Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Digital and Immanence Co-Implicated, or A Minor-Digital

In reading Hansen I've been returned back to the concept of the smooth and the striated being co-implicated. One of the most interesting aspects of this was illustrated by Deluze and Guattari in ATP when they said that all progress must take place within striated space while all becoming occurs in smooth space (ATP, 486). I talked about this a little in my presentation (part B). Immanence is implicated by striated technology that operates at such a scale and velocity that immanence is able to be implicated. The way in which striation is connected to technology is given an example in Mandelbrot's fractals (ATP, 486-488). These fractal images would not have been possible with out the increasingly iterable computational tools available to Mandelbrot. The systematic approach of fractal geometry is a good example according to D&G because it "provides a general determination for smooth space that takes into account its differences from and the relations to striated space" (ATP, 488).

The example is but one of many instances in which a striated system can function in a way that implicates an immanent concept. For me, I think that this is also the case in cinema. The technology of the movement-image is such that it accelerates the static technology of photography to such a velocity that not only is movement implicated, but time as well. Deleuze would argue that the implicated becoming in cinema is not movement but time. Hansen's search for what is "new" in new media holds a similar affinity to Deleuze's search for what is co-implicated in cinema (Hansen, 21). Although he takes his conclusions in a rather non-Deleuzian direction I believe his starting point is very important. What does the striation that produces the digital (image/media) co-implicate? What kind of immanent concepts can the digital imply? Hansen seems to focus on the way in which the digital striates the status of representation in media and therefore shifts the origin of meaning and interpretation to the body.

If we put Hansen's conclusions aside how would we provide a "general determination [of] smooth space that takes into account the differences from and the relations to striated space"? (ATP, 488) A single equation can be repeated enough to imply a conception of natural forms in the case of fractals (ie. the geometry of leaves and mountains). A single frozen slice of action/time can be taken again and again a such a rate such that it implies movement and time in the cinematic image. What does the digital striate? How are these qualities expressed in the 'major" media of digital? How are they different and related to the immanent qualities that it quantifies? If there are indeed immanent potentialities within digital technology would a "minor" digital be possible? What would minor digital be like?

For this reason I'm not sure that the reason that data-moshing as Benjamin posted for us implicates movement or time but something quite different (see Movement and the Digital Image). Just as the cinematic image implicates movement and time because of its unique relation to time so then would minor digital implicate immanence due to it's unique relation to smooth space. Data-moshing perhaps asks questions about the digital itself. It foregrounds what Lev Manovich describes as the digital image as only being the surface of pure data (Hansen, 32).

As you may of noticed, I'm not really sure what the digital truly striates. My initial instinct is that the digital striates process and procedure. This is what Manovich calls the processural image (Hansen, 9). Maybe what the digital striates is then a certain cognitive logic and the thing that a minor digital can implicate is a continuum of thought.


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