On June 18-19, 2001, I sat down with Greg Ulmer at his home and recorded his thoughts and theory related to the work that we did with as the Florida Research Ensemble (FRE) in the late 1990s on the Miami River.
The Florida Research Ensemble was an interdisciplinary collaborative group working collectively and individually on the invention of new digital forms of art and research for the emerging electrate society. Over the years the FRE has produced numerous exhibitions, books, articles, videos, lectures, panel discussions and websites. In addition to Gregory Ulmer and myself, the group included architectural educator and urbanist William Tilson, photographer, videographer and performance artist Barbara Jo Revelle, the late Gordon Bleach and network artist Will Pappenheimer.
In addition to the impact that this project had on Greg Ulmer’s booksInternet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy (2002) and Electronic Monuments (2006), other notable work included:
Winter 2008, “ Imaging Place, Editors Craig Saper, John Craig Freeman, and W.F. Garrett-Petts, Rhizomes, Vol. 18.
Fall 2006, William Tilson and John Craig Freeman, “Place and the Electrate Situation,” Rhizomes, Vol. 13.
November 2003, “The Caribbean Code,” Barbara Jo Revelle, a photo/video/text installation at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida.
2003, Gregory Ulmer, Barbara Jo Revelle, William Tilson and John Craig Freeman, “Image Emergency: A Psychogeography of Miami,” Leonardo, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 197 – 198.
What follows is the entire collection of Ulmer Tapes recorded over those two days in 2001.
Ulmer Tapes 01.01
Florida Research Ensemble, Monumentality, Solon, Theoria.
Ulmer Tapes 01.02
Mount Rushmore, National identity, Internet as inhabitable monument, Identity formation, Florida Rushmore.
Ulmer Tapes 01.03
Devil’s Mill Hopper.
Ulmer Tapes 01.04
Local-global, Pure and applied research, Xanadu, Ted Nelson, Hypertext, Project Xanadu, Kubla Khan, William Bartram.
Ulmer Tapes 01.05
Underground rivers, Winnowing, Timaeus, Forms equal abstract categories, Being, Becoming, Chora.
Ulmer Tapes 01.06
New Consultancy, Cognitive map, Society of the spectacle.
Ulmer Tapes 01.07
Public sphere in decline.
Ulmer Tapes 01.08
Desire, Invent electracy, Mystory, Allegory.
Ulmer Tapes 01.09
Allegory continued, Mystory continued.
Ulmer Tapes 02.01
Mystory continued, Jacques Lacan’s symptom, Signifier which repeats across discourses.
Ulmer Tapes 02.02
Literacy splits everything up, Electracy is holistic, Ficel.
Ulmer Tapes 02.03
Lacan’s inter-subjectivity, Topological theory, Gary Cooper High Noon, Eureka experience.
Ulmer Tapes 02.04
Grammatology, Apparatus theory, Advent of writing, Orality-Literacy-Electracy, Technology-Institutions-Identity formation, Socrates, Self, School.
Ulmer Tapes 02.05
Plato, Head = reason, Heart = courage, Viscera = lower emotions, Shift from orality to literacy, Civilization of writing enslaves oral, Not inevitable, Digital image = alphabetic writing, The epic, The old media become the content of the new media.
Ulmer Tapes 02.06
Manuscript professor had the book, Every film, TV show and video game written first, Plato invents philosophy by asking what is justice, People experience themselves as image, Nation state; Economies; and borders are breaking down, Electracy has to be invented.
Ulmer Tapes 02.07
Miami Project, Collaborative consultancy, Mystory is the practice for problem of the public sphere in the society of the spectacle, Choragraphy is writing with place, Chora is the organizing structure of new image category, Intractable complex problems, Zone, 34 different agencies, Science has run up against its limit, Problems are emergent.
