Loss Pequeño Glazier

An Online Defense

Grateful thanks to Charles Bernstein (chair) and John Unsworth, two committee members who were able to make it online at this time. Special thanks also to Chris Funkhouser, Ken Sherwood, and Martin Spinelli, who were kind enough to participate in this event.
IRC log started Mon Apr 22 18:32
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Glazier: hello
Charles: Our Candidate had arrived. Welcome.
Funkhouser: hiya
Glazier: Howdy
Charles: This is first On Live defence I know of.
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Charles: But like other meeting: people are late!
Glazier: Yes, me also
Funkhouser: we've got all ends of new york state covere
Funkhouser: d
Glazier: Hmmm I think it's only 6:33
Unsworth: Howdy: sorry for the delay. Dialing in is hell.
Charles: OK. with John herelet's start
Funkhouser: 6 37 in Albany,NY
Glazier: ok I'm set ... welcome John
Charles: John, do you know of other online PhD defences
Unsworth: "A word of warning: if I suddenly go silent, I may have been summarily disconnected.
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Glazier: hold on, just need to get my cliff notes out
Unsworth: "If that happens, it could take me a while to get back in...
Glazier: There's always a lot of traffic ... hi martin!
Unsworth: No, Charles, though I have a student who'd like to do one.
martins: HELLO all
Charles: OK. well John have you a first question?
Unsworth: Hi Martin.
Unsworth: Sure do.
Charles: ok
Funkhouser: you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
Charles: already the proper lines of authority are blurring here, vs the live event
Unsworth: Loss, do you think the medium of hypertext is more well suited to poetry (and advertising) than to other genres of writing? And do you think poetry and advertising have anything in common?
Glazier: In one respect largely ...
Glazier: that both poetry and advertising (and I like this question since
Glazier: poetry doesn't get very far unless it is advertising (itself))
Glazier: that both rely on abrupt movements - on conjunctions of
Glazier: whatever it may be (in lesser times symobl, image, etc.). They
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Glazier: both operate in restricted space. ie the economy of the poem and the
Glazier: cost of the advertisement. So I do think both have a good mesh with
Glazier: hypertext. What's interesting is that earlier iterations of hypetext
Glazier: (actually that's it--advertising: hypetext; poetyr: hypertext) were
Glazier: principally done with fiction.
Glazier: And
Glazier: I personally always characterize hypertext by its ABRUPTNESS of movement
Unsworth: --has a followup question, too.
Charles: ok
Glazier: so that both seek to capitalize on that abruptness.
Glazier: ok
Funkhouser: i'll be back in a second...
Unsworth: If the common ground between poetry and advertising, in this medium, in this moment, is abrupt associative leaps, can you then say something about where you find "resistance" in the medium?
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Unsworth: the web seems so designed for ease...
Charles: though I can imagine us interleaving our comments here
Unsworth: absolutely. Love that flow.
Glazier: (Yes, that's ok too, we're stretching the defense medium as we speak)
Charles: but what are we selling
Glazier: So there are a few forms of resistance. The technical part--like 'I
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Glazier: may be summarily dy dismissed' (we haven't been able to entertain silly!) and
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Glazier: the unfulfilling resistance (the dead ends, the snarls) but most of the
Unsworth: --doesn't follow "summarily dismissed"
Glazier: resistance is in the readership. I was explaining to someone jsut a day
Glazier: or so ago why I left words in a text highlighted.
Glazier: (That is the links.) They said, doesn't that predispose the reader or
Glazier: make one word weighter than another? And I said yes. Problem is, you can't
martins: not knowing the formalities let me interject before advertising fades away.
Glazier: cound on a reader waving the mouse around a screen to find a link. So
Glazier: the link has to scream its a link by being a different color.
Unsworth: Sure you could.
Unsworth: You could make it hard: should you?
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Glazier: This gets to what we're selling. The audience is so thin as it is.
Glazier: Though there arehuge statistics of people on the Net (and when we're
Unsworth: Ah. Well, now we're down to it. I am very curious about justthis.
