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<nettime> Limbo
t byfield on Tue, 16 Jun 1998 06:55:21 +0200 (MET DST)


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<nettime> Limbo


[This is the transcript from one of the nicer interactive pieces
 I've seen: an aphorism broken across the names of nested direc-
 tories, which keeps you quickly clicking away to read it. Every
 line is a dir name. At one point the hierarchy splits, which is
 the second section below ("hypotext"). Dunno who made it. -Ted]


Limbo
 Just as in Dante's Inferno
  the gates of hell
   open upon
    the first rim of despair,
     Limbo,
      so the modern computer,
       upon start-up,
        launches into
         an electronic limbo,
          the operating system.
           Dante's vision of hell
            presented a
             mechanical morality,
              where, within each circle,
               of hell,
                the retribution
                 for specific sins
                  was extracted
                   by specific techniques
                    of torture.
                     Each computer program
                      torments digitised quantities
                       to transform them into
                        aesthetic qualities.
                         "The commodity
                          is quality as
                           a use object
                            and quantity as
                             an exchange value.
                              This formula,
                               which is considered
                                as a renewal
                                 of scientific
                                  concepts by
                                   dialectical
                                    materialism,
                                     would however
                                      be purely static
                                       and useless
                                        if it does not
                                         deal with the
                                          the passage of
                                           quality into quantity
                                            and vice-versa."
                                             Asger Jorn
                         As quantity,
                          digitised
                            information,
                            is merely
                             a magnitude.
                              But through
                               certain numerical
                                patterns embedded
                                 within it,
                                  this quantity
                                   interacts with
                                    another quantity
                                     to produce
                                      a perceivable
                                       phenomenon
                                        characterised as
                                         an aesthetic
                                          quality.
                                           The mathematical relationship
                                            between two quantities reveals
                                             itself as quality.
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