Digital art and meaning : reading kinetic poetry, text by Roberto Simanowski

By Roberto Simanowski

In a global more and more ruled via the electronic, the serious reaction to electronic artwork typically levels from hype to counterhype. well known writing approximately particular works of art seldom is going past selling a given piece and explaining the way it operates, whereas students and critics stay not sure approximately find out how to interpret and review them. this is often the place Roberto Simanowski intervenes, demonstrating how such severe paintings could be done.

Digital paintings and Meaning deals shut readings of assorted examples from genres of electronic paintings akin to kinetic concrete poetry, computer-generated textual content, interactive install, mapping paintings, and data sculpture. for example, Simanowski deciphers the complicated that means of phrases that not just shape a picture on a monitor but additionally react to the viewer’s habit; pictures which are gradually destroyed by way of the human gaze; textual content machines producing nonsense sentences out of a Kafka tale; and a mild express above Mexico City’s ancient sq., created through web clients all around the world.  Simanowski combines those illuminating motives with a theoretical dialogue that employs paintings philosophy and historical past to accomplish a deeper realizing of every specific instance of electronic paintings and, finally, of the style as a whole.

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Nonetheless, it is in the nature of the subject that it is difficult to label and categorize the phenomena of digital arts. I do not ignore such questions and tackle them when it seems to promise a better understanding of the philosophical concepts or aesthetic agendas behind these phenomena. However, my agenda is not to clarify all terminological questions, let alone determine whether a given artifact is really art or rather science, and whether it is INTRODUCTION • 25 then good or bad art, or good or bad science.

Hence, some works may be digital art and digital literature at the same time, or at least consecutively, if their audiences and readers are indeed interested enough to engage in an adventure that aims to rescue their literary prisoners. Defıning Digital Literature In 2003, Jan van Looy and Jan Baetens published Close Reading New Media: Analyzing Electronic Literature, an anthology that aimed to provide a set of case studies to illustrate and test theories developed in years of terminological and theoretical debates.

Because language consists of discrete signs, one could say that literature is always the result of digital encoding, contrary to images or sounds that are based on nondiscrete signs. This is the basis for linguists’ objections to the prevailing expansion of the term language to nonlinguistic signs such as images. They are not based on “a combinatory system of digital units, as phonemes are,” as Roland Barthes holds in his essay “Rhetoric of the Image” (1991, 21). However, in the case at hand, both concepts of language apply.

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