nettime's_eco_chamber on Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:31:28 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> times of the sign digest [noemata x2, sondheim, chandavarkar]

noemata <>
     Re: Codework / Eco / Aquinas 
Alan Sondheim <>
     Re: Codework / Eco / Aquinas 
noemata <>
     Re: <nettime> codework (Kristeva/Eco) (fwd)
"Prem Chandavarkar" <>
     RE: <nettime> codework (Kristeva/Eco) [x2 solipsis & sondheim]
noemata <>
     Re: <nettime> codework (Kristeva/Eco) (fwd)

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From: noemata <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 20:12:29 +0100
Subject: Re: Codework / Eco / Aquinas 

Sandy Baldwin, Thanks for a very interesting read, it blows my mind to
see that the things are still the same, and humbly, that my simple
exposition of Eco's sign as paradoxical, based only from Al's short
cites, actually is traceable back to Aquinas (maybe cascading from actus
purus and prima materia finally).

In addition, your article proves, to me, that a careful logic intuition
from sparse material also can be enough to get into the core of things,
without the proper acacemical frameworks in support. But that's the joy
of philosophy.

I'm grateful for all the connecting references - I'm commenting short
some from my understanding of Eco posted earlier, which might seem
cryptic without the frameworks, for clarification and confirmation:

- Bjorn

24/02/2004 16:28:42, Charles Baldwin <Charles.Baldwin@MAIL.WVU.EDU>

>"The inarticulate cry which seemed to be the voice of light." * Hermes

Comment: A precise cite, echoes what I wrote in the code poem of the $i
- "(the conventional and virtual (of the chasm (like every convention is
exactly the chasm)))". Refering to the convention of Eco's sign to
Kristeva's chasm.

>The attraction of Aquinas was precisely the answer to how formal
systems participate with the world, an answer that deals with both the
grounds and the exteriority of sign systems. That is: codework was
already the issue, though under the guise of aesthetics rather than code
* aesthetics in the older sense of sensation / aisthesis and not
aesthetics in the sense of codified responses or artistic forms * or
rather, in the sense of the ground of these responses/forms. (I've
discussed this elsewhere in relation to "code aesthetics.")

Comment: Which maybe boils down to time and space, like in the
Kantian sense of aesthetics, and which then links to the recent
discussion here, temporal/spatial stuff.

>The working out of all this is the notion of manifestation, a quasi-
mystical translation between proportionalities enabling the whole
system. (I think here of the relation between code and AS's notion of

Comment: The 'ether' of pre-relativistic physics as the carrier. The
virtual underlying part needed to get the system going at all.

>The paradox here (Panofsky gets this too, but it's crucial to Eco's
semiotics) is the notion that manifestation will clarify faith, clarify
the underlying participation in being, but in doing so will *finally*
clarify faith (bring it to an end). This impossible need for
exemplification leads, in Panofsky's terms, to the "POSTULATE OF
possible to see in Eco precisely this paradox enabling semiotics as an
intra-formal economy of proliferating signs. Everything must be
clarified / made into as sign, but (also) there always remains some
unclarity, guaranteeing a kind of momentum from being to sign.
Elaboration, i.e. the structures of signs systems, arises from
clarification. Semiotics is clarification * not in any particular sign
but in semiotics "itself" as the residue of clarification.

Comment: Interesting, I refered to the virtuality of the sign (its
impossibility) argued for via the recursivity of Eco's definition of the
sign, ie its paradox, endlessness; and from that the relation between
sign and residue, code and double and nothing, etc. Eco and information
theory have an understanding of recursivity and self-reference (via the
speed of light of computers) in another sense than for Thomists for who
these problems would seem paradox (and evil).

>To what degree is Eco's semiotics a concealed continuation of a Thomist
aesthetics? Read across the trajectory of Eco's work, from the earliest
text through the _Theory of Semiotics_: every sign is a ghost emanation
of being. Beyond this, there's another related but different history
explaining how the whole thing is staged rhetorically, dissolving
"being" into "performance," but that's probably enough for now.

Comment: This all seems to resonate with my simple understanding, but
maybe cryptic form, also allowing the Kristeva operations on text to
take place, maybe in the ghost emanations, from the virtuality of the
sign, and the reality of the code. From my view if would also be
interesting to know if the rhetorical staging into "performance" would
be similar to the idea of code as nothing and how the whole business
dissolves itself.. Interesting reading, keep on by all means.

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Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 17:29:46 -0500 (EST)
From: Alan Sondheim <>
Subject: Re: Codework / Eco / Aquinas 

Well, goodbye to # and all that. I want only to offer a few points -

First, light in medieval theories had weight; the eyes scanned the real.
So there was an embedding in the real - one of Donne's poems for example,
talking about 'eyebeams,' touches, literally on this.

Second, there _are_ a wide variety of approaches to codework or whatever
codework might be, if codework even exists 'in fact,' whatever fact might
be. And I think one reason, the main reason, for this, is the trans-
epistemological and trans-ontological phenomenologies entailed; if code-
work is anything, it might be transgression of framing - and the AI frame
problem as far as I know was never solved.

