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Theme 2, Session 2: Fewer, developed questions and issues

Written By: Site Administrator on August 2, 2010 2 Comments

In the morning of August 2nd C:ADM2010 continued to address Theme 2 of the conference: Actual and abstract: Moving from actual to abstract is understood; but how do we move from abstract to actual? What are the relations between models that are conceptual, computational and physical? how are the differences productive? To develop as well as to condense the outcomes of the previous session, the conference community split into working groups and each developed a reduced set of questions or statements addressing the theme as follows below. Rapporteurs of the groups reported the questions back to the conference community with the continuing facilitation of Candy Herr.

Phillip Guddemi reporting after the second session on the second theme

Phillip Guddemi reporting after the second session on the second theme

Conference participants listening to reports from the second session on the second theme

Conference participants listening to reports from the second session on the second theme

Group A – Reported by Larry Richards

I recognize the tremendous power and responsibility of the Rappateur, particularly when reporting on such a rich dance of conflict among a group of seven thinking, caring people. I thank them for entrusting this responsibility to me.

Here is my report:

  • We talked about form.
  • We talked about the decay of form.
  • We talked about the retardation of that decay when we wish to conserve something we value.
  • We talked about the form of values and desires, values and desires as constraints.
  • We talked about individual place and positioning as creating awareness of sets of values/desires as constraints.
  • We talked about social form as emerging from conversation rather than power relationships.


  • We talked about how to initiate (or trigger) such conversations as we move toward the desirable.
    • Two questions:

      1. When can conversation be subversive without appearing subversive (and hence dismissed), and what guidelines (or ethics) might help sustain such a process (i.e., retard its decay)?
      2. How can a people (say, Sri Lankans) move to a governance system and design process that is subversively conversational?

      And, all of this can apply to disciplines as well.

      Group B – Reported by Lynne Oddo

      Process of Designing

      Aesthetics….being cultural, personal and yet universal

      Beauty, delightful,…

      Transduction – transforming – “translation between 2 disciplines

      Maturana –
      Autopoiesis – living systems, using the self to create the self. using a process of interactions and transformations that continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes, self-contained and cannot be described by using dimensions that define another space

      The process of becoming:

      Escher Hands

      Escher Hands

      Dynamic Model – using time to turn one qualitative moment to another to affect


      An Inherent quality of something, a critical reflection, a way of seeing and perceiving

      It examines our affective domain response to an object or phenomenon Kant – “If he says that canary wine is agreeable he is quite content if someone else corrects his terms and reminds him to say instead: It is agreeable to me,” because “Everyone has his own (sense of) taste”

      Disciplines are like tribes.

      • Does trans-disciplinary generate new disciplines?
      • Does the Metaphor become a tool to meet between the different disciplines?
      • Is the power of the metaphor to be a model that encodes and decodes discipline?

      Artists create a condition that does not want to “control” the entire outcome, but wants the observer, by bringing their own experiences, be affected by the situation.

      The word “control” must refers to only “increase possibilities” by “paring down” options. Not to mean inhibiting the forces of the mind, as in censoring

      Art is thinking

      Brain Mapping

      Learning by a sensory experiential event – extending conversation

      Bruce Nauman – the relationship between sound and the visual, problems within language & communication

      Visual perception allows individuals to assimilate information from the environment

      A visual description of what/how one is thinking

      Conceptualizing sound – Conceptual reflects screams of society

      Using Performative Models….for visualization and meanings

      Make Visible the Invisible

      Performative, as in Speech Act Theory?
      Whether the event, or what is expressed is to describe, inform, warn, undertake, or change something as is to inspire, persuade, or manipulate.

      Adaptive behavior – Wikipedia, “used to adjust to another type of behavior or situation…often characterized by a kind of behavior that allows an individual(or thing) to change an unconstructive or disruptive behavior to something more constructive…they are often social or personal behaviors….A maladaptive behavior is not adaptive — it is counterproductive to the individual.”
      Learn by sensing – a fusion of the sensors – a perceptual experience
      Wikipedia, Many people with synesthesia use their experiences to aid in their creative process, and many non-synesthetes have attempted to create works of art that may capture what it is like to experience synesthesia.
      Psychologists and neuroscientists study synesthesia not only for its inherent interest, but also for the insights it may give into cognitive and perceptual processes that occur in synesthetes and non-synesthetes alike

      “Trans” – creating a new language with new possibilities and feedback and open to interpretation

      The interconnections between, and, to & from various perspectives

      Exploring the explicitly interdisciplinary for various meanings and developing a new language for communicating the new meanings.

