By Elizabeth Swanstrom
In Animal, Vegetable, Digital, Elizabeth Swanstrom makes a convinced and lively argument for using electronic artwork in aid of ameliorating human engagement with the surroundings and indicates a four-part framework for interpreting and discussing such applications.
via shut readings of a panoply of texts, works of art, and cultural artifacts, Swanstrom demonstrates that the department pop culture has for many years saw among nature and expertise is man made. not just is electronic expertise now not inevitably a brick within the street to a dystopian way forward for environmental catastrophe, yet electronic artwork kinds could be a revivifying bridge that returns humans to a extra instant courting to nature in addition to their very own embodied selves.
to investigate and comprehend the intersection of electronic paintings and nature, Animal, Vegetable, Digital explores 4 aesthetic suggestions: coding, collapsing, corresponding, and holding. “Coding” denotes the best way artists use operational laptop code to blur differences among the reader and textual content, and, for that reason, the area. Inviting a fluid notion of the boundary among human and expertise, “collapsing” voids simplistic assumptions in regards to the human body’s innate perimeter. the method of translation among average and human-readable indicators that allows conversation is defined as “corresponding.” “Conserving” is the appliance of electronic paintings by way of artists to democratize huge- and small-scale maintenance efforts.
a desirable synthesis of literary feedback, communications and journalism, technological know-how and know-how, and rhetoric that pulls on such disparate phenomena as simulated environments, games, and pop culture, Animal, Vegetable, Digital posits that partnerships among electronic aesthetics and environmental feedback are attainable that reconnect humankind to nature and reaffirm its kinship with different dwelling and nonliving things.
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Additional info for Animal, vegetable, digital : experiments in new media aesthetics and environmental poetics
43 An illustration from a 1930 issue of Astounding Stories of Super Science, for example, which accompanies the short story “A Problem in Communication,” depicts a fictional coding system wholly inspired by botanical and insect morphology and suggests that the languages of symbolic abstraction and natural signs are related pursuits (Breuer). The histories of both computer technology and natural history are filled with moments such as these. By looking at them, a compelling and alternative story emerges about code’s relation to natural spaces, one that emphasizes organicism, holism, and the interconnected agency of all things.
The works offer complex ecologies composed of animal, vegetable, and computational agents. In both works, computer code is not merely an invisible set of instructions that control the computation. It is foregrounded and sensible; it both organizes and contributes to the thickly layered topographies of each work and world. Because code in such instances helps foster an ecological model that is rooted in materialism, it will be useful to have a basic understanding of what computer code is, how it operates, and how I am using the term in this context.
20 In sum, the project made use of at least six different semiotic codes: 1. English-poetic (the poem) 2. Cultural-historic (the newspapers) 3. Genetic (the DNA code) 4. Visual (the green cells) 5. Book making (binding, setting, cutting, and selling) 6. Computer code (self-effacing) Once the textual objects of poem, disk, “genetic portraits,” and genetic code were bound into this tortured codex, the entire book was wrapped in gauze, like a burial shroud, and enclosed, like a corpse, within the case.
Animal, vegetable, digital : experiments in new media aesthetics and environmental poetics by Elizabeth Swanstrom