zielinski – 2012 Aug 21

Southern Modernities

Banu Musa – brothers – ons of Musa bin Shakir

  • Automata – continuously playing flute 
  • Programmable bells – brussels 
  • Programmable trumpet / harmonica 
  • Robotic flute player from Waseda University 


Ghardarian – Like Everyday

Aspects of cultural / historical scientific education in the arab world 

  • Movements between cities – networks and dynamics of ideas 
  • Teaching arab science in the arab world

Not interested in origins – the history of origin is always interested in truth – more interesting are the dynamics of knowledge 

Edison in Cairo 

Variantologia Latina

  • Netart Map
  • Europeanised version of history
  • Advanced telecommunications in brasil – tapping on trees / sounds of wood 


  • Film history that includes animation – its object nature, its
  • What Really Happened Between the Images  (FILM) – Was geschah wirklich zwischen den Bildern (Werner Nekes) 
  • “The origin always precedes the Fall.  It comes before the body, before the world and time; it is associated with the gods, and its history is always sung as a theogony.” – Foucault 
    • Teleological / Origins / Beginning / End
  • Foucault does not ask the one and only origin 
    • The lines and labyrinths of process that trace the descent
    • Like that which lies before us already is – the past as an unfolding, a possibility space 
  • A genealogy of expanded imagination 
    • The past as an open constellation – the future as a vibrant future
  • Animation is a heterogenous phenomenon
  • Jan Svankmajer
  • Anima, animus, animeren, animation 
    • anima – physical breath, wind air 
    • the vital principle – life force – animalistic
    • vitalism – automatos – self moving engine  
  • God is the eternal unmoved mover
  • Humans as god’s automotons

“Next to god where engineers like to be”

  • Vonkleist – Marionnet Theatre
  • Marcel Duchamp 
  • Bruno Schultz – Street of Crocodiles
  • Felisberto Hernández (Uruguay)
  • Hans Bellmer
    • “Games belong to the genre of experimental poetry – thus toys could be called ‘poetry arousers'”
  • Kantor – Machines of Love and Death
  • Dolls / puppets
    • Baby Jesus dolls – southern italy and Sicily 
    • Sexualised figures – androgenous – allowing projection of sexuality / substitution of sexuality
    • Restructuring 
Variety/heterogenousness is the condition of ‘progress’ – which is why historical interests are sometimes more inspiring than the present… 
  • Mechanical replacements of the soul
  • “Lord Auch (aux chiottes)” – Pneumaticorium
    • God ejaculating onto the machine from the sky – pneumatic – hydraulic 
    • Bataille and the alternate history of the eye
  • Electricity is the soul of all modern media – link to power (This is partially why the media arts are not accepted in the arts proper?) 
  • Bellicorum instrummentorum liber 1420 – war machines 
Electrical theologists
  • 17/18th gang (Deleuze Guattari) part of physico-theologists
  • Oettinger, Nollet, Belgrado, Mazzolari (Partaneous – ELECTRICORUM), Prokop Divis, John Freke
    • Mazzolari – ELECTRICORUM
    • Freke – An Essay to Shew the Cause of Electricity and Why Some Things are Non-Electricable 
      • “I will endeavour to prove that [this electrical Fire] does not lie in the apparatus itself”
      • Electricity ‘rubifying the blood’
      • Anima mundi – the soul or mover of the perceivable or visible world
      • God as a Display – “for by it [electricity] you may be acquainted with the immediate officer of god almighty” – agent, display, manifestation
  • Crack and spark – sound and vision
  • Animating dead people – 
  • Effects (in the world) and affects (in the subject) 
  • Fontana – De resurrectione mortuorum artifitiosa – of the artiifcial resurrection of the dead.  The wheel of Fontana – chronophotography as watching time (Barthes)
God’s Automatons
  • Animated bugs and lobsters – animated as homages to ‘life’ – ourselves
  • Jacques Vaucanson – ‘defecating duck’ – 1735
    • The massive technical infrastructure that is behind the duck’s operation 
    • Like special effects today – like the infrastructure that supports 
    • Cam cylinders beneath the object that moves… 
  • Alexandre N. Theroude – animal violinist – mechanism concealed beneath the monkey
  • Friedrich von Knaus, A writing automaton, 18th century
  • Automatically preaching monk, Spain or Southern Germany (1560)
  • The increasingly metricisation of time – as towards the technicisation of objects – allowing for animation 
  • Jaquet-Droz – Spinet player – 18th century
  • Wanda Landofsca on the harpsichord – scientist were observing and analysing what was occuring at the human being technical instrument interface.  Friction in the relations between human and machine were to be kept to a minimum – accidents 
  • Showmanship
  • Bodies as media 
    • Computing the physical vs. physical computing (Z. thinks that “physical computing is an impossible notion – better is computing the physical) 
    • Electrified frogs legs proposed as serious means of communicating
    • Antonin Artaud – 
    • Rigorous conditioning of the body – military / WWII / astronauts
    • 1990s – Stenslie Stahl – Kirk Woolford
      • Braune/Fischer 1895 – The electrified man 
      • Jules Marey 
The genealogy of expanded animation 
  • Computing the physical 
  • Cybernetic triumph – Margaret Thatcher and the robot Charlie 
  • Spanish dancer and tambourine player
  • Programming of different time modes into physical objects is the greatest challenge of computing the physical 
    • Kronos – life is limited – he ate his own children – suffering – finitude
    • Kairos – the god of the moment – sculptures of him have full hair in the front and bald head in the back, grasp him when he approaches you. To grasp an auspicious moment – an interface 
    • Aion – eternity – the time which is beyond our perception – beyond life. Cosmic time, machinic time (the potency of being eternal – The Long Now)
    • You can only extend the moment of auspicious time – through artificial paradises (drugs, virtuality) 

ALL OF THESE ARE THINKING OBJECTS – media in the fundamental sense of using these objects as a way of developing a philosophical or conceptual resource


Questioning ideas of progress – our traditional conception of technologies as developing through functionalism, industrialism, commercial forces – whereas mostly we see in variantology, and in Penelope Gouk’s work (Pythagorean Hammers)

The functionalist / capitalist / industrial narratives for the development of technologies – – hegemony of powers which a sort of  hermeneutics of progress. 

The concepts and ideas of modernity and modern thinking – come from ‘elsewhere’ – i.e.: The power of the provinces, the development of Hegel’s progress map – i.e.: If the idea of 

Respect for objects 

Anarcheology – unarchives – Agamben  

‘Poetry arousers’ – metaphysics experiments – homo ludens (Flusser) – huizinga 

Collective Intelligence

Nanni Balestrini – Nanni Balestrini Tape Mark I (1961) – Nanni Balestrini’s 1966 character-and plot-free novel Tristan, which used a combination of techniques to make up a random text that differed from book to book. Sedicesimo 17, Isolde, uses the signs used for checking print quality, randomly crossing and mixing the inks during printing in a design created by chance and error, with each copy unique.

The Miraculous – The-Vatican-Vegas-History-Special

Kabbalism – Elliot R. Wolfson

Walter Benjamin – The Saved Night – the darkness in between images in the illusion of cinema – we must provide the 

Non-lethal weaponry – the opposite of fusion with the machine 


Dieter Roth

On the screen we can sit inside and outside ourselves at the same time. – Henry Miller 

Maciunias Learning Machines

Hans Bellmer

Johan Huizinga – Homo Ludens

Felisberto Hernández – “magic realism” 

Donald Hill

Freeman Dyson

Dyson on the history of the computer

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