Digital Mantras: The Languages of Abstract and Virtual Worlds

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MIT Press, 1995 - Computers - 321 pages
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Computer technology is making possible new worlds of expression that are already being explored by a growing subculture of artists, musicians, virtual reality enthusiasts, and cyberpunks. In Digital Mantras, Steven Holtzman synthesizes ideas from a number of different disciplines to arrive at a new philosophy of creativity for the digital age.Blending ideas from music, computing, art, and philosophy, with biographical and historical anecdotes and a thread of mysticism, Holtzman gives us new ways to think about the integration of computers into the creative process. He shows how computers will change the way we create, and reveals the exciting potential for entirely new forms of expression. Running throughout the book are episodes from Holtzman's own sometimes mystical journey in search of the personal aesthetic he presents.Holtzman explores the presence and use of structure in fields as diverse as the development of ancient human languages, the philosophy of the Buddhist monk Nagarjuna and the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the music of Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky, and the pioneering grammars of Panini and Noam Chomsky. He then turns to the use of computers for building abstract and virtual worlds in language, music, and art as well as virtual reality, and surveys the work of AI pioneer Terry Winograd, composers Gottfried Michael Koenig and Iannis Xenakis, and artist Harold Cohen. Holtzman concludes by discussing the aesthetic implications of these new worlds. He introduces the concept of digital expression, along with examples that hint at its far-reaching possibilities.

  

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Digital mantras: the languages of abstract and virtual worlds

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Holtzman, who holds a doctorate in computer science, provides a highly stimulating discussion of the integration of music, art, and language with recent trends in computer technology. He traces the ... Read full review

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Contents

spa
2
Structures
3
Panini
5
The Circle of Fifths
15
Nagarjuna
35
The Second Viennese School
53
Kandinsky
69
Postwar Serialism
85
The Visual World
171
The Virtual World
193
Reflections
213
A Compa
223
Vibration
225
GGDL
227
A Digital Aesthetic
235
Dissonance
253

Chomsky
97
Coda
113
Pokara 777
117
Structure Manipulators
121
Calculus Ratiocinator
123
Natural Language
141
Composing Machines
159
Deep Structure
261
Vibration
279
Bara Lacha La
295
Notes
299
Bibliography
311
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Holtzman is President and CEO of Perspecta, Inc., and an advisor to The Motion Factory and other Internet software companies.

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