a b s t r a c t(s)
links to lecture screens in blue>>>>
g r e g o r y u l m e r ~ june 10
During the ensemble logic project I will question the nature of "project" as such by wondering about what I am trying to do myself, what pattern or dynamic underlies and motivates my interest in choragraphy (what IS choragraphy and how does it work?).

The framing concern addresses the possibilities of cyberpidgin (the formation of a new discourse syncretically through the convergence and confrontation of native speakers from different cultures [even if we are all writing in English]. I am attempting a syncretism of Euro-theory with the wisdom traditions of oral civilizations.

One way I am posing this project now is by means of a remake of Gurdjieff's __Meetings With Remarkable Men__, which I have reconfigured as "Meetins with Remarkable [persons places things]. One meeting I would like to tell about is with David Alfaro Siqueiros, one of the "big three" muralists of Mexico, whom I met during the summer of 1967 while he was preparing a major work commissioned as part of Mexico's hosting of the Olympic Games.

My method is that of Nachtraglichkeit, making a second virtual visit now, with the significance of the first visit finally emerging suddenly due to something happening 30 years later.

Trauma, the missed encounter.

The purpose of discussing this and related projects is to encourage others to try similar experiments themselves, so that we might collaboratively test the potential of cyberpidgin as a discourse more adequate to sustaining the cultural diversity of meetings online.
> > > > >Choragraphy? Greg's link(s) to...

l i n d a m a r i e w a l k e r ~ june 24
"While recently 'away' writing and music merged, as they'd been promising to do for awhile. Trouble began. As this went back a long way (to childhood) - to the impossibility of not-talking, and not-dancing. At the moment of 'merge' the dilemma was clear (or momentarily still): to-write (the verb) is ... like a (country) 'road', say (or 'Hells Rarebit' on Fila Brazillia's 'Luck Be A Weirdo Tonight'). Or, another language (and therefore 'sound'). Like, having a collection of books or records or knives or dolls. To-write is to-collect. Or, that's what I imagine. Like when Barthes writes: "In Schumann's 'Kreisleriana (Opus 16; 1838), I actually hear no note, no theme, no contour, no grammar, no meaning, nothing which would permit me to construct an intelligible structure of the work. No, what I hear are blows: I hear what beats in the body, what beats the body, or better: I hear this body that beats." Well, this is what I hear in the music of Fila Brazillia. This, now, 1998. Then there's Clarice Lispector. She begins her novel 'The Hour Of The Star' with a dedication: "I dedicate this narrative to dear old Schumann and his beloved Clara who are now, alas, nothing but dust and ashes. I dedicate it to the deep crimson of my blood as someone in his prime. I dedicate it, above all, to those gnomes, dwarfs, sylphs, and nymphs who inhabit my life ..." I only realized tonight the Barthes/Lispector connection to Schumann. So, my question is to do with 'emergency' or 'en-slog': to do with electronica-music (or thickness, density; or a form of sliver or plane that is imperceptibly compact/ambient (e.g. Fila Brazillia), and Schumann, and their relation to to-write (as a compositional or scoring 'awayness'). Writing as music: "To weep and believe. This story unfolds in a state of emergency and public calamity. It is an unfinished book because it offers no answer." (Lispector, ibid) (Thank go(o)dness.)
> > > > >The Crowd's Have all Gone Home, Now:Chorally Yours xx

j o s e p h i n e w i l s o n

& l i n d a c a r r o l i~ july 8

Ensemble Logic

Dear Teri

I want this to be the start of a 'line' of inquiry, and I thought that the whole etymology of the term 'collaboration' might be very rich, hypertextually. Especially interesting is the idea of the hypertextual link as the furtive intersection of two collaborators (LC and JW), and/or as a kind of hole which destabilizes the system, which halves the w/hole (or makes it!)

Then I thought that the metaphor of the link as leak might connect to the theme of paranoia (hyper-connectedness) - and the role of hyperconnected knowledge in all of the economies of the Web.

Extract from: On Being the Weaker Link , or On Dobbing; An Epistolary Hypertext, sections of which are unrecoverable.

