Saturday, 11 February 2017

Some notes on the acuity of eyesight in raptors, and thinking about their perception of images in relation to our own.

In reference to a number of biological papers that I have recently been reading and thinking about, I thought it prudent to make some notes to help me build the all-important, yet elusive point of view of the Peregrine, and here I am talking about that same Peregrine that JA Baker chose to observe for over 10 years, back in the 1950s and 60s.

My source for these notes have come mainly from an American group, "The BioMedia Association" who have placed some valuable material directly online (the details of which can be found in the References section below). This has been supported by work from Vance A.Tucker, who interestingly, being based at Duke University, is located in North Carolina, US: whereas The BioMedia Association is based in South Carolina, US. I wonder if there is a link? Anyway onto my notes…

Raptors or birds of prey, including the eagles, hawks and falcons have up to eight times more clarity of sight than the human eye (with 20+ 20+ vision). A golden eagle, for example, can see a rabbit from a distance of over one mile. The Raptor’s sharp vision is also related to very specific and peculiar feeding and flying patterns. (Biomedia Assoc (2013).

Vision is necessary for flight.  Without vision, birds cannot fly as they are unable to make directional reference sufficiently for both take off and sustained flight. Predatory evolution and feeding habituation, particularly on smaller rodents, vertebrates, invertebrates and aquatic species necessitated a more efficient method of capturing such prey. Favouring high vantage points, flight (initially through gliding) became the norm for these raptors; they also needed abilities to see at close range, and they needed to maintain focus at high speeds when in pursuit. The most successful birds of prey in any population were those with eyes better adapted to these demands. Over thousands of generations, natural selection led to populations of predator birds with greater visual capabilities. Biomedia Assoc (2013), Tucker, V.A. (2000).

According to Tucker, there are two regions of the retina found in raptors, that account for the significant increase in accuracy of vision. These are discussed as the primary fovea, or the shallow fovea, where the receptors of the retina, while pointing forward within the skull, overlap at approximately 15° to the right or left of the head axis. This shallow fovea is not too dissimilar to that found in other animals. Whereas the secondary, or deep fovea, again pointing forward in the skull within the line of sight, also has a range of approximately 45° to the right or left of the head axis. Furthermore, the central beak of the bird, lying symmetrically on either side of the head axis, creates a reference line. (Tucker, V.A.(2000)).

How do predatory birds see more sharply than us?
 All raptors characteristically have large eyes. With a greater opportunity to allow light to enter into the eye chamber (e.g. as a ‘camera’), they also allow for a larger image to be projected through the lens into the rear of the eye chamber. If a retinal image is spread over a greater number of visual cells; it necessarily follows that there will be higher resolution to the detail in the picture.
Bird's eyes are so huge that a significant portion of the skull is devoted to them, allowing only limited room for the brain. Biomedia Assoc (2013).   Nevertheless, memory, recognition and cognition play an important part in the successful functioning of the organism.
A bird in flight, hunting small prey must not only be able to distinguish how far away the prey is but also its size, shape, position, and motion. In response to these challenges, raptorial birds also evolved precise accommodation and binocularity. (2013).

To determine the size and distance of prey, predators rely on memory as well as visual information. Through recognition (memory) it is possible to determine (through recall) how large the prey animal is, and then judge its distance based on the size of the image available on the eye’s retina. A clear image of the prey, no matter what its distance is also critical for the correct cognition of it. (2013).
The eye automatically focuses at a variety of distances using a natural neuromuscular adjustment called accommodation. In this process, microscopic ciliary muscles surrounding the eye alter the curve of the lens within the eye, to allow focus on objects that are far or near. Raptor’s eyes have exceptional capabilities for accommodation. Thus, as a potential prey moves closer or farther from the eagle or hawk, the predator's eyes remain focused by rapidly changing the lens curvature accordingly. (2013)

Raptors have front facing eyes. Therefore binocular vision is similar to our own. In binocular vision, the fields of view of the left and right eye overlap. Whereas, creatures with eyes on the sides of their head (especially prey animals) have low binocularity (what each eye sees overlaps very little) but high periscopicity (each eye has a full field of view) to evade predation by early cognition of threat. Biomedia Assoc (2013).

