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Art at the Event Horizon

Art at the Event Horizon

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Art at the Event Horizon

Space is the distribution of mass in space. A large concentration of mass and energy in a certain location creates a distortion of space-time that bends the path of light rays surrounding that place. The power of gravity at a given threshold creates a black hole, an area in space-time from which nothing can escape, not even light. The event horizon is the edge of the black hole, the boundary of the area from which it is impossible to exit. In the centre of the hole is a singularity, a place in which distortion is infinite. An object caught in the black hole where time is slowed, loses its resting energy. In order to conserve its total energy, it converts its mass into kinetic energy and radiation. The object will lengthen greatly from the event horizon to the point of singularity. According to Roger Penrose, a black hole that rotates on its axis or has an electric charge allows entry to and exit from its area without being trapped by its singularity.1 Roy Kerr found that a spacecraft launched along the length of the turning axis of a black hole can pass uneventfully to parallel space through the Einstein-Rosen bridge.2

[Figure 1]

The bridge compresses time-space between the two worlds, and prevents collapse into the singularity. Within the inner boundary of the black hole, light is trapped in a closed circuit. The movement generates a reflection, like a mirror room at an amusement park, that distorts and multiplies the observer’s approach. Time on the edge of the event horizon is very slow, to the point where it stands still. Although we cannot visually perceive a black hole in space, we can feel its power of attraction on objects in its vicinity, and the resultant changes in paths and velocity.3 The entropy (the number of internal states) of a black hole yields information of what fell into the black hole and is likely to be stored, like on a record, enabling it to be replayed when the black hole disappears. From this, one may suppose that information regarding all phenomena in the three-dimensional world can be stored at its two-dimensional boundary like a holographic picture, or like images seen on the event horizon.4

[Figure 2]

A black hole with a mass similar to the mass of the Earth will be 18 mm in size; two-dimensional objects inside it will be observed on its event horizon. Unlike in Euclidean geometry, which characterizes linear space outside the black holes where the diffusion of mass is small, the geometry of black holes is of bent spaces and planes joined by worm holes which conform to Georg Riemann’s geometry and Einstein’s general theory of relativity.5

[Figure 3]

Cyberspace is electronic space, composed of computer networks like the Internet; in them information moves at the speed of light. At that speed less than 0.1 seconds is needed for an electronic signal to join the two most distant points on Earth. The mass and energy of cyberspace compresses the Earth to a black hole with an event horizon of approximately 2 cm,6 located at a near-zero distance from the users connected to it.

[Figure 4]

Networks consist of connections between terminal points that create junctions. These junctions are joined to bigger junctions, which, in turn, are joined to a central hub that processes information according to the Bose-Einstein condensation law.7 In other words, central junctions, like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, achieve the greatest number of connections to pages in the network. Cyberspace formation resembles that of black holes into whose singularities all information is hurled to the event horizon. The event horizon is, in this case, various assigned tools such as computer terminals, cameras, television, microphones, telephones and other sensors that convert the real world into digital information. The silicon chip generates teleportation of linear time-space into electronic information that travels at the speed of light in the bent space of cyberspace.

[Figure 5]

This connection creates an augmented reality that can also be defined as merging real time-space with the virtual, adding higher dimensions to the real ones.8 The continuing growth of virtual energy and mass in relation to the realities increasing the effect of the black hole can be represented by the proportion:

Material-energy → time-space distortion

The energy of stored data in cyberspace influences processes in the real world. Examples of these processes include industrial production, security, air dominance, banking, medicine, and digital information. The power of gravity in cyberspace accelerates the speed of objects in motion in the real world, and sweeps them spirally over its singularity, like in the Stock Exchange crash in 1987. The human brain is a mass containing billions of neuron synapses, clustered into groups that carry out specialized actions. Every area and route to the brain is responsible for a certain function, such as sight, speech, smell, and so on.9 Thought and motion stem from the data flowing to the brain and are stored in cognitive modular mapping.It is possible to compare areas of the brain to micro-black holes, or centres in cyberspace where Bose-Einstein processes take place. The wrapping of the body, including the senses, serves as an event horizon, and the singularity as the soul or consciousness. The topology of consciousness resembles a torus, allowing circular movement from place to place in consciousness, and also making jumps in space-time, similar to networks in cyberspace and black holes in space.

