What is a Teleidoplex?

A teleidoplex is an extension of existing concepts, deployed in new and (hopefully) interesting ways.  It is a metaphysic for understanding how people create new art and ideas from existing material, and how those new products change the world through changing the stories we tell.  More, it is a model of how the process of telling a story changes the story being told.  It is a metaphor for interactivity in art, that acknowledges the often unspoken collaboration between the artist, the audience, and the world in which the work is being created. 

It’s also a very fun word to say. 

Consider a kaleidoscope.  This toy is a contained universe of mirrors and colored glass.  Light comes in through a lens on one end, and by looking through a viewport on the other, you can see an infinite number of ordered patterns created by the interaction between the mirrors, the light, and the chaotic jumble of colored bits and bobs. 

With a kaleidoplex, those patterned images are projected onto an outside screen, producing a constantly shifting variety of never-repeated images from a very limited source. 

A teleidoscope works along a similar model as a kaleidoscope, except that it takes in not only light, but also images from the outside world.  The patterns are created from these refracted images.  Because the source is much more varied, the images also are more varied. 

A natural extension of these three things would be a teleidoplex, which would project outside images back onto the outside world, but only after they have been refracted within the mechanism.  Unlike the other mechanisms mentioned, a teleidoplex opens up the possibility that part of the intake will be the current output, creating a kind of indirect feedback loop. 

An interesting example is the term "teleidoplex" itself.  When I first began toying with the term in early 2007, I googled it.  I didn’t get any hits.  There was no entry on Wikipedia.  From a particular perspective, the term "didn’t exist".  The first google hits came from (and still are) blog entries and comments that I’ve made using the term.  But I didn’t invent the concept.  All the bits and bobs were there.  There are plenty of hits for kaleidoscopes, kaleidoplexes, and teleidoscopes.  These devices have descriptions on Wikipedia.  I just took what was already there, chugged it through my mind (my own teleidoplectic mechanism), and back out onto the world. 

I’m in the process of building an electronic teleidoplex using cameras to see what effects will be created on the physical imaging level.  I would love, at some point, to build a mechanical teleidoplex using light and mirrors.  I am also building a metaphysical teleidoplex in the form of a series of novels that use the concept as their operating metaphysic.  Updates forthcoming on each of these processes. 

8 thoughts on “What is a Teleidoplex?”

  1. Yay, writing!

    I’m glad you can write in the in-between times. They add up, and so frequently get frittered away due to t3h intarweb or TereVi.

    Go go writer brain!

  2. I actually heard Kurt Vonnegut say it during an interview a few years ago.
    He was asked if he enjoyed writing.
    He responded that no, he did not enjoy writing, he enjoyed having written.

    Upon hearing that I actually felt a wave of relief rush over me, because I rarely enjoy writing.But alway enjoy having written.

  3. It’s strange, I’ve heared the siren call of writing again recently as well. The main hurdle I have to jump (other than disliking the actual process of writing . . . I understand that completely) is being intimidated by all the ther good writers out there. I don’t have many others in the art department in my circle of friends, but there are a million and one writers, and very good ones, and so I dither about even trying. Before I really got into the Changeling group, i was equal parts writer and artist, and until junior year of high school, was certain I wanted to be a writer.

    It’s strange how dreams get lost sometimes.

    BTW, you should send me your dragon Pr0n.

    1. 1) Don’t be discouraged. Every person has a different style and a different perspective on life and the universe. The fact that you know more experienced or more published writers does not make your talent and skills as a writer less relevant.

      2) Take the fact that you have lots of writers as friends and make it an asset. Set yourself a goal for finishing a story or novel or doing a revision and have people asking after the deadline to keep you honest. Give your stuff for critiquing to people you can trust to respect you and your intent and give you helpful input. Letting yourself be intimidated is self-defeatism. = T3h Losing.

  4. I personally like re-reading what I wrote previously to make sure what I write next flows smoothly out of it, but let’s toss in another quote:

    “There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
    And every single one of them is right!”

    So, whatever works for you, works for you. Go you! And the working!

  5. That is phenomenally fascinating and makes me think about all sorts of things that I currently have no words to express.

    I will be waiting to hear more about your electronic teleidoplex and your developing ideas about this subject.

    In the meantime, I’ve been caught up in the music of Zoe Keating recently, and since she is in the SF area, I thought it’d be nice to share with you.


    It’s one woman who creates entire songs by playing all the parts with her own cello and layering them. What’s more amazing is that she can do this LIVE. Her website says she will be performing in Oakland on March 4th.

    1. Oh wow! She sounds _amazing!_ I’ve been on a Yo-Yo Ma kick recently, courtesy of Kyle, who shared with me a cello duet of Smooth Criminal. So, yeah… I’m totally going to have to grab Bryn and Kyle and go take a listen. Especially since that’s, like, practically walking distance for me 🙂

      I will keep you posted on Teleidoplectic updates.

  6. I have decided (for shits. . . and giggles, we musn’t forget the giggles) that I am going to respond to all posts on this LJ in the guise of a random internet forum douchebag.

    Which will commence. . .


    . . .now.

    ITT: Someone likes to make up nonsense words and give them fake meanings to make herself feel better.


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