      Combine resources to reassess the complexity of expressions and definitions in a variety of different media.

      Aesthetics being Affective

      Designers Map

      Art has redefined itself throughout history……perhaps like is that like cybernetics?

      Kandinsky – Finding the expression of the mood rather than the expression of the object

      Joanna Wlaszyn’s personal question:

      From question to question…
      How many questions do I (we) need to ask to finally be able to think about: how to answer ?

      To avoid any misinterpretation I’d like to highlight that my question was (and still is) directly related to my own experience of research work. It’s a personal reflection and in anyway a critique of the conference which in fact I really appreciated.

      There was a lot of inter-exchanges in this open discussions we have just experienced, now I need to think about what’s happened these last few days. The one thing I’m sure about is to have been enriched by this new experience. Thank you all for this! Joanna

      Session Topic 2 /group B

      1/ Questions:

      • Does trans-disciplinarity generate the new disciplines?
      • Does the metaphor become a tool ‘to meet’ between the different disciplines?
      • Were the ‘difference’ can find the common ground, so metaphor can be considered as unconventional, affective and effective decoder?
      • Is the power of metaphor to be a model that encodes and decodes disciplines?

      2/ Discussion and Statements

      In trans-disciplinarity we kept our attention on trans- as an open possibility for creating a new ‘language’ (language is meant here as possibility of universal communication)

      Metaphor: we use it all over the time and do not reflect on it, then metaphor becomes transparent. ( see for example George Lakoff “Metaphors we live by“)

      The problem with the question n°3 was the word decoder which brought us next to the control. Then the first statement was: if you want to create a lot of uses and possible interpretations you need to be aware of what are you doing – in some way what you are controlling. It still can be a creative process.

      Next, one part of the group brought to the question an example of designing process based on creating the adaptive systems. (For example SEGWAY, parametric design etc;.)

      The other part of the group was more attracted by the affect/effect and coding/decoding problems. Affect as a feedback of any experience can be good or bad. Still, this is an active process leading to creation. Coding/decoding can be a creative process as well, but remains passive in its limitations of doing – see for example the mapping process. Then, we can ask if limitation of technology in any creative process could make us more creative? How much technology can affect us in the process of creation?

      Group C – Reported by Alec Robertson

      The future will be determined by a discipline (cybernetics) that stabilises change and has room to be constructive.

      cybernetics should be viewed as a process discerning the underlying principles of life, viewed as a system composed of systems. those systems evolve and cybernetics must recognise and understand that perturbing the system (s) changes their evolution.

      What are the filtering / gate keeping mechanisms for the free flow of system dynamics or networking dynamics
      for the sake of the planet thee is a need for a new economy, with new products; a need to jump over the known of today to the unknown of tomorrow, where cybernetics and design incorporates ancient eastern views of systems.

      how can we establish some commonality/togetherness/sympathy between different disciplines/paradigms/people without necessarily reaching intellectual agreement?

      advantage of constraints in art, design, and crucially in conversation toward discourse

      and not all structures are oppressive hierarchies some (LIKE THE ONE WE USED IN OUR DISCUSSION) constaints actually set us free to act rather than limiting us.

      Group D – Reported by Robert Martin via Phillip Guddemi

      Conversation Snapshots

      When does beauty attract our interest and when does beauty sustain our interest? Implication: It’s not enough for something to be beautiful; it has to sustain our interest.

      How do we relate beauty to pattern?

      When is beauty nontrivial‐‐i.e. it sustains our interest?

      What can ethno‐mathematics tell us about aesthetics/art/cognition?
      How can we connect it to related fields?

      We can collaborate to generate questions or we can generate questions by doing something else.

