refers to a method that starts at the programming level
of real-time tools. Here it is primarily their replicating
components that represent a technical artistic challenge.
The AV products generated from these, so-called nybble-engine-movies
(NEMs), are structurally interactive real-time network films.
Nybble-engine thus stands for both the entire program framework
and for the action-bots in their function as non-linear
emergences. In addition, a freeze frame is extracted on
the basis of nybble engineering and sintered via a "3D printer":
the data-objectile. This object represents a functional
equivalent that is not analogously conceptualized, but rather
in terms of problem orientation. The nybble-engine-project
is generally presented in a pop-coded form as a live modular
The Tetrad is a conventional idea
in the natural sciences. It must be imagined processually
as a coiled rotation. For this reason, the tetrad is highly
suitable for spatializing the theories intended to "depict"
a self-organizing system. As soon as a system begins to
modify that from which it has emerged, as soon as it organizes
itself, the unambiguous cause-effect relationship becomes
a confusing cycle, in which the beginning is not only the
beginning, but also a derived, subsequent entity, beginning
and result, multiply allocated, without orientation, coiled,
twisted, altogether complex. The situation represented here
also describes the framework conditions for dealing with
non-linear software tools, as in the case of the nybble-engine-project.
aesthetic message is usually the deconstruction of a conventionalized
text form or a media text. It is recoded by destroying semantic
portions in order to increase the aesthetic information.
Nybble engineering applies this method at a basal level.
This is less a matter of the interrelationship between semantic
and aesthetic information, than the interrelation between
uninterpreted and interpreted programs.
better understand this, let us look at an example from biology.
The notion of a living cell as an automaton, a machine,
has come to be taken entirely for granted in scientific
thinking today. So-called replicases, for example, corresponding
to a duplication apparatus, use programs in two ways. In
terms of molecular genetics, a distinction is made between
transcription and translation. In one case it is a command
resulting in a sequence of activities: the program manipulates
the machine. In the other case, as an object it is passively
subjected to the routines: the program is manipulated by
the machine. Thus when the program is uninterpreted, it
is merely raw material for the duplication. When it is interpreted,
on the other hand, the program controls this duplication.
On the one hand, the behavior of any machine can be formally
described with a list of transition rules, and on the other
hand, any list of this kind can also be understood as a
First of all, nybble engineering
needs existing material, to which the engineering can be
applied. In the case at hand, this is real-time tools, such
as so-called first-person shooter games, which represent
a technical, artistic challenge with both their 3D surfaces
and their replicating program components.
nybble engine movies (NEMs) are real-time network-movies,
AV-products resulting from nybble engineering. NEMs are
based on certain program configurations that process, when
they are executed, between interpreted and non-interpreted
components, and are calculated on the respective human/machine
interface (PC) in real time. The NEM is an interactive program,
the course of which can be influenced by players and bots
equally; it can be used as a multiplayer environment. The
nybble engine thus stands for both the entire program framework
and the action bots in their function as replicating program
elements. A NEM show a demo run through non-linear program
architecture, a kind of digital road movie.
understanding of the term "machine" is oriented to its current
state of differentiation and must always be considered in
conjunction with the term "coupling". Norbert Wiener introduced
this term with his ground-breaking work on cybernetics,
published in 1948, and it is a formalism that makes it possible
to link previously incompatible orders of the micro and
macro level. Since then, the term "coupling" has grown tremendously
in complexity and differentiation with Second Order Cybernetics,
General Systems Theory and Radical Constructivism.
