pratiche artistiche, neuroscienze e tecnologia nella società in rete
The Neuro_Revolution Glossary is a collection of the words associated with the knowledge and debates triggered or put into circulation by the project. United by their belonging to the semantic field of technology, these concepts are here re-humanized or de-machinized.
Conceived by Irwin Dorros, starting from the Seventies, the cloud has been used by engineers as a symbol to represent a non-identifiable or non-predictable network, regardless of whether it is referred to a telephone network or to the internet network. The idea of the cloud as metaphor of the remote externalization of computation and of archive storage is supported by the common idea of the digital communication and of the media as immaterial entities. For Vincenzo Estremo, the cloud computing exploits this association to lend a sort of credibility, based on something ephemeral, to the digital and to the media, thus hiding all the possible material manifestations. But why should the immateriality of the cloud represent a positive aspect? With regard to cloud computing, it is erroneously thought that the absence of weight results from the absence of memory utilization in the local internal storage. After all, even if the composition, the measurement and the weight of the clouds in the atmosphere are no longer a mystery, it is still true that they traditionally appear as immaterial elements. As we look at the clouds flowing in the sky, we have the impression that these agglomerates don’t follow the gravitational laws. Indeed, cloud droplets are moved by ascensional air currents that are not sufficiently attractive to fall to the ground under the force of gravity. All clouds, then, have weight.
In computing and telecommunications, this term takes different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In a physical connection, two or more electronic devices are networked to either devices through an interface and transmission media (e.g., cables). With regard to a network of terminal devices, logical and/or physical connections are defined as connections to external equipment to complete a given service. A set of connections creates a network of communications that, due to its configuration, has a decentralized and distributed structure. Decentralization is a complex model that enables to find or devise escape routes, new architectures, and to explore new pathways. A model that in biology finds its emblem in the vegetal and fungal life. Connection is a system of causes and effects, links, attempts, bio-hacking, mediations, coexistence, life and death.
My body is a container. The organisms that live inside it are events that, in their unfolding, generate, by osmosis and interaction, the ontology of the process. What is an answer but a set of those events? And what else these events are but the questions themselves?
My body as a container, an ecosystem; it produces, rejects and asks for the awareness of the collective. In what sense I am and the rest is? I am the events, the questions and the answer. I am the crowd that inhabits me, I am the coexistence of singularity and events that, in their complexity, form a community.
I ask to the crowd: am I, or better, may I be, the key to find the end of the yarn tangled around the hands of the players and by playing they learn, live and form as many events, sets and organisms? I as a set, as a container machine, as an automaton, to which set do I belong? Of which system am I an organism? The answer is the set of processes.
Interrupt is a mechanism that allows devices to receive and respond to asynchronously generated signals from external events. As explained by Giorgio Griziotti, this ability has allowed real time computing and has helped computers to transition and advance from the modern to the current social phase. Knowledge develops in a totally different way from the computational rigidity, but the idea of attention and relationship to external events, made possible by the interruption of the normal processing of a task, resounds with concepts of suspension or interruption used in the affect theory. According to Brian Massumi, for example, an interruption is what enables change: by provoking the alteration of a status, it opens a virtual space of possibilities, allowing the new to emerge. The idea that an artwork or an event create a fracture in the normal way of perceiving things is intuitive. Can we think of Neuro_Revolution in terms of interruption? A residency is a suspension, within which stimuli from the outside are received. What kind of reaction has it triggered? What knowledge has it sparked? What kind of responses to the external has it generated?
In computer science, synchronization is a process that involves the activation of flows in coherence with one another. If the actions are performed in sequence, problem does not arise. Conversely, if a concurrent action needs to be executed, a critical section can be met, which is a segment of code which can be accessed by a flow at a time. To make the system work properly, an alternation between the different flows is therefore needed. If we apply this reasoning to the human experience, can we act differently when facing a critical section? Instead of being a space for the single, can it be interpreted as a space for the multiple? Going even further, can it be a space where one and many lose meaning, according to a rhizomatic paradigm? Deleuze and Guattari write: “the rhizome is reducible neither to the One nor the multiple.” Synchronization, then, as the opening of a space where its functioning depends on renouncing individuality and differentiation. The new rule is the integration and multiplication of the flows: polyphonic chant.
A system is a unity made of more interacting parts that form a whole where each part gives its contribution for a common purpose. Just as in computer science the operating system is a set of software that provides the user with a series of commands and services to take full advantage of the computing power of an electronic processor, in physics the set of bodies taking part in a system are governed by certain laws that define their functioning and interaction.
In any case, the system, seen as a stage, features the machine and the man as its protagonists based on different combinations: machine-man, machine-machine, man-man. In the latter, more emphasis is given to coincidence, to mistake and to the unexpected: an improvised theatre. Here, the lack of a script makes difficult, if not impossible, to control the number of the significant parameters.
In many programming languages, the phrase Public void refers to the declaration of a public function – which means accessible, visible by anyone – that, however, does not return a value: something that exists, but that waits for instructions to take action.
If we consider these terms literally, the phrase “public void” evokes a collective condition resulting from the need to fill a void that is mainly personal, private; through the new technologies (and therefore thanks to the cultural revolution that the Internet has been representing for about thirty years), seeking to be part of other people’s life becomes a necessary practice to live the illusion of feeling less lonely. The concept of horror vacui (i.e., fear of emptiness) is something that has always characterized the western thought: fear that, applied to our days, helps us understand better the accelerationism drift typical of a society engaged in the constant accumulation of capital. To Bauman – in his Mortality, Immortality and Other Life Strategies – “the reopening of the void is what takes the terror of death at the centre of life”; the clarity of this thought urges inevitably to think how different the perception of the void is within the oriental cultures. In Buddhist doctrines, for example, vacuity (Śūnyatā in Sanskrit) plays an essential role as it is necessary to abandon self-love and to come into contact with a unique body: if we understand that everything is vacuity, and that this does not imply any limit to the manifestation of the possibilities, we will be more prone to some effective filling. Vacuity is the essence of compassion and it is often associated to the ultimate nature of reality because “the true nature of all phenomena is empty, as opposed to the ego’s imagination, which is full of concepts, expectations, anxiety and projections that have nothing to do with the reality.” (Lama Thubten Yeshe).
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