      What we’re trying to do: It’s not a small question we’re looking for, but a question that generates something new.

      We’re trying to create a common language.

      We’re engaging in a form of collective creativity: we’re trying to invent a definition of what we’re doing.

      Small groups that formed spontaneously in the circle: we’re experiencing ourselves having little collaborations.

      Now we’re talking about the above process.

      I have an image but I can’t put it into words.

      We’re looking for common threads.

      Interdisciplinarity come from the bottom up: listening, collaborations.

      There is a certain emergence that happens, arises, out of what we’re doing.

      We weren’t doing the task but we were never doing nothing. Small conversations were happening. A beautiful process was taking place which was then perturbed by the entrance of a new member.

      “Let’s make a process that will make things happen”
      “Let’s observe what happens and then from that make an intervention”
      (influencing by observing…).

      There are many ways of generating new ideas. John Cage’s work was
      about generating things by asking the “right” questions to the universe.

      “How can we have a process” vs. “Letting process emerge and
      observing it.”
      Sitting and listening in the group, I learn so much more than studying about music.

      What does it mean to act? Why do people have music, art, and culture?

      Why would someone choose to take up learning the cello at an advanced

      Matturana: we don’t construct, i.e., our ways of talking emerge as ways of thinking, not as descriptions of what we actually do. We have explanations of everything, but the explanations are not what happen or what we do.

      Group process: Are the rules that deal with size and number and when and how you break off into separate conversations versus listen to everyone. Listen to each other and when the system breaks off…

      I was part of a trio where we constructed a text by having one person create part of a sentence using the surrealist method of “exquisite corpse”, which was then continued by another member and so on until we created our statement. The statement that emerged was an excellent representation ‐ the only possible ‐ of the entire group.

      What processes result in emergence?

      ala Matturana (at another level): emergence is a given; everything we experience/think emerges from our neurphysiology, almost none of our descriptions have any reality within the neurophysiology of the organism.

      You get complexity “free” if you approach with self‐honesty and selfreflexivity. I use the term self‐reflexivity when I look inward at myself and relate it to the outside world.

      Can we get away from language of the form “X is” or “Is X”, as if things are the case separate from how I, we, they use language.

      This is a wacko question… “What math describes this managing of an emergent process in which the little waves [small side conversations]
      and the big waves [whole group conversations]…
      There are no wacko questions…

      We’re now talking about resonance and vibration as a metaphor.

      Argentine tango is different from dances that are very programmed; in tango there are a set of forms and the leader decides how to proceed, but small changes can lead to responses in one’s partner the leader didn’t intend.

      “Shall We Dance”: a film in which a man’s way of being in the world is transformed by becoming hooked on ballroom dance.

      Do we care about having a process that allows us to stabilize a system?

      Collaboration is an Argentine tango.

2 Responses to “Theme 2, Session 2: Fewer, developed questions and issues”

  1. Phillip Guddemi says on: 3 August 2010 at 6:58 am

    Phillip Guddemi – reflections on the morning “D” group Monday

    Here are some of the questions and comments I took down from our process and read out to the large group on Monday (and a couple I didn’t read out):

    There is a certain emergence that comes out of collaboration – bubbling up out of a common engagement with a common or related set of problems

    Even when we thought we were not doing the task, we were not doing nothing.

    What is the process of improvisation towards a question?

    How much does this process depend on someone having a high level of expertise that they bring?

    A reflection on love in Maturana’s sense not merely of persons but also of a topic or passion – amateur as a word that comes from the word for love

    What are the emergent properties of what goes on in the system?

    What are the rules of size and number and partition that allow emergent process to happen?

    The surrealist process Exquisite Corpse was discussed (I do not fully understand this).

    There is an importance to being honest with oneself – self-reflective self-honesty – which “gives you complexity for free in the simplest of systems”

    What is the role of resonance and vibrations between people – entrainment to a rhythm or pulse? How do people entrain themselves and find resonance?

    A collaboration is a dance. Maybe an Argentine tango (or as we discussed later, a Finnish tango, or lindy hop…)

  2. Robert Martin says on: 9 August 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I like that these are posted on conference page with no log in necessary!

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