fig. 29: Darkness is a Woman, 1994
© Corinne Whitaker

unfolding: a memoir

ii
Community

As digital pioneers, we envision a community where leaves choose to be square. In our mind cocoons, spun of the realities we select from the filaments of possibility, we choose our webs of dreaming and doing. We accept that the community of truth is mapped with disequilibrium. We turn our backs on categories and labels, immobile bits of data that try to freeze the rhythms of life. Instead we honor a world of fluidity and shadows, with images as forms of transportation through time and space. We eschew naming and classification and think instead of absurdities and othernesses, brown dwarfs and gluons and six-flavored quarks. We envision a community of "White Earth", with an entirely different weather pattern that has never existed in the geological history of our planet but nevertheless could have. We do not ask, as Heidegger once did, "Why is there something rather than nothing?", but rather, "Why are there so many somethings?"

fig. 30: Couple II, 1996
© Corinne Whitaker

In this alternate, haywire community, we accept that a thing can both be, and not be at the same time. We defy the linear logic of Aristotle, telling us that things are either black or white, computers are either on or off. We scoff at Newton, who told us to beware of apples falling from trees, because trees grow up and apples fall down. Instead, we consider a concept called sum-over histories, the idea that there is not just a single history for the universe. Rather there is a collection of every possible history for the multiverse, and all these histories are equally real. We think about Fuzzy Logic, and recognize that there are many shades of grey between black and white, that no one knows how far is far or how high is up. Fuzzy Logic tells us that infinity comes in many sizes. Fuzzy Logic encourages us to ask, "What is on the other side of infinity?" Once again we remap our mental community.

fig. 31: Twins, 1995
© Corinne Whitaker

A surgeon once wrote that the interior of the body was the most silent place he had ever visited. Like surgeons we look for the heartbeat, and find that perhaps there are not one but two - zero and one - the binary twin digits of life. Perhaps dualism is inherent in the creative process, and explains why some ancient societies revered twins. Zero and one may help us to create the new cybergeography, to map the new digital landscape; they may be our Eve and Adam.

fig. 32: Your Move, 1996
© Corinne Whitaker

Once upon a time, in the prehistoric days before the 1980's, our mental maps recognized landscapes as a horizontal paradigm, based on the horizon. With the introduction of the electronic living room, however, that horizon has disappeared: in its place is a new digital community that occupies more and more of our time, where there is no gravity and a horizon is unknown. Our house is an email box with coded numbers and letters. Our food consists of messages. Our garbage, unused data and old messages to trash. There is no furniture to move, no light bulb to change, no lawn to mow. Toast never burns. Pots don't boil over.


Next
iii
Community

All text and images © Corinne Whitaker.