Glazier: talking of hypertext here I refer to Net hypertext) few are really
martins: L, if I'm reading you correctly you suggest in your home haunt page that there may be a way for spaces like the epc to to exist outside the aesthetic constraints of advertising that dominate the net as we know it. is this tur? What might be gained by runn
martins: to the outside?
Glazier: reading. So it's necessary maybe to at least make the text open to the reader
Glazier: or allow cues or clues or colors.
Charles: A foloow-up: how does "web" reading differ from book or print reading? I mean specifically? DOes EPC require diff. reading than ...
Unsworth: Mebee not: maybe the intelligent agent *is* the text that selects its reader.
Glazier: ok, there are several thoughts at once here ...
Unsworth: as always (laughs)
Unsworth: How I miss the MOO...
Funk: yeah, mee too
Charles: as my son Felix always says: STOP LAUGING AT ME!
martins: what with all those mad cows?
Glazier: I wish I had more experience with the moo. It's vastly superior?
Funk: well, you can emote & design space, for one thing
Glazier: Martin, I'm not sure how you mean outside the aesthetic constraints
Unsworth: Well, I won't take us off-topic. It's got a little more elbow room.
Funk: it is quite a text based VR
Glazier: Perhaps a good next project
Funk: esp. if you're a good programmer
Unsworth: Back to resistance and the reader, eh?
Charles: hm hm, Mr. Glazier has several things to defend
Unsworth: I am still curious...
martins: well you've made a typology of home pages--let me rephrase--do need to think of the epc as necessarily different from the CIA home page to what it is we want to do?
sherwd: Perhaps the corporate-imprinting on much of the web is just what makes it less different from the book than it might be (or once was?) [Emoting 'wistful yet self-conscious irony' ofr Funk]
Glazier: I'd recognize that they are trying to exploit similar media--that's the first step.
Glazier: I would say the epc does require different reading
Glazier: than a book and than the CIA page
Glazier: that is
Glazier: the jumps may have a different character. after all isn't that the
Glazier: difference between say, Frost, and ...
Unsworth: Can I focus the question a little more? I can understand how, for the artist who works in html or other hypertext authoring languages, there is some resistance in the medium; I wonder, though, whether there is, or should be, resistance in the medium for th
Glazier: something where you're not moaning about the road you missed?
Unsworth: sorry, for the reader.
Unsworth: apparently there's a limit to the length of an IRC utterance.
Glazier: Resistance for the reader. Well, the problem is that the resistance the
Funk: it's pretty amazing though, i'm typing to you through a machine which is in europe, to buffalo, new york, charlottesville etc
sherwd: Viz resistance for reader, this is one way in which corporate ventures may have little interest/motivation for exploring what's distinct about the Web.
Glazier: writer faces is one that occurs after the writer has already made some
Glazier: kind of peace or accommodation with the apparatus--the computer, the line
Glazier: length restrictions of irc, the wistful absence of a moo at just
Glazier: the right moment. But the writer (unlike this relation in the book world)
Glazier: is dealing with readers with a much wider spectrum of resistances
Funk: in a room
Glazier: in actually *holding* the guitar (my daughter just started lessons and
Glazier: it was interesting that this was one of the first challenges.) So yes,
Funk: the guitar?
Glazier: there should be resistance for the reader--but one has to be conscious
Funk: of the guitar?
Glazier: of the range. Take also the equipment itself. There is another spectrum
Funk: where we write this together
Glazier: if I'm writing epc the old question--what about the lynx user. Or who can hear
Unsworth: the sound of one gopher clapping...
Glazier: the sound files. I think John, you may be suggesting resistance
Glazier: in the way say a Joycean text has resistance but there's a strange
Glazier: twist on this in that we don't know if the reader is comfortable holding
Glazier: the book or even if she has ten, twelve, or etc. fingers.
Unsworth: Right, it might all be a modernist twitch, on my part.
Unsworth: On the other hand, it might be the only significant difference between ads and poetry in this medium. I'm really not sure.
Glazier: The reistance?
Unsworth: I think I lean toward the latter, though, and I think I want to see the range of resistance-to-readers, on the web, expand.
martins: If resistance is the only difference betweens ads and poetry on the web then is seems we should do all we can to draw attention
Charles: I was reading but I couldnn't type for a while?
martins: to the resistance as oppose to effacing it inthe name of "user-friendlyness" or ease of use in gneral.