Ulmer Tapes 03.01
Image categorizes by atmosphere, Group mystery, Barbara Jo Revelle’s testimonial, Ambivalence, We don’t tell anyone what to do, Make the river a chora, make it compensable, Crossroads
Ulmer Tapes 03.02
The boat was impounded, Problem tour, Divination, Querent consults diviner, Problems be Us, Modernist poets, The condition outside informs the inner condition, Burning question, Other method must have failed, Enter the zone see if it will answer, Divination systems connects individual to public life, Martin Heidegger attunement.
Ulmer Tapes 03.03
Stigmund, moods by which people see the world, Ancient = wonder, Modern = dread, Divination has nothing to do with telling the future, You have to decide, Mattress emerged as the repeating signifier, Skeeversville.
Ulmer Tapes 03.04
Skeeversville continued, You are impounded, Jacques Lacan, Upholstery button, Attunement of the river was impoundment.
Ulmer Tapes 03.05
Inference procedure of images is not inductive, deductive or adductive, its conductive, Jacques Derrida aporia, Miami Miautre, Friends and enemies – host and guest.
Ulmer Tapes 03.06
Let the stranger in, Oral people had problems, literate people had problems, electrate people will have problems, Invention of photography.
Ulmer Tapes 03.07
Credit Haitians rather than objectifying them, Augustine, Roland Barth S/Z, Roman augury.
Ulmer Tapes 04.01
Impossible walk, Situationist International, Dérive, Plaque Tournante, Leonhard Euler, Seven Bridges of Königsberg, Immanuel Kant, Philosopher’s Walk, Jacques Lacan, Topology.
Ulmer Tapes 04.02
Movement through chora would be electrate reason.
Ulmer Tapes 04.03
Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Ulmer Tapes 04.04
Gramatological frame Avant-Garde, Aboriginal dreamtime, Movement through space be an act of reason, Medieval memory theatre, James Joyce, Ulysses.
Ulmer Tapes 04.05
Places where we remember, Ask the image, Rigid sequence, Non-linear in structure, Memory palace, Compassion fatigue, emergency, Sergei Eisenstein, Montage of attraction, Complexity of attention.
Ulmer Tapes 04.06
Internet can focus global attention, Tourist repulsion, Monitor disaster, Challenger disaster, Observation transformed what is being observed, Fifth estate, Database into chora, Personal involvement overcomes compassion fatigue.
Ulmer Tapes 04.07
I-Ching, Yin and Yang, Change, Impoundment = Stagnation, Lao Tsu leaving China in disgust, America is impounded, Postmodern divination system.
Ulmer Tapes 04.08
Memory is augmented by technology, School is hard, Entertainment is fun, My four year old could do that, Put art back into education, Marcel Duchamp.
Ulmer Tapes 04.09
Cut and paste, Electrate people will have aesthetic understanding, Not from school but entertainment, Creativity is like exploring a space
Ulmer Tapes 05.01
Chora, Aristotle, Topos, ataraxy, Shipwreck With Witness, Dead Metaphors, Over the Falls in a Barrel.
Ulmer Tapes 05.03
A zone is a situation, Vortex of interacting forces, Jean Baudrillard, Guy Debord, Modern city is in a condition of impasse, Are all cities paralyzed, Find the point of aporia in the zone.
Ulmer Tapes 05.04
How does the image organize the complexity of information, Literacy divided knowledge up further and further, 200,000,000 volumes of info, Can’t go through it in a line, experts can’t communicate, Image can, Flash that cuts across, Choragraphy is to insight as electricity is to lightning, Associative jumps to bring together complex info in a flash.
Ulmer Tapes 05.05
Find most typical, Cues a memory of the place that involves the viewer, Is this situation an impasse or a new situation, How can the situation be captured in a single image.
Ulmer Tapes 05.06
Monumentality, Tragedy is transitional, scripted and then performed
Ulmer Tapes 05.07
Theatre, Experience themselves as citizens, Electrate people will not experience selfhood or nation state
Ulmer Tapes 05.08
Memorial, Make your own tourist sites, AIDS quilt, Is there something here to memorialize
Ulmer Tapes 05.09
Gun manufacturing, Tourist attraction.
Ulmer Tapes 05.10
Attracted to the aura of disaster.