Manifestos and other Essays
POETRY – SCIENCE
(Manifesto of poetical science)
„Modern science introduces man into a new world. If man thinks science he renovates himself as a thinking man.“ Gaston Bachelard: Rational Materialism
New pages of reality, opened by physics, chemistry and biology, have long stood before poets waiting to be translated into verses. Poets, however, ignore them, „do not see them“ or do not accept them. In these fateful moments for art and science, poetry turns its head indifferently or fearfully from the unseen growth of technological civilization, beginnings of conquering cosmos, discoveries of mesons, antimatter, quasars, the secrets of proteins, protoplasm, light, nitrogen and carbon, biochemical and physiological processes in plant tissues, karyokinesis. The breakthrough of science into the heart of matter (living - genetics, dead - nuclear physics) and the heart of universe (radio astronomy and astrophysics) not only failed to get closer, but even moved scientist more away from artist. Ancient ages, however, did not know for this huge and seemingly unbridgeable gap between science and poetry. Creating giant cosmogonies, encompassing in their poems the destiny of entire world (universe); Hesiod, Empedocles, Parmenides and Lucretius were at the same time poets, philosophers and scientists. It was not before the Middle Ages and alchemists, when scientific disciplines stepped on the hard soil of rationalism, building their own picture of the world and their language, that that gap became complete. Developments of chemistry and physics led, by the end of nineteenth century, to a shattering of Boltsman's mechanist picture of the world and breaking down the magnificent, but basically simple and one-sided vision of macro- and micro cosmos built on atom as a „compact indivisible“ particle. Somewhat later on, with adopting Planck's quantum theory and Einstein's special and general theory of relativity, formal-logical and rationalistic structure of scientific spirit, cherished for centuries, was shaken. Finally, by De Broglie's waves of matter, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and more recent discoveries in biology (structure and role of protoplasm and proteins in living matter, relation of discontinuity quantum phenomena with mutation, role of genes and chromosomes in formation of living organisms), science has almost approached the sources of the irrational. Modern scientists-visionaries made, in creation of magnificent hypotheses about matter (living and dead) and universe, in traveling into the unknown, into transcendental, perhaps the first step toward getting poetry and science closer, accepting one of the basic instruments of poetry - imagination. Yet, scientific mind shackled by logic formulas can not solve itself the basic mysteries of matter and universe, no matter how much it liberates itself from those shackles: origin of life, protein, creation of matter, origin of universe. For new breakthroughs into the unknown a new unity of poetry and science is needed.
2. POETICAL VISION OF THE UNITY OF MAN, MATTER AND UNIVERSE
Poetry coupled with science (poetical science), accepting way of thinking of scientist and modern prophet, adopting from science its exactness and from poetry its analogy and sense for the irrational, will be able to explain to us paradoxes of matter and to solve the secret of creation. It will have, first of all, to break with tyranny of feelings and with needs of hearts. To renounce self-lauding and futile posing questions, whether this time needs it or not. Such as it is now it is absolutely unnecessary. Coupled with science, reading and deciphering the new pages of universe, poetry will not pose questions about the sense of its existence any more. Having accepted imagination from romanticist, as a creative instrument and sense for the miraculous, new poetry must stand in all other things on the positions absolutely opposed to the position of Romantism and various forms of modern Neo-Romantism. In that sense there will also exist its endeavours for a gradual de-subjectivization of poetical picture. It strives to clear away with the narcissoid and insufficiently justified right of poet to be a constant and sovereign object of poetry. Poetical science will equalize man (as an object of poetry) with things, nature, chemical, biochemical and physiological processes, living and dead substances, giving advantage neither to him nor to his relationships with nature, placing him and assigning him a place in all we mark as universe. Subduing abstract scientific scheme and symbol to an avalanche of new language and new form, bringing all his mind in a state of activity where all abilities - those of scientist, poet and alchemist - are dependent on each others, shattering by his, extremely zealous imaginative consciousness a major part of scientific, logical and rationalist basis, the new poet will be able to create a vivid poetical picture, a new vision of the world, to open unimagined roads of poetical science from the dead scheme and dry formula, by a method of intuitive synthesis. Only so understood and realized, new poetry will be the highest act of thought having before it man, matter and universe as a riddle.
3. VERHAAREN, RENE GHIL, FUTURISTS
All previous attempts of getting poetry closer to science - Emil Verhaaren, scientific poetry of Rene Ghil and, on a special plane, futurists and neo-futurists - declined due to inability of poets to realize a synthesis of poetical and scientific language, i.e. to penetrate deeper into linguistic system of science by poetry. Whereas Verhaaren and futurists accepted just external marks of new technological civilisation - aeroplane, automobile, phonograph, electrical light, machines as an object of poetry - Rene Ghil widened too much the circle of sciences ready to synthesise with poetry, including there also sociology and history, and so he has lost himself in the labyrinths of numerous and non-related scientific disciplines.
A bit more careful linguistic examinations enable us to discern several languages in one linguistic system. First of all, daily (practical) and emotional, and then poetical and scientific ones. The essential thing that makes different the daily and emotional language from the poetical and scientific ones is communicability. With poetical and scientific language the communicability is brought down to a minimum. The science itself, such as we have it, is just a very complex linguistic system. The foundations of this linguistic system - newly created words, notions and symbols, were posed by an abrupt development of science three to four hundred years ago. The past refreshing of poetical language was done mainly on the sources of practical and emotional language. Language of science was neglected, to say the least. Basic goal of new poetry is penetrating that linguistic system. Function of scientific language is usually exhausted in exact-logical formulations, symbols, hypothesis and laws. To poetical language an esthetical function is essential. To deprive scientific language of its exact-logical function and to move it toward esthetical-irrational radiations would mean to succeed in one of the ways of realization of new poetry.
MANIFESTO OF SIGNALISM
(Theses for a general attack on the current poetry)
1.1.1. The world of science is not, according to some, a world of beings either, but only of quantified regularities, skilful linguistic constructions and hopeless squaring of human mind.
1.1.2. If science is a language then it is a language of the very essence of the world.
1.2. CURRENT POETRY
1.2.1. The things and beings of the current poetry do not speak in their own language. In the dialogue with the world and time they use language of poet exclusively.
1.2.2. Laws of the language of poet are laws of the things and beings of current poetry.
1.2.3. The fact that that language is modified immediately after establishing its relationship with reader's conscience does not diminish the importance of the former conclusion. In the vertical and horizontal hierarchy of languages, (languages of readers, languages of the moments of reading), the language of poet spoken by things and beings of poem serves as a basis for all future linguistic superstructures conditioned by establishing a relationship between that language through things and beings of poem and consciousness of each reader separately.
1.2.4. This language, originated by mixing the language of poet through poem and the language of readers through their intensified consciousness, means a language of a moment, hard determinable temporally and spatially, basically a language with atomized and exclusive impact only on the senses of one subject, we mark as a language of the current poetry.
1.3. PRIVATIZATION OF POETRY
1.3.1. The language of the current poetry is not universal.
1.3.2. The language of the current poetry is private and exclusive.
1.3.3. From Romanticism until today poetry has been becoming more and more private.
1.4.1. Poem is outside of poet: in processes, in relationships of things and beings of the universe.
1.4.2. Poem is in the world. Poem is a happening of the world.
1.5.1. Poetry is the highest form of the world's existence.
1.6. FREEDOM OF POEM
1.6.1. New poetry demands an absolute freedom of poem.
1.6.2. This freedom is implied in relation to poet as well as to the world the poem originates from.
1.7.1. Language is anything this facilitates the creation of a poem.
1.7.2. By means of language the poem leaves the formlessness of things and processes in the nature, and begins its dialogue with the universe.
17.3. The language of the signalist poetry must be a product of two combined forces: the poem as a way in which the world occurs, and of the poet as being inhabiting that very world, a \being without whom the poem cannot become independent and begin its dialogue with the universe.
1.8. THE LANGUAGE ENERGY
1.8.1. Signalist poetry will mean total release of the language energy.
1.8.2. In the existing poetry, the process of releasing this energy is slow and oxidative. The breaking of the basis of language matter down to its molecules (words) and atoms (letters), will bring about reflexive processes of fission and fusion of the different elements of the language being (additive, graphic, and other manifold radiation of words) as well as total release of the language energy.
