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Page history last edited by ShareRiff 11 years ago



Tab these (and/or add your own, or take some away):


track 2

track 3

track 4

controls and functions


Like sacred recipes, 4-track compositional scripts start with zero and proceed to One, via repetition. Repeatedly transitioning, reduplicating, chorusing, accelerating; but also decelerating, juxtaposing, jump-cutting, splitting, and also, perhaps most importantly, stopping and abiding in the lacunae of timelessness that perferate the dynamic mesh that wyrds weave when we affirm their irrational penumbra: these gestures denote the laya of dynamic wiki gatherings, and the laya of four tracking, as well. Time is experienced in both its serial and parallel forms. Because of this, both 4tracks and wikis produce programmable experience in the sense that cyberspace pioneer Timothy Leary used the term.


Multitrack cassette recorders can be deployed as "disorder into order" machines, and as such, can model gestures for both symmetry-breaking and the entrainment of patterns in wiki. At first, the idea of a sonic "writing pad" that allows writers to record, mix, and overlay disparate (any), complex information streams may induce panic: overload of information overload. However, 4track technology comes equipped with well-defined and productive limits, and 4track functionality fosters gestural and repetitive movements: press record, press stop, press play, press stop, switch tracks, press record.... Repeating and rhythmizing these gestures yields dramatic and unforeseeable transformations, juxtapositions/counterpoints/overlays, recursive movements, split signals, and feedback loops, and much more. Indeed, 4tracks can produce fascinating experiments in stochasticism, and in such multitracking experiments, chaos registers forcefully. At the same time, most 4tracks feature a "zero return" function, usually a button labeled "RTZ." Press the RTZ button, and the tape will rewind, automatically stopping at the zero counter point, which can be set and reset at any point on the tape. One press of a button can bring you back to rest. Crucially, zero-stopping creates openings, lacunae for distributed ontologies of production, because these [Simple \"resting points,\" or session-ending gestures, allow weaving strategies to emerge, and code and programming to appear from elsewhere. Semioticion of graphic fiction Scott McCloud dubs these lacunae the "gutter", the space between frames where all the action is, the "beholders share", even a commons of the Mind-At-Large that collectively and differentially stitches together fragment with fragement.


Rendering a sharable "burn," a mixdown that becomes available to the commons for further repetitions, listening, and reappropriation, becomes in some situations an imperative, in others a ceremony. When we translate this model to wiki, with its emphasis on the imagining and actualizing of links, session-closing rituals become sharing gestures, movements towards and with the source of the rhythmic and connective elements that sustain sonic experimentation, the commons of the wyrd. So the 4track model encourages experimentation with information in a highly compressed form (the medium of sound), but, like Leary's experiental typewriter this model operates by means of simple and gestural limit-functions that forestall solipsistic habits.1 In practice, four-tracking promotes the impulse to share in two simple steps, both bound to the receptive art of listening. First, the infinite potential for information proliferation and overlay afforded by multi-tracking "dislocates" and depatterns the authorial self. Second, gestural and repetition-based operability patterns this becoming-multiple effect, an effect endemic but not exclusive to multitracking. Actively listening via repeating and zero-returning tape on a spool closely resembles the reading and writing protocols wikis sprout into being. Wiki creates openings in fields of potential links, thereby turning and tuning complexity towards connectivity and interactivity. Cassette-based rhetorics of transduction, mixed with wiki, produce rhetorical softwares for the cultivation of intuitive receptivity. Such rhetorics can induce early-and-often "renderings," both as a regulatory technique, and, as a positive feedback mechanism, its own reward. By means of these rhetorics, wikis wind and unwind wyrd threads like so much tape on a spool, and "existing designs can be expanded into new forms" (What is Wyrd?)


. Counting in 2 interactive: sharer's manual

Before we go further and narrate a writing assignment informed by cassette recording's push-button rhetoric of gesture...


....like a personal computer in two ways. First, you can program it for business, or tune it for pleasure. Second, what you render depends on what you fly in on top. Musical tools of composition have been around for a long time, and pop songs, commercial jingles, and hollywood soundtracks barely scratch a shaving of the global historical musical bandwidth. Recently analog and digital tools for selecting, combining, tuning, and rendering media have made these templates available to the commons again. You don't have to become an engineer in order to record cool sounds. And composing with sound is not a prerequisite rite of passage for learning how to develop rhetorical dance moves for moving with the infolanche. But some of the fundamental gestures of filesharing are best felt in sound, and feeling is important in an infodynamic ontology. Music and technology - inlcuding emergent sound technologies and tools that have been with us for some time, now - let us rehearse and perform these gestures: and, along with some rhetorical and affective programming, groups of people can learn what it feels like to write with filesharing protocols; what controls to use and in what sequence.


Creating patterns with selected sound material is as simple as pushing play. Fourtrack machines, inexpensive multi-track cassette recorders associated with home recording and do-it-yourself cultures of music provide the best model of how this works. In wiki contexts, the analogy of four-track suggests an open window with 4 tabs. The Freesound exercises allowed us to actually resonate with what we often have to visualize: the combination of complex patterns of information as they, in Rotman's words (2000), “go parallel” (p. 56). Basically, the composer working with tape produces novelty, creates new surface areas of embodiment and audience address, simply by “laying down tracks” one on top of the other, so that different selections of information (performances), can be heard simultaeously. In the third section of Mind and Nature, Gregory Bateson (1979) notices that "interesting phenomena occur when two or more rhythmic patterns are combined," and argues, in a sense, that the sort of "beatmatching" we are extracting fromAristedes' sense of chresis creates coherence. "These phenomena," which are theoretically limitless in example and type, "illustrate very aptly the enrichment of information that occurs when one description is combined with another." Such combinations essentially yield novelty, difference, and new information. "In the case of rhythmic patterns, the combination of two such patterns will generate a third. Therefore, it becomes possible to investigate an unfamiliar pattern by combining it with a known second pattern and inspecting the third pattern which they together generate." After proposing moire patterns as the most reliable model (perhaps better to say most reliable "constant") of “order for free” in dynamic information ecologies, Bateson stops to ask, "do animals (and even plants) have characteristics such that in a given niche there is a testing of that niche by something like the moiré phenomenon?" (http://www.oikos.org/m&nmultiple.htm) If so, we might also ask: can we rehearse this behavior, and in the process finely tune our intuititive receptivity and capacity for responding efficaciously to complex patterns of information? In the composition classroom, attention to practices of chresis will help writers and readers find each other and interleave patterns in rhetorical processes of call and response.




In the digital vocabulary built into digital multitracking softwares such as ProTools, such "renderings" involve "bouncing" 24 bit multiple mono sound files into 16 bit stereo interleaved files, which can be read by cd players, and can also, unlike 24 bit files, be compressed into ever-controversial and high-velocity .mp3 objects breaking the intellectual property barrier on the transmission of information, files that are much more connect-able than 24 bit sound files. The rhetoric of these gestures and the history of sound-recording technologies provides many narratives detailing diverse enterprises of managing and making sense of information.


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