W a l t e r z A l t e r
p o r t f o l i o
a r t i c l e s
beyond postmodernity in
(epistle to the phobophiles)
1. intelligence equals visual information flux.
2. mystery equals decadence.
3. art as presentation no longer suffices, art as instruction always
4. camouflage (a). is effective against background a. only. against
background (b)...you get the picture. our era, the "age of information", is
moving more and more inside background (b). this is a background based on
high resolution image technology that has been accessable at the flip of a
switch to an entire generation day and night. this background, on account
of its inundating plenitude, creates a demand for reality, not fantasy;
documentary, not myth. scarcity and limited access lend any commodity
or media an overheated value causing a chronic amplification of unmet
desire and substitute gratification. this is the primary psychological
impetus to the splitting off of mental processes from outer 3-d reality.
if you can't get it on the outside, you fabricate it, or more accurately, a
reaction to it, on the inside. any object commodity or media commodity
such as TV, that is as available as water from a faucet, is totally removed
from the scarcity trap, and consequently removed also from any impulse
toward hallucinatory mental aberration, of which hunger driven fantasy is
the first phase. thus, paradoxically, in spite of the superficial and
distractive content of contemporary TV programming, the quantity of the
medium alone actually acts upon society in a way that alters the quality
of the society's ideals away from the mythic, fantastic, and hysteric,
towards the opposite frame of reference based upon accuracy, judgement,
5. contemporary art is being perceived more and more to be a falsity-
bearing element within society. in the first place, its images
communicate a single point of view rather than reporting on a multiplicity
of views. single viewpoints are authoritarian and can't be independently
verified by comparison. they are, in essence, taken on faith and are a
superimposition of infantile dependency upon the sentient, free-agency of
adulthood. in the second place, the implicit assumption is that the
contemporary artist is possessed of extraordinary skills or insights and
as such are deserving of collective attention, let alone celebrity. actually
there is a glut of capable artists whose numbers alone reveal the
celebrity game to be nothing more than an ideological filtering apparatus
designed to limit artists with access to mass communication media to an
ideologically manageable number and to keep them manageable by reason
of the glut of replacement parts immediately available. artists are no
longer rare or special and neither is what they communicate. they must
regain the ability to communicate larger quantities of information than
their operant background does.
6. if the slogan "everyone is an artist" is to transcend the cliche, then
artists had best exemplify more than alienated rage-driven hallucinatory
infantilism or we're in big trouble.
7. imagination is a heads up display.
8. because perception is incomplete, definitions are hypothetical.
things are not what they are, they are what they are becoming. verbal
descriptions freeze thought. all words are captions for pictures. words
were essentially evolved to communicate warning over distance. speech
is an emergency. learn how to think in pictures. vocal utterance would
then be perceived in its appropriate role- a device for cueing up mental
photographs like poetry does.
9. the most interesting part of the brain is where binocular fusion
takes place, for wherever you have identical things occupying an identical
space another dimension is encountered that inescapably compliments,
amplifies and suffuses the previous one with cognition. allegorical,
romantic, symbolist, subjective, surrealist movements in art were really
literary movements. those movements which based themselves in
perception such as impressionist, cubist, pointillist, orphist, futurist,
photorealist, op, etc. are visual movements. art historians should begin
their studies with any 3-D comic book if only to provide themselves with
a relevant frame of refeence.
10. most human problems are caused by poor memory.
11. museums, galleries, performance spaces etc., are all churches and as
such are locations where the effects of problems rather than their causes
are addressed. art as religion should be subject to full disclosure
legislation and the Freedom of Information Act.
12. politics has as much to do with problem solving as religion. science
has transformed societies for the better far more permanently than
politics. they don't call it the "Industrial Revolution" for nothing.
