Keynote talk by Annie van den Oever
about archieves and media labs
Our life is half natural and half technological. Half-and-half is good. You cannot deny that high-tech is progress. We need it for jobs. Yet if you make only high-tech, you make war. So we must have a strong human element to keep modesty and natural life. Nam June Paik
Korean-born American artist Paik influence the art of video and television intensely.
Electronic super highway –
“Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.” —Nam June Paik
Random Access Memory
RAM is a Temporary, working storage for bytes. When power goes out, RAM’s state is gone. Ram store both data, which is just the passive information, and code that defines the active plan followed by the computer.
First of all, to be able to articulate digital environments, inherent language of digital environments has to be considered. Distinctive specify of the medium is its codes. What are the digital codes basically? Digital means switching between the states of one-on-connected and zero-off-disconnected by electrical terms. As switching between the two states means representing information as binary data, what you do is adding the digit (bit) after you couple the circle of two. The bit depth (number of bits available) determines the accuracy and quality of the quantized value. 8 bit is 1 byte. 1 byte is enough to hold 1 typed letterMathematically: n bits yields 2n patterns. Kilobyte about 1 thousand bytes, Megabyte, about 1 million bytes, Gigabyte, about 1 billion bytes, Terabyte, about 1 trillion bytes.
There is an encoding representation for each typed letter by a number, called ASCII. Within this representation each number is stored in one byte, so the number is in 0..255. For example; in ASCII Code, representation of the A is 65, a is 96.
In term of digital images, which look natural, and smooth; there are lots of little numbers behind the scenes. According to The Newton prism that shows the “hue” dimension technically color is a 3-dimensional space, mixing lights works differently from mixing paints. This is the behind theory of how to represent the color of a pixel? The red/green/blue (RGB) scheme is one popular way of representing a color in the computer. In RGB, every color is defined as a particular combination of pure red, green, and blue light. By this means, any color can be represented by three numbers in between 0-255.
Although the background of binary turns to Chinese via Leibniz, circa 1700; any datum is controlled within the logical structure a digital circuit in, for instance, computer. After its developments through Morse key, the action was designed into the telegraph system in 1753. So perhaps telegraph is the first digital process.After establising the Transatlantic telegraph cable, the first message of telegraphy send by Queen Victoria in 1858 “Europe and America are united by telegraphy. Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men, an additional link between the nations whose friendship is founded on their common interest and reciprocal esteem.” to President James Buchanan.
To be back to the point, digital acts like a language. “Language is, as it were, that which divides reality” (Barthes) Pixels are the discrete data of the digital. Sampling transform continuous data into discrete data. And then each sample is assigned a numerical value from a defined range. This process is what is called quantization. Quantisation of the data, as a process of converting a continuous range of values into a finite range of discreet values, has a capacity for a significant change in terms of calculation, determination and manipulation.
Very briefly digitalisation is converting data into a numerical representation. This implies a mathematical representation of the media as well as its algorithmic manipulation. Digitalised space is ready for the mathematical operation for the reasons of analysing, or migrating the data. This is one of the most significant pinpoints that media as a convergence point, capacity of algorithmic variety in digital environments distort the identity of media and relevantly culture dramatically. These new systems by creating a different bunch of new gestures and behaviours intervene the daily life and create a new form of anthropocene. Following McLuhan, German new media philosophers Ernst poses that “cyberspace is not about content, but rather a transversive performance of communication. Without the permanent recycling of information, there is no need for emphatic memory.” By their dynamic nature, the new systems by acting like a living organisms intervene to daily life and their interaction is more impactful more than ever.
“Media becomes programable.” (Manovich, 2001)
“Digital environments is encyclopedic, spatial, procedural and participatory” (Murray, 2012)
Participatory instinct of digital culture is mot visible with the social media that allow even the off task people to participate by instant sharing. Social Media itself by containing the spontaneous and private behaviours, predilections, relations and intentions of people crete a vast database. “Instant sharing” function of media, which allows it meeting with its end users in an online environment while it is still performing the process, emphasise the living mechanism of the project, day by day, hour and hour. This function is a rupture from traditional communicational methods by its ability to multi directional communication and at the same time convergence of the many retroactive media. Social media is a reflection of a philosophy. Although the given data is very personal, in long term with such a grand participation, this is the media that has traits not like the other – possibly it is base the most objective and never existed data pool. By transcending the space and time, digital environments are profound implication for comtemporary daily activities of the people. Because the people’s life so much embedded to where they live, work and play; the spatiality of the digital environments crete foundational revolutionary new grounds, thus new ways of being.
In a way, modern technical media much more to do with quantities instates of qualities, which means it does not necessarily withhold the quality seekers.
There is also another bifurcation in the digital media, in-terms of data’s born places. The digitalising the media that produced out of the digital system is one thing, producing in the digital system is another.
Whereas a printed letter can carry the meaning of only one phonetic unit, one byte is open to encode 256 different textual, acoustic, or visual options.