1.8.3. The potential language energy is measurable
1.9. THE ROLE OF THE LANGUAGE
1.9.1. The inexpressible in objects, beings, matter processes and their mutual relation attempts to be transmitted by a language arising from the symbiosis of the poet language, the machine language and the not-yet-realised poem language.
1.10. A POSSIBLE DETERMINATION FO SIGNALIST POETRY
1.10.1. Signalist poetry can be determined either as a combined activity of the poet and the machine, or as an activity of the poet only, enabling the poem to go out from the formlessness of things and processes with the world by means of the language (and the graphic form).
1.10.2. Objects and beings in signalist poetry must speak the language of the universe.
1.10.3. In the subsequent process between the being of the poem and the essence of the world, the poet and the machine are but catalysts.
1.11. THE LIMITS OF THE LANGUAGE
1.11.1. The poet must continuously expand limits of the existing language, for to expand the limits of language is to expand the limits of the world. And the poem is imbedded in the very structure of the world. It is a way in which the world occurs.
a) The term signalism derives from the Latin signum (sign). Signalism is an avant-garde creative movement whose aim it is to affects and revolutionize all the arts, introducing the kind of thinking that is common to exact science and initiating new processes in the field of culture by means of radical experiments and method within a permanent creative revolution influenced particularly by the technological civilization, the sign civilization, the increasing use of science and scientific methods and the emergence of the computer. These factors are considered as new creative instruments, inspirers of creative ideas and aids in their implementation. b) Signalism stands for absolute experimentation in all the arts. c) Signalism requires the experimenting artist to base his thinking and activity on postulates and method of the exact science. It is only in so doing that we can reinvest the art with its original concreteness and truthfulness, while at the same time destroying all the sediments of mystique and mystification that have been gathering on it for centuries, finally to render it completely unable to follow the increasingly rap [id development of human society, d) The fact that the avant-garde of our times is based on a scientific and not artistic approach (contrary to certain previous epochs) must by no means discourage the artists; still less must it make him resist or fight science and the new technological civilization. Any struggle against science is doomed in advance, for it is struggle against man himself.
a) In the general inflation of the spoken and written wore, of writing and thinking in the form of linguistic cannonade and babble, in the general inflation of linguistic myth mania and mystification, signalism will - in literature, and, more specifically, in poetry - aim at an utter linguistic reduction go the word to the bare sign. (This referees to signals poetry in the narrow sense of the word).
b) In the rejuvenation of poetry and the language, signalism will make use of all available means offered by the technological civilization, from the computer, through application of mathematical and other exact method to disintegrate the current linguistic system and way of thinking, to the abolition for the language itself (language being a written, national, closed system of communication),gradually introducing mathematical and other exact-science symbols as the solely universal and solely possible language of the new civilization.
c) By abolishing national language and the present-day flood of the written already worn-out, imprecise and non-informative work, and by introducing the graphic ideogram based on mathematical and other exact-science symbols whose meaning has not been devaluated, signalism will - in the field of literature in general and poetry in particular - make for totally new and unforeseen faculties of expression.
1.1.1. METHODS AND CLASSIFICATION OF SIGNALIST POETRY
1.1.1. Signalism in the narrow sense
1.1.2. Computer poetry
1.1.3. Aleatoric (or stochastic) poetry
1.1.4. Statistical poetry
1.1.5. Permutational, combinative and variative poetry
1.1.6. Scientific poetry
1.1.7. Technological poetry
1.1.8. Signals kinetic and phonetic poetry
1.1.9. Signals manifestations
1.1.1. Signalist poetry in the narrow sense dispenses with the word and takes up the letter as the basic means of expression. By breaking the language down to its atoms (i.e. letters), signalism endeavours to release the new and hitherto unknown language energy.
1.1.2. Computer poetry results from co-operation with a computer. Depending on the degree and manner of co-operation between the artist and the computer, there exist several methods and kinds of computer poetry, thus:
1.2.1. CP without the author's final intervention
1.2.2. CP with interventions of varying degrees
1.2.3. non-mechanical mathematical creation based on computer produced language material
1.2.4. poetic creation based on computer produced language material
1.2.5. Visual CP based on programming of letters and signs.
1.1.3. The following three categories of poetry may be jointly defined, in terms of this classification, as mathematical poetry. Such poetry is inspired or created by the application or with the aid of certain mathematical methods and means of creation. Of the three, the closet o computer poetry is aleatoric or stochastic poetry, which is the result of computer and mathematical methods being applied (in combination with each other) on language material
1.1.4. Statistical poetry is created by the application of certain basic principles of statistics and the theory of probabilities; specifically, it is created the use of random-figure tables in breaking the current poetic-language systems.
1.1.5. Permutational, combinative and variative poetry is created by the use of methods of mathematical combinatory.
1.1.6. In scientific poetry, the poet uses data from various sciences and presents them to the reader (or spectator) either verbatim or with slight poetic interventions. The result thus presented is an entity in its own right, a sum of not only scientific but also aesthetic information.
1.1.7. Technological poetry. In his endeavours to freshen the poetic language, the poet may utilize certain external phenomena and signs common to the consumer society (abbreviations, advertising slogans etc.) his poetic interventions invest them with new meaning.
1.1.8. Signalist kinetic and phonetic poetry dispenses with the word and the letter as a means of expression and introduces pure sign, mime, movement, light effects, sounds, objects, colored surfaces.
1.8.1. Aesthetic manifestation of the poetic machine Zvezdozor (Star Refractor).
1.8.2. Products of the poetic machine Signatvor (sign Maker).
1.8.3. Signalist projects
1.8.4. Signalist objects
1.1.10. Signalist manifestations. All kind of group or individual manifestations of signalist poetry.
COMPUTER POETRY is obtained collaboration with electronic calculators. Depending on the degree and way of collaboration between artists and calculator there can be more types and methods of this poetry. Course of working with digital computer:
3. Food-entrance organ
4. Machine creation
5. Machine production
6. Poet's intervention
7. Poet's creation
Preparation as the first phase of working with digital computer consists of collecting the words and texts required for fabrication of poetry. Group of words can contain varied quantities of: nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, conjunction etc., or it may contain quantity and types of words already determined in advance, which suits some exact measures and preceding tests of the language in which the poetry is going to be fabricated. group of words prepared for fabricating the poetry can be just accidental (selection from various texts without any advance established idea, words taken from dictionary in a order or by random selection, words suggested by collaborators : technicians, operator, stenographer etc.) Most often, that group of words and symbols is determined in advanced, first of all as per the poet's idea he has fort the final machine product.
Digital computer works only with programmed. Without programme machine cannot execute any operation. It is dead. Program is group of orders on the basis of which machine solves the problems. „Programming represents process of jotting down algorithm in form of final group of orders (instructions) of the universal automatic.“ (Gluskov)
The machine can not receive its „food“ required for creation in form of words, series of words of sentences, as we use them in speech and writing. Data given to the calculator for processing relate to logical mathematical forms. The numerical system of solving problems is universal, because with its help can be codified visual, sonic or any other information. A part of this translation from language and repertoire of symbols, we have already signified as „programming“. Calculator, however, does not operate the numbers in the literal sense of the term, In computer there are numbers, that is words, put as electric impulses, and all operations are executed thorough leaving the current through the network of conductor and circuit breaker. That is why the next operation in the working of computer which we have called as Food- in coming organ, consists of translation, that is coding, of food which we deliver to the computer in form of programmer, of perforation on the paper tapes with the help of special machine. /Only in the form of perforations on paper tracks the food can be put into the entrance organ of the computer, where it will be changed into electric impulses, „electrical language“, which the machine alone can „ understand“ and with the help of which alone can be solved given problems.
If the preceding action of collecting the material. formulation of idea, processing of programme. Feeding of machine, it means all that depended on the creator, on the man, was relatively long and painstaking, computer does its part in creation of work (machine creation) quickly and faultlessly. There is no delay; no indecision all is played in short period of time, as per the precise formulated laws of machine's logic. Immediately on entering the machine the perforated tracks passes through the „reader“ (photocells) which translate the perforations into electric impulses? Electric impulses then got the memory of the machine where these are put to be used later during the work. Arithmetical organ is the part of the machine which performs calculating and logical operations. All these operations are performed on the basis of so-called binary mathematical system and are carried out as per basic calculation work. Controlling and commanding organ regulates the automatic work of computer and sends results to the exit organ.
