motor to one so it can "flip out" if the other two are being covered. Once again I'm using three elements. This is my justification for it The Number Three. It's just such an important number in human existence/technology/religion... which is why I think I gravitate towards it without second thought.
Basic ideas and such concerning fireflies
- Why do fireflies glow? Is it their evolutionary imperative (I suppose so. They glow to attract mates.) Can this be further explored?
- Along these same lines... some species of female fireflies mimic the glow patterns of other species in order to attract males that they will then eat. It's a femme fatale sort of deal. This spurned within me the idea of things not being what they seem. People allowing themselves to get into situations, possibly deluding themselves, that can prove harmful. Looks can be deceiving etc.
- One late night while having an existential crisis I wondered what are the questions people want answers to. I thought about a strange interaction where a simple creature, firefly answers these questions. I'm very skeptical about this idea.
- On a more playful note I came up with the idea of a musical interface. Some sort of interaction where different notes or chords cause different things to happen. Sort of a mini universe. I thought of a branch on a tree and the different interactions that can happen with that. Something I wrote that I find interesting is, "Maybe each note is a signal, for a mini universe. The sound of cosmic background radiation."
- Light and Dark this seems rather vague... there are a few directions I'm thinking about going with this, but I'm not sure of the result of these ideas.
Older non-firefly ideas
Feeling alone without physically being alone
- I think this might be a little to hard for me to make anything concrete out of at the moment, but I like the idea. I just don't know how to represent it visually. Nothing is striking me at the moment.
- This is a pretty broad vague idea, but something I came up with last night in lieu of the strange events that took up my weekend. Basically, I was deliberating over how the choices I make seem to be choices, but sometimes it's almost as if I have no choice, and I just do things, and the outcome is whatever it may be. But the element of choice in our lives is an odd one, even on a scientific front it's something that we struggle with. In any case. There's a lot more to be said about this, but I have to let it stew for a while.
Time, Chaos, Death, Life, Genes (My ideas about it. Is there something here I can work with?)
- Human consciousness is based on time. It's foundations are in the perceivance of time as passing. This same consciousness has led our species to the discovery that the passage of time is in fact not a reality, just something perceived by us because our brains have the ability to perceive changes between the past and the future, and store these differences as memory. Without that ability, we might not have come as far as we have as a species. That is not the only thing that has allowed our technological development up to this point. Dolphins have brains that compare in body mass/brain mass ratio to ours, maybe even larger, but they have not created anything remotely similar to that which we have, because they don't have hands. Our dexterous hands have been instrumental in giving us the ability to create elaborate tools and decorations from elements in our surroundings. In fact, it would seem our entire anatomy was created to forge from nature that which does not already exist in nature. What the purpose of this might be, is anyone's guess. It has been shown that many other species have adaptations perfectly suited to nature that have enabled them to live in harmony with the rest of the earth's creatures for millions of years. What would be the need for a species so adaptable that it may one day have the ability to leave the planet in lives on in search of a new home, so adept, that it can create almost anything it needs to survive using the resources of the living and non-living entities around it? This is what I intend to explore using consciousness and the perceivance of time as a starting point.
- Imagine, the past, present and future, existing constantly, always, unendingly, every instant and place in the universe from start to finish, like a 3D flip book. If one desires to look at the past, just turn a couple of pages and it's there, it's always there, it's always been there (or at least since the start of the universe). This is in fact the assertion that modern science makes about time and the universe. Every instant of time from the start to the finish of the universe exists all the time, and time does not pass. Yet, humans, and many other creatures perceive a passage in time. Our brains store the data of past instances in order for us to utilize them in the future. This serves a great number of evolutionary purposes. It allows for better survival because animals can make judgements based on cause and effect, or deductions about cause and effect based on memories of past experiences. For homo sapiens, this, combined with our intelligence, dexterity and general physical anatomy has allowed us to reach the point where we can now see the true nature of things around us on molecular, physical and mathematical levels. We can reach further into the existence of the universe, ourselves, the creatures around us, and our planet, than any other species on the earth. Inevitably the "how" leads to the "why" and everything comes to a grinding halt. Why does life exist? Why do we exist? There's many different theories, but I will not delve into any of those at this point. It was said to me that sometimes one needs to sit back and realize how amazingly impossible life is, and appreciate that. This is quite true, for the odds of life existing as opposed to no life existing in a given universe are very slim. Chaos and destruction are the rules of the game, they are the champions, always wreaking havoc, always doing their thing, and when life gets involved their thing is death. So what's the point? What's the point of life if death always wins, no matter how hard we try, how advanced our technology is, we will, as well as every living thing, always succumb to death.
