Tracking, Diagramming, “A Life”

In response to Lone’s previous post on iPads and tracking, here is a diagram of “a life” during the Generating the Impossible workshop that Senselab ran at Meekos in the Quebec countryside in July.

This is a photo of the surface of an iPad—you can see the roof of the log cabin reflected on the screen. In what sense is that a diagram? Is it just a tracking (a kind of wild or complete surveillance, although it speaks no language, despite being the record of interface, codes, writing)? It seems “abstract”, yet it’s about as concrete a recording as there could be—and it’s an asignifying semiotic if ever there was one. What is the relation of the tracking of a past and a diagramming directed toward the future? Or, when do maps or trackings become diagrams (when they become relational, not representational?). It’s certainly a recording of “a life” during a short period of this workshop. I guess now I’m “playing” this recording as part of a diagramming of the future—an asemiotic tracking coming into a diagramming of a concept (of “the diagram”).  In any case, this can be taken as my diagramming “a life” #2.

diagramming a used keyboard?

My PhD in a keyboard

My contribution to the diagramming probably isn’t one. But I still like the picture of my old macbook keyboard – the computer on which I wrote my PhD thesis. The thesis was literally inscribed into the keyboard whose keys disintegrated as the thesis was written. This picture is unfocused and pixelated but hopefully you still get an idea of what I mean.

I tried to get a good picture of the screen on my iPad, which is not disintegrating (as of yet) but where it is very much possible to see how I use it. I couldn’t get a good picture, but here’s a link to someone who did a nice job.

ceaseless pursuit of a life

Chasing_Deleuze
Installation shot of Duchamp’s Mile of String, a original image John Schiff, 1942, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Image modified by the author to show the author chasing Deleuze through the museum.

“It’s like the moment compared to staring at pictures of it” Illy, It Can Wait, 2010

 “The more an image is joined with many other things, the more often it flourishes. The more an image is joined with many other things, the more causes there are by which it can be excited.”

(Spinoza Ethics Part V, Proposition XIII, Proof)

I also am eagerly anticipating this week’s diagramming workshops, despite tardily introducing myself, and contributing to the blog. In RL I’m usually referred to as Scott East… At the moment, I am a hermit in the final stages of a PhD (hopefully – I’ve never done one before, this may explain my tardiness) at the Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney. I also am a sessional tutor & lecturer at COFA as well, and it was through this network that a colleague mentioned to @amunster that I might be interested in this super-exciting workshop.

My PhD research developed in the context of an Australian Research Council Linkage grant Hot Science Global Citizens: the agency of the museum sector in climate change interventions. I became interested in the work of diagramming (or as I have thought about it in my writing prior to this workshop: figuration, following other guides such as Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti and Ulrike Dahl), as one tactic to avoid thinking of academic labour as always a secondary practice of writing about something that is already (dead) over. I have often jokingly referred to my doctoral research as Chasing Deleuze through the Museum.

Given that my thesis is dominating my life at the moment, and chasing that joke for a moment, the diagram that I would like to propose for a life, is one of me literately chasing Deleuze through the museum in a game of tag. The image below is a modified image of Marcel Duchamp’s intervention at 1942 Surrealist Exhibition (usually now referred to as Mile of String or as it was originally known his string). The ghost of Deleuze is placed here, both as the informer for our collective thinking of a life and as an interlocutor. Duchamp famously installed along with the paintings several miles of string. At the opening Duchamp arranged for Carroll Janis, a young boy at the time to run around and play ball in the galleries with his friends. Disrupting the expectations of the civility usually expected in such a space provides an evocative figure for life and its (unexpected, collaborative, & open-ended) movements.

It is difficult to know, whether Carroll and his hired troupe, whose natural tendencies for spontaneous play may’ve quickly lost interest with the ball and began another game, perhaps even “tag” or “it”. Tag consists of seemingly infinite variations; however, most versions don’t have an end point, teams, scores or prohibitive equipment requirements. Just for the thrill of the chase one or more players pursue other players in an attempt to tag or touch them. A tag makes the tagged player it and the game continues indefinitely. In this ceaseless pursuit of connections, what else could a life be (?), I have enrolled in this workshop… and look forward to multiplying the connections with you all…

Grant Corbishley


Greetings everyone. I look forward to meeting you all next week. I Am currently in the middle of a PhD. I have been exploring systems of ‘durational’ stewardship as an ethical aesthetic response to an uncertain and unsustainable future in Houghton Bay, Wellington, NZ, where I live. I do this by deploying a dialogical approach when engaging with neighbours which has generated several projects. A large event (an archaeological dig) is planned for this summer. It will be carried out by an Archaeologist on the rubbish tip of the first diary farm. The site is beside a park, that was built on a city rubbish tip (landfill). As artefacts are uncovered, traces leading to angles, cross-overs and overlays will emerge using lime wash in the park, and artefacts discovered in the farm tip will be laid over the city tip.
When creating diagrams I always want to put myself in, not at the edge or outside the zone, but somewhere near the middle. However they never seem to work. So a question that i often ask is, what does a diagram look like from within?

Below is a ‘diagram of a life’

a simple life.

my diagrams are always absurdly complicated but the forms of emergent complexity I’m interested in are often formed of a mutual recursion of relatively simple/minimal terms or functions.

so while its simple to the point of aphorism and might well belong on a gap tshirt I quite like this from designnotes.info..

see think live

perhaps – to add some meat to this – there might be a point of discussion/exploration about the generative potential, or perhaps the instrumentality of diagrams, their relation to/within a ‘sea-tossed world’ – the relative virtues or dangers of complexity and simplicity/clarity in diagrammatic interventions – thinking of Anna M’s engagement with network diagrams, and the diagrammatic energies, continuities of the neurosciences and/or cybernetics..