[Figure 6]

The role of the associative cortex is to establish new nets and the omni connection of neurons in the brain. This is similar to an internet build-up. The brain has no knowledge in it until the neuron interconnection is built. Our identity is based on how our neurons are interconnected.10 New technologies like the neural microcircuit, which links live neuron cells to an electronic interface, enabling the direct connection of our body to computer networks. This extends the associative cortex of each human to the expanded capacity of the human brain and its internet extension, or the super neo-cortex, which in turn is linked to all the other network participants creating a united super brain with integrated consciousness. This act is equal to a build-up of a black hole containing a Giga array of super-computers at its singularity, processing a task incoming from its event horizon. On the other end, we have the increasing amount of hardware, linked to the internet, that contributes to its black hole mass.Within about 200 years the human body has accelerated from the speed of walking to the speed of light,11 propelled by electro-magnetic waves towards the cyberspace singularity. Man is in an advanced stage of evolution in the symbiotic process that unites his body with electronic and biological components. The data-suit and VR Headset — containing electronic implants that penetrate the body — enable direct teleportive contact between neuron networks within our bodies and those in cyberspace (and the real world). The human brain, composed of three layers (Reptilian Complex, Limbic System and Neocortex) has acquired another layer, the super-neocortex that augments imagination and wisdom and accelerates judgement of time and space. In other words, our central nervous system is connected through computer networks to events occurring on Earth,12 and reacts to these events as though they were occurring in the physical body. The world becomes integrated with our own bodies.Evolution connects the human event horizon to that of cyberspace, and, also, to real space. We are in the accelerated process of the virtualization of real objects that acquire virtual components in cyberspace. Cyberspace, connected to the human body, swallows real distance and shrinks it to a minimum. The triangular joining of the three spaces, whose torus shape creates a large mass, bends space into a closed loop, orbitfold-shaped.13 The meeting point is the place of the new SELF, or the symmetry/unity point of the three torus spaces.14

[Figure 7]

What are the differences between the topology of bent space at high speeds and the linear space that has dominated human consciousness until now? To find the differences, we can examine an Albrecht Durer (1525) print portraying the artist drawing a model in perspective, with the aid of various optical accessories, such as a frame, grid, and eyepiece. The resulting linear perspective, whose source is a single point, a singularity at an infinite distance behind the model, is contained in the frame between the artist and the model. The image in the frame continues and enters a second singularity point, through the eyes of the artist, to his brain and to his consciousness. After absorbing the image and its execution by the eye and hand of the artist, the data becomes a static linear perspective painting on a page, which is the event horizon of the body. The painting is a hologram that is a 2-dimensional view of the event horizon of a 3-dimensional object.

[Figure 8]

Now we will substitute a spherical (Einsteinian) lens for the optical linear installation of Riemann; it is cyberspace, and the pencil is a data glove. At low speed we do not feel the distortion because the picture is reflected through the equator of the lens. At higher speed and mass,15 we will approach axis poles of the three singularities of the orbifold. At this point the data received through the artist’s senses will be processed by his consciousness, and subsequently translated into the data glove that is the observed object itself. An artist who paints with a data glove unites with the object. An artist’s act of observation determines the subject’s final state.16 The diffusion of mass and energy in the universe prevents the collapse of matter, or a short circuit of thought, action and result. The transition to seeing and acting at the speed of light demands delay interface to slow the speed of engagement with that which our regular senses can process. Art that exists in cyberspace is an interface used to cope with the visualization of the time-space distortion that converts distorted time-space near the singularity into the shapes of traditional, linear perception that we are used to outside of cyberspace.

[Figure 9]

Understanding this special topology allows a different approach to phenomena from the perspective of digital media and cyberspace. We will examine a concept utilized by Baudrillard, Virilio and Jameson: simulacra. For Baudrillard,17 it is a sign in which the relations of representation between the signifier and the signified, and between images and reality, disappear; the signifier functions independently in a closed circle. It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself.Jameson18 uses the term simulacrum in the context of photorealism, a painting from a photograph, images on a television screen by Nam Jun Paik, the polyester images of Duane Hanson, and the radical decline of nature. Virilio19 relates all physical dimensions to simulacra, as an echo of the Big Bang. What was defined until now as simulacrum is only an added, higher dimension of a physical object. Electromagnetic waves transmitted from the real object move at the speed of light and enter beyond the event horizon of cyberspace. The movement of the waves and their interference inside the closed torus generate a multiplication and distortion of the image.

