This is a Test

this is test

[237] This

[57] is

[357] a test.

Above are 3 definitions and 3 purple number locations for words in the phrase “This is a test.” Today, there is a wide selection of dictionaries to define what words mean, most public sources are correct enough to serve most users goals. However, as soon as the work only applies to a specific knowledge domain or line of inquiry, the meaning of words must be more precise. In these cases, precise locations within dictionaries and semantic structures are more beneficial than definitions ~ which meaning of the words “this” “is” and “test”? Some knowledge domains, like biotechnology, are way ahead of everyone else developing their own controlled vocabularies, thesaurus, taxonomies and similar. How could these scientific pursuits and careful documentation efforts be extended and applied to artists? storytellers? musicians?

If an interlinked data structure was made for every word that had ever been uttered, common words for common uses would not need to be redefined again at each source. Over time, words that originate in certain areas of expertise might eventually branch out into other areas and have many slight variations in meaning in another area. A simple word could get very complex very quickly.

There are too many badly drawn, clunky looking charts and diagrams about semantic structure designs, it is impossible to choose which ones are the worst.

If the task at hand is to examine or work with the semantic structures themselves, more time and effort should be spent working with forms that are more fluid and beautiful, like language and word meaning.



Exponential by Eric Heller


ShiftSpace Trail

Trail Proposal: This is a Test

Top Layer (orange, two parallel lines like regular trails above)
[237] This
[57] is
[357] a test.

Next Layer (cyan, single arcs)


Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo


Merge Layer (thin white circles and ellipses trapping elements from various layers together)
Seeking film clip from the Deer Hunter where Robert De Niro is saying “This is This, it is not something else”



ERIC HELLER ARTIST’S STATEMENT: Exponential is based on the electron flow patterns for electrons riding over a bumpy landscape, which is what they encounter in the 2DEG. The electrons have more than enough energy to ride over any bump in the landscape, and the concentrations of electron flow seen here are unexpected indirect effects of that bumpy ride. The channeling or branching was a surprise, and has real implications for small electronic devices of the future. “Exponential” gets its name from the exponential divergence of trajectories which start out very close to each other. This is a hallmark of the unstable dynamics which leads to chaos. Over 100,000 individual electron paths were traced out, starting at the top right, where they were launched on their journey, each with a slightly different direction. In this image, the white regions show the paths preferred by the electrons. Some paths taken by individual electrons can be seen.


CODE: written in Fortran computed the trajectories, and wrote information about them to a very large raster image. The algorithm used to write to pixels which had already been accessed by previous electron paths gives the the peculiar shading and form to this image.


PURPOSE: The electron tracks in Exponential are an excellent example of the wonderful way nature emulates herself in different contexts. The branching pattern is reminiscent of familiar natural forms.

Where does this image belong in the map below? Art? Science? Technology? Is it closer to Information or an Idea?



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