Democracy was preceded by the invention of the printing press. full
suffrage within Democracy was preceded by the invention of electricity
and its media spin-offs. the greater the amount of technology within a
society, axiomatically, the more universal and just is the application of
Democracy. the greatest single social force in operation today is the
disparity between the ideal and the real. we would do well to understand
that patience is no longer a virtue, it is obstructionist. steam-age lead
time between an idea and its realization in an age of electronic
information is criminal. whereas concrete and steel infrastructure
requires a lead time of years, information moving technology requires lead
times of months, and the information component alone, of days or less.
this lag between infrastructure and information will be the primary cause
of social friction from now on and will change the requirements for public
office from mythic charisma to engineering skill.
13. the danger of mass communication is that it is point-origin
projection of the singular out upon a life multiplex which allows
aberrative psychology to use childish naivete as a self-amplifying device.
this cannot be the case in a technologically developed society where mass
intercommunication is the norm and aberrative psychology is accessable
to comparison to non-aberrative psychology. (for every program that the
networks, NBC, CBS, etc., feeds its 30 million viewers, they should
receive 30 million half hour responses). spotting covert sociopaths is
slow and often inaccurate since they often use others as shields. an
effective probe is to insist that they tell you about their mother. really
insist. keep insisting.
14. psychology is perception, past and future, (there is no present) and
why the past has heretofore been a stronger determinant of our affairs
than the future is an important area for speculation. the existentialist
can learn more from the contemplation of future than from death or pain
15. repeat after me: accessable to comparison. duplication of the ideal
is the name of the game.
16. artists can contribute importantly only if they abandon their
defensive posture. defensiveness makes one vulnerable to a subtle
subterfuge- you begin to firstly take on the shape of that which is
required for defense, and subsequently, that which you are defending
against. this means that creativity then becomes a subset of both and can
never fully explore an unfettered range of possibilities. beyond social
phenomena, our situation on this planet is dangerous and far from
guaranteed against natural calamities. if we go on the offensive with a
rational program of social progress, we will be better prepared to go on
the offensive with a program of planetary resource management, and,
eventually, climate improvement and calamity prediction. danger as
teacher is adrenal and Fascist.
17. the sooner industrial and bureaucratic processes are robotized, the
sooner free time will be available for the democratization of role and
model engineering out of the hands of the entertainment lackeys. unless
mass quantities of free time are invented by artists, they will face
obsolescence because their societies will be so busy with producing the
tangible technological infrastructure capable of creating surplus time as
well as surplus value, they will perceive artist as an idle elite useless to
the liberation of time.
18. a frame of reference is worth a thousand pictures.
19. artists desperately need to amplify their understanding about
projective geometry. the last rigorous lesson in this regard was 15th
century Albertian perspective which allowed the development of precision
blueprints, machine tools and the subsequent industrial accelerations. a
similar breakthrough today could provide escape velocity for
consciousness. a projective geometry is cubism. space is very
interesting. it just sits there like a fish tank that contains merely
everything. space is more interesting than time. maybe time doesn't exist
except as a convention to measure the relative motion of objects. what
part of time do we perceive? a lifetime. what part of space do we
perceive? billions of lifetimes just on our own planet alone.
20. the common belief on the part of contemporary avant garde artists
that there is such a thing as randomness, chance, accident, etc. is a
mistake. it fails to observe that nowhere in the universe is particulate
matter or radiating energy found to be operating randomly or free of the
influence of a field. the "chaos" theory of mathematics is incorrectly
named. it should be called "threshold" theory, or "wave front" theory. it,
in fact, describes how randomness is invariably patterned if the sampling
is large enough. the name "chaos theory" is thus a deception and misleads
the interested public about the philosophical implications of current
research and discovery in avant-garde science.
21. the impulse should be towards problem solving by creating a wider
field of view. the psychics say that remote viewing is spherical. well,
that's a pretty wide field of view. perception is concentration of
attention. apperception is diffused concentration of attention. notice
that concentration is not lessened, it is broadened from a point to an area.