[Figure 10][Figure 11]

The waves scatter and are ejected from the cyberspace event horizon, creating feedback to the object, changing its characteristics, and oscillating endlessly. Television screens in general and those of Paik in particular, are only 2-dimensional holograms of 3-dimensional bodies on the event horizon of cyberspace. Replication cannot exist without the original object, and the feedback that returns to it. Thus, the simulacrum is an additional dimension, exactly like the volume, shadow, and weight of a physical object. The entropy of cyberspace is the sum of the data that falls into it. Therefore, it is a reflection of the objects connected to it, and not of those that are unconnected. Hyper-reality, or hyperspace, is described by Baudrillard20 as a reality that has lost its appearance, locality and significance; according to Virilio21 it is a loss of reality; and for Jameson22 it is the space of motion that is not understood. These interpretations of reality are not valid. It is the same reality, but now reflected inside the topographic torus and observed at high speed.The new reality creates a feeling of schizophrenia and dichotomous personality. According to Jameson, the individual cannot locate her/himself in space (Bonaventura Hotel), and experiences crises in her grasp of time and the stream of past, present, and future. Virilio describes how NASA scientists use data suits in order to activate a distant robot on Mars, this action places them simultaneously in two distant and dislocated places.23 According to Baudrillard24 cyberspace networks also create schizophrenia. For Jameson25 it is the illusion of meaning. Virilio26 relates to the phenomenon as super-natural, and even religious — the data and information suits transform the person into a spectre, located in a number of places at the same time. Virilio seeks a philosophical discussion comparing presence versus tele- presence, and presence versus teleportation.Splitting or distortion characterizes a body falling beyond the event horizon of a black hole. The body lengthens greatly to form a one-dimensional string, and continues outside the event horizon over the infinity of the singularity, while time seemingly slows down and distance shortens. This is equivalent to the feeling of a hand wearing a data glove, activating a robot on Mars from afar; moreover, this feeling is also relevant to Virilio’s explanation of a person who, when equipped with a data-suit, appears to be paralysed in a wheelchair. This is not comparable to schizophrenia, paralysis, or spectres and the supernatural. It is the same linear reality as before, experienced now in extreme conditions of high velocity and mass, travelling through a worm hole.

The end of music and the image

Hi-Fi music is not the end of music, as Baudrillard contends, just as a hyper-spectral image is not the end of the image. They are augmented realities with additional dimensions of sound and image beyond those we are accustomed to experiencing at lower speeds.27 In order to experience the whole spectrum of these new qualities, we need technology. Digitally augmented sounds and pictures do not conceal the object with hyper-real synthetic perfection, but open up a wide variety of possibilities, over and above what we are used to hearing and seeing. The development of the super-neocortex enables absorbing, processing, aesthetic judgement in the widened field of our senses. Super-resolution, hyper-spectral images, digital watermarking, compression, and decompression of information are technologies that make this complex mission possible.

[Figure 12]

We are cyborgs, implanted with electronic components, wearing data suits, teleporting bodies to parallel existences, through black holes, and returning safely. Technology is the problem and the remedy for this new reality. In this subjective situation, one does not observe reality directly, but by means of the super-neocortex. The actuality of observing space with electronic aid changes its characteristics by changing the location of the observed particles, by electronic means (scanning electron microscope). Seeing changes reality and the characteristics of matter. One can say that the creative thought of the artist at the meeting of three singularities — of human cognition, the real world, and cyberspace — changes and reflects reality, and creates an inter-subjective integrated consciousness.28 Einstein asked how the world would look while riding on a beam of light? Perhaps this is the answer.What are the implications of these insights for cyberspace art? New media art which utilizes digital equipment like computers is subject to physical laws. The electronic chip accelerates the artistic object, from its realm of low speed and mass outside of the cyberspace event horizon, to an immediate bent, high speed and high mass cyberspace black hole. This transformation is typical of all technologies exploiting electromagnetic waves. The huge spread of digital cameras and cell-phones produces an audio-visual data tsunami consisting of hundreds of billions of digital images and cell-calls per year, spinning through the global electronic net. This is a socio-environmental and omnipresent artistic act, which unites its global participants. In Israel, on average, there is more than one cellular phone per capita, and the numbers are growing. There are many new media artists creating a wide range of art on the internet.Here, I will analyze some of my new media work over the last 20 years. The beginning of such an art form in Israel was very modest. In 1984 some computer images that I created on IBM PC XT using Basic software were transmitted from Jerusalem to Haifa via a fax machine. The plan was to send them across the world to Australia, New York and back to Jerusalem. Lack of financing left the plan with only its initial Jerusalem-Haifa leg. Five years later, in my computer based installation Arcadia (1990 Haifa Museum of modern art,) a wide range of images, videos and sounds, from several databases were compressed into superimposed loops running on three Amiga computers. The museum was the epicenter of the black hole and its singularity would develop later on. The viewer at the museum functioned as a convergence point of the media art database. « There was free art data flow, abolishment of the originality concept in art, and transformation of the art consumer into an art creator; the next phase is direct connection to the art consumer brain. »29 The development of this concept was achieved with Art-Net (1992), an art database, utilizing a Novell net of hundreds of computers at the Technion Electrical Engineering Faculty, Haifa, Israel. The art was made available like other on-line features used on a daily basis at the faculty. The artistic project reduced to a minimum the distance between centre-and-periphery and that of the artist-and-art-consumer, and made free and instant art consumption possible. In fact, some of the students downloaded images and printed them on their shirts. Art-Net functioned as a black hole, attracting artistic objects outside of its effect horizon of computer terminals to its singularity, the server. This trapped the data circle within the net boundaries, and diffused it outwards by means of terminals, printers, fax machines, modems and telephone lines. An increase to the Art-Net perimeter was made in the same year, when at the opening of Frames (a computer art exhibition, at Yavne Art Workshop, some 120 kilometres south of Haifa) a computer link was established to the Technion. This act reduced the centre-to-periphery distance to zero time, or to a single mouse click. Visitors at the gallery downloaded images from the Technion server and performed manipulations on them.30 The rise in the number of connected computers to the net increases the mass, size and attraction force of the black hole and its impact on the real world.

