how to make analogies in a digital age

## whitney davis ### OCTOBER 117, 2006

essentially a long paper on the relationship between analog and digital, particularly in the light of goodman’s languages of art.

there isn’t really a distinction between analog and digital, according to nelson.

and von neumann said that the digital might be embedded in the analgo, and vice-versa. the “fineness” which results in digitality only happens by going through transient states.

the example of mount fuji as an analog (mark making as pictorial scheme, in which there is no syntactic or semantic differentiation—as opposed to scripts, or scores, for instance)

“a [symbol] scheme is syntactically dense if it provides for infinitely many characters so ordered that between each two there is a third.” -> infinitization and interminability. everything matters.

what Richard Wollheim calls the two-foldness of pictorial representation, its requirement that we attend both to the inscription (typically a flat painted surface) and to the projected correlate (such as a figured scene) in order fully to interpret the painting.

still, painting is mark by mark, that is: digital

discontinuous correlation: when symbols aren’t correlated in space or time (like it would be in an analog clock), but only in thought (like a digital clock which jumps from 11:59 to 12:00)

after the computational explosion, analog and digital aren’t so different anymore: the analog and digital modes are now wholly continuous (in an artistic “co-mingling” (Ludwig Seyfarth))

the difference now lies in the intent of the creator: what she’s taken to be dense and replete (or not) in the inscriptions of her preferred media

it used to be that the analog would constitute the artistic analogy, but now it is the digital

[BOOK] David Marr, Visions: A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information -cognition meets art history

digital analogy <-> analog digitality