The right-eye and left-eye visual fields of a hawk overlap about 90 degrees, (in human vision, this overlap is about 120 degrees). A further adaptation in raptors - the cornea and lens are angled toward the beak to increase the overlapping region further.
Binocularity allows for stereoscopic vision, which in turn permits the determination of distance. When an organism compares the slightly different images from the right and left eye, the brain is capable of automatically determining the distance to the object. Raptors, with their greater amount of visual field overlap, have the most significant abilities to use binocularity to develop a sharp, three-dimensional image of a large portion of their view. Biomedia Assoc (2013)

The Deep, or 'Second' Fovea:
In birds that need accurate distance vision, (i.e.: birds of prey and some other species), a second fovea evolved in the lateral part of the retina. The fovea is a small region of the retina where the concentration of rods and cones is highest and therefore vision is at its sharpest. Raptors, with their broad binocular field of view, have both a central and lateral fovea. As a result, a substantial proportion of their visual field projects to the most visually sensitive parts of the retina. Tucker, V.A, (2000) & Biomedia Assoc (2013)

Another unique structure found in almost all bird species eyes is the pecten. Pecten is a thin, greatly folded tissue extending from the retina to the lens. Predatory birds such as eagles and hawks have the largest and most elaborate pecten. This unique structure supplies nutrients and oxygen throughout the vitreous humour of the eye, thereby reducing the number of blood vessels in the retina. With fewer blood vessels to scatter light entering the eye, raptor vision has evolved to be the sharpest image known among all organisms. Biomedia Assoc (2013)


In thinking about my readings, I undertook a few weeks ago (concerning ancient Egyptian mythology). Concerning the god of the sky "Horus", I find it quite surprising that those ancient Egyptian thinkers and particularly the "priests" or shamanic leaders chose the Peregrine Falcon as the symbol of the God of all gods, and great overseer. How did they know, over 5000 years ago, that this simple bird of prey was indeed, not simple at all!

It is fascinating that science only over the past hundred or so years is now able to prove the observations that those ancient Egyptians were able to recognise 5000 years earlier. The myths of Egypt's heritage hold Horus, (usually depicted in human form but with the head of the Peregrine Falcon) as the highest deity, and it is from their original notions that the all seeing eye has been reinterpreted, indeed re-conceived, throughout the ages. The concept extends to almost all the major religions.

My determination to stay with the original project ideas seem to be continually reinforced.


Notes recorded from material provided by
 BioMEDIA ASSOCIATES, LLC (2013), Beaufort, South Carolina, US.
Tucker, V.A. (2000) “THE DEEP FOVEA, SIDEWAYS VISION AND SPIRAL FLIGHT PATHS IN RAPTORS” Department of Biology, Duke University, Box 90338, Durham, NC,
in The Journal of Experimental Biology 203, The Company of Biologists Limited, Great Britain  (pp 3745 – 3754).

Friday, 10 February 2017

Bringing order to chaos, part two.

Following the last meeting after the BBC lecture, at least we were able to start to flesh out roles and responsibilities of each of the individual students. Thankfully, we were able to do this with the help of Dr Bailey, as I'm still finding my own feet within the group and gaining their trust before making the stronger move forward to try and lead them.

I am pleased that my preparatory work in documenting roles and responsibilities for the team last week has been met with positive feedback. The team have appointed me as the group facilitator and project lead, but I have been quick to try to correct team members from calling me boss! I am merely the hands that provide coordination, and I'm keen to ensure that there is no hierarchical behaviour in this collaborative group. Nevertheless, I think everybody recognises the need for a spokesman, and I'm happy to have adopted this role too.

So now we have clear terms of engagement, together with a better understanding of expectations from what I have started to call "our client" Dr Devlin, I have started to write a short statement which reflects those understandings back to him, in our own language. I think this two-way communication between ourselves as a delivery team, and our client, makes for a much better foundation to work forward with.