22. thinking about info in terms which apply to other disciplines can
better derive principles of action and effect from diverse evidence, that
is, to derive a common language of communication. science, at present,
provides us with a more common language than does art. it's the language
of digitization. i.e., the quantaic sampling of reality at a far higher
resolution than the poem, the sculpture, the song. with the potential of
non-heirarchical lateral immediate dissemination. it's a matter of
sorting out the distractions from the necessities. one would like to
assume that this universe is somehow necessary. we could be its reason
for existence. art could better justify itself by relieving us from the
burden of the subjective. it is narcissism, it is masturbation, it is
23. although we may one day develop universal mind to mind
communication as a commonplace occurance, it is premature to erect
social institutions based on that possibility. societies or social strata
that institutionalize the fantastic or the mythic or the miraculous are in a
state of advanced decline.
24. human understanding can be gradiently amplified more from a
quantity of information than from a quality of information. only in larger
fluxes of data do you have the data itself determining the interpretive
framework. in the mere process of determining which data is of a higher
quality at the initial stages of analysis, you already have prejudiced your
field. larger data fluxes require not only interpretive cognitive
technologies, but an amplification of our perceptual abilities. the
recognition of patterns amplifies into techniques of the recognition of
patterns of patterns. our brains already do this internally by presenting
cascades of electro-morphic flux to conscius and unconscious evaluative
areas. we are our memories. all life experience is perfectly recorded, we
have recall of an infinitely small amount of it as conscious memory. the
rest is unconscious memory and is quite capable of pulling our strings
wihtout our being aware of the tug and at magnitudes faster speeds than
we think. hence, as Freud observed, instantaneous slips of the tongue or
daily errors and amnesias are invariably laden with manifold symbolic
overlays stretching thematically back into infancy. the curative effect of
the psychoanalytic method rests in the conscious remembering of lost and
repressed memory, ie., access to larger and larger memory data fluxes.
both in the internal and external realms, data flux quantity is primary and
the meaning/patterns a secondary resultant.
25. that entropy is a universal phenomenon is a misconception. like
randomness, it should be seen as a reversible or cancelizeable local
phenomenon. astrophysics is currently calling into question the "Big Bang"
origin from which events are winding down. steady state and spontaneous
creation theories of Universe origin have never been rigorously disproven,
merely muscled aside by the popularization of "Big Bang". evidence of the
negentropic nature of the Universe abound. everywhere there is efficient
structure and its resultant coherence. we are something more than a bag
of hot atoms.
26. nature pushed us out of the trees. we have increasingly operated
from this impetus. what would full terrestrial responsibility imply?
conceptualize total freedom and then work backwards from it to here. it
should explain a lot, including the fact that freedom cannot be total. this
by no means justifies injustice, the abuse of freedom from the postulate
that since it is an imperfect world i am free to desire imperfection,
particularly for others. it does mean that freedom is...harmonic. the
domain of harmonics, interval and tempering needs, then to be consciously
orchestrated for maximum beauty. there is no beauty in suffering,
absolutely none. the nobility of voluntary sacrifice operates as a subset
of evil. one must die fighting.
27. the puzzle for artists to solve is the auditory puzzle of equal
temperament. why is it that a harmonic of a particular fundamental, when
itself made into a fundamental, does not derive harmonics with
frequencies congruent to all others? what is the source for this
divergence of transharmonic intervals? my guess is that our concept of
infinity is a flawed one and cannot model the means by which all
dimensions intersect, ie., they may relate to one another by some manner
besides extension from point to line, line to plane, plane to solid, solid
to...? up to this point we have generated our subsequent dimensions from
an imaginary "point" object. if we are going to predicate an origin of
dimensions, we could do a lot better if we started with something that
actually exists in the dimension that we exist in, a dimension where
objects are the result of some action or other. a sort of universal action
such as circular action would allow for the orthorotation of many
dimensions around a universal axis through which they could all
communicate. a universe or dimension that does not communicate to
others does not exist for those others. this is important. how do
Universes comunicate between one another and can they while remaining
28. there is no question but that we are a highly adaptable species.
what we experience as social organizaton would be incomprehensible to
our stone age ancestors. were such an ancestor brought into the present,
he or she could be gradiently educated eventually to the position of air
controller at a busy airport no sweat. by the same token, we can be
educated out from under our sense of info/media "overload" if for no other
reason than absolutely no evidence exists which determines that human
intelligence has or can reach an intrinsic, inherent saturation threshold
from which it can proceed no further. the reverse may, in fact be true.
human intelligence may well find itself reaching a threshold at which it
accelerates itself orders of magnitudes faster than at present...an ignition
point of some sort that may well lead to extreme longevity, unbounded
creativity and lots of intergalactic puzzle competitions.
