Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ablinger, Repetition, and Meaning

...redundancy produces information. And from here, it is not a long way to entropic noise as information in Shannon's sense. It was Arnold Schönberg who stated that variation is necessarily a form of repetition as at least something must return between variation and variation. And he thus shifted his attention from the changing aspect of music to the continuous, the repeated. Ablinger's attitude is something like the hidden, reverse secret of the same story: that each repetition is also variation, that there is necessarily always something changing—that, in other words: repetition does not exist except as an abstraction.

From "Static's Music - Noise Inquiries" by Christian Scheib

Repetition and redundancy do produce information, and information is meaning. However, this ability is not unique to repetition. Repetition is a subset of a larger meaning-producing process: the formation of relationships. I would argue all meaning comes from relations and connections; epistemology is relational. Repetition is a method of creating relations by separating similar events in space and time.

Taken loosely, repetition may be considered relation-formation in its entirety. There is a good reason not to define repetition loosely, however: we have an intuition for the "abstraction" of perfect repetition. This intuition might be defined as: multiple events produced as similarly as possible to each other, varying only in their spatio-temporal manifestation. When Mozart is performed today, it is contextualized (and thus meaningful) in relation to every other Mozart performance past (as well as many other things, including all of music history). However, these modern performances are not repetitions of previous performances — and any new performance is not a repetition of the theory and influences related to it — but it is still meaningful.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Piece for Post

  1. Mail an empty envelope to a friend.
  2. Without opening the envelope, they should put it in a new envelope and send it back to you.
  3. Without opening their envelope, you should put their envelope in a new envelope and send it back to them.
  4. Repeat until the Post loses the envelopes, or refuses to carry it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How to Save Your Life

Two approaches to saving all of your experiences on a hard drive somewhere:

  1. Create a device that is able to capture any experience and store it to a remote location.
  2. Take a tool that already stores every action performed while using it, and reshape your life until all your experiences surround that tool.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Using a Microvox text-to-speech module, generate every possible vocal sound sequence. Potential interpretations:

  1. A panoglot box.
  2. A lying box.
  3. A truth-telling box.
  4. A future-predicting box.