Here is the scene, as we found it. The Committee was working here on the Compendium of language games, but they are gone now, we don't know where they are, we don't know what to do with these scraps, how to record and organize and Complete their Commission, before this site must be Cleaned up.

 

Look with all your eyes, look
 (JULES VERNE, Michael Strogoff)


 (GEORGES PEREC trans. DAVID BELLOS, Life: a User's Manual)

Language-Gamily

A series of short descriptions introduce the project Titled, "Untitled," in a variety of styles and forms

Introductorily

We: an author, a committee, a text, a textbox, a TEXT COLUMN, welcome you to these premises. There was an interactive tour to this place but we broke that table of the database while inspecting it too closely, so let this paragraph be your guide.The words here are our meeting notes as we gathered materials: Language Games. To come back here or to past places, you can click Titled, "Untitled" in the navigation bars to the top and/or left. This is a wiki and that means YOU may edit it, although that may require you to prove your humanity by transcribing some characters, or to answer an email: and we reserve the right to arbitrarily edit or erase, even while retaining your name. To use is to be used.

If you look around you should stumble into other games.

Geographically

You are here:

Interrogatively

Do these blocks of undifferentiated words inspire anxiety, horror, or disinterest?

Hyperlinkedly

External links (only the language games):

The Builders Language (a Cartridge) ,
Room With Montague,
Common Is That They,
The Faraway Summer Evenings
embed+this=wherever
OHELLOHI ILIEHIDE Variations
Language kept happening
doiwritemyself?

Polycode
Re-re-reading Potter

Internal links (language games with introductions and theoretical context):

Formally

Welcome to Titled, "Untitled," being the Master of Fine Arts thesis work of degree candidate Kavi Duvvoori for that certificate in Digital Arts and New Media under the Arts Division of the University of California at Santa Cruz. This certificate requires a creative product and a written paper to be approved by the candidate's thesis committee, in keeping with the standards for Master of Fine Arts degrees agreed upon by the regents and facutlty of the University of California system. This wiki is one of two parts of the creative degree work, alongside a reading room in the class of 2019 DANM MFA show, Receivership, hosted in the Digital Arts Research Center and the Mary Porter Sesnon gallery at UC Santa Cruz.

Fictionally

The Committee Made in Charge of Such Matters (henceforth: CMiCoSM) received imperial commission to assemble a definitive encyclopedia of language games. Setting out for many years on their various researches, ethnographies, experiments, cataloging journeys, the CMiCoSM gathered reams of parchment, live samples, albums of floppy disks, clay and calligraphy on old newspapers, waveforms on hard disks or drawn along scrolls, unbroken lineages of parrots, knots and rock piles, cast bronze and dance companies. Unfortunately, infighting, idleness, spiritual indolence, and a general socioenvironmental collapse left the manuscripts in an unfinished state. In this compendium, we endeavour to reconstruct the encyclopedia as it would have been written. Guesses, of course, are made as to the connectives between palimpsest scraps. It is possible certain games were reversed entirely by a lens-fly misread as MacGuffin, at last, found. We can only ask for the CMiCoSM’s forgiveness, but the libraries would wait no longer to host the encyclopedia on the third row of their B basements’ 64th shelf.

The committee:

Only the finest members of award winning books were admitted. We individually or collectively take up the pseudonym, Kavi Duvvoori, or the first person pronoun at times: a character is a gesture of the language, folded to a point. Encyclopedias swallow their authors, more totally the more successful they are.

Technically

A domain is registered through namecheap.com. The string "titleduntitled" in the ".name" registrar is pointed to a Digital Ocean nameserver and ip address, from which it will route traffic to a data center somewhere near SFO, into an Ubuntu Linux machine somehow virtualized over their hardware. Docker-compose, running in that virtual machine, itself virtualizes a cluster of containers running the various projects collected here. One of these containers runs an nginx reverse proxy to direct traffic to the service to handle it. In this case, that is an Xwiki instance, which must run in the Java Virtual Machine - this content meanwhile is stored in a MySQL database running in another Docker container, accessed through the virtual network Docker sets up between containers in the same (virtual) cluster. 

Personally

The dread of sitting in the passenger seats of cars and being asked questions. A comfort and compass in wikipedia's lists, returning to countries by population density per capita. The silence of the sidewalks beside suburban strip-mall local highways. If you speak right you might leave here without records, marks, or interruptions (still, the literal scars); doors that don't shut and plastic cups of syrup submerged pineapple. Posters rather than address establishing identity, the refuge in the corners of this crowded dorm room, tilts of the head. Human density, arrangements of refuse, the creation of place and meaning through a competition of contradictory sounds & scripts & smells & signals rather than their incremental deprivation. The topography between redwoods permits expansion beyond their acreage. Photocopied handouts and the writing in their margins: writing the distraction of writing (not this high school room); doodling or dotting the copied gradients; making symbols, sliding them to a neighbor, receiving obscure symbols; drawing people quietly; finding, repeating, or unraveling phrases around the shapes.