Under the machine production is understood whole lingual material (all variants), which the computer, after machine creation (permutation and joining of words, groups of words, parts of sentences, words) throws out. Before the author, in that connection, remain two alternatives. First is to choose one part, one or more variants of machine production and that presents them as finished worked or art without any intervention, the final collection of aesthetic information. In such a case, the artist's work would be exhausted in preceding task : collecting words, repertoire o symbols, groups of works, programming and in the final phase choosing the variants of parts of machine product.
Second alternative to the artist is intervention. Here we will talk of intervention taken in the strict sense of the term so as to differentiate with other types of poet's interventions in the computer's lingual material : out of machine mathematical creations and poet's creations. This type of intervention limits itself, first of all, to selection of one variant of machine production or de-variant, combining of parts of various variants, throwing in of successful connections of words from the rejected variants into the selected variant, throwing in of conjunctions, here and there now wooers and connections which didn't pass through the machine, transfer and reason of words and connections, changes in grammatical forms and genders of words and eventual classing into lines. (verses).
In this method of work poet is inspired and creates by and with the lingual material which the machine has offered him. Here, primarily, the machine appear as a helper in breaking the language, in breaking those flowing-poetic and usual - logical sequence of human thoughts. The machine breaks the language and warns the poet of all possible after-effects or a total experiment. Its warning is in fact invitation and demand for such an experiment. By the method of machine the poet, again from the broken language, whose improbability has been considerably enhanced, organizes a new language sharpening its aesthetic-informative value.
September – December 1969.
SIGNALIST POETRY PROPER
1. One of the principal tasks of signalist poetry proper (visual poetry) is to overcome verbal poetic expression.
2. This kind of poetry aims at a gradual de-verbalisation and de-semantics of poetry.
3. Given the new communication system where the written (national) language loses an increasingly great deal of its importance, it is quite natural for the poet, facing a language incapable of ensuring universal communication (the kind required by the electronic era),to resort to the more universal and considerably more communicative visual language.
4. Abolishing the current languages with all their shortcomings, signalist poetry will, in the new technological era, come to exercise a direct effect through purely visual and phonic means.
5. Although cases of visualized poetry and texts in general can be found earlier in the history of many nations cultures and literatures (in this country : the highly expressive mediaeval manuscripts, Zaharije Orfelin and other mannerists of the Serbian baroque, Đorđe Marković-Koder in the 19th century, Secession early in this century, and, between the two world wars, Dadaist Dragan Aleksić, Zenitist Ljubomir Micić and surrealists Marko Ristić and Dušan Matić with their poetic collages), signalist poetry is in fact a phenomenon and a mode of expression peculiar to our times and to the man of the new technological civilisation.
6. What makes certain artists - notably writers - view the new poetry with much hesitation and suspicion is its hybrid nature, for signalist poetry is no longer poetry, in the usual, traditional sense of the world. Abandoning language (write, national language) and seeking a mode of expression in the use of signs and vocal - visual elements, signalist poetry approaches, and consumes a great deal of, design (graphic and otherwise),music and - not frequently - other art forms.
7. the rapprochement between the new poetry and other art forms has made for its gradual transcending of traditional forms of literary communication. In addition to appearing on the pages of books and magazines, signalist poetry is printed in the form of posters, exhibited, performed (signalist manifestations), recorded on tape and wax (signalist phonetic and phonic poetry) and produced by means of lighting effects of machines constructed specially for the purpose (signalist kinetic poetry).
8. In view of all this, the new poetry requires a new type of reader: not a passive consumer of finalized poetic messages, but an intelligent and congenially creative player of a spiritual game in which final results depend, among other things, on the possibility of combining given elements and on the „reader“ himself being inspired.
9. The letter, space and their interactions are the basic operative units of the new textual structures.
10. The blank space becomes a special reading value (verbal-visual value) in experimental texts.
11. The living space of signalist poetry is three-dimensional. As different that of the current (traditional) poetry, which is one-dimensional.
12. The communicative - and at the same time, poetic-value of the letter in the new verbal-visual structure of a signalist text, where space also becomes a principal parameter of semantic determination, equals (and often surpasses) its sign value in the current language.
13. In addition to letters or whole words as surpassing structures, the expanse of a signalist poem can also be filled with other signs, electronic, technical and other symbols, drawings, collage, photographs etc., which exist in the defined space of the poem creating verbal-visual meta/linguistic constellations.
GESTURE SIGNALIST POETRY
Signalist manifestations, action poetry, poetry in process, poesia publica, happening poetry, gesture poetry - call it as you will - is one of new modes of poetic expressions. Within the spectrum of the various currents collectively termed SIGNALISM, gesture poetry would be situated at the extreme avant-garde left. The gesture poet creates freely in space, making use of various elements - from verbal and visual through to sonorous - in the process. What becomes poetic language here is a conglomeration of verbo-voco-visual elements in process. This kind of signalist poetry abolishes all boundaries between poetry, theatre, happening and concrete everyday action. In and buy means of it, the poet becomes an inalienable part of his act of creation and his whole being becomes indulged in the informative effect (or radiation) of the poem. As a means of communication in its own right, gesture signalist poetry cannot be interpreted in terms of current poetic-linguistic categories. Being based principally on gesture and sign and expanding the boundaries of language considerably above and beyond the fixed, defined and partially already explored areas of poetic speech, gesture signalist poetry calls for broader semiological interpretations as well.
SIGNALIST VISUAL POETRY - A NEW LITERARY DISCIPLINE
Signalist visual poetry is now well-established as a separate new literary discipline, not only within signalism as a broader movement but also within literature as a whole. This has been possible for various reasons, First of all, signalist visual poetry - despite a certain historical continuity (the existence of visual texts and visual poetry in ancient Greece and Rome as well as in mediaeval literature, European baroque literature, Apollinairre's Caligrammes and the work of Dadaists, futurists and surrealists)- is a product of the electronic civilization, the civilization of the image, the sign, the poster, TV, the video cassette, the new printing techniques, the telecommunication satellites and other forms of the technological society increasingly drawn together no planet-wide basis, a society that knows of no linguistic or national borderlines and the artificial barriers put up by the small, closed-in and neurotic literatures burdened by traditionalist myth manias. While we have seen that is has been presents in man's mind ever since the very dawn of civilisation, signalist visual poetry proper was born in the civilization of our times, which abandons the old and slow modes of communication in favour of mass media. In other words, this kind of poetry comes into being at a crucial point in the development of technological and social forces, and that it is precisely this new society - less and less concerned with the national and more and more with the planetary - that will make for its full expansion the almost immediate future. Other reasons making for the emergence of signalist poetry are to be found in the elements that have replaced the language. In visual poetry these are letters, signs, various graphic symbols, photographs and collage. In phonic poetry, these are the sound and the voice. In gesture poetry, these are action and gesture. Breaking the ossified, molecular structure of the current poetic language, this type of poetry takes us away from the linguistic strata of the partially explored and known picture of the world and into more profound areas of a still-closed, still-unexplored universe of the sign and semiology. Thus-by destroying and removing the intermediary of language - it draws us closer to objects and beings, or rather to their essence. At the same time, it serves as the sole ray of hope in times saturated with repeated verbal explosions, more-of -the same times leading towards non-identity which threatens to throw us, at any moment, into the teeth of absence and tedium, into death itself for there can be no real life in the monuments when „reality turns literary“ while „literature degenerates and turns unreal“. In these times and in this moment, the sign is perhaps the sign of the being itself at its still unpredictable semiological level. Visual facts and the increasingly exact structure of the new planetary and signalist thought are profoundly and necessarily opposed to all that is semantic and mythical in man's multi-stratum being. Numerous questions have multiplied in the quasi-prophetic ecstasies of traditionalist literature while no answers have been supplied. Man has already reached the point of resignation where he is compelled to stop speaking and thinking, thoroughly entangled in his own network of verbal mystifications. It may be well be that only the art of such people as will with their entire complex rational and sensory structure and without waste of energy be fused together into a single planetary Being made more exalted by powerful impulses of thought infinitely more vibrant and senses infinitely more receptive, will be able to furnish answers to some long-posed questions and to express certain more relevant truths. Turned now to the logos, for „logo is always in the existence, and as such it is the source of discovering the truth“, leaving behind all the former paraphernalia of literature (particularly its language, since language „autonomies and becomes an independent realm - a world within the world - constituting a reality into itself; discoursing, in turns its black to the universe“),signalist visual poetry and other forms of signalist literature are the first heralds of a future mass-media art transmitted by powerful means of information whose principal aim will be to expand human sensory consciousness and which will cease to be the privilege of certain classes and elites. The old aspects of magical -religious art and the present aspects of reality-presenting art, created for centuries and transmitted by one -directional and inefficient means (oral transmission followed by Gutenbergian alphabet-civilization) will soon disappear. Already the thought processes are determine by an exceedingly rapid development and efficiency of man's aids-machines-in an in intercommunicative civilization which adopts the image as its fetish and its principal language of communication. The currents of images, the currents of a new iconic language of the unified and all-embracing electronic civilization will flow together to form a phantasmagorical river of future planetary and signalist thought.
