Re: Performances

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 16 May 2003 - 23:45:51 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: transmission"

    >From: "Reed Konsler" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Performances
    >Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 11:27:42 -0400
    > > 1- An artifact is a special case of performance, wherein the
    > > performance is the act of creating the artifact. A book about baseball
    > > is an artifact of the performance of explaining baseball. The
    > > performances in the example that led baseball to being played was the
    > > performance of the making the artifact, the performance of reading the
    > > artifact and explaining it to an audience, and the subsequent
    > > performances of the teacher and her students.
    >Makes sense.
    >If you write a joke down on a piece of paper that is a performance creating
    >an artifact.
    >If I read the joke and tell it to someone else, that is a second
    >What if I read the joke and don't tell anyone? I'm guessing that is just
    >one performance: author to me. Can I tell myself a joke? Can I play a
    >piece on the piano to myself? Does that count as a performance?
    >Is there a difference between telling a joke to yourself out loud and
    >thinking it to yourself; Imagining playing a piece on the piano and
    >playing it to yourself?
    >Let's say I developed an MRI that allowed me to read the musical part of
    >your brain so that I could make audible the notes you were imagining in
    >head. Does it make a difference if I turn it that no longer a
    >Let's say that you are playing a piece of music on the piano and I'm
    >watching it on a TV. If someone pulls the plug on my TV, have you stopped
    >performing? What if no one else can watch or hear you but me, and now I
    >If one neuron propogates an electrochemcial signal to another, is the
    >precise release of a delicate melange of neurotransmitters a performance?
    >If an enzyme chemically modifies it's substrate with deft precision,
    >elegance, and insghtful economy of energy and motion, is that a
    >If one billard ball definetively strikes another is that a performance?
    >If a photon of light interferes with another in passing?
    >If 100,000 people in a stadium do "the wave", and nobody else sees them,
    >that a performance? Is there any difference between 100,000 people doing
    >"the wave" and 100,000 neurons firing in symphony; 100,000 photons of light
    >interfering with each other?
    > > 2- There is no 'baseball meme'. At best, in the performance model,
    > > baseball would be a cultural venue. (Call it a memeplex, if you like,
    > > but to the performance model, a venue is a place controlled for the
    > > expectation of certain performances. A stadium is a venue controlled to
    > > expect organized sports.)
    >Controlled by whom or what? Whom or what [the venue?] is doing the
    >expecting? What confidence can they have in this expectation, and why?
    > > Where was it? It was held within the culture, and the memory of that
    > > culture.
    >No, I mean, like *where* physically. Does it just, as Scott asked earlier,
    >float around like a Platonic ideal? I presume not, but I still don't
    >understand how the culture relates to the physical. Where are the memes
    >between performances? How is the information in a piano recital recorded
    >perpetuated when no one is *playing* the piano?
    The information for a piano recital would reside in the memory of the individual about to play, such as what key sequences to play during each song. It may also reside on a score sheet as a mnemonic device. To the audience, the performance itself is the efficacious aspect of the recital. They do not witness the firing patterns of synapses or unless they have rally good vision they are not looking at the score, if the person at recital is playing with the aid of a score.

    If you listen to a CD a learn a song by ear on drums or guitar, you are limited by the artifact (CD). You might go to the handy dandy music store and buy a songbook that has the score for the song, but that too is an artifact. You may develop a memory store that facilitates your playing of the song sans CD or score in front of an audience. How similar would this memory store be stucturally within you versus within the song's original writer and versus within the brains of your audience members having various degrees of musical background? Your performnce of the song is what's efficacious in influencing the audience members. They are not listening to or watching your neural processes directly.

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