Abstractly

Titled, “Untitled” presents a compendium of language games by the artist in conversation with various models of language. This project asks how and where digital literary art can approach human language’s contemporary situations, contextualizing its practice alongside late 20th century movements intervening artistically in language such as Oulipo, Language poetry, fluxus, net.art, and conceptual art. The quirks and failures of linguistic models, appearing in technical literatures before entering the human world through ubiquitous software systems, now act upon and evaluate us daily through systems for translation, sentiment and network surveillance, and the corporate characters for synthetic conversation.  Titled, “Untitled”’s response pursues a strategy similar to the one Jenny Schlenzka identifies in Adam Pendleton’s Black Dada, “first, to study these stabilizing functions of institutional language and then to take the further step of introducing elements of destabilization. What would happen… if a museum were to hand over its entire linguistic output to a group of poets?”

A compositional semantics parses sentences about two rooms while an author interjects other assertions; a general adversarial network simultaneously attempts to generate and detect forgeries of signatures; a word-embedding thesaurus degenerates sentence constellations; 3d word-models fall heavily through gamespace; common consonants and vowels simulate the cellular automata Game of Life to discover words and a territory.

The compendium takes the form of a wiki, where each entry offers a summary of a theoretical framework before presenting a work implementing it, working with its metaphors, or drawing attention to the remainder the theory excludes. Concerns across Titled, “Untitled” include the materialities of digital language; the problem of digital language’s simultaneous algorithmic processors and human audiences; the search for positive semantic or human possibilities in linguistic positions or identities defined as a negative space (such as “queer” or “person of color”); and the social, corporate, and technical infrastructures that mediate digital speech.

Negatively

I will not say it “straight:” i don’t know how to think, to speak, to act, to write. I do not expect or ask for anywhere outside of human performance, but simultaneously, my frustration, and my work, remains stuck on what should be a preliminary problem, in what form, discourse, discipline, to think speak act & write. In less vague terms, i’m obsessed with the question of second order language. To put it simply, I don’t know how to talk. Better put, I do not know how to become legible. I inhabit these same phrases certain they are unable to do anything much, certainly not whatever it is I asked of them, but unable to concede to a better silence. Speech is a tic, metabolic process, distraction from more present places.‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry as I need it.’ (Cage)

Poetically

. \ / ,, `

begin water climbing

skin folded cut hard

hole light-flotsam

| __ . > ‘ ,

empty paper carries

first marks in/through

cyan ledges of-lines

---; . - , ll ; .

side-plastic clear &hard

planks over ground

no-human voice hear

, .*~ * , \

Politically

I don't address politics and forms of state, cultural, and economic violence not because they are not the most important things, but because I do not know how to yet and am not currently the person to. Machine Learning presents a set of unbelievably dangerous technologies for surveillance and war that are beginning to act in the world with minimal national resistance (as opposed to resistance on the part of their silenced victims) and almost no restrictive international treaty (because of US opposition, of course). Technologies, including AI and Natural Language Processing, are increasingly central tools of this empire. To allow without resistance the use of these tools (drone warfare, ubiquitous universal location tracking, facial surveillance and automated ethnic classification, predictive policing, network analysis for the creation of uncontestable and unaccountable "No Fly" and arbitrary "threat" lists, war robotics and partially autonomous weapon systems) is to allow a world to come into being that operates on terror, where power has the (regularly exercised) ability to eviscerate classes of people who resist power, which may seem far away or operate by telling constituent citizens they won't be it's targets, but which in general you can never be entirely sure you will be safe from. Old structures of violence have made some new toys (again, to be overly clear, it's not that the amoral technologies themselves are all evil, but that their unrestricted use is).

