“Is Art” On Homestead

is1

Ethereum has been live for several months now and has progressed to the point where the network has been declared stable.

So I’m deploying my contract artworks to the Ethereum blockchain. First up is “Is Art“.

“Is Art” is an Ethereum contract that can be instructed to nominate itself as art (or not). Whoever toggles the contract’s state as art sets it unimpeded until the next person sends a transaction to change it. A more rational system should be used – bidding, voting, a prediction market. The Duchampian aesthetic transubstantiation of artistic nomination is long played out. It is an art historical found object, as basic as a contract with a single bit of state. Brought together, the art historical and the contemporarily technological (or their audiences) can mutually animate and interrogate each other.

You can run the user interface locally in a web browser with an Ethereum node such as geth. Once geth is running, the user interface can get the contract’s state from the blochchain and, if you have Ether for gas, modify it. If someone else changes the contract’s state, you’ll see this updated.

If you want to change the contract’s status without using the user interface, you can do so using the contract’s address and ABI in EtherWallet.

The address:

0xa95301a50551dfe16e180dec3fe0044e94d36f8c

The ABI:

[{"constant":true,"inputs":[],"name":"is_art","outputs":[{"name":"","ty
pe":"bytes6"}],"type":"function"},{"constant":false,"inputs":[],"name":"toggle",
"outputs":[],"type":"function"},{"inputs":[],"type":"constructor"},{"anonymous":
false,"inputs":[{"indexed":false,"name":"is_art","type":"bytes6"}],"name":"Statu
s","type":"event"}]

For instructions on how to do this, see the “Contracts” pane in EtherWallet.

Causal Horns

Gabriel's Horn
3D illustration of Gabriel’s horn by RokerHRO – Public Domain.

Causal horns are the equivalent of light cones for the potential effect of an event on other events over time – promoting or inhibiting the probability of particular range of events.

They’re horns because they’re twistier than generalized cones (although they compose similarly toDavid Marr’s use of them). Anything from a simple cone via hooks and bulbs to corkscrews and nautilus shells.

A causal horn fits within slices of the light cones of a succession of information transmissions. It’s more information rich, slower, and multidirectional in comparison.

Rationally Irrational Aesthetics

By Headlessplatter at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Shashenka using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19346512
Local Maximum by Headsplatter, Public Domain.

Rational aesthetics are an infinite improvement on vapid, asset-class aesthetics but (and this is identifying an opportunity, not an objection) Gödel. If we cast art’s reason as AI-style search (not to fundamentally describe it as such, but to make a hopefully useful comparison) then we encounter the problem of “local maxima“. This is where a direct search of a problem space finds only the closest highest value, not the globally highest one.

In human creativity we can rationally use irrationality to break free of local maxima. Whether creativity theory,surrealist techniques, or pure randomness. Beyond the details of any one technique, what is important is that to get further, we sometimes need to use irrationality (or arationality) for rational ends.

Mythology can be such a source of transformations (in the mathematical sense – we’re talking about search spaces here). Freed of the affective and significatory limits of fact, mythology can lead us to places and to lengths that we might not otherwise reach. This includes science fiction.

In guiding and constructing  new possibilities (or at least finally addressing old problems) through aesthetics, mythology becomes hyperstition (in a general rather than numogram-centred sense). Where we (for a social media value of “we”) believe it is not possible or practical to change anything (for the better), it is rational to construct hyperstitional entities to treat the local maxima of ideology as damage and route around them.

This is haunted by the Big Lie and The Republic, but we do not need to deceive or believe for non- (and a-) existent entities to be historical causes. Just ask Cthulhu. Or Katak. Hyperstitional engineering is accelerationist aesthetics, artistic reason, because of its irrational content not despite it.

Urinal At Cabaret Voltaire

dada-3d-drucke-live

(Image via http://www.3d-model.ch/3d-druck-dada/ )

Cabaret Voltaire hosted an event to celebrate the centenary of Dada led by McKenzie Wark.

It featuring 3D printing including the Urinal:

http://www.makery.info/en/2016/02/05/hacktion-dada-data/

Afterwards a print of the Urinal showed up in the gift shop:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207412269439235