Making Meaning Matter

The Evergreen State College

Author: Marc Ramsey

CST: Program or Be Programmed

I’ve been observing symbolism in human culture and I see the programing of the mind via TV shows and the technology that we use.  I had an experience with my inner dragon last night and saw the raw power of the ancient Dragon awakened in my lucid dream.  I then looked into the ancient symbolism of the dragon and saw the connection that Hermes had to the Dragon in this image.

Hermes and the Dragon

The Dragon is pure raw power and must be tamed and under control.  This is what the Egyptian mysteries taught thousands of years ago by Thoth/Hermes.  He was an original programmer of human consciousness using symbols and writing to solidify and pierce the veil into intelligent infinity.

Now I decided to see how we were being programmed with this dragon energy and on a certain popular peer-to-peer downloading site the number one downloaded item is Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Also my mind went to the movies How to Train Your Dragon and I then watched a bit of the movies and I saw how the ancient teachings from Hermes on how to control the dragon [power] within were being taught through this kids show.  The Programming is real and all around us, but many times we do not see it due to a lack of awareness of the power of symbols.!/en_US/home?utm_campaign=DAI-search-us-pbm-g-brand-e&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_term=dragon%20age&sourceid=DAI-search-us-pbm-g-brand-e&gclid=CjwKEAiAh7WkBRCQj-_zwZvk52ISJADj7z8CibFogXJI-TWWRr-KSP_zeXeZ4kKIdMLBFMTvlRLu2BoCu-Lw_wcB


We are all things and even constantly programming and reprogramming ourselves via the medium of thought forms (aka philosophies) that we tell ourselves.  We are always right, so lets program our minds with healing and love instead of separation and dissonance.

CST 10: 01 The Interplay Of The Other Self in the Imagination Station

The experience can be very hard to be truly captured. This recording is an ode to the trec of my life. All is one. One is All. The interplay between these two is what creates the illusion of what we consider to be life.

This raw analog experience is that of beyond my wildest imaginations, and has a very difficult time being translated to The Digital Realm.

Every moment is a death and rebirth, the solemnity of that moment resonates in my awareness.

The nature of the universe is predatory. By predatory, I do not mean it is spiteful or vengeful, but rather only that it pushes itself to become more aware. The predator helps keep the prey in awareness, as the prey in its awareness keeps the predator growing in its awareness. We always have a predatory nature in us, and that helps the exterior universe evolve. As we evolve we discover more refined ways of helping other/selves become more aware, such as the use of stronger and more refined philosophies that obliterate weaker philosophies. The universe hates stagnation and will fight to keep itself moving forward or reintegrate that part into something that will move forward.

“Imagination Station”

The trec is the destination
In the imagination station
The gradation of vibrations
Perfecting all creations

Em C D
Am I fuckin with me?
Em Am B7
Tripping up my mind
Am I fuckin with me?
I’m seeing images and signs
Am I fuckin with me?
Syncing up my mind
Am I fuckin with me?
Opening my eyes

The universe within
Is becoming infinity
By looking in the mirror
And seeing…

The universe within
Is becoming infinity
By looking in the mirror
And seeing…

Creations eyes

The Tooth-Pick: BR4

Rotation: |

Dimensions: 30mm x 26mm x .8mm

mr_mmm_images-00058 mr_pick

This is the Tooth-Pick.  The name “Tooth-Pick” came to me suddenly while thinking of how it looks and how it also relates to the style of crazy guitarists (Jimi Hendrix)  using their teeth as picks.  I really enjoy this sound on my acoustic projects now, but want to get it printed in nylon instead of PLA as nylon is more flexible and doesn’t break so easily.  The idea of the project has always remained the same, but as time progressed and many hours of testing ensued, the design and name became realized.

I jammed with Cooper and asked him about his finger-style guitar playing, and he told me how he really likes to feel the connection of the strings to his actual hand instead of having a mediator between them.  I then proceeded to play without picks a lot and for a moment thought the whole idea of plectrums was outdated.  But when I decided to cover Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix, I realized that to get the twang and bite on the guitar I needed a pick.  So this project has really challenged my sound and brought me to realize both polarities to the plectrum question and now I hold both polarities and realize that “There is a time and place for everything under the sun” -Solomon.



CST Week 8: When will it ever be finished?

