n.b. this is a post fragment that I drafted but did not post until much later (November 6, 2006).
Dan Winckler Fall 2005, Integrated Digital Media program (MS) My Structures/Law & Philosophy presentations
Plato’s Cave: I did a live, self-narrated visual performance (using Modul8) for the class. See “plato’s cave.mov”. Good enough for documentation, not good enough for webutainment so I’m not posting it here.
Plato’s Cave Synthesis: I did a live, visual performance (again, Modul8). See “sublime synthesis.mov”. Not good enough.
The sublime, the screentest: a five minute-long spit take. Performed using Modul8 with Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon coming from my mp3 player. See “sublime screentest.mov”. This one I love.
Perfection (made): Again, a performance. I stood up in class and said, “Let’s play 20+ questions. Right now I’m doing something perfect. Figure out what it is.” For the next 25 minutes or so, my fellow students and Professor Skelton threw their guesses at me. “Is it an ongoing thing?” Yes. “Will it keep going after class?” Yes. “Is it memory?” No. “Are we doing it too?” Yes. “Is it that your collar’s up?” No. Eventually, Abed said “Is it entropy?” Yes. The only hypothetically perfect process — empirically speaking — is decay. This led to (or followed on — I can’t remember) a spirited debate on scientism in Professor Pettman’s class.
Make the medium the message: We were called to make something in which the medium was the message and the message was the medium. The assignment was given before Thanksgiving break. Over the break, I was obsessed with mirrors and reflexivity: I kept staring at windows, glass and water. In the next class, I borrowed Mary Ann’s compact mirror, hid it in my pocket and said, “I’d like my presentation to be experienced individually. I’m going out in the hall. Please step out one at a time. When you come back into class, please don’t discuss the experience until everyone has gone.” I went out and waited. When each person came out, I held the mirror up in front of them so that they could see themselves in it — as best I could. Professor Skelton had an interesting experience: he looked in the mirror and saw the door behind his right shoulder, on which is hung a picture of his daughter Pearl holding McLuhan’s Understanding Media. He got a big kick out of this.