29. the doomsayers of info overload are simply reacting with nostalgia
to the reorganization of society into a higher info flux density capacity.
21st century societies will all be technology oriented. their
distinguishing cultural trappings will be increasingly vestigial. form-
follows-function will become the aesthetic. futurophobics fear a loss of
childlike honesty and wonder. this is fear mongering. when you really
think about how much there is to learn and to set right, isn't it time we
developed the intellectual tools which measure up to the task? if ancient
folkways find themselves in need of updating, one would hope that they
would see the wisdom in letting go and allowing their children to stand
upon their shoulders.
30. artists are particularly vulnerable to nostalgia because their
creative processes are propelled by childlike innocent non-referenced or,
more accurately, proto-referenced, observation. their interior landscape
connects things directly rather than by innuendo and suggestion. a
corrupted exterior world can make them wish to not grow into it, not be
forced to corrupt themselves. and when they must, it is with soul
shredding regret. this is the secret in the artist's soul.
31. the external, 3-D world engineers us more than we engineer it, at
least for the present. the big question is- has the 3-D world engineered
us sufficiently to ultimately understand the 3-D world? absolutely no one
who has contemplated that question can answer in the negative. to
contemplate it is to evict the negative. the worst one can conclude is that
we don't know. the best that one can conclude is that, given our increase
in intelligence and ability through history, particularly since the
Florentine Renaissance, then we can say possibly yes.
32. the next question is- can we engineer human genius? or are those
with extraordinary mental skills a separate species and the rest of us
apes in our own psychic jungle by comparison? is it desirable to be
smarter than we are? by age 4 we have acquired 50% of our intelligence
potential, by age 8- 75% and so on. it is abundantly clear that the average
geneticially defined brain can end up either smart or stupid, depending on
what is put into it during this growth period. having known this as
scientific fact for over 100 years, why isn't the average intelligence level
that of genius? we obviously need to make new child rearing techniques
part of our folk/mass culture. trauma is obviously stultifying, but what
of the localized familial communication matrix the infant must
experience? can it be stultifying in ways we generally don't perceive,
ways that involve techniques of communication, accomplishment
validation, role modeling, value formation, etc? why is there no overt
school system dedicated to the creation of genius?
33. over half the brain's neurons are used to process and understand
visual input. its visual input data channel is estimated to be about 2
gigabits per second. that's 2 billion bits per second. add to that unlimited
random access holographic memory and infinitely parallel processing, it
becomes clear that we are over-engineered for the tasks of hunting and
gathering. so what are we ultimately engineered for? name one
philosopher who has approached existence from the implications of that
34. expanded use of the peripheral visual field is a proven. speed
reading exercises are a successful application of this potential. why is
speed reading not taught in every public school?
35. electronic image display is plastic. a variety of kinds of
information can be presented in a variety of ways and speeds on the same
screen. image display is individually tailorable to one's own cognitive
strengths and weaknesses, education level, experiential level, motivation
36. visual mockups of reality are reliable training devices. a surgeon
can train on difficult procedures with data gloves and image screen
mockup with a high degree of reality and a zero degree of failure penalty.
education will become the function of reality simulators. reality
modeling is a flexible, learn-at-your-own-rate, autonomy generating
training tool. a college degree from a prestigious university will consist
of self education in your living room. universities will have no reason to
exist as anything other than museums.
