# m.u.b.

## danceable universal machine

### a project of chsnec

To the extent possible under law, se¿o has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to m.u.b.: máquina universal bailable.

***** página en construcción under construction *****

# proceso process

## state symbols, extra rules...

### 2019-03-21

new state symbols, along with some new rules.

first of all, here they are "in order"; this diagram in some ways is the "score" and can help with music and lighting cues

### new conventions on human movement

the round symbols indicate shifting towards the origin, crooked symbols indicate shifting away from it.

moving towards the origin implies moving in a low level: four legs or more.
moving away from the origin implies moving in a higher level: four legs or less

the complexity of a shape, given by its number of legs (and rules), would suggest the speed of movement: the more complex, the slower, and viceversa.

(as a guide, the more complex symbol is the one numbered 17 in the diagram)

### new conventions on worm movement

the worm is the row of shapes where the computation happens / is stored. borrowing the concept of dynamic equilibrium, it has the following new properties:

• it can change its form during the event: extending, contracting, oscillating
• the blocks that conform the shapes inside it, can be freely replaced for others (without changing the actual shape)
• the shapes inside it can rotate in three-dimensional space and be arranged in different ways, as long as they can still be understood as "the same shape"

as an extra, free blocks in the space can be arranged and transformed into the known shapes, without them needing to be inside the worm

## dimensions in sessions 6 and 7

### post written in 2019-03-21

we explored moving in three different dimensions, each one with two, three or four "levels":

• speed
• fast
• moderate
• slow
• very slow
• height / level
• two legs
• four legs
• infinite legs (or zero legs)
• groupality
• individual (molecular)
• groupal (molar)

there are 24 possible combinations, so each state could have of them...

## drawn prototype of new state plaques

### 2019-03-07

i used inkscape to draw the new state "plaques". i envision them as three-dimensional objects with enough depth to be handled comfortably. they were made with ideas of self-referentiality, abstraction, and organism(s), present during the process.

the round / clear plaques indicate states where the machine moves towards the origin, whereas the crooked / dark ones indicate states where the machine moves away from it.

the color code is similar to what we have used before: orange is found shape, green is shape to transform to. yellow is a new state to transition, where the shape corresponds to the outline of the plaque. magenta arrows point the direction of the reading(s).

i think they represent well where we are heading - that's why i put them as a background pattern in the mub site :)

## sketching v3 state plaques

### 2019-03-05

what if instead of having separate symbols to identify each state
(now that we got rid of numbers, order, hierarchy, with the mayan symbols)
each state was identified by the rules it contains...
the formulas give it its form
the form depends on other forms
abstractions pointing to more abstractions...

## session five!

### video!

we were following the sound
maybe too much?
the sound was changing with each state
repeating as needed (but never really the same)

## session four: resources (map and states)

### 2019-02-22

here's the map of states and the document with the 23 state "pages" (soon to be plaques/tablets). see previous post for more info.

each state page has the following elements:

• a direction arrow
• a unique state symbol
• one or more "formulas" in the following form:
• an orange shape if you find this shape...
• optional: green shape ... transform into this shape...
• optional: state symbol ... transition to this new state

the order of operations for one step inside a state is as follows. given an active shape (the one outside the row)...

1. shift to the indicated direction (left or right) and make this the new active shape
2. look for this new active shape in the orange column of the table of formulas. if you find it:
1. transform it to the shape in green, if there's one indicated
2. "call" for a change of state, if there's one indicated
3. repeat, or disengage

## sneak peek of map

### 2019-02-20

minsky's universal machine (minsky, 1967) reimagined and transcribed to our shapes and (new) state symbols.

the symbols come from the new catalog of maya hieroglyphs (macri, 2003) - they are symbols without a settled / decided / known / clear meaning. their ambiguity is ideal for them to get a new breath of life in this work positioned as an alternative to dominant structures...

color code:

• black: state symbol
• blue: transition / transformation arrow
• orange: shape that triggers following a blue arrow
• green: shape that the orange shape should be transformed into
• yellow: direction of movement for that state

the starting state is below and to the left :)

## envisioning: cytoplasm version

### 2019-02-17

(in the following, by "tablet" i mean a written piece of paper, cardboard, or a carved piece of wood, stone, with inscriptions corresponding to the rules of a single state.)