- The trick is that because time always exists, the past is always there, each triumph of life over destruction is written in stone, it can't be undone. In future instances of time it may be, but the existence of life at all against amazingly impossible odds is a triumph that cannot be destroyed by wandering chaos. When it comes to chaos vs. time/space, time/space wins. So what does that mean for life? Is the purpose of life just to beat the odds as much as possible, to ingrain itself in as much of the history of the universe as it can before it runs out of time? It would seem so. Geneticists and biologists always speak of animals and plants as reproducing in order to prolong themselves, their particular genes. If I can't live forever, then the least I can do is pass a piece of myself on. It's not a perfect system, but it's the best we've got. Life has adapted a very twisted way of promoting itself. It's every man for himself, and only the best man wins. But the thing is, life doesn't care, as long as it evades destruction and etches a piece of itself into the history of time, it could care less what the picture actually looked like. It's sort of like vandalism. Fuck the man, anarchy... maybe vandals shouldn't talk about chaos and anarchy, but order and everyone working together, because the latter are actually less frequently encountered.
- In thinking about this I wondered, humans are just another mechanism by which life exists, but we have evolved a certain combination of qualities that has allowed us to reach higher and go beyond what most animals can do. We hold great power in our hands, but do not know what to do with it because we, like every living thing on thise earth have decended from creatures whose genetic heritage is telling them, every man for himself. So in general, we use our technology for individual or familial gain. Did life shoot itself in the foot by the evolution of humans? What has worked for billions of years to keep life in statis, everything in harmony, and chaos at bay, while allowing the proliferation of life, is all of a sudden not working out so well because life has created a creature which is so good at living it destroys almost everything it touches. As humans we have the knowledge and the ability to promote life for millions, maybe even billions of years to come, yet in our short time on this earth all we have done is destroy other lives, and maybe one day we'll destroy our own. It's a pretty tragic thing. We realize our potential destiny, but most of us do nothing about it, because we each concerned about our own survival and the survival of our genes. Life is rude, mean, cruel and pushy... not courteous, amicable and polite. If billions of years ago in primordial seas bacteria had evolved ingrained with "I'm not special" genes rather than "selfish" genes, maybe we wouldn't have such a problem on our hands, but, on the same token, we probably wouldn't have evolved in the first place. In times of few resources and a world of constant danger, chaos and potential death, selfish genes are necessary in order for life to exist at all, but in a world of human culture and existence they have an opposite almost life eliminating effect. The odd thing is, we have the ability to see this truth, to know what we're doing and stop ourselves, but we don't. Why is that? Is the urge just to strong? Are our genes really in full control? Are we just vessels for their proliferation? I don't think this is the case, I think the evolution of humans needs to be looked at from a different perspective. We are animals, but we have been given an ability to shape the world we live in in a way no other creature has, and with that comes a responsibility to life itself, to use that not just for our own gain, but for the gain of every living thing, becaue each instance of life is important, and is a testament to how really quite possible the impossible is, and destroying that means less instances of that exist in the history of time, and then chaos, death and destruction have won again. We've now becomes vehicles of death as opposed to life.
- We're not at the mercy of our genes, nor are we at the mercy of time, fate or destiny. The future holds endless possibilities, infinate universes for us to branch of into. And maybe some or more likely than others, but I believe our actions now, in the present can skew the possibilities. I don't think they are fixed. I believe the past is ever existant, therefore it's important to live each instance in the best possible way to promote the impossibility of life, however one does that. I think in doing this, maybe we can alter the ratios of possible futures, and more life can be ingrained into time than might be at this rate. While our ancestors may have been at the mercy of their genes, and our cousins may still be, our genes have given us the ability to overthrow them. Selfish genes do not necessarily mean selfish creatures. This must be acknowledged.
This all very Cageian stuff: I like the idea of fireflies as a visual anchor. I think that they are potent and haven't been used to death in this context. The forces of entropy that you seem to be interested in are really facinating and really stand out against the concept of secrets, a fleeting, imperminant thing. If you can get a copy through Illiad, check out Jung's work on the Psychology of Alchemy: the Chroma Process might resonate with your line of thinking for this. -- Adam 22:54 4/02