the tetrad is considered within the given framework of structural
coupling, it is logical that the various generative factors,
which are based not only on biogenic but also on technical
programs, have an impact in socio-technical ensembles, starting
at the program level, for instance action bots, game engines,
authorship of the machine, continuing at the level of specific
social contexts, as in the case of the "modular lecture",
which is executed in the interrelations of different media
data objectile/Problem Orientation
Instead of Analogy
The data objectile
is determined by complex factors. Its physical presence
not only stands for "stable substance", but also for an
unstable set of interactions, which are processed under
the aspect of a multi-level conception (Varela 1990; Dupuy/Varela
1991) through self-descriptions, self-observations, and
self-amplifications. And as with every articulation of art,
it is a viewer arrangement, in which, in this case, humans
interact with humans, machines with machines and humans
with machines. At a certain degree of abstraction, it may
be also said that trivial and non-trivial machines interact
with one another. Generalizations, however, often tend to
deteriorate into banality. In order to avoid this, the selected
method must not be oriented at the most general level to
characteristics or to differences in genre or to similarities,
but rather to problems.
First of all, it should
be stressed that the data objectile results from the data
generated through nybble engineering. To be more specific:
it is formed through a data extract and sintered via a 3D
printer (SLS method, Selective Laser Sintering). It is a
3-dimensional "freeze frame" of a real-time environment.
The data objectile consequently has no reference of any
kind to an object in real life. As the reference to problem
orientation already indicates, the data objectile is not
developed by way of analogy. Instead it is based on considerations
that, contrary to classical subject-object epistemology,
seek to negotiate a far more complex understanding of the
object. This opens up the option of a functional equivalent
that is generated in the reference to software objects and
their implications in a dynamic, complex context. This,
however, requires the terms "specification", "generalization"
Like every social context,
art also evolves conventionalized expectations, orders and
concomitant norms. With a problem orientation, we can specify
the norm more clearly by specifying the reference problem
as a risk of generalization that is immanent to meaning.
Shifting the norm concept to the concept of generalization
puts the data objectile into a more complex understanding
of the object. This is already achieved through its status
of being an articulation in a communication context, where
expectations always make up an important factor. These are
expectations, in other words, that are guided by norms and
are, to a certain extent, dependent on a factual event;
thus they are "generalized expectations", which leave the
content of what exactly is expected more or less undefined.
generalization stands for indeterminacy, it does not stand
for the unknown, because what defines its functionality,
is that it requires respecification in order to reach reference
points. In this way, it is possible to evoke an interest
in intensification, which addresses cognitive expectations
and thus makes generalization a precondition for learning.
Of course, it is also true in this case that one must know
something in order to acquire knowledge. For it is only
in an open combination of knowledge contents that remain
constant and the willingness to modify and alter knowledge
that generalized cognitive expectations are treated as knowledge.
the definition of understanding art as an interdisciplinary
coalition under specific system-immanent logics, the data
objectile is targeted to the dimension of cognitive expectation
in conjunction with specification, generalization and respecification.
And as it is in science, the proportion of indeterminacy
is made productive through the requirements of theory and
method and thus referred to structures, which only apply
to a specially differentiated functional system in society:
in this case, the art system.
In the selected
method, relating problems to one another is not an end in
itself, but rather serves as primary orientation in seeking
possibilities, or more precisely, seeking functional equivalents.
This approach makes sense, when we define the historical
art context as a relation of system problems or as a way
of relating them to one another. The so-called anomy of
(modern) art is only one striking example of this. In fact,
however, every change of paradigms only represents the establishment
of another ("new") function installation in the art system.
In terms of system theory, this is part of the differentiation
of function installations. In art discourse, the "new paradigm"
stands for a problem construction, to which further constructions
- in other words, functional equivalents - are conjoined.
