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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago



Dividendia intentio animi



We form habits through repeated performance--simple maneuvers and modifications that comprise a practice, and inculcate informed response-ability in a given environment. It seems that even an "open-minded" method forged with the properties of emergent systems and rhetorical kairos in mind, even a practice situated in self-organizing (open) scenarios (wiki), develops through rehearsal and training. Knowing when to apply what ‘rule,’ technique or strategy, according to Quintilian, the great collator of rhetorical 'scripts, involves a more rehearsed, habit-formed intuition than it does deliberation and selection. And for Quintilian, those moments of kairos--the experience of resonance with others that we call "good timing"--constituted the whole enterprise of rhetoric:


“Rhetoric would be a very easy and small matter, if it could be included in one short body of rules, but rules must generally be altered to suit the nature of each individual case, the time, the occasion, the necessity itself; consequently, one great quality in an orator is discretion, because he must turn his thoughts in various directions, according to different bearings on his subject.” Institutes of Oratory


Interestingly enough, though, the only way to manage the cognitive overhead incumbent upon one who must turn one’s thought in various directions would be for said rhetor to clear his/her habituated patterns, by radically dissolving the habit structures inculcated by the very rehearsal and training Quintilian prescribes! This is an interesting distinction between Quintilian's scene of composition and the context of composing we find ourselves in online. The art of selection in an information economy requires us to remix Quintilian's "dividendia intentio animi," or "divided attention." Multimedia composition comprised of sound, image, text, and links provides ample occasion to reconsider dividendia intentio animi and it's pedagogical potential.



"For to look to the right, as everybody teaches, and to look forward, depends not merely on rule, but on habit, since, while the child is looking to what follows, he has to pronounce what goes before, and, what is very difficult, the direction of his thoughts must be divided, so that one duty may be discharged with his voice, and another with his eyes"

Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory I, I, 34




In an article on so-called attention deficit disorder...


In the process of improvising with a group of performers or mixing and reconfiguring a repository of shared ideas in performance, introducing new ideas (transitions, tropes, sources, movements), often means "going parallel," which calls on us to cultivate rhythmic capacities such as beatmatching. In order to entrain two systems of information, we do a dance that involves decompositional strategies of \"attention [splitting,\" the scattering and gathering rhythms of sanjo, and the caesuras of zero-stopping, just to name a few. Turntablist techniques, such as "beatmatching," vividly illustrate the coordination of such gestures.


Tim Beamish's description of beatmatching suggests that beatmatching depends on listening for and then moving towards and then finally //with// the new mix by entraining what would, for the audience, be the "new" information with the already networked information: "In order to beatmatch, the DJ must use two ears, one listening to the track that the audience is hearing and one listening to the upcoming track. This will require spliting one's attention to accomodate two audio inputs and organizing how things should sound. Most DJs focus on the outgoing track and force the incoming track to follow the beat pattern of the outgoing track. It is common to see a DJ tapping his or her foot to the outgoing track. They are essentially concentrating on the beat of the outgoing track when they do this. Then they cue the incoming track, initializing it to start on a downbeat. When the next downbeat of the outgoing track occurs, they start the incoming track so that the downbeats match. Next they quickly adjust the BPMs of the incoming track so that the beats remain in a constant state of synchronization. This action requires manipulating the speed of the incoming track which requires a device that supports altering the tempo of the track." Review and bridge: Greek-modeled rhetorical practices do support gestures of tempo alteration and other treatments of information. Aristoxenus of Tarsus provides us with a fragment on rhythm...

however, rhythmic models abound, and



The analysis then identifies two distinct techniques. First, "the DJ must start the incoming track at the correct point (a downbeat) and adjust the BPMs accordingly (either faster or slower). Altering the BPMs of a track is a one dimensional continuous task with two directions: faster or slower." The second technique underscores the flexibility of rhythmic assemblages comprised of bodily, sonic, and technological material. "Once an incoming track is cued to begin on a downbeat, starting the track is optimally a one dimensional binary task (whose modes are playing or stopped). However, most physical devices do not support an instant start and instead take a small amount of time to bring the track to its designated BPMs. Thus the DJ must provide a "push" to the track in order to make sure that its downbeat matches that of the outgoing track." ([A Taxonomy of Djs: Beat Matching])


go back to [the 602 syllabus]


feel like ZeroStopping on AlapElements?


select MotionCapture


rewind to FileSharingSubjects


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