Dear Linda,

...and then I wondered if, in the midst of Wars and other such Organized Tragedies we would still call ourselves collaborators ? Are we like sieves? Can we hold a secret? Are we the weak link? In Australia, where the Party has decreed 'there never was no War' we would probably just be called dobbers. (Less Continental of course.)

Today, in the Strategic Product Development Room of the Partie Democratique Hypertexte (PDH) they were all speaking in hushed tones.

'We suspect a leak', the President whispered. 'They are no better than women, present company excluded, of course Someone round here cannot hold their tongue.'


I worry that the Party has weakened their case, fetishized the footstep in
the sand, instead of worrying a little bit more about whose boot was on
whose foot!



>>>>>between the Devil & the deep blue sea - Collaborative Logic

s u e t h o m a s ~ july 22
Imagining a stone: virtual landscapes

I have been writing inside the virtual community of LambdaMOO since 1995, and many of the environments I have created there derive from my sense of the natural world. These places are sometimes fairly realistic, as for
example the English fields (below). I built them after I had enjoyed many pleasant Autumn afternoons walking my dogs and wanted a virtual field on my screen for days when a trip outdoors was impossible.

_^^~^___ the fields---_____~~^_^-~~ ____^^___~~~~~~

They stretch as far as the eye can see. It is autumn, and the ground is stubbled with the remains of the harvest. On its way to Africa for the winter, a sheet of birds darkens the sky in a turning twisting mass, then disperses and moves on as a scattered cohort towards the far-off hills and, beyond them, to the open sea. A single curving line of elder and willow marks the path of the sunken stream which has etched its way through the landscape from west to east. Several fields away, a tractor is slicing new furrows in the compacted earth. They gleam darkly against the white of the following seagulls. The sky is an English grey, as if the mists of Autumn are held fast in a canopy above our heads; a canopy which at any moment might fall and surround us, billowing out to hide the stream and the trees and the tractor and the wheeling birds... until we are left alone and silent in a muffling quilt of cloud. (Rm #14691 LambdaMOO)

LambdaMOO is a text-based virtual world so I am limited to the keyboard for my images... and this suits me very well. I like to build pictures out of words. But not all of my textual virtual landscapes are so akin to everyday life. The_Damp_Darkness was created for Liis, one of the virtual characters in my (real, paper!) novel The [+]Net[+] of Desire. It is a slightly fantastical place which houses the red seed from which Liis was born.


A clearing in an ancient wood. The patch of short grass in its centre is almost exactly circular in shape, its surface uneven where the remains of trees fallen long ago form humps and bumps beneath the shawl of green. There are rings upon rings of toadstools at different stages of growth and decline, and the trees make yet another circle around this secret place. One is much larger than the rest, an enormous towering sequoia thousands of years old, its bark gnarled and pitted, its bole a mass of whorled crevices. Here, deep inside one of the fissures, lies a red pod. It is no relative to the tree, indeed it is not kin to any of the species in the clearing, but for hundreds of years it has lain here in the damp and perfumed dark, making a place of peace and sanctuary for the beautiful Liis. (Rm #52249 LambdaMOO)

The novel also features abstract landscapes, such as the room at the heart of the novel, which also features constantly moving randomized text:


A playground for the virtual body. Here you are weightless in the dark, spinning in the soft velvet air.

(Rm #87887 LambdaMOO)

Recently I have been thinking about the extraordinary work of the British landscape sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, who uses organic materials to create outdoor environments which feature some intervention or manipulation by the artist to move them just one step away from nature - whatever 'nature' might be. Goldsworthy makes landscape artificial in the same way that text-based virtuality creates a recognizable simulation with its own very individual character.

This piece will be an exploration of virtual exterior landscapes in both 'hard' form (Goldsworthy's) and textual (my own).