Within this memorandum of understanding (MOU), I have also articulated some boundaries on the work that the students are expecting to do. Whilst these boundaries are still loose and somewhat flexible, they do set some conscious limits within the relationship, so that our client does not start to grow his own expectations out of proportion with what the team is capable of delivering, within the timescales. This is a typical project management tool and is often referred to as an MOU, whereas a more detailed and specific planning document tends to be referred to as a Statement of Work (SOW).

I need to be careful not to introduce too many project management jargon terms that people both within the group and outside may not fully understand, but I do have the advantage of calling on my experience to help the team activities stay focused, as well as maintaining a positive mental attitude.

As the first opening event is due to take place on Thursday, 16 February, I intend to informally present the MOU to Dr Devlin for him to read at his own leisure. He will have too many things on the opening night to discuss this I suspect, so I will try to engage in further discussion with him the following week to confirm his expectations meet our own.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Book review - Donna Harraway's 'When Species Meet" (2008), - Continued... # 2

Further to my recent notes commencing the review of this excellent source (Haraway, D. "When Species Meet" (2008), University of Minnesota Press), Haraway takes us through an initial introduction and discourse about positioning her ideas of companion species, and "companion animals" that is. However, and this seems to be a literary habit, by the way, she tends to explain in every minutia that those titled companion animals are dogs, cats, horses, small monkeys, miniature donkeys, etc., etc., et cetera and goes on to define almost every one of them. (She does tend to use very many words to get across a meaning when only perhaps one or two might do)!
Anyway, nevertheless her introduction goes on to explain how there is a feeling of 'belonging' when in the presence of particular species (which I would call simply pets).  And she also talks about the notion of "becoming with," as a kind of place in which we inhabit in a common sense of living.

The origin of the word 'companion' is 'com panis' from the Latin expression to mean "with bread". In other words, we tend to eat at the same table, if you like. This makes sense, and I like the idea of comparing the fact that apparently, the word 'company' also comes from this Latin origin too. It was originally used to describe a company of Knights, that being the lowest 'officer' ranking individuals, who shared a common table together when eating. And it is from here that the idea of the Knights of the Round Table can perhaps be given further credence.

Haraway goes on to discuss species, and my present understanding of the word (from my time in engineering), reminds me of the idea, and that in itself, the word 'species', if I recall, was indeed an idea. I also seem to have in mind, that 'species' was a term that referred to an early form of money as coinage, but this is something I need to research a little further.

Eventually, back to the book, we might be getting to the heart of the matter, and I think it's important to point out here, that Haraway makes note that she was brought up in a Roman Catholic family. I am always interested when a person has had a strict secular upbringing, as it seems they sometimes rebel completely against it in later life, or, they openly embrace it wholly (No pun intended).  In other words, there appears to be a polarisation in many cases and answers (regardless of the specific religion (and there again is that word 'species' or a derivative in 'specific')) a possible cause of certain thought patterns (schema).  This notion of polarisation of beliefs in certain people of a particular temperament, appears to abound in the way that some writers choose to report their observations and I should consider caution that it may be happening in this text itself?
Putting all that aside for a moment, Haraway does provide an excellent and thorough breakdown of all the etymology in her chosen key words. Indeed, to use Jacques Derrida's method of 'deconstruction', she refers the word 'species' to its Latin origin of speciae.  Then in reflection, she talks of the Latin word specare,  (To look, as in spectacle, hence speculate, etc), and ties in this together with the "act of re-spect". It is here that we can then drill down and think of this term of 'respect' in paying some sort of deference to an other; that is, to hold some other in a higher regard or esteem.

It is also here that Haraway then puts together the idea of species and companion where she mentions the writing of Anna Tsing; who says "human nature is an interspecies relationship."  (This line appears to be taken from a jointly written book with Harraway entitled “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species,” ed. Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi, (forthcoming), MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts).  I was unable to find that original book referred to by Haraway, but instead, Tsing has since published "The Mushroom at The End of The World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins" (2015), Princeton University Press, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK.   (This latest book by Tsing, is one for me to try to get hold of as I believe there is much resonance with many of the ideas that she is working with, and those with which I am also working towards. However, I will resist a review until later in the year perhaps!).