A common theme I’ve seen in many people’s projects is that there is always a way to optimize but when should one stop to call it finished? In my project I chose a fairly attainable goal, but even then I see ways to optimize. Is a project ever really finished? Even huge projects such as the new Assassin’s Creed Unity game was released before it was fully functional.

CST: Week 8 The Power of Tools

Recently I have been able to connect people in the class with material tools.  I connected Cooper with my electric guitar and effects board setup and after showing him all the sounds he could make, he made art that surpassed his own imagination of what his sound could be.   There is a great power behind connecting creators with the tools to create.  I was also able to help and assist V in using a Wacom tablet to trace in his drawings of his spine into Adobe Illustrator.  I believe the purpose of technology is to make life more simple, not more complicated.  Good creators create–great creators create the frameworks, structure, and space for others to create. In “Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix,” when Jimi was finally able to be connected with his first guitar and subsequent material instruments such as amps and effects it enabled him to create so much more. (Cross)

CST: Week 7 Are mechanical objects vessels to hold consciousness?

Click here to view the embedded video.

When I was shopping on Amazon I came across this new device and after watching this video I didn’t know whether to be excited or disturbed. This device is a channel for consciousness to flow through and even has the mechanical hardware to seemingly make decisions and respond of its own accord to questions. My question was then: is this thing animate or inanimate? It’s seems to be quite animated but isn’t it just a thing? While sitting and meditating next to my printer I thought to myself: this thing is animated by my actions, is it animate? The same thing applied to the Amazon Echo. In a sense it is animated–by my consciousness extending itself into the software and hardware. But does that form of animation have a sense of its own animation? If the biological body is animated out of the mind, who’s to say a mechanical body cannot house conscious?

Making Music Matter: [BRP #2 In Writing]

What does it mean to make one’s sound? I wish to design many different interfaces for playing guitar.  Originally picks were handmade by each musician for their own instrument.  I wish to do something similar and create a connection with my sound by creating my own picks with the 3-D printer.  The pick is the major interface with the guitar and my body. There have been many different innovators of sound throughout the centuries. People have used many types of materials to create distinct sounds. “Musicians have used plectrums to play stringed instruments for thousands of years. Feather quills were likely the first standardized plectra and became widely used until the late 19th century. At that point, the shift towards what became the superior plectrum material took place; the outer shell casing of a Atlantic hawksbill sea turtle[…]” [Hoover, 11-12]

Even now people are improving on the original plectrum design and editing it to create their own sound. A company, named Pykmax, has created “a patented new style of super comfortable guitar pick that fits perfectly in the player’s hand.“ [“A Guitar Pick Revolution by Pykmax – The Best Guitar Pick Ever”

Click here to view the embedded video.

There are also other approaches to guitar picks such as the Jellifish pick that attempts to emulate the sound of a 12-strint guitar by having multiple strands of metal hit the guitar depending on how one holds the pick.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Famous guitarists have had to explore and create their distinct tone. The creation of different tones is dependent on many different variables such as guitar strings, body, pickups, plectrums (aka picks), effect pedals, and amplifiers. Guitarists such as The Edge from U2 has a completely different effects setup for each song that he uses and the effects are just as much a part of his guitar playing as well as the actually playing of the guitar. [check out how he uses rhythmic delay to make his sound in this song]

Click here to view the embedded video.

Jerry Garcia from The Grateful Dead used a Fender extra heavy flat pick, as well as a plethora of different stompbox effects. [“Grateful Dead – Jerry Garcia Guitar Rig Gear and Equipment.” Accessed November 3, 2014.]

