Digital collage – the case for object disoriented programming

Digital collage
(the case for object disoriented programming) by Colin Beardon

Interesting overview albeit, imho, with some lacking or insufficient conclusions:
– digital collage needs to address the fundamental concepts of computing (OK4dv)
– digital objects need to be disruptive (not_entirely_OK4dv: digital _processes_ need to disrupt conceptual objects)
– “the Digital Bauhaus needs to be dirty!” (certainly_notOK4dv: it’s another rephrasing of the fictional idea that ‘relevant’ information needs to be substracted from chaos or noise and that more noise in the discrete world of objects would lead to an artistical surplus within the information, like applying a series of randomly or carefully chosen filters in photoshop to any image would render it artistically interesting.

In a truly Wittgensteinian sense: that is simply not the case.

In any work of art the noise is the art object, or its perception of being (a series or collection of) object(s). It is always the same mistake of taking snapshots of the flow of a process and then call it ’the digital’. That ‘digital’ object does not exist, although we need it to construct programmatic aid to our way of living.

Text is not a static object and neither is code, because code is text.
Programs run, or they are not. Collage has no need for dirt, neither has ‘digital collage’.

Programmed collage needs to compile, just like Schwitters Merz’ collages were processes that ran until the procedural residue could be succesfully compiled by Kurt’s eye, a very efficient process combining artistic insight, instant technical feasability reporting and a sublimely complete awareness of the actual world he lived in. They are in a true sense timely constructions of which the much valued residual objects are a mere testimony. In that way, Kurt’s original KdeE is and will always remain his most succesfull work of art, although virtually nothing remains of it. It may all have been destroyed but it was a highly significant and speaking moment in history to this day, both within the history of art, within it’s living process of tradition, as it continues to speak to us, as in our history of Kurt’s time, as it continues to speak to us about his time, his particular region of clarity as an artistic monad.

If Object Oriented Programming was the (genial) first move away from the idea of the computer program as a narrative of its execution, we are now making our second move, the one towards allowing the computer to generate its own procedural reality in a human-computer sphere where informational garbage from any procedural reality can become nutritial for other processes: the maximum of information is not defined by the noise/relevance equation but by the next moment’s nutrition value.

Algorithms + data structures + time = human programs.

The programmed collage, if such an idea can be realised, and i think it can, would not be confined to any cheaply Kantian aesthetics, adding an aesthetic surplus for pleasure in contemplation to randomly collected objects. The programmed collage would be a realisation of a generative machinisating kind, in opposition to the mechanic results of all too discrete division in objects and sterile calculations on those divisions. A machine consisting of nothing but machines, a screenfull of interacting processes, a representation performing with a feel for its audience because it’s audience is contained within it as an inescapable auctorial instance. In such machines we need only fear our own fallacies in continually taking the fictional discrete for real.

So if you need slogans: the Digital Bauhaus needs to know itself.


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