Haraway then chooses a lecture given by Derrida which was entitled "And say the animal responded!" In that original address which was later followed with another one entitled "The animal that therefore I am (more to follow)", he explained how his pet cat went into the bathroom one morning, as he was washing. Derrida talks about the encounter and individuality of that specific cat, and how it responded when it saw him naked. My own interpretation of this (which is interesting if one considers Haraway's spiritual and secular upbringing maybe?), is that she too identifies with animals in the sense that they are sentient beings. She doesn't say this outright, but I think that that is ostensibly what she is trying to get to.
Arguably, therefore, animals that we recognise as companion species have "souls"? They are 'beings' in their own right, are sentient beings.  Consider, in just the same way that Buddhism and Confucianism (which arguably are not religions at all, but merely good rules to live by), recommend that we as 'human beings' treat all animals (that is sentient beings), as we treat ourselves. That is, we must respect them!

But perhaps I'm missing the point here too? In Derrida's case, he was just talking about how his cat made a response, (which is very different from a reaction). He merely speaks of the fact that the cat did respond, and from a philosophical point of view Derrida does not attach any anthropocentric emotional context to this. His concern about being naked is completely human, the cat would simply be indifferent, as it is probably indifferent to any other animal being 'covered or uncovered'. From a cat's point of view, is it surely not just an encounter with the species that it might recognise as being a human? Equally so, everything that we try and impose through the personification of our pets is entirely superfluous too?

In response to Derrida's writing, Haraway, however, makes the critique that she seems to think that he failed to take the encounter further in the analysis. Haraway suggests that we should know what the cat was actually thinking or feeling, doing or knowing? Is this not personification again? Isn't Haraway's analysis of the account indeed the encounter being viewed anthropocentrically? Haraway believes that Derrida made a significant error and lost the opportunity to speculate further about some 'otherworldliness' that his cat lived within.

However, in defence of Haraway, this notion of trying to see the world from the point of view of another, is what is being rejected as imperialist (as she calls it) and arguably facile. I believe that Derrida's enquiry at the time was about his cat's response through the term 'gaze'. This mutual exchange of looking, and what we as humans believe to be thinking behind the looking, becomes 'the gaze'.
Was the cat actually gazing in this sense? That Derrida was gazing at the cat and locking 'eye to eye' in some sort of primitive animal behaviour? It is true that cats generally avoid the stare, that is the 'eye to eye', direct contact, for a prolonged period. That is one of their features of behaviour in avoiding aggression. This is quite unlike dogs, where the stare is considered an act of assault and must be met with an equal stare in response. That is, dogs stare because they are pack animals and naturally aggressive but cats don't stare as they avoid aggression!
 Isn't the discourse that both Derrida and Haraway engage in, purely philosophical perhaps? Of course, it is!  This is the point!  I sometimes question that in trying to think from another point of view (that is from the point of view of another species), it is always going to be clouded with our own judgement, based on our own individual experiences and encounters, and in these writings, these notions are exposed.

Interesting for me, though, Haraway goes on to say (on page 21) "Why did Derrida leave unexamined the practices of communication outside the writing technologies he did know how to talk about?"   This is important to me because Haraway identifies the concept of communication and extending it to the idea and the notion of the gaze.
Haraway goes on to say. Instead, Derrida makes an enquiry through a kind of pity. He asks the question (as many others have done before him) based on 'does the cat suffer'? And do we know if animals can suffer? Haraway argues against these traditional thoughts and instead talks in terms of "can animals play?" But then I think she further falls into the human hierarchical behaviour of 'can I play with this cat'? Which in my opinion puts her at odds with what she is indeed trying to do, and that is, to get down (whoops there I go again with hierarchy), onto the same level as the cat, so that we truly can share an encounter or experience together.

