Communion Of Dreams


Artists lead the way.

One of my favorite characters in Communion of Dreams is the artist Duc Ng. Here’s the description of him when he is introduced in Chapter 2:

Duc Ng was an artist. A holo sculptor, whose specialty was slow-progression transformations. The works were beautiful, inspired, and appreciated by almost anyone who saw them. Ng had jacked-up cyberware to heighten his sensitivity, and used psychotropic drugs tailored to cause neurotransmitter activity to increase dramatically. This created an artificial synesthesia for a short period of time, during which the usual senses became blurredand intermingled, adding layer upon layer of perception.

 

Note the phrase “jacked-up cyberware”.  While it plays a role in the plot, I put this in there because I’ve always admired the way that artists are constantly pushing to adapt new technologies in the creation of their art. Here’s a passage from the beginning of Chapter6 when we first get a look at Ng using his skills:

There was just one other person in the room, standing at the side of the holo platform, hands dancing over a control board only he could see. It was Ng, dressed fittingly in a jumpsuit of the same black material from which the drapes and carpet were made.

“Isn’t that stuff hot?” asked Jon, nodding toward Ng’s clothing.

“Nah, I’ve got a coolpack plugged into it. Not as efficient as a real military stealth suit, but it works. Reduces the problems I have with creating my sculptures.”

Jon looked to the dance Ng’s hands played in the air. “About ready?”

Ng said nothing, but his fingers tapped a command in the air. Instantly, there appeared an image above the holo projector.

 

Check this out:

“These beautiful gloves help me gesturally interact with my computer,” says Heap, explaining how the wearable technology allows her to perform without having to interact with keyboards or control panels.

Pushing buttons and twiddling dials “is not very exciting for me or the audience,” she says. “[Now] I can make music on the move, in the flow and more humanly, [and] more naturally engage with my computer software and technology.”

 

There’s a brilliant video which demonstrates the potential of her gloves:

[vimeo 90252137 w=500 h=281]

 

And she has started a Kickstarter to help develop the technology to share with other performance artists:

 

Wonderful. I’m in to support it. And yeah, I think that’s another prediction from CoD coming true.

 

Jim Downey

Via BoingBoing.



A higher level of order.*

Sometimes I feel like this bit from Chapter 17 of Communion of Dreams:

“It’s all right, Jon, I’m awake,” said the scientist, still not opening his eyes.

“Tops says . . . ”

“Probably that I’m acting a little strange. It’s true. I came to a little while ago, but my head has been spinning. Not with any sense of vertigo, but with ideas. Like some kind of wild holographic sculpture of equations, moving and changing, solving themselves and giving rise to new ones, flowing, growing, gleaming from within. It’s easier for me to keep my eyes closed, so I can follow all that they’re doing, I hope you don’t mind.” All of this came pouring from the small man at a pace so quick that Jon almost missed some of it. He continued, “I’m going to have to discuss with Duc whether this is how he perceives his artwork before translating it into a form that the rest of us can see. For me it is like for the first time having direct, conscious access to my subconscious. You know that the human brain is capable of truly phenomenal computational power, but it usually happens below the threshold of awareness. I feel like right now, for this time, I can witness the full glory of the mind at work. No matter. I wanted to see you because I have come to realize what was bothering me before.”

We just placed the order for the special edition printing of Communion of Dreams. And yesterday I ordered several hundred dollars of archival bookbinding materials to execute the cloth hardcover bindings. Exciting — I love these kinds of beginnings!

Jim Downey

*Chaos theory. The ‘scientist’ in the quote above is Robert Gish, a central character in the book, and something of an alter-ego for me.