self aware organism


digital remake of hand drawing by Clint Fulkerson found via Data Is Nature

Fulkerson writes, about his original drawing (not depicted here except as altered):

I create my artwork through the slow application of decisive marks. As I draw, I follow a loose formula based on what I’ve already drawn, filling areas of the picture plane gradually, without making initial layout sketches. This makes the final product somewhat unexpected and emergent.

This is also called doodling. Data is Nature writes, however:

In this sense the drawing could be seen to be a system in action whereby local agents (drawing marks) define successive marks to create global structures of complexity that are often unaware of their ongoing mutating configurations. This emergent behaviour has been noted in morphological systems and biological colonies...

True, but humans are not bacteria, so the thumbnail from Data Is Nature was flipped horizontally and vertically, pasted into the "nucleus" of the original drawing and Voila, double reverse recursion! As Jasper Johns said, "take something, do something to it, do something else to it," a simple wisdom that seems to escape many artists in the "generative" ghetto. Sorry to be rude and unauthorized but there is so much unfinished work on the web.

David Brooks on books [annotated]

A person enters the literary world as a novice, and slowly studies the works of great writers and scholars. Readers immerse themselves in deep, alternative worlds and hope to gain some lasting wisdom. Respect is paid to the writers who transmit that wisdom.

[It was such immersion that led me to conclude that the US needed to invade Iraq.]

A citizen of the Internet has a very different experience. The Internet smashes hierarchy and is not marked by deference. Maybe it would be different if it had been invented in Victorian England, but Internet culture is set in contemporary America. Internet culture is egalitarian. The young are more accomplished than the old. The new media is supposedly savvier than the old media. The dominant activity is free-wheeling, disrespectful, antiauthority disputation.

[Such as led many "bloggers" to decide invading Iraq was wrong.]