August 2, 2016

Confluence: a high-flying conversation about the power of art and artifacts in a network

Confluence Journey rs

We saw a new world below us. Our thoughts, feelings and intentions were projected on its surface in multicolor array, as if land masses, seas, inlets, peninsulas, islands, mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and tributaries constituted a geography of human meaning.

We were flying high above this unexplored terrain in the metaphorical Feynman transliminal transport vehicle, traveling through virtuereal space. In harmony with unfolding circumstance, the Feynman assumed the form of a flying wing, slicing into the atmosphere of a world we had already imagined into existence.

We travelers within the cabin interior noticed only the normal comforts, the subtle hum of the Feynman’s quantum-drive engines, and through windows and screens, the field of colors passing below. Some of us were sitting around in the common area, which afforded a view of a large video screen.


John said, “Paul Klee said color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.” He called up an image of Klee’s painting “Blossoming” on the screen. (.jpg)

“i absolutely LOVE that quote — thank you,” said Laura.

“One of my absolute favorite artists of all time” said Jan.

“Klee wrote a beautiful little book” said Gregory, “about automatic writing as a technique artists have always used in finding new directions when an old idea is exhausted.”

We were an imagining team from the Conversation Community, on a learning journey to explore, understand, and wield the underlying power of art, science and culture, especially in its network artifacts.

“If we develop our collective imagination as if it is our core 21C Literacy, we will make it,” said John. “Otherwise we will not.”

“Klee’s quilting pattern matches Newton’s idea of convergence of infinite series and sequences to a definite limit,” said Barry. He called up Escher’s woodcut “Development” on the screen and said, “M.C. Escher’s art reveals the same mathematical idea.” (.jpg)

“Pattern matching” said John, “particularly pattern languages, can be field-tested in collaborative metaphorical adventures like this one we are on. None of us knows what happens out here at the edge, the edge of our enclosures, platforms, walled gardens, networks, villages, our clearings in the forest we inhabit.”

“If we first understand the pattern everyone weaves” said Yutiel, “we will then understand each other.”

“Ah, and the more we understand each other, the more we level up to dialogue and metalogue,” said John. “For now, a beginning understanding of the pattern is sufficient, and already evident in our conversation.”

Text appeared on the screen before us, apparently called up by ship’s intelligence:

“If you want to understand the invisible, look carefully at the visible – The Talmud”

“We don’t know all the causes that led to our meeting, and this expedition, but we do know that confluence sometimes includes play, and shared context” said John, “where the How, What, Why and Whereto questions create the outline of the meeting place.”

On the screen, auroras of color moved and flickered in the simulated holotank image, in concert with each speaker’s intonation of meaning.

On the surface of the new world passing below us, landforms began to shift, differentiate and articulate into complex patterns where the edge of meaning meets the deep blue sea.

“We can add Signal perception (intelligence) as a starting point” said Leif. “End by Synthesizing aspects of output, outcome and impact, as those will emerge a series of time.”

Two points, amid the swirling colors, appeared in two different areas of the holotank.

John pulled a card from a deck on the side table, looked at it, then put it back in the deck.

“Yes” he said, “for example a series of maps where the delta informs the evolutionary trajectories, along the lines of abductive thinking and Jon Kolko.”

Light trails began to grow in the tank display — moving, searching like nerve endings, forming a confluence of lines, interweaving lines, planes, planes-of-structure, dimensions, topologies, equilibria, motions, movements, depths and time.

“A signal sent” said John V, “may not be the signal received via intelligent apprehension despite complete fidelity in signal transmission.

“There is no way that the meaning of a metaphor can be exhausted nor proven right or wrong. Every signal engenders a field of affordances that can’t be predetermined, inherently in every evolving domain.”

The Feynman transliminal transport craft was flying over darkening waters.

“Your whole comment is a gem, John V” said John.

A look of bemusement was growing on Alex’s face.

Ron pulled a card from the deck, looked at it and put it back.

“I have become less dependent on fidelity of transmission” said Ron, “learning to just listen through the noise. Now I prefer a technically flawed performance to a theoretically perfect one that fails to deliver the self.”

“the lustre of the patina of resonant noise” said John V.

“That is the best and most resonant phrase ever” said Ron.

Incredulous at the turn in the conversation, Alex turned to Michael and said, “Please tell me I am not imagining things. I have already started and am well into a formal study of the phenomenon of Patina, both as an object of research and a subject for future artworks.”

“I think you are really on to something” said Michael.

“After consulting the literature on patina in several different disciplines” said Alex, “I noticed that there didn’t seem to be a general notion of Patina, i.e. that there is no ‘general theorem of patination processes’ (Because it IS a process).

“And of the many types of patina, Johanne Pelletier’s thesis even ‘considers the implications of a digital patina, including its relevance for an analysis of the relationship between things and time or timeboundedness’ in his ‘A Matter of Time…’ paper.”

“I am excited to see where you are going to take us, Alex” said Michael.

John wrote a note on a scrap of paper that said “five-fold dynamics,” and stuffed it in his pocket.

“After you mentioned it a while ago John,” said Yutiel, “I started studying Kolko on abductive reasoning (the logic of inference or best-guess leaps), and I especially like this following quote, as it’s adaptable to any communication.”

Yutiel called up the text on the screen: “By combining an insight with a design pattern, the designer is forced to examine and consider each unique insight. Methodically, the designer must think about each facet of the design problem that has been deemed useful or important. The method is then divergent, as it actively produces new ideas. Ideas are “moved forward” in a nonlinear fashion, jumping over the expected in order to arrive at the unexpected.”

“That is a great excerpt!” said John. Turning to Bernie he said “From there, it is a short hop to your playfulness, Bernie, and to generativity.”

“I very much appreciate being included in this conversation” said Bernie.

“O, you know I like to play” said Yutiel. “And with a humorous counterpart playing with words is fun and is bonding.”

“Attention,” said the intercom voice of pilot Joachim, “our social field sensors have detected signs of life below, in the form of semiotic respiration byproducts, which can only mean that this conversation, itself an artifact of the Conversation Community, has accumulated enough metalogical power to resonate with its own creation on the surface of the world below, also an artifact. If we go down we may well find that we are meeting ourselves there, perhaps as we really are. Or we can return to Base Camp on virtuereal Sagarmatha and make plans for the future. It’s up to us. What will we do?”

Text appeared on the screen:

“The creation lives as genesis beneath the visible surface of the work. All intelligent people see this after the fact, but only the creative see it before the fact — in the future – Paul Klee”


“In a network, the true meaning, value and power of individual pieces of art, flows out of the metalogue, the meaning-moving-with between the artist and the societies in which she participates”
–Zen of small tasks, episode 4: Confluence

“In harmony with unfolding circumstance, the Feynman assumed the form of a flying wing”

–A way to induce quantum stability: engineering the interaction between a quantum system and its environment can induce stability for the delicate quantum states. This experiment points toward robustly encoding quantum information in multidimensional steady-state manifolds.

enacted by the Conversation Community on Facebook and Google+

enaction design by Sceenius

image: Ron Scroggin