These technologies are at a massive scale being used to surveil, confine, and threaten, entire peoples. Sometimes, seeing it somewhere else is necessary to clarify its danger here: Chinese AI startups have instituted a system of ubiquitous surveillance cameras and face tracking software that directs human force towards Uyghur people across the country, alongside their prison camps designed to hold over a million people. This is fundamentally similar to how Google provides a database letting US police track where almost anyone with a smartphone has been at any time, leading to more than one provably false jailing due to this circumstantial and secret surveillance, without ever any kind of reparation, and heavily disproportionately targeting Black and Latinx and poor Americans. India is in a similar process of creating biometric databases to classify and track its 1 1/3 billion people while excluding or denying services to targeted populations like Muslim migrants. Our drones kill without a declaration of war or any independent or international supervision, every week, and the tech giants consult with the Department of Defense on how to incorporate silicon valley entrepreurialism and disruption, Agile Software Development Practices, into the business of killing. Most things in this project are indirect - let this not be indirect: modern and past America operates as an imperialistic police state. Not everything is America but we directly fund and supply some of the world's most violent, repressive, and yes, religiously fundamentalist, governments (eg Saudi Arabia's), have an enormous history of supporting right-wing coups and paramilitary organizations against progressive democracies or governments, often after strong corporate pressure (throughout Latin America in the 70s-90s) and then pretending the debts and scars of that violence arrived as mysteriously as lightning, as though capital moved as autonomously and apolitically as wind. As private citizens, eg as a queer brown atheist Californian, certainly our involvement in many of these military-state systems can be limited, and oppositional rather than decision making. But I and maybe you vote, donate, talk, buy, and can do more. It's not enough but it's more than nothing. Violence operates by making silence easy and indifference safe.

Here's another example: USC - the university with arguably the largest and most prestigious presence in the institutionalization of games and interactive media, and primary feeder school for some of UCSC's departments - hosts a large lab, the Institute for Creative Technologies, with large Pentagon funding, having made multiple propaganda games valorizing US military interventionst. The institute remains open and funded. The other founder of the field MIT, including its media lab, maintains close ties to a range of military contractors. An ideal internship or job to get as a CS graduate at a "liberal" elite university like the one I went to is at Palantir, a military software contractor focusing on some of the AI for Social Evil technologies I'm talking about. A reminder: media is also a highly militarized technology.

Trump is a monster, but the most urgent problem in the world today are the existential threats made to entire peoples targeted by religious and ethnic ultranationalism (which he fuels and facilitates in birthday-party magician fashion simply by drawing all your attention to himself): China's Uyghur's and Tibetans, undocumented people and workers in the US (and Europe), Palestinians, Myanmar's Rohingya, Muslims and followers of local or tribal religions in India, Black Americans and the African diaspora globally, native and first nation people throughout the world but in renewedly dire situations in Brazil and Central America as well as the United States. It is especially communities with syncretic, local, cultural religious and / or linguistic practices, many of the world's oldest, under existential threat. In North America, Europe, and also very much Asia, it is especially many of these heterodox Muslim communities internationally and structurally targeted, in no small part through the export of xenophobic American War on Terror hysteria, made strangely compatible with ultraconservative (eg Wahabi) movements endorsed by US "allies" and given space to perform cultural destruction that we all have the sense, information, and ability to resist, and to call bullshit on Saudi, UAE, Turkish, or Pakistani anti-tribal / anti-Shia / anti-Kurd campaigns getting called "anti-terror" sometimes by our press as well as their press-release. We, Americans, are connected to this violence: in setting the rules of the game, in supplying arms and letting their manufacturers stocks sit in our 401(k)s, in exporting right-wing politics and anti-Muslim hysteria.

Technology is not the source of the campaigns of destruction against these peoples, but adds to their broadness and lethality; perhaps though it can still make organization and learning easier as well. One policy call: after shutting down our own internment camps, tie trade to ending campaigns of targeted violence. Ban companies and banks, like Boeing, that do business in America from doing business with any institutions working to destroy Xinjiang, Yemen, etc. and ban associated individuals from getting visas. Give its targets, activists scholars and resistors, unconditional asylum. Force follows capital, and restricting flows of money has the power to create felt personal consequences for the generals and politicians who mandate violence, while sending their children to study and shop in both Cambridges. These actions can be taken at the personal, institutional (ie university endowment or company contracting) and governmental level. It is not America's or our problem to "solve" but it absolutely is America's and our problem to stop making worse. We have seen the strong effects economic actions have on authoritarian governments not undertaking campaigns of ethnocultural destruction (Iran, Cuba, Venezuela), driving negotiation and partial reform, so why not use them deliberately instead of focusing trade negotiations on soybean exports and protecting Merck and Disney. Liberals bear disproportionate responsibility for making imperialism bipartisan, and for taking for granted American hegemonic nationalism.

This is not what this project is about. I hope you find interest and pleasure in exploring these language games, like I did in making them. And I hope you and I pay attention to the violent in uses of many of the technologies used in this project, and find ways to collectively interrupt and resist systems of violence and campaigns of ethnocultural destruction nearby and far away, and in the other parts of our lives.

