Dig­i­tal Ma­te­ri­al­ity: Mak­ing the In­com­pre­hen­si­ble (Un­be­grei­fliche) Per­cep­ti­ble


Session Title:

  • On the Persistence of Hardware

Presentation Title:

  • Dig­i­tal Ma­te­ri­al­ity: Mak­ing the In­com­pre­hen­si­ble (Un­be­grei­fliche) Per­cep­ti­ble




  • Panel: On the Persistence of Hardware

    This paper re­ports on a se­ries of ex­per­i­ments that were con­ducted as part of a prac­tice-led PhD, which ex­plored the dig­i­tal po­ten­tials at the in­ter­face of hard­ware and soft­ware through cre­ative prac­tice. The lab­o­ra­tory-style ex­per­i­ments de­velop along a tra­jec­tory from noise within ex­is­tent (com­puter) sys­tems to­wards spec­u­la­tive in­ter­faces, where con­cep­tions of ma­te­ri­al­ity of hard­ware and soft­ware are brought into ques­tion. Dig­i­tal processes are om­nipresent and yet re­main im­per­cep­ti­ble and in­com­pre­hen­si­ble (un­be­grei­flich) – eas­ily being mis­un­der­stood as im­ma­te­r­ial. This par­a­digm of the dig­i­tal im­ma­te­r­ial how­ever is highly prob­lem­atic, and chal­leng­ing it be­comes par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in the light of re­lays be­tween tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and cul­tural con­cepts that de­velop into so-called Dig­i­tal cul­ture. Cre­ative prac­tice has a par­tic­u­lar po­si­tion from which to chal­lenge ex­ist­ing par­a­digms. The ex­per­i­ment here was used not as a strictly nor­ma­tive sci­en­tific method, but as a process that en­gages in con­tin­u­ous evolve­ment and in­ven­tion, while cel­e­brat­ing the con­struct­ed­ness of the pseudo-sci­en­tific lab­o­ra­tory. The se­ries of ex­per­i­ments makes use of the von Neu­mann ar­chi­tec­ture that treats soft­ware and data the same and through dif­fer­ent processes trans­forms soft­ware processes into per­cep­ti­ble dy­namic mat­ter.

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