Monday, February 9, 2015

Most Important Contributions

When it comes to expressing ideas and performance, what is the most important contribution of digital media?  In my opinion, I agree to a degree with Nam June Paik's reference in our text to Henri Poincare's  late-nineteenth century discovery through mathematics, that is, "what was being discovered was not new THINGS but merely new RELATIONSHIPS between things already existing".
With digital media the most significant contribution has been the amount of information that is quickly and easily (dependent on connection and accessibility) made available in a matter of seconds.  While the messenger, the pony express, the telephone, email, and now synchronous video connections has made it possible to connect humans no longer in a physical space together, it is nothing really new as a discovery.  All of these possibilities and "things" were already in existence, it was only the discovery of how to make information faster and unified.
What is significant to me, is the ability to express the multitude of parallel "universes" of possibility with a speed never before experienced.  As cited in chapter 14 of our text, "film and video editing enables an instant visual and aural fragmentation of space and time", that has been impossible before.  It's not that it hasn't been imagined before.  In fact, the precise tools that allow us to now imagine for the audience, may in some way deprave them of an inner experience of creativity.  However, it's that it is now possible to create a dreamscape, the "in-between-ness" that has been until now, logistically impossible.  With such speed and power of processing and editing it is wise that we remember the digital mediums is but another (albeit powerful) tool, another instrument, another paintbrush in our arsenal of performance techniques and expressions of which, we should not abandon the rest in the quest to communicate our ideas.

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