‘The analogue and the digital must be thought together, asymmetrically.'
Brian Massumi, 'Parables of the Virtual'
…might initially appear to be the domain of the impossible and the invisible, but might also really be a shift in parameters, like previous shifts in parameters that contributed to adjustments in speed and visibility, nearness and availability.
I have undertaken one modest digital project: an online response to ‘The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Postwar Britain’ (1989). Normally I give presentations or publish books within the field of exhibition histories, but producing something online allowed me me to tour a past show in distinct ways. I guess I would say there is a distinct dynamism, layering and openendedness to the digital, in this instance. There are distinct threats too: of corruption, neglect and failed longevity.
See Esther Leslie, elsewhere on this site, on ‘the archive that is the web’
Does the digital refer to a particular set of technologies or is it a logic? For Seb Franklin, it is the latter. Franklin writes of "digitality without computers," describing an "ontological digitality separated from the machines and interfaces with which it has become synonymous." This digitality involves "a fundamental process of discretization that can be purely conceptual as much as it can enable particular technological processes." If the history of "digital art" began from here, how different would it look?
The digital signal is not a continuous signal, like the analogue wave form. It cannot be infinite, it is 'discrete'. It needs to be a defined set of data, of numbers - but it can of course, replicate/represent analogue forms. So how does the digital become infinite? Does it simply mimic infinity? I think of Roger Callois and the opening lines of 'Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia':
"From whatever side one approaches things, the ultimate problem turns out in the final analysis to be that of distinction: distinctions between the real and the imaginary.."
A line of stainless steel mint imperials that are endlessly pleasurable to manipulate but feel a little cold in the mouth. The other tradition of the doppelgänger; an exact, psychopathic copy. Capable of rage in growth only. Hunger incomprehensible. Not mad, exactly. Not an alien yet.