All in all, Haraway's treatment of Derrida still, I think, seems to be somewhat anthropocentric unless I have missed her other points somewhere in her rather rambling style of writing?  However, I'm pleased to see that in further chapters, she then talks in terms of "becoming with".  This then brings me back to the central notion of my own plot for investigation, that is how one can attempt to reinterpret and re-articulate the world from another being's point of view on the same level.
Watch this space for further speciae!

Haraway, D. (2008) When Species Meet, University of Minnesota Press, Minnesota, US.
Tsing, A. (forthcoming) Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species,” ed. Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Unable to find this source).
Tsing, A. L. "The Mushroom at The End of The World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins" (2015), Princeton University Press, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The idea of "The Pixel" as a subject of enquiry. - Thoughts and notes from a lecture by Stella Baraklianou, Friday 3rd February, 2017.

Following on from the lecture by Stella Baraklianou on Friday, 27 January, a subsequent speech on Friday, 3 February was given, in which Stella described her White Paper published in the Philosophy of Photography, volume 3 number two, 2012. The title of her paper that was subsequently published was "Pixel". In a review of the document, while Stella provides a detailed explanation of the term pixel is an element or cell, it seems that the majority of her work, and being a photographer herself, resides in the field of analogue film technology. In this context, she talks about the relationship between the pixel in digital media and the idea that traditional film is made up of small crystals of silver halide. She goes on to explain how in the classic film capturing techniques, the light-sensitive silver halide changes its properties to create a permanent reaction based on the light falling upon it. Whereas in digital technology, a charged coupled device (CCD) sensor is used which is made up of millions of junctions (the charge couple device itself) connected together in the form of a matrix. When light falls upon one of those junctions the electrical properties of the CCD changes depending upon the intensity of light that is falling upon it. In this sense, the output of the CCD matrix is then mediated by further computing technology to then reassemble the 'array' electronically into an identifiable picture. There is, therefore, a consideration that in digital technology there is a lack of permanence and any image made up from a reflection of the properties of light falling on an electronic sensor are therefore mediated.

In my own view, I think that there has been some confusion by Stella in where the term pixel has evolved from. While she briefly mentions Alfred Dinsdale referring to television in the late 1920s, there appears a very little investigation that could have been documented to show its emergence. Stella's paper focuses purely on analogue photography versus digital photography.
However, in reality, there were three technologies emerging at different times in history, each with their own independent language specifically and to some degree esoteric play within each of the fields of photography, television and later digital image processing. I believe it is essential to look at analogue television and video recording techniques in much more detail and consider those together with the silver oxide-based photography described in the article before digital technology and image processing is given centre stage about the term "pixel".

Nevertheless, the document is an interesting and well-written sojourn into a viewpoint of images being mediated through, and in between an arguably liminal, step. This idea of liminality is of interest to me in my own expression through Speculative Realism, and my drive to remove observation from the anthropocentric relationship.

As a further subject for discourse, Stella explained ideas behind workflows. A good reference point for photographic workflows, which are critical to digital photography, image capture, and manipulation can be found at the open eye Gallery under the exhibitions.

Examples by Fabien Giraud and Rafael Siboni provide abstract film images of sunspots and moreover, pictures of the Sun itself.

Stella went on to explain how as practitioners it is important for us to understand how we chart our process and methodology through workflows and a practical demonstration was given thus;

Fig. 1 - Example of a typical Workflow, modeled on an interview of a Photography / DM Student, by Graham Hadfield.
These notes were made during and following a lecture at the University of Huddersfield (2017), by Stella Baraklianou, on Friday 3rd February 2017 and are recorded here by the blog author.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Reflections on a workshop with Dr Anna Powell, University of Huddersfield, Friday, 3 February.

Anna's background is in the study of the History of Art, and she achieved her Bachelor of Arts degree and then her Master's Degree in that subject before continuing to study at a doctorate level the issues of Art and Design Theory.

The purpose of her lecture was to help us to conceptualise and to contextualise our own artworks in respect to current trends. Ostensibly, this is to get new ideas and also to stimulate discussion for further consideration. Dr Powell has kindly agreed to give three further sessions at the end of this term as tutorials for each of us, during week 30, 31 and 32.

