Casey (04/24/17)

Alright, I have sort of a dual-pronged presentation. Because part of my thought, too, like when I was talking with Vic about where everything is at, and when we talk to people in the studio and in the class it seems like, for me, and I feel like probably with everyone, everyone has like ten projects going on—

Thank you! I almost texted you to ask if you could bring this book.

And Cecilia was saying maybe it would make sense to make a book that's kind of like all of your proposals for projects that you aren't doing, probably everyone could rattle off like 50 things. So I tried to go through my notes and think of what I know about what everyone is doing, and ways that things seem connected, but it's probably really biased to what I'm doing, what people I'm working with are doing, so you might find yourself—

Not all the people in the class were here last semester.

Right, exactly. People may or may not have been here. I've frequently misremembered. But it made me really excited when I saw this structure emerge. I think the key thing about this chart is that when two people work on a thing it kind of snaps to be inside the group because it's being pulled by multiple people. I didn't fully map that out, but I see a lot of things forming with different kinds of participation. And I also tried to draw little lines with all the different project ideas that I want to do. It made me think that there's something cool about the double-sidedness of this graph. I actually don't think that all the projects in this class need to be full-on everyone-working-on-everything collaborations. You kind of end up with all these little hairs on the outside of things that are just for yourself. I feel like what I presented on last semester was kind of the things that are infinitely long term just for myself thoughts that I've been reworking since, essentially like, middle school. So these are more kind of readings.

And one of the people that I presented on, I can't remember if everyone saw the presentation or remembers anything. Essentially, when I took the Projects class as a student, in the first iteration, my project was really vaguely this concept of "hypertext". So I'm still kind of tracing this concept and what it means, practically and conceptually, as a mental model of the way computers have shifted the way that everything works, including the ways that things can be understood, and the ways that the world runs. So one of the things I did is deeply start to buy these books that are related, because I had a reading list and I figured, like, I need to make this tangible for myself. I actually have one more of these, but these were like ridiculous splurges. One of them is much harder to get, the one that I didn't bring in. It's literally falling apart and was literally made by hand by Ted Nelson, I think. He's just this completely bonkers guy. A lot of these things remind me of people in the class. There's a lot about 3D modeling and learning. The other shift in my research is that I've been looking a lot at music. So these are all about music composition. I was thinking that I've been having a hard time explaining this technology stuff, and it feels really expected and boring and inaccessible, or something, and just obtuse? But I'm finding a lot of resonance and also just a lot of really nice stuff in the work of avant-garde composers based in New York and California that were all part of this collaborative group, so I'm kind of on an acid trip about that.

What's the group called?

Ah, I don't even know if they self-identified as a group. But this group is called "Talking Music", and it says "Conversations with John Cage, Phillip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and five generations of American experimental composers". So I always kind of liked, for a long time, John Cage, Phillip Glass, Laurie Anderson, but I've gotten to the sub-level of the people, so like this is: Blue Gene Tyranny, Robert Ashley, and Melody Sumner Carnahan. So I'm deeply trying to understand this web of people and what they were trying to do and how they worked together, and they have a lot of really good documentation and work. And the last research thing is: this is a book called "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander. This book inspired the creator of the wiki, because it's a codex, so it's written in a bound form, but it's kind of interlinked, internally. Ward Cunningham, who wrote the first wiki software, and who writes the wiki software that I'm now using said that this is like what gave him the idea. And the last thing is that I like randomly joined a video chat with the wiki creator guy Ward Cunningham. But I had to leave after like five minutes, so I'm hoping to actually talk to that guy. Because he like makes himself available. Yeah. So I guess so that's a really short update on my own personal thinking and research and stuff that I'm thinking about more pragmatically with the class and collaborations and stuff.

I think the part that I haven't actualized as much is that I really do also want to be thinking about the whole side and helping people with things, and helping those collaborative things happen. So if you have adjacent ideas, I've started to map it all for myself. And I'm probably going to send some pings to people about possible ideas, but also please feel free to do that for me.