Communication (1. communication) transmitting, transmission, connection. Behaviour, intercourse, contact, traffic, traffic artery. communicative (1.communicativus) transferable, which is easily transmitted to others, communicable, giving information readily; talkative, accessible. Community (1. communitas) fellowship, inclination for fellowship; common good. Communicate (1. communicare) communicate, communize, make common, report, impart, announcement, present (or reveal) to the public; be in touch with someone, correspond, interchange, Communicatio idiomatum (1. communicatio idiomatum) juncture of divine and human characteristics. Communication is contained in the very essence of the being. It is one of the basic elements and factors of its existence, and undoubtedly the measure of the evolution from primary, rudimentary consciousness on a powerful consciousness on a planetary scale. I communicate, ergo I exist, ergo I create. The nature of communication is multilateral in the most profound sense of the word. It is socio-historical as well as exact and artistic and - and its most intimate and human aspect - subjective. Its methods, its strength and its weakness are the closed circles of communities, of societies interconnected in terms of time, space, religion, language and technology, of oases of beings bound firmly together by invisible but well-nigh unbreakable threads. Is the lifeblood and nervous system of a highly complex organism, but at the same time its insidious disease which will destroy it immediately upon realising that the organism has become self-sufficient, thereby preventing further expansion of communication. Its means are individual stairs in the staircase of civilization. Communication is the foundation stone and nutriment of man's discoveries, a fairly-tale monster that devours itself only to be reborn ever-larger and ever more insatiable. In signalist communication, whose principal air it is to make it possible for us to explore the being in disagreement with the entropic coldness of all that surround us (time, objects, establishment and laws) is the purpose of signalism as a particular way of thinking. The signalist is being of the future, the being of a future permanently conquered anew, of the very same future awaiting it on the border posts of the blue planet, or the already visible future in the planetary orbits, or thee still dreamed-of future hidden in the dark depths of the frightening galaxy. Where are then the limits to this growing communicability of the signalist phoenix that feeds on the ashes of its own soul and whose thought is engaged in a never-ending dialectical play? Where are the boundaries of that being relentlessly driven towards new conquests and caught in the neurotic convulsion of the information explosion working on a feedback basis? They do not exist, or rather they are unpredictable just as the boundaries of thought are unpredictable. Thought paves the way for the being. It is the perpetual explorer penetrating beyond the borders of the visible and the tangible, beyond the borders of comparative peace and order, to reach the worlds yet to be conquered. The crisis of traditional and classical art is primarily the crisis of thought. The inability to break out of the vicious circle of definite systems of values and knowledge, the inability to „create new propositions of art“ (Kosuth), confine the being of the artists to the futile spaces of the known, expected, unthought-of and repeated. The artist's consciousness becomes in this case a machine reproducing superseded thinking - or rather, reproducing what used to be thinking until it lost the ability to explore and discover. The signalist thought opens the say to a new-civilization visual and total-communication being, a being of the play and signs, of planetary consciousness and profoundly intuitive an highly intellectual capacities. It is the power of informative and conquering communication radiating the multi laterality of its progress towards things and truths not only given but also marked by our hard patient exploratory experience. Herein lie the endless possibilities of this being in the sphere of the arts, a sphere free from any strict purposefulness of limited space, perishable material, dull historical curiosities and the reducible moments of the commonplace. Art dematerializes and begins to occur; more goes out into the world - what fits in the picture of the visible world of facts and things (this has hitherto meant objects of, i.e. art given modelled in any material) - is now only a document, an instruction project, a verbal, visual, auditory, or tactile description of the artist's thought process. This is where we reach the moment the signalist thought identifies with what we had termed as art; the two find a common point in the permanent exploration of the nature of being and the nature of art in the depth of the uncertain and the vague, progressing towards and invisible destination which is blurred but the watchful eye of the death, but which may well turn out to be only a new and exciting beginning crowned with a chaste halo of infinity.
EXACT LANGUAGES AND BIRTH OF VISUAL POETRY IN SIGNALISM
In the manifesto „Poetry - science“ (Manifesto of poetical science) in the year 1968, basic assumptions of early phase of Signalism (Scientism) were emphasized: antitraditionalism, antisubjectivism, striving for a synthesis of poetry and science, researching work in language. Some of this also represents essential innovations in our poetry in general. Anti-Romanticism is a basis of militant signalist activism, its opposing to disguised and renovated traditionalism in Serbian poetry. For Signalism, time of Romanticism in literature is past irreversibly, along with Surrealism as its peak. In that sense poetry must be desubjectivized, and the emphasized I of previous schools and directions must appease itself considerably and lose some of its conspicuous narcissism. Poet is not a prophet (vates) any more who calls upon gods and utters in high voice „the most profound truths“ of this world. He is just one of particles of the universe, gifted with consciousness, thinking, desire for cognition and imagination whereby he reveals gradually secrets of the universe. He can not go alone to the way to the unknown any more, he must couple with scientist, and rely his imagination on scientific discoveries and cognitions. Only poetry and science, scientist and poet, can conquer, build up, think through planetary and start set off to the cosmic, to the unpredictable. The cosmic is still a darkness, abyss, death. Behind the curtain of darkness and cold enormous and unconceivable torments of matter and energy, cosmic radiations, destroying and building forces, frozen or hot unknown worlds are awaiting. Death is as real there as space and time are, the latter two not representing just a Kantian a priori form of comprehension. They ceased to be abstract and absolute, a spiritual construction. They become a place of building, wandering, life. They are a part of human experience and not some „function of universe“. Space and time are not defined any more, they are researched. One sets off to a researching campaign with a newly conquered language. It has been found partly in the language of science. Language is a main factor of that synthesis, of that action of wandering and researching. Fresh and unspent, turned to the future, a language that multiplies itself along with spaces. Keys and ways are found to revive formulas, symbols, in order to imagine into a new poetical and linguistic being. Suddenly all becomes so wonderful behind the darkened curtain of light years, under evasive events in micro world. The language of exact sciences is vivid and changeable. It grows with every new thing, new particle of universe. Created are new words, new notions, marked and named are new, just observed inhabitants of that invisible world. Firstly proton and electron, then neutron, antineutron, neutrino, ka-meson, pi-meson, collide, wander in their little closed spaces. They are alive, they move, their behaviours should be monitored. Every their new movement, state, is a relationship and new word, notion, mark, information. The grammar of science changes continually as well as poetical grammar. Languages of poetical science conquer spaces, the cosmic ones as well as those spiritual. But not languages (words, sentences, speech) only and exclusively. For science and poetry are not just arranged syntactically and by grammatical, imaginative and other rules determined chains and sequences of words any more. They are also graphs, drawings, signs, descriptions of paths, graphemes of dissipated letters, explosive syntagms, a chaos of roads, the knitting, pictures, meanings. Language of poem and language of research has widened, extended, drawn out from its tight suit of words, sense, order, negentropy and stepped into the yet non investigated kingdom of sign and semiology. Its drawing out from verse, from word, happened gradually, with stuttering and with troubles. There were firstly calligramm pictures, then numbers, mathematical symbols, function graphs, equations. Word was condensing, disappearing and reappearing like a transformed exact symbol, a graph that flows windingly and freely in all directions instead of verse, of sentence. The entire space of page is being conquered for a poem. Poem becomes free completely in that space where it is enabled to radiate its energy in all directions. Poetical language has, therefore, spread considerably having penetrated and seized exact linguistic systems, permeating with diagrams, numbers, exact symbols, with all that science operates and communicates with. Here one would look actually for the roots of signalist visual poetry and the first steps of shattering the language into the letter and sign totalities, where poem loses its previous basic existential-semantic structure. Language is split in a radical, but precise, refined chemical process of spirit and consciousness. Its foundation are breaking down. The elements joined closely thus far tear away slowly and begin to hover freely and radiate in space, poem, joining into new, unpredicted and unpredictable totalities, quite opposed to previous linguistic and poetical experience. The things have not stopped, however, just on this and such widening of poetical language. Already in the second manifesto of Signalism it was emphasized explicitly that language is all that makes a poem possible. Thus, it seems, the notion of languages usable for building of poetry has been extended to ultimate limits. It will later on, in the third manifesto „Signalism“ (1970), get more precise formulations, when also signalist kinetic, phonic, object and gesture poetries are formulated beside the visual one.