Glazier: (Charles yes. Sometimes I have to wait for words I type to appear.
Glazier: Speak of 'resistance' - how more material could it be!)
Charles: No there was no echo for five or more minutes?
Glazier: I've nerver had that five-minute effect. Though I think it was
Glazier: Jordan one time who also had that.
Unsworth: Packets dropped between buffalo and lubljiana...
Funk: Loss, what is it with the graphics on the cover of your diss. are you trying to make a point w/them (ie the cover
Glazier: Yes, isn't that extraordinary. We are communicating via Lubljiana!
Unsworth: and it is a kind of resistance, as is the chatter effect of four-on-one IRC typing, but the web doesn't have much of that: it seems domesticated and page-like by comparison to some other internet media.
Glazier: I like Martin's thought of user-friendliness. Is that the oppostie of resistance?
Unsworth: Yes.
Charles: I had a friend over I was showing the EPC and I showed him or her the "reveal codes" mode and s/he sd: but then you are HIDING the codes: isnt' that agst yr aesthetic?
Unsworth: Laughs
Glazier: Chris, I was playing against that kind of 'symbolism' also - with the fonts
sherwd: For me, the five-minute effect, the distance-compression, no longer Amaze; so does one move from thinking it amazing, to thinking it banal...?
Funk: so the images are 100% non-symbolic?
Glazier: since the diss has to be on paper, I needed some way to express myself.
Unsworth: A poem that went to all the trouble of showing its code:s would be fine.
Glazier: BUT
Funk: the codes *are* there, for now...
Charles: but the issue is always WHICH CODES; she can show some of the codes some of the time etc
Glazier: Charles, we ARE showing our codes. It's under 'view' there's no effort
Glazier: to conceal them.
Charles: yes but this person was syaing they are put out of the way, like th motor under the hood. My view is: show me yr codes and I wonder what you are trying not to show me.
Unsworth: My son just ran into the room and said "Dad, it's after 7: didn't you say you had a 6:30 meeting?" I said "I'm there." He laughed and ran away.
martins: The latest version of NetScape has no "show codes" function, clearly--as we should expect--
Charles: so Loss, which codes get shown? (MS: that's what they call new and improved and leave the driving to us)
Glazier: Also related is that some web writers now write without ever seeing the codes.
martins: the internet industry is moving away from this option ofr us
Glazier: What slant does this put on it?
Funk: loss, you are a positivist in yr diss. what are the negatives as you see them?
Unsworth: hear, hear.
martins: of this option of reading thaat exposes the codes so that we may write our own... it is counter-hypertextual in this way.
Charles: hear ... yipes I was typing the same words John did!
Glazier: What are the 'hear hears' addressing?
Charles: negativty
Unsworth: yipes yips: the positivism question.
martins: duplicity
Funk: is fluffy a sparrow or a leg?
Unsworth: a jambon.
Charles: a poettte
Glazier: The negatives are the fact that we are but a drop of sweat on a bull speeding
Glazier: directly into a brick wall.
Funk: yep
Glazier: That is that there is going to be less and less space for writing
Funk: what else
Glazier: on the Net...
Unsworth: why?
Funk: words are words
Glazier: it's like tv or radio. Where do you ever see/hear *words*
Funk: paragraphs on paper
Unsworth: this is not a medium where space is a restricted commodity. Attention, maybe.
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Glazier: But John, I think w'll see space increasingly a restricted commodity
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Glazier: Look at the airwaves
Unsworth: Loss, I was reading the Perloff piece featured on EPC, resonding to Berube...
Unsworth: and I don't agree about space: remember, we live in a society of repressive tolerance.
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Glazier: How do you disagree on space?
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Bernstein: ah Edgar at last we meet
Unsworth: At any rate, it occurred to me that the issue of ads vs. poetry is somehow parallel to the right vs. left she discusses.
Glazier: Poe me another cup of coffee
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martins: I think it is a little utopian to envissage the net as boundless--unlimited space.
