Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dream Language

Reconsidering the idea of language as an emergent phenomenon, as elaborated upon by AI researchers and new media artists, I realized something about dreams.

Words are no good for describing dreams because language has evolved in the context of a persistent world — a world that can be shared and reflected upon without the observational act interrupting anything (at least on a macroscopic scale). Dream situations don't have any of these characteristics.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Collaborative Semantic Bookmarking

When it comes to the semantic web, the general concern amongst researchers is feasability. If implemented, it would afford countless opportunities — but the path is the problem. How would we go about developing ontologies for the semantic web? And who would spend the time writing semantically accurate markup? Search doesn't seem so terrible right now, so there's no incentive.

What if, instead of waiting for an incentive on the producer's end, the users had an incentive to implement the semantic web? I propose this idea as an initial step: a collaborative bookmarking system, a la, allowing for semantic tagging rather than keyword tagging.

A first incarnation of semantic tagging might simply allow you to assign binary relationships in the form subject-verb-object, where subject is always the page in question. As a naive example, consider "Brain Diseases I Wish I Had". users have used the tags "article", "video", "science" and "psychology" (amongst other things). Semantic tags would say that it is in the form of an article, addresses science and psychology, and contains video.

Users would contribute this information because it would allow them to search their own bookmarks easily and find new links contributed by other users more efficiently. Using current web technologies like Ajax to reccomend words for relational tags (like "contains") would help hone the network. Clustering algorithms already implemented on sites like Flickr could help answer questions about the architecture of the web and increase the accuracy of search results despite multiple naming conventions. Simple analysis would allow automated summaries of a site's contents.

Over time, more detailed semantic information could be added (like recognizing psychology as a type of science), or even imported from Wikipedia or other open categorization systems and expanded upon.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dance Connections

Some things I've learned recently from Dance Movies and Tere O'Connor's Frozen Mommy:

  • A title can be a linguistic stepping stone from which a non-linguistic art journeys away from.
  • Art develops over time — including the time for the audience to resolve their impressions.
  • If music needs silence, dance needs stillness.
  • If music is what we hear as music, dance is simply movement we see as dance.
  • Sample-based music was preceded by sample-based dances.
There seems to be a connection between noise art and non-representative dance as well.