Insight Machine specification

drawing iconI prepared this specification in March, 1972. In 1999, I have edited the text for clarity and web publication. Substantively, the content is the same. This idea was one of the first expressions of vibes. See the aura/wavelength cross-references for related vibe content on Wholeo Online.

The basic idea is to visualize messages occurring in the mind and externalize it or them in a medium. This forms a more direct means of communication than images, words, music, math, and so on. By turning attention inwards and becoming sensitive to what is going on, I see quickly changing patterns of what might be called vibrations. I need to be able to draw much faster than I can by hand. (See vibe stationery for drawings by hand.) The shapes might be electromagnetic wavelengths. If so, the longest would be the reddest. They have something to do with the way information is encoded in a brain cell and the way associations are broadcast within the brain.

See the drawing of a 10" square screen. Pop it up in a separate window, medium or large, to look at as you read. Parallelograms are filled in along 7/8" high bands from left to right. A 1/16" space is left between bands. When one band is finished, the one above it is used and so on to the top. You always read the screen from left to right and up. On the drawing, dark shapes show the light that the artist wants held on. When the screen is filled, then the same image must move smoothly down to permit a 1/16" space and another 7/8" band at the top. Thus 9 previous bands are always seen in relation to the newly generated band. A print-out of the bands leaving the bottom of the screen in the same configuration might be most useful. When we get good at it, we would take films.

When you turn the machine on, a basic unit of light begins flashing along the lowest band. It is a parallelogram 1/16" wide by 1 1/16" long. The width is horizontal and the sides are at a 60-degree (inside left) angle to the base. It appears to lean over or veer towards the right. This shape appears for a seeable duration (such as 1/16th of a second). Then it goes off and is followed by succeeding units of the same duration along the 7/8" bands. The shape repeats until the you (the artist) activate one or more of the controls. This movement is really a marker. I call it "flashing".

Control 1 changes the first inside angle of the shape from 60 to 120 degrees so the parallelogram appears to veer toward the left. This change might be achieved with the left foot pedal. Call it "lefty".

Control 2. As you draw the light pen along the bottom of a shape just ahead of the flashing, you are holding the light on along every basic unit it touches. Call this control "on".

Control 3. Pressing the right foot pedal repeats the on-off pattern. Use this control to repeat the last shape and its following interval. But simultaneously, apply "on" to show where the new shape begins. The machine repeats the shape-interval indefinitely. When the pedal is released, flashing resumes in the direction of the previous shape. Let's call the right foot pedal the "conservative".

Here are directions for creating the drawing, written as if you had an INSIGHT machine. The actions refer to the letters on the drawing as an example.

Of course, all these steps can doubtless be improved by a programmer, a user interface designer, and new hardware. Also, when working on the machine, the nature of the brain action we are representing will probably become clearer and we may want to draw differently. So the design is an iterative process.

Note: I read about the PFR-3 system of Information International in a book. It was Art and Technology by M. Tuchman, Viking Press, 1971. In 1972, I visited Information International in Los Angeles and submitted this specification to Ken Corday and Dean Anshultz. This web publication of 1999 is a first for the Insight Machine.

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Specification © Caroling 1972, Web page © 1999, 2002 Caroling 1999. All rights reserved. Last Modified: 29 April, 2002