Posted by: Yorgos | August 21, 2008

Text 25 – Digital-Natural Olympics

I only watched the beginning of the opening ceremony of the olympics. I was waiting to be impressed and indeed I was. It is simply amazing what technology can achieve these days and how man can manipulate it in ways innovative and fresh. But, as always, this is not what I want to say.

I do want to talk about the countdown with the drummers who were turning on and off the lights in order to form the numbers. The upper half had the chinese numbers (presumably) and the lower half had the western (or Arabic) numerals. But the lower numbers were formed as if they were written on a calculator, they were completely square and unimaginative. One of the things that did not have to do with any amazing new technology, but had to do with coordination, practice, effort and so on, this one thing was designed to imitate digital technology of the past century. This is an interesting contrast to the parchment that unfolded in that same ceremony, which was accomplished by advanced technologies, but it imitated (or depicted) technologies that are around for thousands of years.

It seems that the more advanced technology we get the more we try to make it look natural (see 3D graphics, for example), but at the same time the more we come to think it as natural and we try to imitate it, even without using it. Borrowing from the French mentality, I would say that something like that is at the same time a convergence and a divergence of nature and technology. I can easily see a new art movement, where the painter, for example, would only draw in horizontal lines, giving form to the image gradually, no matter if he wants to paint a portrait or a tree, so that he can imitate the way an inkjet printer works. Well, if this ever happens, you heard it here first. I even want to find a name for this technique…I’ll call it printism. We needed a new -ism anyway. We can’t have enough of them…

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