10 JULY 1997
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Notes on Osiris 4:

Ithaka
ITHAKA (BEACH)

Osiris was cut up into pieces and the pieces distributed. I took the beach image of "Ithaka" and cut it up and distributed it in a grid. That's the meaning of the title of the series but it has no other intentional significance beyond that. But you never know. Meaning has a way of attaching itself to objects.

osiris image

Repetition, rhythm and color coding:
Each segment is composed of the four colors of the beach images (lightblue, blue, beige, green), the four photoshop inverts of those colors plus a blank between each of the four sets made of black.

There are four segments each starting with a different color and running through the colors in order. They are all set to loop indefinitely and each segment is set to a different rhythm: 1000, 500, 250 and 125.

They are arranged in a grid of five across and four down, each of the four segments repeated five times for a total of twenty. I used a method of drawing twenty pieces of paper with the names of the four segments to lay them out, then adjusted them so that no two segments that were the same abutted each other if possible. It looks random at first but after a few minutes you can begin to see the pattern.

osiris image

Patterns of thought:
I found that watching the shifting patterns helps me think. It's as if it approximates something like thought patterns or alpha waves enough to set my own mind on randomization.

osiris image

Restitutio Ad Integrim:
I also found that I liked it when all the colors were the same and anticipated that "restitutio ad integrim" or "return to integrity" no matter how brief and no matter what color (though I tend to like the blue more than the yellow).

osiris image

Next steps:
I would like to make the grid seem more random and to start in a different arrangement each time you visit it. I think that can be easily accomplished by adapting a cgi program I already have. I don't care if it isn't really random, in fact I prefer that it isn't. I also don't want to introduce twenty individual gif animations. It's important that the same four segments are repeated both in terms of repetition and also for economical use of the system.

Even though true randomness is the holy grail for many people to me it isn't intellectually challenging enough and by that I mean that once true randomness is achieved the project comes to a halt. I prefer the opportunities that arise when I try to simulate randomness. True randomness would be a solution and I like to create problems.

Some would say the logical next step is to make the grid interactive so that visitors can arrange the order themselves. For some reason that kind of interactivity doesn't interest me. I don't want to make a game for others to play. I want to make a game for me to play that generates art objects or objects to think with. But that doesn't mean that at some point I won't make a version that the viewer can manipulate. In fact, they have the ability to manipulate it now through options in the browser. I would rather provide ways for people to subvert my object than to simply interact with it.

There is the possibility of using a GIS (Geospatial Information System) to direct the rhythm, position and color coding from some activity outside of the object's programming and that interests me.

The grid would work as a bank of monitors and I would like to experiment with porting it to that venue though still using the computer to generate the images rather than using video tape. I've also thought of projecting the screen as it is in some way in a dark room because I think I would then want to work with the architecture of the room and the object would become even more dispersed.

The text I posted from Plato's Symposium is fluttering around in my head. I'm drawn to the idea of man originally being doubled then split and love being the desire to reconnect the divided halves. It is compatible with the Osiris myth and also is central to the workings of packets on the Internet.

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Osiris 4