Quotationally

Blue notebook No. 10

(as first written in "Golubaja Tetrad'" or "The Blue Notebook")
There lived a redheaded man who had no eyes or ears. He didn’t have hair either, so he was called a redhead arbitrarily. He couldn’t talk because he had no mouth. He had no nose either. He didn’t even have arms or legs. He had no stomach, he had no back, he had no spine, and he had no innards at all. He didn’t have anything. So we don’t even know who we’re talking about. It’s better that we don’t talk about him any more.
January 7, 1937

NOTE
Both translations above are by Matvei Yankelevich, they appear by permission of the translator. They are published in the book TODAY I WROTE NOTHING: THE SELECTED WRITINGS OF DANIIL KHARMS, >New York: Overlook, 2007[in the margins of this text, the tenth entry Kharms made in a blue notebook, he wrote: "Against Kant."]
(Wikilivres.org)

Prosily

A kind of gap distracts from the mandatory occasion. We apologize that the yellow cutout streamers on these walls were printed on such cheap, on such fungible, paper. In Kingston. That belated October and its burden of leaves. There is no story behind that story, no interminably triangulated street: the gestures of a story, no one there.

Informally

i, uh, made this .. it's a wiki about theories of language that's also a portfolio and also an art. i'm not sure why, but it was fun messing with this shit (i'm not sure what it does and am not convinced it's politics & effects are more good than bad; don't tell anyone i said this - will quote Joann Rettalack breathlessly if i need to argue (with myself) that it's good). Anyway, you are warmly welcomed into the thrill & riot of this (virtualized, containerized) SQL database. Please feel free to jump around whenever you tire of reading introductions (the things in "hyperlinkedly" and under the Titled, "Untitled" heading in the Navigation Panel to the left are good places to start; You might also be interested in the Profile of __ pages [not yet.. But soon!] under XWiki in the Navigation bar (or you might not be interested in ...)). Please do whatever you like (short of taking advantage of security vulnerabilities to break things, if you would not punch a screen or throw some ceramic surface on the ground (unless your breakage has genuinely interesting or convincingly-radical intent, in which case i'm v flattered by the interest)).

Lippogrammatically

This work talks about things including words, sounds, logic, programs, math, and possibly a human thing, or, particular human categorizations. In a wiki, this, a part shows a form of discussion of what words do, how words "work" (as though that could say what it was), and a way of playing disturbs, shows, doubts, or is a copy.

Referentially

Gaps reflect simultaneously our knowledge and our lack of it.

The form of the encyclopedia or the scientific article as a potential locus of counter-theorizing and serious parody: (PIERRE NAVILLE AND BENJAMIN PÉRET, La Révolution surréaliste), (LUIGI SERAFINI, Codex Seraphinianus), (HARRY MATHEWS AND ALISTAIR BROTCHIE, Oulipo Compendium), (CHRISTINE WERTHEIM AND MATIAS VIEGENER, The /n/oulipian Analects)

The "same" dull content expressed in a variety of forms: (RAYMOND QUENEAU, Exercises in Style)

Origins of names: (ITALO CALVINO, Cosmicomics), (ANNE CARSON, Autobiography of Red), (URSULA K LE GUIN, Left Hand of Darkness), (STANISLAW LEM, Cyberiada), (ALFRED JARRY, The Life and Exploits of Dr. Faustroll Pataphysician), (EUGENE IONESCU, The Bald Soprano), (FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Brothers Karamazov), (JK ROWLING, Harry Potter), (GERTRUDE STEIN, Susie Asado),

Enough of those French gentlemen and their hatred of 'e's!

Procedural art and literature: (SOL LEWITT, Wall Drawings),

For language:

140-Characteredly

Titled, “Untitled” presents language games by the artist in conversation with various theories of language, their metaphors, & their limits.

SQLy

mysql> SHOW TABLES
    -> ;
+-------------------------------+
| Tables_in_xwiki               |
+-------------------------------+
| activitystream_events         |
| activitystream_events_status  |
| activitystream_events_targets |
| feeds_aggregatorgroup         |
| feeds_aggregatorurl           |
| feeds_aggregatorurlgroups     |
| feeds_feedentry               |
| feeds_feedentrytags           |
| feeds_keyword                 |
| mailsender_events             |
| xwikiattachment               |
| xwikiattachment_archive       |
| xwikiattachment_content       |
| xwikiattrecyclebin            |
| xwikicomments                 |
| xwikidates                    |
| xwikidbversion                |
| xwikidoc                      |
| xwikidoubles                  |
| xwikifloats                   |
| xwikiid                       |
| xwikiintegers                 |
| xwikilargestrings             |
| xwikilinks                    |
| xwikilistitems                |
| xwikilists                    |
| xwikilock                     |
| xwikilongs                    |
| xwikiobjects                  |
| xwikipreferences              |
| xwikiproperties               |
| xwikircs                      |
| xwikirecyclebin               |
| xwikispace                    |
| xwikistatsdoc                 |
| xwikistatsreferer             |
| xwikistatsvisit               |
| xwikistrings                  |
+-------------------------------+
38 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Arrogantly