Today's lecture and open discussion were centred around "postproduction".

The learning outcomes from this lecture are;
what do we mean by postproduction?
In what ways can postproduction be manifested?
How can we learn from the application of post production?

Postproduction is an umbrella thematic term. Broadly speaking it is about getting data, cutting it, rearranging it, filtering and selecting it, and then shaping it into new work.

In the case of Digital Media, which is electronically machine readable, the idea of postproduction can be applied particularly well. Digital Media can be created, viewed, modified and distributed through various mechanisms and channels.

According to Nicholas Bourriaud in his book regarding Postproduction: Culture and Screenplay; how art reprograms the world. Bourriaud explains that the idea of Postproduction is very much immersed in the notion of reconfiguration and also is intertwined with the concept of the simulacrum, that is; copy, of a copy, of a copy.
As a reaction to the democratisation of computers, and their availability on a universal scale to society, the idea of capture and reconfiguration becomes both diluted the one hand, and yet on the other even more important for us to attempt to understand.
It is no longer about repurposing Ephemera any more; society is now all about repurposing theories and ideology!

Consider, though, that history is still written by the ones who select what is to be written. This statement holds, right now, just as much as it did 200 years ago, before the advent of photography, or indeed any form of recording device.
In my opinion, the nugget of valuable gold is often lost in a stream of noise when it comes to capturing and archiving information. I liken this metaphor very much to how information is stored on the Internet. Nevertheless for further thought, who is it who says, who dictates, when something becomes, or is valuable?

Moreover, expanding on the idea of searching a broad horizon; this concept of a 'massive field' with which we are confronted with; to find this grain of gold, is not dissimilar to any pursuit of searching or quest.

For example, in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum, there are works of art that have never been exposed to the public, indeed never been seen by anyone, other than the original artist and a small select few.

Consider further the ideas of Psychogeography. I had explored some of these issues before, raised initially by the French writer Guy Debord. He wrote the book The Society of the Spectacle, (1968) and while we are now 50 years from that date, much of the contents still have high resonance.

These elements of information, of data, and cultural use go beyond their traditional roles in new digital mediums. Rather than a representation, art has become an activation to challenge passive culture.
"Precariousness" is at the centre of the human universe. Everything is moving, continually changing. In today's society, driven by social networks and digital media, it is an encounter that is now recorded. However, who are the audience? What do they take away? How do they filter and select value?

In the book by Mark Amerika "Remix of the Book" (2011), he provides a critique of Nicholas Bourriaud's ideas. The author also has an Internet site as well which is useful as a reference. Within his writings, he challenges the ideas of what the contemporary artist is, and describes an activity he calls "Culture Jamming". A kind of modern-day graffiti, where there is a concept of "hacking" a traditional or well-recognised brand image and inserting a levelling statement or "hack" as a reminder to capitalism.

A good example might be the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hack of an existing image. This can be conceived as a gorilla style attack that often uses parody as its vehicle of dissent.

So let us consider how our cultural practitioners are hybridising postproduction?
This is usually done through repurposing; and Interdisciplinary Media Arts Practice (I M AP). I find this an unusual abbreviation which has been adopted by the art world...  I wonder if they genuinely realise that these four letters are also an abbreviation of the technology on which much of our social media networks rely upon? That is, the Internet Mail Application Protocol (IMAP)!

Taking ourselves back to historical events in the development of art, consider Michelle Duchamp's Fountain (1917).
In thinking about his work at the time in 1917 to 19, he described the action "to create" as "taking something that already exists and re-contextualising it. To consider it a character in a narrative. Moreover, therefore blurring the original, versus the 'Ready-Made'."

Furthermore in the words of Marcel Duchamp, (cited by Nicholas Bourriaud), "Art is a game of all men, in all eras".

What we do with an Art Piece, what we take from it, how we make sense of it - is key to understanding the concepts of postproduction. Challenging the accepted notions of what art is in other words.
These are then thoughts about ideas, rather than a celebration of manual craftsmanship or skilled application of tools and techniques.