Most of the sites discussed will be at LambdaMOO, telnet to lambda.moo.mud.org 8888 or at LinguaMOO, telnet to lingua.utdallas.edu

If you are unfamiliar with text-based virtual worlds, check out The Guide to Becoming Virtual

For information about Andy Goldsworthy go to the Smithsonian Magazine

Sue Thomas's books include CORRESPONDENCE, WATER, and WILD WOMEN. CORRESPONDENCE was shortlisted for the 1992 Arthur C Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. She writes about technology and inorganics, and is Director of the trAce International Online Writing Community. Her own homepage is at http://www.innotts.co.uk/~thomas
>>>>Imagining a stone: virtual landscapes

m a r k a m e r i k a ~ august 8
Now, as art becomes less art, it takes on philosophy's early role as critique of life. As a result of this movement out of art and back into everyday life, art itself becomes integrated into the workings of everyday life by situating itself in corporations, universities, governments and the vast electrosphere that houses the pluralistic cultures they thrive on. So it's now possible to reject the print-centric, paternal paradigm of a distanced, objectifying, linear and perspectival vision.

In the age of network cultures, the eye touches rather than sees. It immerses itself in the tactile sense it feels when caught in the heat of the meaning-making process. This meaning-making process, which manifests itself as kind of electronic media event one is responsible for having created themselves as a result of having become a cyborg-narrator or avatar-presence in the simulated worlds of cyberspace, is actually part of a greater desire to become part of a socio-cultural mosaic.
>>>>>>>>>The Writer as...

j a m e s m o s s ~ august 19
What`s the difference between research and re-search? This may seem a somewhat trivial rumination even anal question given the contemporay cultural tendency to adopt dominant `foreign` influences, but there is a difference, I think, and it has its basis in the great deconstruction of ideologies that permeates post-industrial society and is manifested in the current `red dwarf` stage of late capitalism, the triumph of the corporate world. The changing profile of the university over the past decade offers an interesting example of this phenomena in which the shift from publicly funded institution to a lean, fine-tuned corporation has proceeded hand in glove with the wholesale incorporation of electronic information systems. There are distinct correalations between the emergence of desk-top global information systems and the corporatization of the historically structured individual, autonomous and benevolent state. The utterence `re -search` is a symptom of this paradigm: re -search is a generic term for the corporatizing of research. In the Australian context re-search is not simply the adoption of an Americanism, it is a neologism that stands for a new academic ideal based on the corporate model. While it could be argued that any association between corporatization and the electronic revolution is purely causal, it could equally be argued that what is apparent in the above suggested correalation is not conspiracy theory based as such, but refers more to emergent notions of unification theory that ultimately seek to constitute a theory of everything. In these days of late capitalism economic theories constitute `theories of everything`, based upon the commom denominator of the market, and in the same sense electronic information systems provide us with access to theories of everything: Neitzsche`s exhortation to want to experience everything that has ever happened takes on a whole new dimension of possibility in the digital domain. Within the corporatized, electronically wired academy the prospect for the Neitzschean academic is sublime. On the one hand the university has literally become a universal entity outside of traditional strictures relating to types of knowledge and methodolgies of research complimented by new technologies of inscription and mnemonics, while, on the other hand, academics may be left to rage in a dystopian cyberscape in which the mirage of a unified field of knowledge melts into `the lone and level sands` of corporatly crafted homogeneity. Don`t get me wrong, I love my word processor, the above are just some of the things I think about research and electronic writing.
Unfortunately, Jim has been unable to contribute his paper. A mixture of bad timing and unforseen circumstances. As his contribution will be missed, his abstract remains...for another time perhaps...(Teri)

h e a t h e r k e r r ~september 2
I want to focus work for the project on some strands that interest me.

Firstly, ethics/aesthetics; the important question of "who can speak?" (understood as a compressed category that includes the who/what/how/where etc of discourse(s)). The specific objects of my
attention are cultural studies practices, especially those clustered around
the desire to mark our writing with certain tone(s), to find a "poetics"
for speaking of the academic's principled stance in relation to troubling
and difficult subjects.

At this stage I am gathering materials related to
first nation/aboriginal discourses represented in electronic media. I will be tying this sampling of practices to my students' work on their
experience of on-line, cd-rom, and other representations of aboriginality.
I am about to start work with them on this material so I will have to wait for several weeks before I can be sure what directions I will need to take.