FRAGMENTS ON SIGNALISM (I)
1. TECHNICAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND HISTORICAL CONSCIOUSNESS
According to Max Bense technical consciousness in our time replaces Hegel's historical consciousness, for beside the classical world of mater and energy also information and communication has been opened to the world.
2. ON THE NEW FUNCTION OF ART
In the new technological era art will not disappear; its function, however, will be radically transformed. From the primary magic-religious function, through the modern-age reality-presenting art of the future, with all the things that the electronic civilization offers as well as the completely new technological reality, it will become „an instrument for the modification of human consciousness and fort the organization of new kinds of sensibilities“.
3. SIGNALISM AND TRADITION
Avant-garde (signalist) art is in such a position that is completely dispenses with tradition. What is this reflected in? Primarily in a different comprehension of the function of art. Signalist are, besides presenting new ideas, especially concerned with widening the human sensory awareness. For these reasons this new art is in its being non-didactic and experimental, in the sense in which exact sciences are experimental. If we notice the claim of some philosophers and theorists that man is a being of tradition and that he will, as such, always oppose fiercely to a radical denying of tradition, for he considers every change and attack of such kind to be an attack on his spiritual and real existence and conformity, than understandable are, to an extent, also the frontal and severe attacks on Signalism and new revolutionary ideas brought by it, first of all, in the area of using machines and mathematical models for creation of art.
4. THE BEING OF SIGNALIST ART
The phenomenon of signalist art as total art leads us into a labyrinth of new visions of planetary absoluteness of a being liberated from everything which we characterize as traditionalistic and didactic art. A being whose sensory apparatus is turned to the reception of the subtlest impulses and tremors of the aero-cosmic and ecological vitality. A being unburdened by formal-materialistic and linguistic impossibilities. A being-consciousness whose meta-lingual communication exceeds everything we are able at this moment to imagine. Being-and-not only-that wave-signal intertwined interdependent, logically imperceptible and inexhaustible aesthetic information. A being-universe.
5. ON LUDIC BASIS OF SIGNALISM
The basis of Signalism is Ludism. That Ludism has its two essential aspects in Signalism. It can be mathematical programmed Ludism (theory of probability, cybernetic machines, statistics, mathematical tables of accidental numbers), mathematical combinatorics and intuitive Ludism of spontaneous creative mind. We consider, however, that to Signalism and signalist creative methods the closest is a combination of intuitive Ludism with mathematical one, where initial impulses and even particular products of the latter can serve outstandingly well as a basis for further superstructuring combinations of intuitive Ludism.
6. CURRENT (TRADITIONAL) AND SIGNALIST (AVANT-GARDE) POETRY
Basic difference between current (traditional) and signalist (avant-garde) poetry is based on the fact that traditional poetry starts from already settled and established poetical values, while avant-garde poetry tends to affirm new values and especially itself as a value.
7. BASIC AIMS OF SIGNALISM IN POETRY
1. Demystification of poetical act and poet.
2. Acceptance of the new realities of technological civilization and especially of the role of man in electronic-planetary space of existence.
3. Abolishing of present poetical languages as means of literatural manipulations and mystifications.
4. Making use of all possibilities given by exact sciences beginning with using machines and special mathematical models and methods in creativity, to using already generally accepted exact symbols for creation of one universal meta-language.
5. Poetry must include and become a means of mass communication.
8. ON CREATION OF A NEW SPIRITUAL CLIMATE IN LITERATURE.
In its essence, signalist poem makes, at least partly, feverish efforts of all kinds to express aesthetical state of language whose perimeters have been drawn in the special atmosphere of technological and consumer civilization. (signs, abbreviations, instructions, advertisements). In negating grammar and syntax, negating some previous important stimuli of poem, emphasizing more and more constructivist elements combined with certain dose of intuitive Ludism, signalist poem creates a ground for a quite different climate in literature.
9. SIGNALIST WORK
A signalist work is an open work. It is an entire galactic system ready to endure all interventions without being destroyed. This self-creative characteristic of a signalist work is reflected not only in the case when different elements are added to expand it, but also when these elements are taken from it and it is reduced to a gesture, an idea a concept, even to „blank“ whiteness of a sheet of paper or an empty unmarked space. A signalist work, even in these extreme cases of dematerialization, destruction, de-verbalizitaion, de-phonization etc.., depending on the kind of art we are talking about, radiates its totality and indestructibility. On the other hand, by the indestructibility and self-creative characteristic we mean its multivalence, its plenitude of aesthetic values, hence the possibility offered to future epochs, by its inexhaustibility, multitude of meanings and associations and different, constantly new ways of widening the human sensory awareness, of attracting permanent attention.
10. CLASSIFICATION OF SIGNALIST POETRY
Signalist poetry represents a set of various experimental poetries and methods. All those poetries and methods we can classify into two main groups. In the first group are those that experiment in the frames of language and the verbal, not including visual and other elements.
1. Aleatory or stochastic poetry
2. Statistical poetry
3. Technological poetry
4. Permutational, combinational and variational poetry
5. Scientistic poetry
6. Phenomenological poetry
7. Slang poetry
8. Computer poetry (the part realized by means of machine but in language)
In the second group are those poetries and methods that include some linguistic elements, operating with signs, or include not only the verbal but also visual and vocal elements. That part of signalist poetry we can also call semiological poetry because of its radical steps out beyond the limits treated by current literature so far, abandoning linguistic area and entering an area almost completely unexamined from a literatural standpoint, an area of sign and semiology. Kinds and methods of semiological poetry: 1. Signalist visual poetry 2. Sonic and cynetic poetry 3. Computor poetry (the part operating with letter-sign elements)4. Signalist manifestation (gestual poetry)
11. ON THREE-DIMENSIONAL SPACE OF VISUAL POETRY
Verbal-visual phantasy of signalist poem exceeds much the limits we are used to in language. Learning to read in all directions we enter gradually new three-dimensional spaces of signalist visual poetry.
12. ON SUPER-NATIONAL METALINGUISTIC STRUCTURE OF SIGNALIST VISUAL POETRY
One of basic characteristics of signalist visual poetry is its non-national metalinguistic structure. This poetry does not know for the limits of national languages, a problem of translation does not exist for it any more, its language is universal and understandable to all poets of the world. It is opened and right because of that opening to the world , according to the well-known Italian poet Adriano Spatola, „new poetry has its first and enormous obstacle in national poetry. Various national poetries live off prejudices and are based, above all, on the opinion that translation is the only instrument of expansion to the other side of borders and customs. New poetry, as this poet says, is entrusted with an enormous task: to destroy nationalisms, to destroy every „private“ concession of culture...“
13. ON THE SPECIAL WORLD OF SIGNALIST (LINGUISTIC) POETRY
Signalist poetry realized in language, out-textual, external and object world supposes more and more its own inner linguistic world whose poetical space is determined with language itself, that becomes an exclusive object of poetry in this case, as well as with the special world created by that language. In that sense signalist poetry establishes also specific laws in the newly built space, based first of all on the modified laws of the used language.
