Blog Post

Introduction

There's a lot of these intros, so I'll try and be concise. My research focuses around the interaction between sociality and epistemology; hence on the question of ideology, its relationship to a material basis, and on the possibility of constructing valid epistemic viewpoints given that this material basis for one’s ideas exists. Currently this is instantiated as a project that is looking at a certain kind of promise as the bridge between the material and the ideal, taking as specific objects the development of financial technology---commercial paper, clearing houses, and the mechanization of finance---and its ideological result in certain aspects of algebraic language, information encoding, and computer code.

In conjunction with this and other concerns, I'm working on the following projects of potential interest to other HASTAC scholars:

  1. The dissertation, which is focusing primarily on the transition to an ideology which supports the concept of code. I'm arguing here that our concept of the split between signifier and signified has been reconfigured such that the signifier appears to "properly" refer to other signifiers, rather than to either a signified or an ontologically distinct referent. Hence that the concept of meaning has become indistinguishable from the concept of encoding. In programming, this manifests as an anxiety about the externality of the machine which is continually and unsuccessfully excised from code during the history of its development.
  2. Mekanimator, a software project with the UC Davis ModLab. Mekanimator is a platform designed for live CG avatar-based theatrical performance, or for quick and dirty cinematic scene production using and combining stock graphical assets ("Machinima").
  3. Atomic Kit, a library of C routines that provide a simple but effective interface for thread-safe, lock-free, transactional data structures. This is more of a straightforward computer science project.
  4. Live C, a program for livecoding in C. For those of you who don't know what livecoding is, see http://www.toplap.org This is part of a larger project that includes the next entry: to examine the notion of *state* in a computer program and the separation of state from code.
  5. A state annotator that (ab)uses the debugging facilities of an operating system to snapshot and annotate the state of any program. This is seriously experimental, and more likely to fail in an interesting way than to succeed.
  6. Sonic Maths, a "continuum modeling" (sorta analog modeling) library for music synthesis.

Mekanimator will be released in due time :-). The other efforts, while in various states of incompleteness and transition, can be found at https://github.com/ebuswell

I'm happy to be here with the HASTAC scholars program, where so many other interesting scholars are lurking. Please feel free to ping me if you want to chat about any of the above.

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