Re: New uses for old artifacts

From: Wade Smith (
Date: Tue 03 Dec 2002 - 16:27:56 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "Memes and VR"

    On Tuesday, December 3, 2002, at 10:39 , Grant Callaghan wrote:

    > "I've always imagined what it would be like to be able to go out the
    > hatch and to see the Earth in all its glory," said John Herrington. "I
    > think it's going to fill me with an incredible sense of who I am."

    There is a small, select, group of people who have actually seen this, and they all describe it as a revelatory experience.

    And, because of artifacts like Hasselblads and Nikons, we all have access to an image of that experience, much like we all have access to images of things like the Mona Lisa and the Great Pyramids.

    But we ain't all been there to see them, and, if I may speak from personal experience (and don't we, don't we, all?), I have not seen the Mona Lisa, but I have seen a da Vinci, in the National Gallery, and, for some reason, I knew it was a da Vinci from two rooms away. There is something about the clarity of design and technique that is absolutely unique in da Vinci, and totally transcendent. Images of this image are not enough.

    And ideas of memes are not enough- that is why performance is needed to actually do anything.

    I cannot discuss the ideas da Vinci might have had. I do not know the techniques of his painting. I can describe my own reaction, my own performance, upon seeing one of his paintings, but this imaging of the image, while perhaps enough to get you on a flight to Paris or DC, is not enough to get you to feel this 'da Vinci-ness'. You can only do that upon observation of the memetic artifact itself, in a cultural environment that has not lost the meaning of the piece.

    And you might get another person to Paris from your image of this image.

    And you might not. He might want to watch the football game. Or work on his PhD. Or cook a paella.

    - Wade

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