Simple statement on the future of the book from William Gibson from an interview with Wired:
Wired: One of the details that leaped out at me was the Adidas GSG9, named for the German counterterrorism squad. I felt certain you’d invented the shoe, but then I Googled it.
Gibson: The Adidas GSG9s were the obvious choice for the thinking man’s ninja. Nothing I could make up could resonate in the same way. There’s code in name-checking the GSG9 history — esoteric meaning. Something that started with Pattern Recognition was that I discovered I could Google the world of the novel. I began to regard it as a sort of extended text — hypertext pages hovering just outside the printed page. There have been threads on my Web site — readers Googling and finding my footprints. I still get people asking me about “the possibilities of interactive fiction,” and they seem to have no clue how we’re already so there.
Also wanted to talk today a bit about the talk the Bill Brown gave, which was quite excellent. His talk focused on the work of Brian Jungan, which I recognized from Hal Foster’s Return of the Real. Brown made several very interesting points along the way, and I’ll just be listing some notes and what I remember. He quoted Arrendt on identity being relative to objects, a man defined by reference to the same chair. He also talked about how the sense of timelessness in art developed from the creation of art throught the preservation of cultural artifacts. These objects perserved in museums, attempting to stabalize identity through their preservation.
He had some really interesting things to say about Jungan’s cetology pieces, which were reconstructions of iconic figures of whale skeletons from plastic chairs. He referred to the preservation of these icons in new materials as an attempt to preserve cultural identity overtime, relative to the objects, “the nonmortal remains of mortal beings”. Brown then talked about his Jordan mask sculptures as blurring the line between preservation of ancient history and the global sneaker market. He said they scupltures were neither shoe, nor mask, but both at the same time through a kind of “cultural corruption,” to used Jungen’s words. He also talked about Jordans as the presence of the art market in everyday life.
But the most interesting part, i thought was the end. He talked about the Thingness of the object being that portion of the Jungen sculpture that exceeded its status as either shoe object or mask object. He called it the object’s desire to be something else. When questioned about assigning desire to objects, he said he felt this was the direction things are going, that we will have to talk about the desire of things at some point. He referenced Deleuze on Spinoza, then Latour, who talked about a speedbump being not an inert object, but an object with desire, trying to do something, namely slow you down. Brown said this isn’t a fully formed idea, and his reference to Deleuze and Latour was to justify this direction of thinking rather than settle the issue. But, I do find this line of thinking really interesting and possibly very interesting for my line of thinking on gaming as paticipatory, cyborg-like assemblage experience.
What is the desire of code? or algorithm? or protocol? Standardization, perhaps?