Glazier: Yes martin. The problem with space is that it seems to always
Glazier: be taken. Now if we were utopian. We could think of radio waves.
martins: We have restrictions on how much processor time we can use before we are timed out, pay-for-use provider charge (often) by the megabite of space you use... etc.
Unsworth: Well, I'm not claiming that there's no limit on space, only that it is not near the top of the list of significant limits affecting web publication.
Glazier: Or we could think of newsprint. There are all those places: Omaha,
Glazier: Witchita, San Bernadino, there's plenty of space for different radio
Glazier: stations, all sorts of journalism. But that space has been swallowed. I was
Unsworth: Bandwidth, education, access, literacy, all of those are more significant.
Glazier: amazed the other day to realize that opposide the graduate library at
martins: absolutely John.
Bernstein: capitalism PRODUCES scarsity whther it exists or not
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Unsworth: Given those things, however, I see no reason that (once you make it to the web) there should be less and less poetry. It's not a zero sum, where something pushes other things out.
Glazier: UB is a single newspaper machine. Can you believe it? USA TOday.
Again: same at suny albany, tho there is the bookstore, which has others
Unsworth: Charles, it'll be interesting to see what the exact nature of the scarcity produced will be.
Bernstein: Didn't read Perloff's piece but isn't teh point vis a vis EPC not space but "marginality"
Again: would anybody hear me if i cried, "i miss the bookstore?
Glazier: John, bandwith, education ... are more significant than ... what?
Bernstein: though I use that term to condense a lionger point
sherwd: The problem will certainly not be space, perhaps attention, more likely getting 'located.' What would happen if I lost my bookmark to PMC? Think about modes of access like AOL, where one could seem to surf the net and really be caught in a rather...
sherwd: restreicted loop of self-referencing links.
martins: CB, which leads back to what I was trying to suggest earlier about the value of sameness--why should our pages look something other than "marginal"?
Unsworth: Yes, Charles: marginality. Seems to me poetry has the equipment and the means here to take on the demon advertising in some interesting, direct ways. It's bastard child, as it were.
Again: shakespeare never did this
Bernstein: the EPC will be there but mostly no one listens to poetry, like Spince says, on the web or elsewise: that is a structural strengthof the social psace of poetry. But as to scasity: the rachetting of the software and hardware makes you always behind, always
Again: spicer?
Glazier: Not to mention the equipment 'readers' have!
Unsworth: Which leads to my second and (given the speed of conversation here, probably final) question: what innovations have taken place in /at EPC that could not have taken place in another medium?
Glazier: There are quite a few that
Glazier: spring to mind immediately. The possibility for reproducing graphics
Glazier: for distributing sound
Bernstein: Spicer: never typed well when I type ast and (fast) don't look back!
Glazier: for applying multiple possibilities for links that take
Glazier: place in writing.
Glazier: But you had more in mind?
Glazier: It's odd since
Again: i would agree with loss. hypertext / WWW doe sopen up possibilitys that weren't there before
Glazier: when I originally thought of a guiding conceptual idea - it was space - it
Glazier: was
*** You have new email.
Glazier: a virtual version of a physical center (ie a gallery for art, an exhibit
Glazier: case for new works
Glazier: a slistening room for sound, a vast library where everyone could
*** Bernstein is now known as MrChairma
Again: does anyone else hear a car alarm out their window? i do.
Glazier: check out the same book at once and all keep it...
Glazier: I hope this doesn't sound goofy.
Unsworth: But surely, the audio could have taken place in another medium, namely real space: a reading.
Again: it'll cost you...
Glazier: Ah yes, but a reading takes place in one place at one time.
Unsworth: and hypertext, we would all admit, has its exemplars outside the byte.
Again: absolutely
Unsworth: A vinyl recording?
Glazier: And a tape of a reading requires a mailing list, postage, and physical maniputlation
Again: can be byten
Unsworth: I'm looking for what's unique as to performance/execution, rather than delivery.
Glazier: Well, interms of the sound, here's my take...
Glazier: I think a line I use somewhere is "now that sound can be edited"
Glazier: there's the execution part. That in this medium we can work with
Again: yes, 5 pieces for sound file, i believe
Glazier: the physical presentation of the sound. It is a graphic, it is writing.
