Digital aesthetics: the discrete and the continuous

Fazi, M Beatrice (2019) Digital aesthetics: the discrete and the continuous. Theory, Culture & Society, 36 (1). pp. 3-26. ISSN 0263-2764

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Aesthetic investigations of computation are stuck in an impasse, caused by the difficulty of accounting for the ontological discrepancy between the continuity of sensation and the discreteness of digital technology. This article proposes a theoretical position intended to overcome that deadlock. It highlights how an ontological focus on continuity has entered media studies via readings of Deleuze, which attempt to build a ‘digital aisthesis’ (that is, a theory of digital sensation) by ascribing a ‘virtuality’ to computation. This underpins, in part, the affective turn in digital theory. In contrast to such positions, this article argues for a reconceptualization of formal abstraction in computation, in order to find, within the discreteness of computational formalisms (and not via the coupling of the latter with virtual sensation), an indeterminacy that would make computing aesthetic qua inherently generative. This indeterminacy, it is argued here, can be found by reconsidering, philosophically, Turing’s notion of ‘incomputability’.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: aesthetics, affect, computation, ontology, Deleuze, digitality, virtuality
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Humanities Lab
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy > BD095 Metaphysics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
T Technology
Depositing User: Users 14840 not found.
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 14:42
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 13:18

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