~e; re: <aesthetic by default>

From "human@electronetwork.org" <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sat, 14 Sep 2002 21:56:49 -0400

re: Aesthetic by Default

thanks for sending the URL to the essay on
<aesthetic by default>.  having browsed and
now more thoroughly read it, it has some
areas i at first thought there may be a
connection with EM infrastructural aesthetics
in power, media, and technological systems.

first, though, enjoyed the comparision between
artists and designers. and also, regarding the
various disciplinary approaches to computing,
the aspect of meta-computing seems to have
arisen by the components which make up the
system itself (mathematics, mechanical and
electrical engineering, language knowledge,
design, graphics, etc). and, about architects
and computing, some of the first at MIT were
architects in both networking and robotics,
and the architectural metaphor could go beyond
the structural equivalant (and leave that to the
discipline of engineering, such as metaphors of
fire-walls which have real world counterparts)
and the <aesthetic by default> might then be a
comparison of the facade of a building, and the
code which creates the illusion is akin to the
structure which the coders/programmers work
on and develop, design, build, imagine, create.

how this relates to electromagnetism, i imagine,
is that how i interpret the idea presented is as
a type of camouflage or even a literal structure
which is in-part, veiled. for example, in the USA,
an electrical socket to plug in a computer is, from
what i've heard and read, approximately the same
system that was developed in the 1930s, which is
continued in use today, as a standard <aesthetic>. 

it is this idea of standardization of aesthetics,
especially in the EM realm, where a streetlight
may be similar around the world, yet its 'art'
context or content may be disregarded and its
meaning purely historicized as it may not have
been developed in traditional interpretations.
and yet, these objects or works, collective and
worldwide, ubiquitous even, share a meaning and
communicate an idea which is at its base as much
a fundamental idea as that between day and night,
lightness and darkness, and natural and artificial,
virtual-even, light. a television set may not be any-
thing more than a television set, in a certain set
of approximations of what it communicates, and
yet if the collection of its dimensions in every-
day life, and extraordinary days of living are put
into one context, like possibly that which an
archaeologist might do, its meaning may be that
which is larger than any single person, creator,
interpreter, could produce by intent or default.
it, instead, accumulates meaning autonomously
or semi-autonomously, beyond a creator's intent
and is used in ways unimagined, and in effect the
object can grow into other objects as the idea
evolves, changes, grows, and decomposes.

unsure if this is what <aesthetic by default> may
be referencing, yet it is definitely someting that
relates to the strange relation of aesthetics and
electromagnetism, as much of the most meaningful
works are those that pre-exist human intervention
into their meaning: they 'just are' meaningfilled,
often by default by the time their standardization
has had the time to blend itself into the background
and influence and inspire persons thru camouflage.


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