The whole concept therefore of Post-production is taking the idea and re-conceptualising it.
This can even be applied to the work of Duchamp himself. Duchamp commissioned Alfred Stieglitz to photograph the "Fountain", the urinal that Duchamp bought from local ironmongers. As a result of Stieglitz's photograph, the image itself became a "beautiful" object.
This was totally against Duchamp's original intention and illustrates well the idea of postproduction of Duchamp's work.
So its' reconceptualisation, in a way, made a certain level of mockery in backlash to Duchamp's original attempt to mock the salons of the bourgeois French art elite.
[By the way, the signature on Duchamp's urinal "the Fountain" was R.Mutt, where the word MUTT comes from the name "MOTT" as in Mott works; the vitreous enamel factory. Furthermore, the word mutt, derives from a cartoon, Mutt and Jeff, originally conceived during the First World War.
The letter R comes from the German word meaning wealth].

So Duchamp's, in 1917 Fountain, was a game changer on so many levels and has become an incredible talking point making it highly significant in the artistic discussion. For further review of Duchamp's critique, see the essay "The Creative Act".

Turning now to consider postproduction as "dialogue": further information can be read in Tacita Dean' s book "Trying to Find Spiral Jetty (1997)."

This takes the original works by Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty" work from the 1960s as a catalyst for postproduction and post reassembly of ideas. The original Spiral Jetty has enticed many curious viewers to attempt to relocate or find this work and search for it, somewhere located in the Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA.
Considering the notion that this piece of work is covered over with water and has, therefore, overtime, disappeared and re-emerged makes Tacita Dean's enquiry almost "farcical". The original 1960's Salt Lake City version Spiral Jetty has long since dissolved. It has become a myth, therefore, not unlike the Loch Ness Monster.
Nevertheless, the satellite images generated by Google suggest the existence of the jetty. The Google version becomes something real and tangible, whereas, in fact, it is not.

Each Google search for the Spiral Jetty suggests that it is real, but this "time and space" liminality becomes playful and farcical.

The artists Barney and Castre went on to parody the idea of the Spiral Jetty by setting up an art piece where they staged the hitting of golf balls into this mythical artistic object, in the Great Salt Lake. So now, by doing such an activity, it has enhanced a new layer of interaction.

Consider further the film by Tacita Dean and her enquiry of JG Ballard (Voices of Time) in which she discusses influences such as the Fibonacci sequence and the spiral galaxy.

A textual analysis of the ideas above, rather than just extracting an actual quote, becomes much more productive for an artist. Inter-textual interventions become grey in themselves. As individuals, we play with, and as, art itself; which therefore leads to new social discourse.

In an interview with Tacita Dean on the subject of JG Ballard, (which can be found through the Guardian newspaper), she describes it as "pushing the boundaries of boredom".

I can almost liken this in my reflection to the ideas from cosmology and physics, that of entropy; that is everything deconstructs to dust eventually. The social relationship between time, space and material are always blurred.

Dr Powell then asked us to consider some work that she was doing about Vannevar Bush and his writing about analogue computers. He describes the idea of the M I M E X machine, in a paper which has gone on to suggest that his writings could well have influenced the emergence of the Internet and HTML and many other social media ideas, which we count on today.

For an artistic interpretation of this idea of a relationship between time, space and material, see the internet work "The Archive of Nothingness" by Paul Hayes and Anna Powell.

Also, finally, in this lecture, we talked about postproduction and the notions of Bricolage. This is a French term, which in description suggests there is no intended outcome, there are several ingredients with which we can make anything out of anything... In digital media studies, this might be likened to the idea of web 2.0.

Consider further the work of Lucy Kimbell, the University of Arts, London and her readings of postproduction. See the website HTTP:// Kimbell/…
On this site, she re-purposes Nicholas Bourriaud's writing as another new Art Form.

And finally going back to the work of Mark Amerika along with curator Rick Silva, they invited over 25 contributing artists together. By bringing those various artists pieces together and then re-mashing the works to make new pieces and outputs enabled him to create further work. See the website