9 October 2015

I’ve recently been documenting alot of stuff on github but then realised I was learning a markup language on top of the most prolific markup language going html

Maybe it’s my point of entry in learning the underlying tech of the web: I know github markdown more than I know html is that weird? In feeling a bit paranoid about this I started to look into what Markdown and Markup language is and where it came from and it made me feel better. It’s all about Readability

I think I’m drawn to github as its a way of documenting work and developing it all at the same time and it’s to do with laziness; It’s difficult to re-visit projects after the fact and document things at that point: the act of doing being self documented totally appeals.

All work on the web is essentially public and putting privacy issues to one side I wonder about an art practice where all the wrong turns, developments, jokes, serious intents, failures and successes are trackable and versioned on the fly something like @brettlempereur’s Icreacharound.xyz but also maybe the idea of self-surveilling your sketchbook or gitlab for art. It’s a little bit like the Agency of Unrealised Projects as a service.

Surveillance and convenience of course go hand in hand; so we accept cookies but getting together your own system of sensibly tagging your bookmarks you like or need is a kind of self-surveillance. Unlike much surveillance we are doing it on our own terms and not having to accept someone elses; so it’s much nicer to use something like pinboard which gives you quite a bit of independence.

Its also a way of making things more Readable I wonder if we put more out there in art practice that is readable and ledgible then we don’t end up with work without context that only people with highly specialised language can understand: then again much of tech culture is about developing highly specialised language and systems and that’s essential and inevitable to really build things .

I think alot of what I do is about translating specialist language into a broader cultural language to explore wider connections. The problem is that sometimes you just make work that re-presents science and engineering and other specialist knowledge and art becomes purely about a form of public engagement: it’s a form of translation but it does not have to completely dumb things down.

My work with the Minecraft of Things is about this: translating interesting things in game as a process of understanding; and a way of exposing how understanding and use-value really work in the world. Minecraft has a wide public perception but also has a very specialised community context, so it’s not fully ‘the world’ it’s like a public buffer for it(to re-present a software term).

I’m especially interested in not just what I may (or may not, grr github) have learnt but how I’ve learnt technical skills through this process; if I had to learn in a more abstract way all the time then perhaps I would learn nothing.

After working on developing StasisCraft I’ll finish with two approaches to learning, call it homework if you really have time on your hands: something perceived as ‘hard’. No not big data but Quantum Physics


And once you’ve digested that I’d really recommend this presentation by Ron Garret

“Richard Feynman once famously quipped that no one understands quantum mechanics, and popular accounts continue to promulgate the view that QM is an intractable mystery (probably because that helps to sell books). QM is certainly unintuitive, but the idea that no one understands it is far from the truth. In fact, QM is no more difficult to understand than relativity. The problem is that the vast majority of popular accounts of QM are simply flat-out wrong. They are based on the so-called Copenhagen interpretation of QM, which has been thoroughly discredited for decades. It turns out that if Copenhagen were true then it would be possible to communicate faster than light, and hence send signals backwards in time. This talk describes an alternative interpretation based on quantum information theory (QIT) which is consistent with current scientific knowledge. It turns out that there is a simple intuition that makes almost all quantum mysteries simply evaporate, and replaces them with an easily understood (albeit strange) insight: measurement and entanglement are the same physical phenomenon, and you don’t really exist.”