Jimi Hendrix created for himself a sound that was uniquely his with his guitars, picks, strings, pedals and amps, and even what parts of his body he used to pluck the strings with [such as using his teeth to pluck the strings]. “Jimi’s obsession with his guitar garnered him a nickname around Clarksville: Marbles. He was so named because people thought he had ‘lost his marbles’ and was crazy as a result of his excessive practicing. The guitar had become an extension of his body[…]” [Cross, 1727] It is interesting to see how he too, saw the extension of his own identity or sense of self onto his guitar. He also used that same approach into his effects. “[Ivor Arbiter] said, ‘Can’t I make a fuzz unit with a different shape?’ I saw microphone stand with the cast iron base, and I said, ‘Why don’t we make it round so it won’t slip?’ Hence the Fuzz Face, which had some very nice sounds. Hendrix especially liked it. Jimi used to visit the Sound City shop a lot, and he got his first Fuzz Face there or from Manny’s in New York.” [Thompson, 426] Many times the artist would work very close with innovators of effects pedals to make their sound.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The sounds that musicians create for themselves is actually not a material object, but they use material objects such as effects and picks to create the sound or muse[ic]. The word ‘music’ stems from the word ‘muse’ which means to think or contemplate. Music is not matter but rather exists in the realm of ideas or forms. “[Plato] believed that [..] there is certain truth, but that this material world cannot reveal it. It can only present appearances, which lead us to form opinions, rather than knowledge. The truth is to be found elsewhere, on a different plane, in the non-material world of ideas or forms.” (“Plato’s Realm of Forms”) Plato makes an interesting distinction between the material world and the conceptual world, and actually asserts that since the conceptual world [in theory] makes perfect sense, that it is in fact more real than the material world with its seemingly flawed essence. For instance: “When we see a circle that has been drawn well what we are actually seeing is a close approximation of a perfect circle. In fact a perfect circle could not be seen at all. Infinite points which make up its circumference do not take up any space, they exist in logic rather than in a physical form. As soon as someone tries to draw it, even if he uses the most sophisticated computerised equipment, it becomes imperfect. But although the Ideal Form of a circle has never been seen, and never could be seen, people do know what a circle is, they can define it while at the same time accepting that it cannot be translated into the material world without losing its perfection.” [“Plato’s Realm of Forms”]

Music in a sense shows how thoughts take form but that form is only conceptual and not material. The medium by which it is expressed—such as records, CD’s, and MP3 files—are a sort of material, but the actual song/sound is not material, only carried by it. Ontological questions then arise on what constitutes reality. Many think of reality as only the material world, but I disagree. Certain truths are necessarily true by definition such as the statement: “Nothing does not exist.” That is a necessary truth in that the very definition of nothing is: “that which does not exist.” If nothing does not exist, than it also follows that everything does exist. The question is not if something exists or not (if it is something, than by the very definition of ‘something’ it is not ‘nothing’) it is rather a question on how and where something exists.

So I see that we extend our mind into our things, but also materiality is not the only thing we know to exist, in fact it is one of the things that Berkeley shows that we cannot prove to exist apart from the mind. “All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth – in a word, all those bodies which compose the frame of the world – have not any subsistence without a mind.” [Berkeley, WEB] A pick is a material object that is meaningless without the mind or muse[ic], but when understood as an extension of the mind into the material realm, it is then really making music matter.


CST Week 6: Ease of Use

An interface with ease in mind

Logic has long had the reputation of being one of the deepest, but most challenging DAWs to use. Since Apple acquired Emagic (the German company that developed it), it’s set about making Logic easier to use. Logic Pro X takes a major leap in that direction. []


As I watch people struggle with tinkercad, I wonder to myself if this technology is hindering or inspiring creativity. It seems that there should be easier software to use for making objects that mimics the way we form actual materials such as clay and wood, and there should be software designed to make specific types of 3-D objects such as a “design your own electric guitar body” program that had all the technical information programmed into the infrastructure so that all one has to worry about is creating a design. Logic Pro 9 used to be a professional audio recording software that was very detailed and took a person that had specific knowledge of advanced audio recording software to use. Then they came out with Logic Pro X which anyone with basic computer skills could use and understand and also kept the functionality of a professional software. Until the day comes when a CAD software becomes intuitive and user friendly, the creativity of the masses will be hindered because of technical difficulties.

CST Week 5: Manifestation

“You miss it,” he said to himself […] “you want to be back in the shit, inventing stuff, making it all happen” (Doctorow, 132)


People are now progressing and now it seemed that most of the ideas have surfaced into the conscious mind of each individual. The symbols and images are now starting to be understood. There is an excitement in many of the students about creating and designing their project. I also sense that the greatest challenge most are facing is the ability to take the idea from the mind and get it into the digital design.

Test Citation Post

This is some random text (assuming the idea of randomness even exisits…) (Lipson, 2013, 36) Also see how we extended ourselves into our Zotero web-based program. (Malafouris, Renfrew, 2013, 36)


Lipson, Hod. Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing. Indianapolis, Indiana: John Wiley & Sons, 2013. Print.

Malafouris, Lambros, and Colin Renfrew. How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2013. Print.