[Figure 13]

In November 1993, the extent and range of ART NET activities was significantly increased, in the context of the conference FISEA 93 that took place in Minneapolis, U.S.A. A link was created with a server at the Technion, through Internet and Gopher protocol. It downloaded art works from Israel and presented them in the U.S in real time. At the beginning of 1994, the first site of an Israeli artist on the site in the U.S widened the art net, using the graphic browser MOZAIC. Using the Internet in this way compressed the size of the Earth to a minimum, and lengthened the reach of the artist and the art consumer to the point that they have now reached nearly every spot on Earth. This linked Minneapolis to Haifa, uniting various users at the same spot. These users viewed works of art simultaneously, as though they were in the same place at the same time, or in other words as though they simultaneously touched works of art that became singularity points and joined a common orbifold. While surfing, did the viewers see the simulacra? Did they feel schizophrenic? Was their experience of hyper-reality accompanied by physical paralysis? The answer is of course negative. The artistic object dispersed by the speed of light reaches places and distant viewers at the same time. The multiplication of images on computer screens all over the world reflects electro-magnetic waves that are trapped, that move in closed loops within the topology of the torus and are eventually emitted beyond the event horizon of cyberspace. The computer and screen provide the escape velocity required for the release from this spin.In order to understand this, the observer of art must perform a mental correction or jump whose basis is the understanding that his/her body is not split and is not found in either the U.S. or Israel, but is transformed as a result of the movement that stretched his/her body on one hand, and reduced the physical distance on the other. Such a correction is a daily occurrence for us, when we talk on the cellular phone, look through the security camera outside of a building, or activate a machine by remote control. These actions really connect two distant places through a worm hole. The use of electronic equipment that transports us through a black hole slows and stretches time. Sitting motionless, bending forward and concentrating on what is on the computer screen, our body seems paralyzed. The computer connected to the net functions as Einstein’s lens, having immense mass that bends and focuses the electronic waves of knowledge that are stored in cyberspace. We relate to the phenomenon as perfectly natural, but to people of other cultures, or to those who have not been exposed to new technology, it is not natural at all and sometimes seems miraculous.The additional interactive capability of works of art on the net allows for reality to be changed by a look, a thought, or a click of the mouse. As an example, my creation FREE ART (1999) enables the surfer to intervene and to change the component parts of a picture at will, an action much like changing the location of the atoms of a substance during observation by means of a scanning probe microscope, or nano manipulation of matter, in which electronic rays activated by the observer change the location of atoms in a substance.