I expect to be able to find some points of conjunction between this class-room practice and my work on "melancholy histories" in cultural
studies writing, especially the deployment of allegorical modes and (what I am calling for the moment) the turn towards the elegaic in some
influential practitioners of academic writing. I will have to keep bringing this work back to what the academic essayist seems to want to
achieve and to the question of how this is translated/overcome/repeated in
electronic environments.

I will talk partly about the production, and
partly about the reception, aesthetics that seem to function in these practices. I will try to focus this on the pedagogic scene by playing
around with a model of the post-Romantic interpretive paradigm as it functions in the classroom as an ethic/habitus, a "practice of the self"."
>>>>>>>>>Therapeutics: some notes for a project...

s i m o n r o b b ~ september 16
I want to look back at Greetings from Adelaide, and I want to think about nostalgia along the way. Or even, to think longingly about an outdated technology, which my work has become, and so to fall into the grip of a nostalgia, which may be, when we begin to think about nostalgia, a key mode of composing for the web. I may write with a longing for connection, 'the desire for desire', for that future re-union with a never existing utopia, 'where authenticity and transcendence are both present and everywhere' (Susan Stewart). The fetishizing of an outmoded technology, perhaps its a mode of a critical self-reflection, available to those who cannot be purely modern. And here I'm referring to the old postmodern, and its settlement with a certain writing loss.
>>>>>>>>>Nostalgic Moments

b i l l s e a m a n ~ october 1st
Recombinant Poetics:
spokes and bridges

Seed Nodes:
~associative nodes / pivot modes
~interpenetration mode
~a generation of enfolded fields
~a kluged engine of foci
~folding concentrations
~slippery language / conjunctions of the pivot engines
~meta-associative vessels
~loading the fields
~the distributed meta-field
~a poetics of refined meta-slippage
~a poetics of coming together and falling apart
~the device of chaotic reserves
~the forming of statements having simultaneous force values
~multi valued-logic / poly-valence
~a grafting of nomenclatures
~fragments of non-related discourses / association bridges
~a direction that finds itself / a field of fields
~a proximity of collision constructions
~the forming of informed modules - informed bridges

~Each participant will form a short focused node (Haiku length).
~Each participant will form a short focused bridge from their node to to three other nodes (created by the participants) - (each Haiku length).

This will be ongoing. The bridge may lead away or toward. The bridge may pivot or collapse. The bridge may inform or disinform. The bridge may fold. The function of the bridge may be inventive. The participant will be mindfully/aware of how each bridge functions in proximity.

Using email as a generator - copy 3 nodes / form a bridge node from each of
these nodes to your own "Seed Node"

>>>>>>>>>Fields of Meaning/Becoming in Recombinant Poetics

c h o r a g r a p h y
s o n j a p o r c a r o
"...the task of describing inevitably leads to exhaustion.... when language attempts to describe the concrete, it is caught in an infinitely self-effacing gesture of inadequacy, a gesture which speaks to the gaps between our modes of cognition- those gaps between the sensual, the visual and the linguistic." (1)

... installation/writing/electronic media fields are investigated to negotiate different understandings of spatial and temporal frameworks.....repitition, delay, disavowal...linguistic and semiotic concerns associated with fetishism, architectural concerns (re-figuring the geometry of the 'site', of viewing)...the limitations & exhaustions inherent in any & all forms of representations....what may constitute the 'tangibility' or 'materiality' of objects, spaces, writing....counting under the wait of ink. bent over bunched at the seam. floundering between solid liquid gas barely pulsing but returning. still. squinting to hear. a transaction is in suspension while perched on the front.to back,queueing. the profile of the speaker is astonishing. a history of more hits than misses but willing to defy chronology, to start from (a) scratch that is: in brief, a case falters. upper or lower? amplified on cue a wri(s)t action is repeated point to point.and then stuck dry.like a grammatical cut.made swift. tempered felled fresh and scored.burnt on/in. and then to move in/on again. muted. the speaker over stays like a shock in the nearest ear. 'leave after enters' is hopelessly commanded. stunned on the rim....