This project will change the discussion around technology and language. It will teach you. It will be moving, in its formal intricacy and surprisingly fluent literary prose. It will impress its audience with the range of its author's competencies, from creative writing, to mathematics, to coding, to linguistics, to New Media theory. It will be the beginning of a successful career embarking on an intellectual project that stems from a single fascination but constantly extends the bounds and relevance of those concerns: work that has clear precedents but is also new enough to serve as a precedent for others. Those who know the author will be charmed by what they recognize of the author in it, but also be surprised by the way the author pushes themselves in ways they didn't think them capable, and that reveal new positive aspects of character or sympathetic backstory. It will be an act of communication that seems for a moment to cross impossible distances and allow for an interval of intersubjective understanding or of a common way of looking.

Humbly

I appreciate your being here, I appreciate your desire to support me, or my cohort, or arts education in general, but this really isn't worth your time. This is a bad intro article, failing to copy the introductory paragraphs of textbooks, next to bad prose, centering on a lot of pointless computer-generated nonsense. Forgive it. I wanted to graduate. I do not know what comes next. I don't know why anyone humored me, this work was certainly not worth the roughly $70,000 invested in me by the University of California system - hardworking students, California taxpayers, admirable professors, long-suffering friends and family members - to carry out this MFA. And lets not talk about the sums invested in my undergraduate education, and other institutions supposed to create enjoyable and productive persons. Their failure to do so was no fault of theirs. I believe there are many years left: I will try, I vow to do better! I couldn't finish anything. I talked fast and so was given misplaced trust. I say one thing and do another. I have acted at several times with cruel intent. I wasted time, so much time, staring into walls and the violent motions of avatars over simulated topography. I used this unique privilege to feast on tater-tots and accomplish nothing.

Revealingly

What is fundamentally of interest or at stake is the internal play of a system, and how that increasingly self-organizing play may or may not point to something outside. That system may either be language, this networked-and-programmed assemblage, or the authorial self.

Someone asked if this was autofiction, and I realized that it was. However, I hope this is autofiction in the tradition less interested in my self but in search of the relationship between self and language (Wittgenstein's first example in the Tractatus of something which cannot be finally represented in language - the relationship between language and the world): what's at stake is not my character or things which have happened to me - unremarkable - but how this person come to be through acts of speech and silence - a fundamental problem. I am not asking you to read my diary but to watch me writing a diary, knowing you are watching.

This is half-century-late conceptual art: and because of that half century, it believes concepts are messy, diffuse, disorganized, overlapping and fuzzy. I mean this here more in the sense coming from underdog logic, linguistics, and cognitive science, than full on rhizomatics. And not to harp too much on the teleology - within conceptual art there is a great dialogue around, sort of, whether the relationship of the works to Concept is one of demonstration, critique, or parody.

I hope there is a difference in these projects and my relationship to theory, between methodological nihilisms & anarchies - a belief that all instruments are not really distinguishable, in equal parts substantive and meaningless, selected pragmatically (this is a caricature of course, and still alluring to me) - and methodological flailing - which grasps in all directions for tools partially understood imagining there could eventually be a raft, if not ground. On the other hand, it has the tendency of recent "philosophical" fiction to render mostly just the preliminary spinning out of a somewhat aesthetically and epistemically conservative mind trying to read Theory for the first time.

The accusation against the Oulipo and the precocious teenager that all they seem to be doing is to perform their precocity / dexterity is an accurate accusation here, though it's function is generally merely to intensify the frantic quality of that performance (as though the next level of constraint could make them understand). Form is sloppy here though, well below Oulipo or violin teacher standards.There is the danger of my imagining that what keeps a project like this from closure is time, energy, money. It does need more time, but the real obstacles to completion, and possibilities of interest despite incompletion, are fundamental contradictions of premises, which is also it's contribution, explorations of what to do in the face of such contradictions.

Disappointingly

This is not a project but the description of a project. This is not the work but a description of the work. Not a thing, but the description of a description of a thing.

Tags:
Created by Qfwfq on 2009/09/09 00:00
    

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Titled, "Untitled" - Kavi Duvvoori - The Committee Made in Charge of Such Matters - Please Reuse or Distribute Further Only With a Measure of Generosity, Care, and Sense