14. ON RESEARCH IN THE NATURE OF POETRY
Entering the essence of language, and even abandoning some of its valid and most expressive functional-communicative elements in particular moments, Signalism researches the nature of poetry itself most comprehensively and essentially so far.
FRAGMENTS ON SIGNALISM (II)
The bases of cybernetics were posed by Norbert Wiener immediately after the World War II with the works: CYBERNETICS or control and communication in the animal and the machine and THE HUMAN USE OF HUMAN BEINGS (cybernetics and society).The very notion (term, name) cybernetics is derived by Wienner from the Greek word kybernetes = helmsman .The domain of interest of this science are not only living, but also non-living systems where mechanisms of an exchange of messages, information function. Cybernetics would be, according to generally accepted definition, a universal theory of steering and connection. There conditions of commanding machines, plants, producing and social processes are studied, and even the motion of living beings. So this theory has been posed in very wide aspects and it is enabled to cover almost all areas of human thought and action.*Cybernetics has not been created accidentally. It can be said it has rather long history and that it represents a result of overall development of science since the ancient cognition all the way to the most recent manifestations and courses in scientific thought. Cybernetics makes use of the experiences of previous researches in order to formulate quite new views and try to solve some of the fundamental questions of science and society. The most conspicuous are the experiences from the turn of the century, when mathematical theory of systems with a feedback as well as mathematical logic with an elaborated logic of discrete schemes. At that time Gauss' theory of probability gets an opportunity to be applied also in natural sciences and technics. An eminent role is played also by Markoff's theory of web, whereas the significance of Gibbs' idea of probability of the universe in the system of statistic mechanics will be noticed considerably later on.*There are two basic ideas and interpretations that cybernetics is based on, not only as a new exact science, but also as a specific view of the world with far-reaching effects on social sciences, philosophy and arts: an idea of a general theory of governing and relation, and an interpretation of cybernetics as a theory of organization, i.e. of a struggle with the cosmic chaos incarnated in the monstrous and continual growth of entropy.
American scientist Gibbs is especially meritorious for breaking down Newtonian solid and compact universe, where everything happens according to certain law and „where all future depends strictly on all past“. Gibbs' universe id characterized by disorder. It is not liable to some strict and eternal laws valid for all existing forms. It is determinable only by statistic criteria, probability and chance. Strict determinism has lost its ground here. Foundations of physics, and thereby also of entire world and universe are set on chance. Exact sciences have thus approached the sources of the irrational.
We comprehend society, all the world and universe by means of studying messages and means of communications. Future of man has been already determined in a way by development of system of messages and communication. Message is in basis of cybernetics. According to Wiener there is a broad area that encompasses not only study of language, but also study of messages as a means for governing machines and society with certain reflections on psychology and nervous system. A circumstance where a command (instruction, algorithm) is communicated to a machine is not different substantially from the state where a commandment has been said to a person. The one who directs commandment, if his consciousness is in question, is aware of the message he has directed and the signal returned to him. Quite irrelevant is whether the signal passed through some machine or person. It does not changes at all the relationship of the emitter and the signal. Therefore, Wiener concludes, theory of governing in technics, whether it relates to men, animals or machines, represents just one chapter of the theory of message.
ENTROPY According to the laws of thermodynamics, where principle of entropy holds, all the universe is approaching a thermal death.
Closed systems like universe tend to pass to a state of highest probability. From the state of organization and differentiation to a state of chaos and formlessness.
Statistics sheds a new light on the principle of entropy. Its laws determine general features of multitude, erasing individual destinies of constituent parts.
Thermodynamics is specific in its irreversibility of physical processes, i.e. the fact that thermodynamic processes proceed only in one direction. A course of the process in opposite direction is made impossible by the law of entropy. This one-wayness represents a basis of the Second law of thermodynamics.
As a substitution for thermodinamical one-wayness we take statistic probability.
The principle of entropy is a border, a borderstone separating the past from the future.
In an experiment known as Maxwell's demon a continual motion takes place whereby the Second law of thermodynamics is violated. Maxwell's demon has overcome here the tendency that leads to an increase in entropy.
Relating thermodynamic entropy to biological notion of organization, Schrödinger marked entropy as a measure of disorganization and opposed to it his own notion of negative entropy (negentropy) as a measure of order and organization.
Striking is the similarity of this Schrödinger’s ordinances of negative entropy with Shannon's entropy of information. By further observing of these analogies scientists have concluded that Maxwell's demon actually transforms information into negative entropy, into an order of system.
Deep is negenthropic sense of the process of metabolism.
With exchange of matters (metabolism) a living organism begins its desperate struggle against disorganization.
Death is a state of maximal entropy of a being.
Entropy is measure for disorder, chaos, disorganization.
Negative entropy (negentropy) is a measure for order.
By metabolic processes, which are, in fact, processes of life, organism absorbs negative entropy realizing a high level of order (organization) in that way. It fights at the same time against positive entropy, that struggle enabling it not to fall for a time into the state of maximal entropy.
HEURISTIC PROGRAMMING AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
In domain of study of automatics first of all are analogies existing between living beings and machines, processes that happen in different systems, whether they are mechanisms created my man, living organisms or human society as a whole.
Reactions of living beings are based on a very complex system of signalization and automatic regulation.
Homeostasis is an ability of organism to adapt itself to environment, establishing a constant equilibrium between organism and environment. The process by which we as living beings resist the universal current of corruption and decomposition dictated by entropy.
Homeostat - a machine that posses an ability of selforganizing, i.e. that itself is able to study and chose a solution depending on it.
Heuristic programming in modern cybernetics marks examination and attempt of creating an algorithm of functioning of brain and complex forms of psychic activities. It is a new discipline formulated in 1958 in Great Britain at a symposium for mechanization of thinking process, by scientists Minsky and McCay, who had posed the „problem of necessity of looking for new ways for examination and modelation of creative forms of brain work“.
In his work „On the Road of Creating Artificial Intellect“ Minsky tries to answer the basic problem of heuristics: what thinking is and what the specificity of creative forms of brain functioning consists of compared with the in cybernetics known processes of processing information.
Scientists predict construction of machines capable of self-reproduction in a very near future. So on the basis of the fact that computer is a machine that, given an instruction and a finite sequence of numbers, can continue infinitely the development of that sequence according to the added instruction, mathematician Neumann concludes, expanding the notion of universal automaton, that these will in a very near future, on the basis of appropriate program and other parts of machines, elements and aggregates, be able to produce automata similar to themselves. A British genetics has perfected the notion of reproductive machine, producing models that represent numerous analogies, but this time in the area of chemistry and biology, with living organisms. According to scientist Edward Moor, in several decades will already be created machines with capability of propagating, being economical at the same time.
Game is, in a mathematical sense, a formalized model of complex conflict situation.
Theory of games is a mathematical theory of conflict situations. It analyzes situations and deal with production of rules, algorithms for most favorable tactical action of player.
Feedback is considered to be a basic category of automatics. It represents a method of governing some system with using results and experiences of his previous actions.
Already has been noticed the coincidence of physical action of a living being (man) and some communication machines with regard to the endevours that entropy should be controlled by feedback.
The science dealing with analogies between biological and technical processes is bionics. It studies regulative systems in living organisms in order to apply their principles in machines.
Messages by which we act upon the environment we live (work) in are nothing but some kind of information we, as senders, direct to that environment. But we not only radiate, direct) information, we also receive the. External environment acts upon our senses by means of light, sound and other signals. These stimuli are transferred into the main center where after gathering information, their processing and selection man responds to the stimuli with certain reaction. Thus the mutual interaction between man and his external environment is realized on the basis of transfer, coordination, storing and using of information. To live efficiently, according to Wiener, means to be informed.
MACHINE AND THINKING
Very important is the fact that cybernetics is not a dogmatic science. The world it tries to explain by its own methods and principles has not been given for it once forever, but it is liable to dialectics of eternal becoming, to infinity of organized actions and reactions. That science emanates from an essentially different process of human thinking, entailed by electronic civilization. The latter also makes a maximal use of something that already exists in the very nature of man, so that it exceeds entropic inertion enabling him to act dynamically with attempts to create in his consciousness a picture of integrated, but not finite space, time as well as the world of facts and things.
