An Experimodern Coda To Human Sexuality


All of this comes down to what I refer to as the Xenakis Crowd-Scattering Paradox.In his book Formalized Music (Xenakis, 1971), Xenakis compares the stochastic processes he uses in his work to the scattering of crowds:

Everyone has observed the sonic phenomena of a political crowd of dozens or hundreds of thousands of people...Imagine, in addition, the reports of dozens of machine guns and the whistle of bullets adding their punctuations to this total disorder. The crowd is then rapidly dispersed...The statistical laws of these events...are stochastic laws.
(Xenakis, 1971, p. 9).

However, crowd scattering does not obey stochastic laws. The psychogeography of the city, so well understood by the Situationists, and basic human predictability (especially in crowds), mean that their scattering is not stochastic. This inability to scatter stochastically across a city is what prevents crowds from having a much more powerful political efficacy, as this would allow them to evade kettling tactics from the authorities. Ironically, the actual application of stochastic principles onto the scattering of crowds35 would allow their scattering would gain a political efficacy, by circumventing the predictability of their behaviour.

We cannot generate our own lives in a way that is impervious to prediction by computers.

Therefore we must get computers to generate our own lives.

35 Perhaps using a smart-phone-based networked, real-time computer model which treated every member as an atomized cell and re-engineered a randomness that would make the crowd's movements impossible to predict (Runnels, 2014).