For me this goes back to the von Foerster negation I mentioned, which also
ties into falsifiability, truth tables, and god knows, yes?, what else.

Codework on the surface, this transgression, is the appearance, which is
inauthentic, since the surface is framed and framing, of vastly differing
and deferring regimes which are clustered and 'messed' together.

They call for unraveling which is both problematic and aporia. There

- Alan
Trace projects

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From: noemata <>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 11:44:06 +0100
Subject: Re: <nettime> codework (Kristeva/Eco) (fwd)

23/02/2004 16:00:20, you wrote:

>language is the mechanism whereby you understand what i'm thinking better
>than i do (where 'i' is defined by those changes for which i is required).

$i = an inter-face of sign-i-fiance over our shattered do (where -i- 
mediates sign and fiance (which is double itself (sign-i-fiance (all parents 
are married to their children ('i' am the priest (the conventional and 
virtual (of the chasm (like every convention is exactly the chasm (that's why 
(that's 'why' (what's that 'why'? ($i ()

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From: "Prem Chandavarkar" <>
Subject: RE: <nettime> codework (Kristeva/Eco) [x2 solipsis & sondheim]
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 16:26:46 +0530

The limitation of the semiotic model is that it looks at just one aspect of
language and art - the notion of expression of meaning.  This has created an
obsession with the aesthetics of expression.  I have been preoccupied with a
different line of thinking provoked partly by Jeanette Winterson's comment -
"The question ‘What is your book about?’ has always puzzled me.  It is about
itself and if I could condense it into other words I should not have taken
such care to choose the words I did".  The work of art offers a precise site
that can be inhabited - and it is precise in opposition to the messiness and
constant change of the world we routinely live in.  Art allows us to step
away from this messiness and inhabit it, and each act of inhabitation leaves
traces of memory which gradually accrue to develop meaning.  This process
that develops over time creates a different aesthetic - which (in opposition
to the aesthetics of expression) could be termed as an aesthetics of

If you are more interested in this argument read my essay "Notes on the
Aesthetics of Absorption" available at:
It is written specifically with reference to architecture (which is my
discipline) but could be interpreted with relationship to other arts.


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From: noemata <>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 13:12:54 +0100
Subject: Re: <nettime> codework (Kristeva/Eco) (fwd)

Some more conflation on the reversing-irreversing, virtual/chasmic co-de 
business -

24/02/2004 03:58:10, Alan Sondheim <sondheim@PANIX.COM> wrote:

>(codework and conflation)

>In this logic, if A -> B, we might assume that B -> A. Move a book to a
>shelf, remove it, put it back. The hierarchy emerges as follows.
>(book to shelf) -> (book from shelf)
>((book to shelf) -> (book from shelf)) -> ((book from shelf) ->
>   (book to shelf))
>and so forth. One starts constructing graphs with equivalent and
>reversible states.[T(b/s)]

The logic reminds of Peirce's law: ((A -> B) -> A) -> A, which is kind of 
backward logic, stating if A implicates B implicates A, then A; verifying 
the antecendent A by assuming the reverse implication. Maybe another 
interpretation: For something to be the case (world/A/book-from-shelf), the 
case must derive from the case implicating the formal (system/B/book-to-
shelf). I think it expresses the backwardedness, reversibility, tautology, 
virtuality, impossibility of formal systems relating to the world, and in 
this backward manner (which relates to code).

>Of course T(b/s) is temporally bound, but reversible. It's aligned and
>allied to a non-temporal mathematics or mathematical logic. Once the world
>enters into the equation, once time becomes an _intrinsic_ part of things,
>the world is different, susceptible to organism among other things.

>From the formal logic side, via Peirce's thing again,((A -> B) -> A) -> A, 
where the world is already the case, A, the formality of it regresses ad 
infinitum -
((A -> B) -> A) -> A
(((A -> B) -> A) -> A) -> A
((((A -> B) -> A) -> A) -> A) -> A
(((((A -> B) -> A) -> A) -> A) -> A) -> A
- which would be the dirtiness, paradox, infitite regress on the formal 
side relating to an already world. The implications of the world are 
endless, only stagnated, mattered, slowed down, spaced (from time to space) 
by the acts of inscriptions. This would be the formal conflation from code 
as matter, already coded, the flip side of world conflation from code as 
form (in this opposite view).

>The interesting thing about von Foerster's characterization is that
>codework _in a sense_ underlies organism itself, since negation is an
>uneasy logical operator that has been temporalized in the construction of
>a world.

Jumping to the sign business again - the sign is the negative, a virtuality 
composed over a chasm/nothingness/negation between organism (expression) 
and environment (content), so the signs are coded negatively, the code 
being the virtuality/nothingness/negation of the sign, and producing the 
sign as nothing, code being its everything - this running in time, being 
inverted by the actualization, production, in the economy - code is turned 
into signs (doubling), signs are turned into code (nothing). I'm still 
relating this to my two notions, at least as a way of explaining to myself.

Bjorn -

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