Functionality of technological world is provided by products of „artificial thinking“. In its global structure (but still only in socio-economical) the world functions like a machine construed according to mathematical principles to which at times, but in ever shorter intervals, more and more perfect and complicated parts are added.
In the area of thinking, machines will first of all have a role of an instigator of thinking and creating, i.e. of a reinforcer of intelligence. They can be understood also as very complicated tools for realization of certain ideas and production of new aesthetic information. Machine will influence substantially on thinking in the future.
THEORY OF INFORMATION
Under information we imply all that gives data, or informs about some fact or some event. It shows itself to us as a „basic magnitude“, its quantity is measurable and can be expressed mathematically. It is mathematical models that the processes of information courses are studied by. Measure unit of information is bit, and it represents an „atom of communication“. It would be the least quantity of elements in one information arrived through channels to receptor (receiver), needed to be transformable to certain perception. Norbert Wiener calls information the contents of what we exchange with external world while we adapt to it and influence it by our adaptation.
Theory of information originated at solving the problem of electrical communications, transmission technique, especially photography. At the beginning it was related exclusively to study of transmission, procession and using signals in channel for communication, but later on its application has been expanded, by means of cybernetics, also to biological and social systems. Finally, information theory and cybernetic methods penetrate aesthetics too.
For information is characteristical that it is transferred by communication channel. Material bearers of information are actually signals. By means of encoding, ideas, thoughts are transformed into a system of communication signals. Decoding process is reverse and goes from signal (language, numbers, signs, letters, gestures, sounds) toward picture and thought. On that road through the channel of communication to the receiver where it is decoded, signal can be exposed to hindrances, white sounds, distortions. Understandability of the information will also depend on the degree of distortion.
Signal is a product of an event, object or phenomenon. Information, in fact, can not exist in other way than in a form of signal about something that has happened. Events, happenings are source of signals. They are, therefore, of a physical nature and are related to certain mass or energy. For Roland Barthes signal belongs to a group of „relates without psychical idea“, it is „immediate and existential“.
ENTROPY IN INFORMATION THEORY AND NEW AESTHETICS
Applied in information theory entropy denotes disorder, danger, chaos tending to destroy message, its meaning, to make impossible information, i.e. establishment of relation of emitter’s world with that of receiver. It is noticed first of all in communication channel where the message is influenced by various hindrances, white sounds, actually the entropy principle that tries to destroy it. As such, entropy is opposed to information. Information is actually a measure of order, where the informative contents of a message is given by the degree of its organization. By a greater organization of the message according to „a special order“, where it would go far, by means of „improbable systematization“, from probability, uniformity and „elementary chaos“, tended to even by the universe as a closed system, its informativity is also conditioned.>From this one could conclude that to a total information corresponds a zero entropy, and to increasing entropy a vanishing information. (As we will see later on the things with artistic works, when aesthetical, i.e. poetical information is in question).
The notion of entropy has not remained just in thermodynamics, i.e. physics and mathematics, beside cybernetics and information theory. This notion has been expanded recently also to linguistics, and also poetry. Significant place it holds also in new aesthetics.
New aesthetics uses mathematical and empirical working methods, it starts from some basic attitudes of cybernetics and information theory, orientating, mainly, to objective problems of art.
Aesthetical perception is marked, from the standpoint of new aesthetics, whose fundamental assumption have been elaborated by Abraham Moles, as a transfer and processing of information. This process is more complicated than with other kinds of perception and registering phenomena in receiver's consciousness. First of all, with aesthetical perception the participation of consumer is considerably more active. Although the quantity of information after the transfer by a communication channel is always lesser at the exit than at the entrance, the received signals can cause with the receiver greater quantity than that whose bearers, actually, they are. It is, according to Mol, made possible by previous information placed in the receiver's (consumer's) memory, activated and combined with the existing experience.
Redundancy shows itself as a measure of understandability of information. In fact, it is that excess, abundance of probabilities by which we burden an information at the very source in order to enable the message to reach the receiver complete. Understandability is here, therefore, a „quantitative notion“. Maximal unpredictability (originality) of message makes it nonunderstandable. Understandability, repetition, using always same sign, makes it equal with triviality.
All messages, especially artistic ones, represent a compromise between a maximal information of the unpredictable, original but non-understandable and the predictable, repetition, non-originality that is trivial and understandable. This would be, according to Abraham Moles, a fundamental dialectics of communication. Within certain limits of a linguistic system according to Umberto Eco, „redundancy is given by the entire totality of syntactic, orthographic and grammatical rules that begin to make up obligate intermedial points of a language“. Goals of Signalism would be, therefore, determined in advance by breaking down those linguistic rules within their official conditionings, but at the same time also in the frame of new systems and subsystems in building a signalist poet retains certain redundancy lest he make impossible completely aesthetical informativity and communicativity of his work..
SPACE OF SIGNALIST ART
The space of art will become a space of game. Of intuitive and algorithm one, where the latter will be a basis for an intuitive superstructure. Moving from the spheres of emotions toward the spheres of intelligence, significance of art as of discovering will be increased.
Basis of signalist art we see in a synthesis of intellectual-experimental function with its social-communicative function.
CREATION OF NEW FORMS
Creation of new forms is the aim of signalist art. Of concrete forms, not only of void forms. It is an art of this time (its time), its expression. Efforts are not directed just to express, but also to arrange, mould, create. If signalist art is an expression of one time, then the world is also an object of its arranging. Paradoxal is, however, that in that arranging the world it is partly helped also by it subversive (destructive) function. Hegel pointed rightfully to this necessary dialectics of future, that covers what exists just in order to destroy it better, replacing it with new forms.
New (signalist) literature pointed to the three-dimensional properties of words and language (verbal, vocal and visual). The idea about a linear sequence of words and letter structures has been shattered. Syntax could be destroyed at the moment when significant visual possibilities of particular linguistic elements showed themselves. Text is structured so that in its meaning, reading, all the newly discovered linguistic properties act. Its improbability has been increased, and thereby also its polisemanticity. A script of linguistic signs in a multi-dimensional field of action is being created, that can engage whole thinking and sensual (visual, tactile and sonar) system of consumer (reader - watcher), including him into the game of thinking and discovering.
Search for logical perfection of language in modern philosophy coincides, at least in its effort, with the search of some previous literatural directions for its aesthetical perfection.
*An ideal language is exhausted in monosemantic naming simple things.
NON-EUCLIDIAN SPACES OF BEING AND LANGUAGE
Picture of the world will be complete if we determine its basic elements, facts and things. Facts and things are material of picture of the world.
The building of the world like an idea of totality and compactness has been broken down. It is a building of destroyed syntax whose basic elements have been liberated from the tightly bound foundations of one-dimensional totalities realize non-Euclidian spaces of being and language.
Being in denying. Being in language. Language of being as a picture of concrete world of facts and things. New world as a denying of language.
Science and technology produce a new world. The purpose of Signalism is not a theory with a determined action and defined limits, it is first of all a permanent activity.
Differently from language (words), phonic segments that have not a perceptive similarity with the object they represent, picture as a special kind of denoting has it.
Although it is just a shadow of what it denotes, just one of the relations of the consciousness leading to object, picture is not independent and separated from the world of facts and things. Its action does not end just in relationship of a certain thing with another. It communicates with all surroundings entering so a very jagged web of semiological meanings. Play of pictures and their various, intertwined and interdependent actions is a play of a just born world which tempts us with its multiple possibilities.
DUAL CIVILIZATON OF LANGUAGE AND PICTURE
We do not notice visual codes in visual message exclusively. Visual message is often permeated by language, not only internally, but also inside in its very visuality.
The fact is, yet, that we can not interpret different forms of communication just by linguistic categories. Our civilization is more and more determined by the visual as by a set of specific visual systems. It is, to be true, still a civilization of language and picture where picture takes more and more significant and dominant place. The world of language and the world of picture are not separated so strictly as it could be concluded at first on the basis o theoretical discussions. Noticeable are very broad fields of mutual intertwining and action showing that the visual in our civilization has still not taken hold of „the totality of materially visible messages“.