37. imaging technology is democratic and accessible to virtually
anyone. it is a positive social-transformative technology and inherently
increases communication, our grasp of reality and our affinity for other
human beings. the era of media monopoly is over. the NBC/CBS/ABC
trimverate is broken. Radical fear of a commodified 500 channel access
bandwidth is Fascist cowardice. the great debate within crypto Nazi
power centers is how to keep fiber optic autonomy bottled up and metered.
once fiber optic lateral multi-site connectivity is established, you got an
end to engineered human ignorance. the stakes are high and those who
stand to lose the most have zero motivation. i cannot imagine a Chicago
1968 scenario ocurring over any telecommunication issue. but it should.
radicals have egg whites in their balls on this issue.
38. it is highly desirable to have the average citizen able to assimi-
late, organize and interpret more data than he or she currently does. this
ability translates directly into power over one's destiny and the destiny of
others for the good. in simple terms, any lack of necessary data for the
extension of life, either individually or cooperativesly, should be
considered a crime.
39. the data bit flux density achieved by an intense narrow stream
through a single monitor screen equals the density achieved by a more
diffuse, slower stream through several screens, but the latter is
theoretically more effective. if you try to squeeze simultaneous data into
a sequential format, the model will fail due to current human memory
limitation. action based on the model will tend to refer to single human
being situations rather than multi-human being situations, ie., social
applications. the process is a synergistic one rather than a
thermodynamic one, and greater densities do not necessarily imply greater
chaos. with many screens, the pattern accuracy potential is exponentially
greater than with single source patterning, since the visual field extends
memory across breadth of scene rather than length of time.
40. data quantity vs. data quality recap: no point in training
interpreters if you have nothing to interpret. oppositely- large amounts
of data will train any interpreter eventually, if only by trial and error.
the data stream is pre-existent and is primary.
41. multi-screen viewing is an easy technique to learn. it will take
you 20 minutes to get the hang of it. put two TV's together, tune in to
separate channels, volume up on both, and concentrate on getting the gist
of each program. the better you get at it, the more you can follow two
different signification streams simultaneously in greater detail.
42. the visual part of human sentience intrinsically implies a point of
view at all times. ultimately if you are perceiving at all, you are a "self".
if you are perceiving distressful input you may regret being that self if
you cannot solve it or extricate from it. if others around you are in the
same straights, you may collectively verify and conclude that the ideal is
a "no-self". the so-called Eastern metaphysical methodologies, as well as
a lot of Western mystic ones, were born out of centuries of grinding
Feudalist exploitation where the only spiritual out for those trapped in
toil was resignation to fate and withdrawal of self from a pain-corrupted
mortality. however, in most situations where societies or classes within
societies exercised some control over their fates- nomadic peoples,
Feudal aristocracies, merchant traders, Bourgeois, Mandarin/scribe
bureaucrats, societies in the stages of growth, and industrial societies
enjoying technological abundance, what is generally embraced is the
notion of an individual selfhood able to recognize its own potential and to
gradiently transcend barriers and limits to self amplification. this
translates simply into an awareness of the future. our instinctual
individual predisposition to store acorns for the winter is child's play
compared to our social predisposition to store knowledge by creating
constitutionally just civilizations.
43. it becomes more evident that invention can supplant contemporary
art in providing society with an ideal of our human potential. if
contemporary art is to continue as a societal shape-giver it needs to
orient itself more towards physical applications within 3-D reality.
artists in the future will be painting, sculpting, and scoring frames of
reference rather than objets d'art. by the 21st century, if art is not
obsolete due to the reactionary intransigence of artists themselves, they
will be working with one form of simulation or another.
44. pain-necessity is backwards facing, pleasure-necessity is
forwards facing. pain anticipation shortens time, pleasure anticipation
lengthens time. but unmet anticipation of either variety is pain,
therefore, though a pleasure anticipation may be cast far into the ideal,
fulfillment must occur in short term, perceptable phases. this means that
idealists must engage the future in gradient, certainty-amplifying steps.
this place weighs a ton and takes a bit of preparation to change lanes and
peel rubber off the tires..
45 what you know is priceless, but it is never priceless enough. every
word and concept is a part of its own category and stretches to infinity
within that category. the ancient Greeks philosophers thought of
categories as actual beings. no universe could contain being (us) yet not