Orientation to function tends with appropriate complexity
to higher problem specification. This applies not only to
the art system as whole, with all its subsystems, which
are structured through orientation to function, but also
at the level of art praxis, which articulates/topicalizes/reflects/problematizes
these system/environment differences.
employed method represents a special horizon of the world
of life for specific intentions, which places that which
happens whenever information is processed - specifically
the probing of differences - under certain conditions, thus
putting them into a certain form. From this perspective,
the data objectile is a functional equivalent. Its functional
equivalent relationship, however, does not only refer to
the source text (the nybble engineering data extract) that
gives it its physical form. Rather, the data objectile circulates
in a functionally equivalent relationship to a cluster of
art discourse types and mutual system/environment relations,
which have become differentiated in the course of the historical
art context in the art system. This representation is based
on a premise of the General System Theory, namely that every
social contact is to be understood as a system. What is
essential to the functional method is its orientation to
the problem of complexity and not at all to the problem
of maintaining what is already there. This is simultaneously
its claim to the preservation of complexity. Since the functional
method is self-referentially founded in its basic complexity
preservation, it identifies its semantic forms as problems
of reference, which only follow their own system logic.
This means that they do not mirror constructions of other
realities, but rather seek to understand an ordered social
reality as a form of order in relation to this social reality.
data objectile does not rely on a principle of l"art pour
l"art. Essentially it is socio-technical ensembles of humans
and machines that form current realities. Biogenic programs,
which virtually regulate the operation of agency in the
constitutional context of person, role and expectation,
conjoin with programs of a technical nature. Survival means
preserving complexity in a cybernetic media world.
methodological framework of orientation for the nybble engine
project is a radical/re-constructivist meta-art.
(cf. Art & Language 1972) is an evolutionary achievement
of the art system, and its emergence is inseparably linked
with aesthetic Modernism. In its final evolutionary stage,
meta-art is a reflection-theoretical endeavor as a form
for observations, in order to observe oneself as a second-order
observer. This kind of art marks the end of the aesthetic
era of the self-description of the art system.
for the communication of the form to succeed, however, the
socially constituted expectations of art must be taken into
consideration in terms of the aspect of viability (following
Ernst von Glasersfeld). This means that a reflection-theoretical
art that claims to preserve complexity must still articulate
itself in forms that are still identifiable as art. In this
way, meta-art processes along the system/environment difference,
at the very edge, so to speak, within which the intensification
of art"s ability to dissolve and recombine can still reproduce
art. It is not the aim of meta-art to explore existence
in any form for the purpose of attaining insights with artistic
means and methods, but rather to discursivize questions
that relate to the how and the viability of art in its respectively
current social context.
Of course, not every developmental
step proves to be viable. "A sociology that regards modern
society as a functionally differentiated social system,
does not maintain that all functions succeed equally well
when functionally differentiated. It has doubts with regards
to religion, and with regard to art it can raise the question,
whether differentiation is beneficial to this functional
area..." (Luhmann 1984).
The current approaches of
"meta-art" only have little in common now with those of
the sixties (cf. Art & Language 1972). The forms of current
meta-art are now completely integrated in the post-autonomous
art that has been developing for about twenty years. Just
as the orientation to function serves both self-simplification
and evolving complexity, the autonomy of art can be both
weakened and strengthened through heteronomy. From the perspective
of differentiation theory, the issue of autonomy and heteronomy
is never an either/or question. Rather, both of these terms
are conceived as a relationship of mutual escalation, whereby
differentiated systems combine an increase of autonomy with
a greater amount of dependency on a plurality of other systems.
tendency of art in the last twenty years sufficiently affirms
that pure, non-purposeful art no longer offers a motivational
basis for aesthetic agency. An idea of this kind is no longer
tenable in the plurality of an (ultra-) modern society.
In contemporary art, therefore, it is much more a matter
of initiating communicative fields of production via articulations.
Under the "frame phenomenon" art, these fields create various
horizons of meaning for as many participants as possible.
From this perspective, it is understandable that the nybble-engine-projects
integrates elements borrowed from the dramaturgy of marketing
and accordingly has three pillars: 1. the "theme phenomenon",
calling to mind "narratives" from science, for instance;
2. the "frame phenomenon", which is clearly given here through
the art reference; and 3. the "ensemble phenomenon", which
provides for the participants to retain ensemble status
beyond mere reception.
More information can
be found on http://www.climax.at/