[Figure 14][Figure 15]

For this creation, there is also a random component that arbitrarily changes the visual components that are depicted, and the sound that is heard when a surfer enters. This is similar to the experiment with Schrödinger’s imaginary cat imprisoned in a sealed box for an allotted time, alone with volatile uranium that has a 50/50 chance of undergoing radioactive disintegration, and a Geiger counter that identifies the disintegration and releases the fatal poison. In order to settle the question of whether the cat is alive or dead, we have to open the box and actually look at the cat. So too, the observer of a work of art cannot know definitely the conditions of the work he will look at before seeing it.The installation « Parallel Space » (1999) creates a merging of three spaces–the mental, the real, and the virtual–for singularities of time and place. Several computers connected to the net are operated by a surfer who works simultaneously at various sites. The artist who sits in a real room in front of the computers surfs and acts at the same time on various random sites with video cameras installed on them, with virtual three-dimensional interactive surroundings, a spiritual healing site, and other sites according to his/her choice. His/her activities are fed by, and feed the unifying space.A similar unification is found in the creation « Teleporting an Unknown State » by Eduardo Kac (1996), in which he grew a plant in a dark room by illuminating it with light from cameras on the internet directed at diverse sources of light all over the world.In this case the Internet became a life-giving organ and extension of the plant, uniting it with human bodies taking part in the project all over the world. Likewise, the « Body/Aura extension » (Avi Rosen, 2000) project utilized Bluetooth wireless technology for artistic purposes. An artist’s presence causes the automatic synchronization of his desktop, mobile computer, notebook (PC-PDA and PC-HPC) and mobile phone with other users. For instance, as soon as he enters a new space the artistic content (text, audiovisual art data) in his notebook computer will automatically be updated to a consumer’s desktop, or vice versa. The system extends the artist’s aura and amplifies his artistic capabilities. His presence induces content to the immediate space, and then to a wider space via the Internet or cellular systems. His passages through time and space leave trails of transmissions. These trails can be considered as a continuous interactive multidisciplinary artistic act.

[Figure 16]

Quantum theory determines that it is always impossible to know the state of a particle before a measurement is made. This principle stands at the basis of the series « BIG OPTICS » (Avi Rosen 2003-2004) that simultaneously and randomly concentrates on the computer screen of video clips, sound and text, from a number of databases. The product is a changing audio-visual composition that describes the compression of time and space (black hole). Surfers watch, and at the same time change the reality and the observed material by means of their computers, their observations, and their mouses. This action is an expression of the observer’s awareness, exposed to the stimuli of his various senses and the result is the joining point of 3 singularities in the orbifold. What is seen on the screen are images trapped inside the black hole of cyberspace and emitted randomly to the event horizon, following the observer’s intervention. This constitutes a joining or implanting of electronic components in the human body, as in the works of Eduardo Kac (Time Capsule), Steve Mann, and Stelarc, in which technology has been inserted inside the body, thus creating expansions of the neo-cortex and direct connection of the physical body to cyberspace and to the real world.

Translation from Hebrew by Sonia Dantziger


Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo. Linked the New Science of Networks. Hebrew translation: Blisha Drora. Yediot Aharonot Press, 2002.

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulations. Trans. Foss, Patton and Beitchman. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983.

Baudrillard, Jean. « The Ecstasy of Communication ». In: Hal Foster (ed.), Postmodern Culture. London: Verso, 1987.

Baudrillard, Jean. « Pataphysics of Year 2000, » 1992.

Résumé (français)

L’art à l’horizon des événements

Cet article compare l’espace réel, l’espace mental et l’espace électronique virtuel qui les relie. Il présente les trois espaces topologiques comme semblables à un tore. Des concentrations de masse dans chacun des trois espaces créent des zones distordant la distance et le temps de manière comparable au phénomène du trou noir. Le cyberespace est l’unificateur électronique des trois espaces, et agrandit l’horizon des événements (la limite du trou noir) de la conscience humaine. La topologie tombant à l’intérieur des limites de l’horizon des événements est une distorsion géométrique non-euclidienne du type énoncé par Riemann et par Einstein dans la théorie de la relativité générale. Un nouvel examen de ces phénomènes à l’aide d’outils techniques conduit à une différente perception de concepts essentiellement postmodernes tels que : le simulacre, la schizophrénie, l’hyperréalité, l’hyperespace, l’image et le son hyperspectraux, qui dominent aujourd’hui la perception du monde réel ainsi que la définition du cyberespace, de la conscience humaine et de l’art. Le cyberespace est l’extension du cerveau humain qui crée de la conscience intégrée.

Citer cet article

Avi Rosen, « Art at the Event Horizon », [Plastik] : Être ici et là : La relativité générale et la physique quantique #01 [en ligne], mis en ligne le 8 janvier 2010, consulté le 29 mai 2024. URL : ISSN 2101-0323

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