(human and non-human) objects float around in the space
structures of different sizes constitute "the soup":
a string of shapes
human bodies with tablets
human bodies with blocks
human bodies
tablets
shapes
blocks
chaos?

they are immersed in air
the air is filled with sound
(an atmosphere)

the soup flows, moves, stops

a human carries a tablet: the current state

the string of shapes has one misaligned: the active shape

while other humans move (or not), with or without objects, some of them can decide to act: they go to the active shape
(the tablet carrier observes)
they move to the next shape (right or left, the tablet says)
they make it active
they transform it if needed
if a change of state is not needed, they move on, they can let go
(confirming with the tablet carrier)

someone else might decide to act
move to the next shape (and make it active)
transform if needed
a change of state should happen!
wait for someone else to notice
they look for the new tablet in the soup
once they find it
(everyone has to notice)
the tablet carrier lets go
the tablet finder becomes a carrier
a new state!
new sonic atmosphere!
and the one who acted can move on

the organism flows, moves, computes
maybe never stops?

## notes from session 3

### 2019-02-15

movement exploration
dancing with a piece of wood
(or dancing with a human, from the other point of view)
how do you perform a transformation of shapes?
how do you encounter, acknowledge, and move a shape?

a more self-directed approach for the rule-following
we collaborate
(we need a new block, you give it to me,
we are changing states, i go for the new strips)

some movement suggestions in each state

## notes from session 2

### 2019-02-08

dance studio, sunny windows.
playing in silence
(learning the rules in silence)
collective intelligence, role-taking, understanding

only one cycle, 20 minutes?
possibly there was a mistake
(it didn't matter to us)

why is this a computer? (or where is it?)

pieces of wood that make six different shapes
twenty-three groups of six paper slips

pedestrian movement
time to explore other suggestions...
run, or slow, or change functions
maybe throw the blocks across the air?

### resources for the session

*technical and possibly irrelevant comment: it describes a 2-states, 2-symbols machine, that writes an alternate sequence of the symbols (e.g. `| = | = `) as long as it doesn't find the symbol `=`. its row of symbols, from right to left, is ` | | | | = | ` and its head starts in the rightmost position

## notes from session 1

### 2019-02-01

are we the first computer that ever made a mistake & not an error?
- isa

the machine worked.
six participants, one per state
(me as an observer)

a lot of interesting questions, issues, ideas, concepts...
is this "interesting" movement?
is this "dehumanizing"?
what's the difference between this done by humans vs this done by machines?
what happens with the inactive bodies?
why it had a mechanical feeling?
can we move in a different way? (why?)
are we functions?
why it got that rhythm?
(what if we make it fast, what if we make it slow)
velcro, collaboration, for objects to be replaced
how many people do we need?
what if an object needed all of us to be moved?
is this labor?
what happens when a game is a performance?
can the audience understand? (do we want them to understand? (do we understand?))
what happens when we do this until exhaustion?
are the theoretical/technical aspects important to enjoy the experience?
will we be able to "bodily understand" what is a computational machine?

### resources for the session

the following are the state cards we used in the session. i lost number six (?) and i didn't scan it before. below the cards there is the original sketch i made before deciding the objects.

image processing done with imagemagick:

```\$ for f in *JPG; do convert \$f -resize 500x500 -dither FloydSteinberg -colors 8 \${f%JPG}gif; done
```

## outline of session 1

### 2019-01-29

• walk around the room
• intros
• overview of the project:
• what else can computation look like?
• what if computers were a party, a ceremony, a dance?
• description of the rules of the machine / choreography / game, with embodied, interactive (and expressive?) walk through of a section of it
• objects in a row
• only working with one at a time
• state "cards": direction, movement, encountered objects, replace and state change
• there are six states in this section, each state can be enacted by a pair or team
• we all observe and follow the progression... maybe experiment with movement? (not needed)
• expectations of experimental process
• multiple dimensions:
• performance piece: paper and performance for moco 2019, show on may 5, resident's show
• documentation, manual, guidebook
• workshop on movement, impro, theory of computation
• a nice weekly activity
• emergent ideas...
• "no one has seriously proposed the use of a turing machine structure for any practical computation. indeed, i do not even know of one built for demonstration purposes" (minsky, 1967, p128)
• "we will see that these machines are horribly inefficient and slow - so much so that no one would ever waste their time building one except for amusement - but that, if we are patient with them, they can do wonderful things" (feynman, 1996, p54)