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<nettime> Josephine Berry-Automatism/Autonomy/Virtual UnconsciousIII
Lorenzo Taiuti on Thu, 23 Aug 2001 20:35:39 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Josephine Berry-Automatism/Autonomy/Virtual UnconsciousIII

Dear Josephine
i read your nice essai and i agree on many things.
About "NN/antiorp/integer" i may only disagree.
Neither Adorno or Breton would think that around 2000 people would try 
to realize fragile attempts of a web-democracy through contacts, 
exchange of informations and attempts of organizations totally free from 
society controls.
And i underline "attempts" because what we are tryng to do is extremely 
"light" compared to the tremendous weight of the real official 
In this moment an interesting list like Syndicate is dyng because the 
strategy of "spamming" create by NN&Company breaks the subtle balance of 
the "comunication agreement" between members of the list.
There are not cultural excuses to something like that.
Lorenzo Taiuti

 You wrote
"".......It is this precise paralogy that the anonymous net artist, usually
identifiable by the name Antiorp, Netochka Nezvanova or Integer(26), is
attracted to, and which it approaches particularly through its play with
natural languages and computer programming languages as well as its disruptive
interventions in the text-based social environments of mailing lists.

In 1998, Antiorp started a campaign of 'spamming'(27)  on a wide variety of
mailing lists ranging from nettime and 7-11, and those set up to discuss
technical matters such as the MAX programming list.(28)  Antiorp has, since
this time, posted to these lists extensively in a specially developed language
termed 'Kroperom' or 'KROP3ROM|A9FF'. This language, in part, relies on a logic
of substitution to reformulate the Roman alphabet's phonetic system by
including all the 256 different characters comprising the American Standard
Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), the lingua franca of computing. For
instance, in the case of a Kroperom word like 'm9nd', the number '9' is
incorporated into the word 'mind' such that the 'ine' in 'nine' takes on a
phonetic role. But Antiorp's system also extends beyond purely phonetic
substitutions. We can see the broader system of substitutions more clearly in
Antiorp's conversion of the term 'Maschinen Kunst' into 'm {AT} zk!n3n  kunzt' (the
term it uses to describe its oeuvre).

Here, for example, the 'a' is substituted for the ' {AT} ' character, the 'i' for
the exclamation point, the 'sch' or 'shh' sound for a 'zk', the 'e' for a '3'
and so on. Some of these substitutions, which remain fairly constant within
Kroperom, involve finding a key which approximates the inverse of the original
character, so that the 'i' becomes an '!' and the '3' replaces the 'e' or 'E'.
In some cases these substitutions not only involve finding a close or inverted
visual equivalent (e.g. '!' or  {AT} ) but combine phonetic and visual substitutions
in one (e.g. using '3' in place of 'E'). In these instances we can see how the
naturalness of the - in this case - German language is infiltrated by ciphers
and metaphors of computer code.(29) The exclamation point - which in its new
role as the ubiquitous 'i' can dominate whole lines of text - lends Kroperom an
emphatic quality and transvalues the whole logic of programming's executable
command structure into the oppressive, if comical, tone of the spoken
injunction: "do this!  do that!". In the example 'm {AT} zk!n3n kunzt m2cht . fr3!'
not only do numerals and ASCII characters mix with alphabetic characters within
the space of a word, but the unity of the phonetic system is broken by the
logic of different character systems so that the reader is forced to employ a
combination of strategies to decode the script. This heterogeneous style of
encryption and language use not only destabilises the reading process, but
triggers multiple lines of cultural, semiotic, and computational association.
The act of reading becomes a pointedly self-reflexive and, in the terms of
chaos theory, nonlinear experience with each word representing a junction of
multiple systems. This point about self-reflexivity can doubtless be made of
all textual production and consumption to a greater or lesser extent, but it is
important here to emphasis that through, for example, the substitution of
letters for numerals, the script starts to mimic the functional potential of a
programme. In other words, textual self-reflexivity refers here especially to
the computational environment.


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