Glazier: That's the same
Glazier: with the hypertextual environment. Writing a href= is writing. How
Again: A graphically charged radio station?
*** Again is now known as radio
sherwd: WWhat about the 'emergent' quality of EPC, fact that it evolves/grows/morphs (pick your metaphor)?
Glazier: that is explored is the writing. It's not a point of where it takes you to
MrChairma: Let me enter inot this final half-hour by asking allhere what this medium of an online defence might offer in a strictly academic context, eg formally -- The medium, the medium! (But PS: the distribution and manipulability of poetry as sound files will c
Glazier: but what it was as writing.
MrChairma: chnage poetry's sound
sherwd: WHile Bauman applies this to performance, it's in this sense that EPC does what a book don't...
MrChairma: change
sherwd: Loss, how many times has the 'look' alone of the EPC changed?
Unsworth: Charles, are you asking for feedback on the experience here?
radio: get the word out
martins: the frenetic/frantic quality allows the defendant to choose what's answered and what scrolls away.....
Unsworth: Sherwd, who should be calle shrewd, would you unpack Bauman for me?
Unsworth: --seconds Martin
MrChairma: John, not feedback on this only but on the idea of this
Unsworth: Notes also that the dissertee should be able to type faster than his examiners, ideally. In a perfect world, faster than all of them put together.
Glazier: (Obviously) allows for participants who are most interested in being there
Glazier: without the restriction of geography and provides a written record.
radio: d
Unsworth: I'd prefer the MOO to IRC, myself--but I have no problem with defending in the medium.
MrChairma: I think it undermines a certain generic expectation of the defence since all the threads are opened but impossible to be "rigorous" to defend in the trad. academic way
Glazier: Not only typing faster but incorporating several threads in one reply.
MrChairma: I'm not asking or saying problem: I am thinking possiblities ...
Unsworth: Yes, multithreading. I think, in fact, it raises the stakes for the person defending.
MrChairma: also we have a transcript already made, no?
sherwd: For 'emergent' perhaps read 'dialogic', that sense of a tension, as here where one cannot speak w/o being spoken to/at/through
Glazier: Indeed, alas long as there's no technical glitch.
Unsworth: I think, charles, that an email exchange followed by a MOO session would be best.
Unsworth: "questions submitted by examiners, answered at leisure...
Glazier: You'd want more rigor? THat could be obtained by having 'rules'. Like you
Glazier: go around the circle giveing questions then answers.
martins: John, how would this be different from responding to crits of the dissertation in progress?
Unsworth: the entire exchange archived on hypermail for reference and used in a MOO discussion. Not just rules: time, nature of discuourse.
MrChairma: no I meant the rigor was akin to rigor mortis and I am looking for ways that STOP that
Glazier: Isn't the dialog in a moo session similar John? Except that there are
Glazier: objects and libraries and rooms?
Unsworth: "an email defense would be an interesting cross between a written exam and an oral.
martins: an email exchange seems to lack something that a defence, here or over a table, would has.
Unsworth: Martin, I'd not erase the chat, but I'd preface it with email discussion.
martins: OK
MrChairma: good thing about a defence is that it is live and has multiple questinioners
Unsworth: and MOO has more expressive possiblities, and better speed, than this, for my money.
MrChairma: Any final questions?
Unsworth: I feel as though I've dominated the discussion, and I'd like to aplogize for my hyperactivity.
radio: I hate to do this,
martins: yikes! no appologies necessary.
MrChairma: no not at all, some of us have more chance to talk with Loss and work with him, yr involvement here was / is MUCH appreciate dand "special"
sherwd: zzounds! are we done already
Glazier: Your contribution and presence were essential!
Unsworth: what does radio hate to do?
sherwd: [closing frame of typical online session]
radio: but there's a lighn
martins: yes radio? tell us.
MrChairma: Thanks all and thanks Loss for a terrific dissertation and for the EPC!
martins: ciao ciao
martins: exit
Glazier: Thank you, too.
*** Signoff: martins (Read error to martins[autarch.acsu.buffalo.edu]: EOF from client)
Glazier: Yes, how we read error!
*** Signoff: radio (Leaving)
*** Signoff: MrChairma (Leaving)