By semiology of visual communications we research the roads to semiological defining of new phenomena of meaning in particular systems developed or just being created by technological society.
COMPLEXITY OF SEMIOLOGICAL EXPERIENCE
Semiological experience is a complex one. As if there were not limits, in the world we perceive, to application of its possibilities. System of signs encircle us from the moment we open our eyes: gestures, sounds, pictures, things, bomb our senses, engaging entire our being in receiving various information and deciphering their meanings. Great are spaces where all those „systems of meanings“ are placed, produced and discovered by our global civilization by means of its informative media. Information, complexes of signs and meanings, have become a nervous labyrinth of modern society, and thereby they are also liable to a comprehensive analysis by means of the methods of new scientific disciplines originated or developed in this time of explosive communication. It seems, actually, that very that width is what makes impossible to semiology a deeper and more systematic penetration into some of the basic questions of our time, and at the same time a definition of the limits of its own research.
Linguistics enters the field of action of semiology covering a greater, more significant and perhaps the most systematized part of the general science of signs - language. Semiology is still in a search of its „genuine language“ as well as its methods and possibilities. For the present it relies almost entirely on linguistics and represents, as it Barthes says, „a copy of linguistic knowledges“.
Ferdinand de Saussure is one of the first linguists that tried to explain the nature of sign, especially of verbal one. To him sign represents a „unity of what it denotes“ with „what is denoted“. The denoting and the denoted are therefore, united making a sign. According to Barthhes, the point is an essential attitude that is to be always returned to, „for a tendency exists that sign is considered to be „denoting“, while a two-sided reality is in question.
Penetrating deeper into the nature of linguistic sign, followers of de Saussure have discovered, beside dichotomy, also its „double articulation“. According to them, we discern among linguistic signs semantic sentences each of which is loaded with sense (monems) from distinctive units that make up parts of form, but have not meaning expressionally (phonems). Monems would form the first and phonems, and phonem the second articulation of linguistic sign.
To learn looking, to replace the outdated „technique of interpretation“ by a „technique of perception“, where in an immediate touch of our consciousness and the world radiating information the factual experiences become necessary, needed not only for the usual, normal communication, but also for a comprehension of that special kind of so-called „aesthetical information“.
Determining an aesthetical measure of artistic art, and starting thereat from some mathematical principles noticed on probability theory, the well-known researcher of modern art Max Bense says that works of art are as bearers of aesthetical situations are complete creations that in a sense create three kinds of situations: first of all the exact physical situation of the material system the work of art is made of; secondly, the conventional semantic situation achieved in such a physical system and, finally, an undefined aesthetical situation relating to the both previous ones.
For an artistic work, according to this theorist, it is not necessary that it, in order to achieve aesthetical situations, gives primarily the semantic, i.e. meaning in its material. Aesthetical situations can (and do not have to) emanate from semantic ones, but in any case they build the material. Development of modern art points to us that it strives to realize aesthetical situations immediately in a physical, material transfer system renouncing an introduction of mediatory semantic stadium, i.e. object and meaning.
Visual syntagms of particular forms of signalist visual poetry can show themselves to us, but to a lesser extent, as iconic signs.
According to Morris' definition an iconic sign is a sign that has certain properties of the presented object, i.e. which represents properties of its denotates.
The definition by Umberto Eco is rather wider but more precise as well. For him, iconic signs reproduce some perceptive condition of the object, but not before they are chosen on the basis of the codes of recognition and after they are recorded on the basis of graphic conventions according to which an arbitrary realized sign denotes the given sign of perception.
In a greater part of signalist visual poetry, however, there is not such a relationship of coincidence with things. Elements in the frame of poem, and even the poem as a whole, are determined and special material events with which we notice more rarely an iconic relationship with object.
TEXT IS BODY
In Signalism for the sake of determination and distinction of visual poetry and other visual texts (visual novel and others) from the created originated in language exclusively, we have to take account of certain distinction in the way of communication and reception of the aesthetical information. The both texts (visual and verbal) are given to us most frequently in a same medium, book, realized with similar, or same letter (slovnim) i.e. sign symbols. And where then would be a difference? We will notice, first of all, that in a visual text the word printed on paper acts first of all by its materiality. That word is not an „abstract, verbal notion sign“, but a concrete visual sign having its spave, its corporality. A text is a body. Realization of the communication between an artist and reader/watcher by means such a text implies not only a knowledge about a conditioned system of signs like a script is, but also an already formed visual thought ready to receive these new hybrid artistic products.
It would be necessary to ascertain once forever to which an extent signalist visual poetry owes to media and art disciplines such as: photography, comics, film, television, graphics and design. Likewise one should ascertain to which extent it has fulfilled the vacuum, as it has been already said, that had existed between those disciplines. Where they are in touch with visual poetry and where and how they permeate each other.
In the case of gestual poetry (signalist manifestation) artist would communicate with recipients by so-called natural means (information channels): voice, gestures, immediate and realized natural or contact communication. Of course, it does not exclude also another type of communication by means of technical devices and aids (technical communication).The way of communication between artist from one side and recipients (consumers) from the other is essentially different with these two types of communication. Immediativeness and orality of information, as well as certain real audience is characteristic for natural communication. That is why some theorists can speak about its distributivity. Gestual poet is at the center of events, in a focus of his work. Very frequently the audience itself becomes an inseparable and constituent part of artistic work and gestual action by its reactions, participation and orientation. Communication is determined here and therefore unique feed-back situations can take place, since the consumers themselves (being now participants too) can influence further creative development of the work. Yet, basic source of aesthetical information still remains the poet himself, the performer of the action.
With Gutenberg's Bible (1455), the first work published in the just invented technique of printing, a beginning of so-called „Gutenbergian galaxy“ was announced, where culture of print and book dominates. According to many theorists, this was one of revolutionary leaps of mankind that later on, through book as the most accessible and mass culture medium, has led to „immediate exchange of experiences, ideas and knowledges“ and to an universal cultural and social growth.*Book has become one of the basic communication channels, medium of individuals, groups, entire nations. Thereby the past is illuminated, history is concretized whose facts become accessible to the widest classes of people, present time is marked and future movements are tried to be viewed. Its influence on society and human psychology is enormous. Book is such a medium that it promotes psychology of individualism, removes oral communication. (McLuhan). One works with it, and communicates through it, in silence, without direct dialogical struggle, in the warm uterus of room or fights in an improvized arena of that very room, that limited and closed world, with an invisible opponent.
Print and book experienced their real explosion and expansion in last century with an abrupt development of industrial civilization. Technological civilization we have entered has produced new mass media: film, electronic machines, television, videotape. In these media printed letter, word, language do not dominate, but picture in cooperation with the oral and other ways of communication.
According to McLuhan speech as a communication medium has widened the sense of hearing, script and book extended the sense of sight, and electronic media represent extension of all human senses, entire central nervous system. It has been already showed that the appearance of book has influenced human psychology in the sense of reinforced individualization. Man secludes with printed word, avoids action, meditates, communicates indirectly. One sense becomes dominant - the sense of sight. New media of our civilization establish a balance of all senses. A indirect communication is excluded. Man is again at the center of action, of events. All his senses are bombarded equally by information. Experience is direct and active one.
Does the end of an epoch and of the rule of one sense mean also an end of all those established, by that rule promoted and produced „thinking models“, behaviour, creation? What are ways of creation in the new electronic civilization that deepens and expands our experiences even more through a simultaneous and equal activity of all senses? That deepening leads us to the very sub consciousness, liberated and threatening. It draws us out from the choking three-dimensional spaces of script and eye, narrative consciousness, homogenous fortresses of the absolute, metaphysics and myth and throws us into an avalanche of rebelled senses, into relativized, non-dogmatic and multidimensional spaces of planetary and signalist art.
Signalism tries to mobilize for creativity all senses moved and activated by the media of our epoch. It establishes their continuous interaction in creation of aesthetical information. The doors of sub consciousness are not just opened slightly, they are wide opened. Signalism has abolished, by liberating and engaging all senses and creative forces in man, all limits, all boundaries, and even space and time, directing its own researching being to the unpredictable planetary and cosmic.
1969 – 1975.
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