....artwork + writing for Choragraphy + Ensemble Logic, while responding to the work by the other contributing writers & artists, will also draw from and extend on the conceptual concerns of my recent (gallery) exhibition 'algebraic (drawn still)' in Sydney, in investigating the relationship between mathematical structures (algorithms, algebra etc.) used in computer technology and notions of drawn/drawing and (the) 'still'. The work will explore the gaps between scientific and poetic, concrete and abstract frameworks, positing a logic or choragraphy of writing/art (practice) that is both "immersed and distant, farseeing and swallowed". (2)

(1) p52. Susan Stewart, 'On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection'. Duke University Press, Durham and London 1993. back

(2) p175. Susan Griffin, 'The Eros of Everyday Life: Essays on Ecology, Gender and Society'. Doubleday Publishing Group, New York 1995

a n n e w a l t o n
Oral, in a word. Captivated by the con....cavity of the mouth. Making its appearance as a primary and highly visible point of entry to/exit from: the body. Whether it's in or out of the mouth, "I" am absorbed by it. "I" am swallow("swallow, swallow, little swallow"(1))ed by it. You could say it's a(n un)kind of what's-eating-her situation.

My performance art practice has been preoccupied by/with this high point of orality. And its (im)possible utterances. In other words...in other words...in other words: "I" am speechless. That is to say: "I" am without speech. Do you read me? "I" am on (and off) the out side of speech. Lost. For words. Looking. For words. And backwords. If only I had a good or perhaps that should be bad enough [that's ENOUGH!] memory. Of, for: "the possibilities of cyberpidgin"(2), for instance. Which is probably more a matter of forgetting than remembering.

Braille sucks me in too. The thought that it's possible to see, to read, to write, to speak even, from the tip of the fingers alone. And what to make of, from, this compromising of the eye/I. In the prosaic act of touch-typing alone it might be possible to strike (3) a tone not available from "the wait of ink.(4) It's got a lot to do with all 10 digits working together in a rapid movement. Just look at the fingers (talking?) of a newborn and there you have a metaphor for this thought, this immodest idea that a soundless form of music might be possible in...hear!

Butt, butt, butt (5)... there's a hesitancy in entering this virtual space/community. And an insistence on the right... on the rite ... on the writing on the wall of this messy body to be or not to be in here as well. To announce physical presence in no uncertain terms. And then again, in nothing but uncertain terms. To find a way [away, will you please go away!] to re-embody this evacuated space, this empty womb resounding with: eidos.

Because theory, it could be argued, is a big yawn (6) And I'm only doing this because there's a vaguely familiar smell around here - you could think of it as a kind of virtual breast milk - promising a neverending response that's as thick and creamy as I like to remember it. Giving "me" a fluid kind of outline. A light touch. Or just a touch of light. A kind of
drawing..."me"...[write!]...inn (7).


1 Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince. back

2 Gregory Ulmer, Choragraphy . back

3 strike: "insert in soil to take root" ... amongst many other
meanings,The Concise Oxford Dictionary . back

4 Sonja Porcaro's abstract forChoragraphy

5 and here you can take your p(r)ick from a myriad of meanings such
as:"...thicker end, esp. of tool or weapon;trunk of tree, esp. part just
above ground;...remnant; stub of cigar or cigarette;...mound behind
target; grouse- shooters stand screened by low turf or stone wall;
...shooting range; target;...aim, object; object of (ridicule etc.), object
of teasing and ridicule;...push with head;...meet end to end..;": The
Concise Oxford Dictionary

6 yawn: ...oh YOU look it up. I refuse to do ALL the work of
making meaning! back

7 inn: ditto

s i m o n e h o c k l e y
on to simone's abstract >>>>>>>>>

m i c h a e l g r i m m
on to Mikey's abstract - keep your ears tuned >>>>>>>>

m a r k s t e p h e n s
on to Mark's abstract >>>>>>>>>>>>>

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