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Work in progress


See also bit.

Fragmentation, automatization, Connection;

Digitization has its pros and cons

- pros : better reliability, performance (storage, transmissin, processing), universality, automating possibilities
- cons : the more digital is the object, the more necessary it is to use tools to use it (it is less and less "immediate, intuitive, instinctive, etc. ).

Digitization of representations. Digitization of objects (connected objects)

This pros and cons apply to perennity.

Hence, the speed and range of digitization are an important aspect of strategies.

Pixelization and vectorization, the two ways of digitalization

Digitalization has two complementary sides, a development which can be traced far back in art history as pixelization and vectorization. We could call the former “material digitalization”, and the second “formal digitalization”.

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Digitalization of images Pixelization. From left to right (extracts)  : Byzantine mosaic in Ravenna (6th century), pointillist painting, “Le chahut”, by Seurat (1889-90), and  “La fillette électronique”, by Albert Ducrocq with his machine Calliope (around 1950). 

Pixelization: Byzantine mosaics deliberately use a sort of pixel, tesserae, to create a specific stylistic effect [Malraux, 1951]. The impressionism, and even more neo-impressionist pointillism have scientific roots. Computer bitmaps emerged in the 1970’s, with forerunners such as Albert Ducrocq [Ducrocq, 1951], handmade paintings generated by his machine Calliope (a random generation electronic device using algorithms for binary translation to text or image). 

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Digitalization of images. 2. Vectorization. From left to right: Guitar player, by Picasso ,1910, Klee tutorial 1921, Schillinger graphomaton, around 1935.

Vectorization is a more indirect (representational) digitalization, since it creates images from elementary forms, as well as from texts, grammars, and the particular kind of text that is an algorithm. Here also, roots go deep into art history. An important impetus was given by cubism. The Bauhaus tried hard on this way, see for instance [Itten] for color and [Klee 1921-22] for patterns. A first explicit vision of vector automatic image generation was given by [Schillinger]. Incidentally, Schillinger was mainly a music composer and compostion teacher, and of course, digitization and music went along similar ways.

The two ways of evolution have merged in binarisation in the 1950-60’s, as stated in the seminal paper of Von Neumann et al. [Von Neumann], “We feel strongly in favor of the binary system”, for three reasons :
- hardware implementation (accuracy, costs),
- “the greater simplicity and speed with which the elementary operations can be performed” (arithmetic part),
- “logic, being a yes-no system, is fundamentally binary, therefore a binary arrangement… contributes very significantly towards producing a more homogeneous machine, which can be better integrated and is more efficient”.

In this fusion, the bit is the basically undividable atom   of both matter (limit of pixelization) and form (logical Yes or No pair). The model, indeed, applies not only to electronic computers but to any “intelligent” device, including living beings. It applies also to communication lines, about which Shannon [Weaver & Shannon] elaborated his important contribution to information theory, and this at nearly the same time that Watson and Crick discovered the basically digital nature of life itself.

Digitalization modes :
distinction, cut, analysis, antithetis. See n+1th bit
coding, decoding

- Numérisation et patrimoine, by B. Couasnon and H. Emptoz eds. . Hermès 2004.
- Digitization history SH No 1 (concepts).
- Digitisation of the collections (French ministry of Culture) AH No 88 (entreprises)

A progressive process, from a more “analog”, continuous state to a more digital state. ôöû
Takes a lot of different ways.

For instance : Alphabet Mendeleiev table, DNA

Goes along with a replacement of “reality” by its representations.

Language : naming.

Limits of digitalization.

As for humans, direct binary is far from optimal.

Intermeidate foms : naming (form, force)

What about the "analysability" or "divisibility" ?
- in DU, any being is fully divisible into bits (and most often than not, for practical purposes, in bytes)
- sometimes a being may be fully divided by another being, and then considered as their "product". Examples
. a text (in a normal language, natural or not), is the product of the dictionary times a text scheme
. a written text is the product of a text scheme, a language, and graphic features: font etc.
. a bitmap with its layers (R,G,B, matte...).

Elémentarization. Is done progressively from all sorts of starting points.
In linuisics, the base unit is the seme (or semanic feature).
The words are the morphemes of a language.
A sememe is a set (or cluster) of semes.

En digital, à la base, il y a un morphème unique, le bit, qui peut être mis en correspondance avec n'importe quel trait sème. Si le sème comporte plus d'une opposition, alors il faut plusieurs bits.

Les groupes de bits se font à la fois
- pour des raisons sémantiques/linguiistiques : nombre de bits nécessaires pour une feature
- pour des raisons pratiques : longueur du mot dans les processeurs, organisation en paquets pour les transmissions de données, pagination,etc.

C'est vrai aussi en linguistique, dès qu'elle se "matérialise" : aussi bien l'oral qu'à l'écrit, il y a des contraintes matérielles.

idem en neurosciences, il peut y avoir des structures sémantiques... et il y a la manière dont tout cela s'organise dans les neurones, la rétine, les différentes parties du cerveau. Bien sûr, finalement, il y a des bits. Encore que les neurones ne sont pas des structures tout à fait digitales, il s'en faut.

Nota. j'ai utilisé l'expression "combinatoire sémantique" de wikpedia : une chose est sûre, ... ces questions sont loin d'être tranchées.

Il y a de "fausses digitalisations", purement transitoires, intermédiaires : engrenages, pixels et sampling en général.

Digitalisation des instruments de dessin : table à dessin/planche, règle, équerre/compas
puis tout sur l'ordinateur.

When you cut, you can organize othervise (than the "original" or "natural" organization).
Typically, cinema (Eisenstein), collage, mind/logic.

Digital is a grand narration. Opposed to postmodern, to Rhizome ?

Digital dialectics. The n+1 bit. For originality.

existing (thesis), one bit more (thesis + antithesis), doubles. Then happens the real synthesis process.

Reread the Schmitt manifesto.

One basic bit : me/not me

The "not you" space is not empty. If the artist digs int their own singularity, the external part grows by difference. (??)

The location of the new bit is not indifferent. The location has, or has not, a meaning. That depends on the process which will operate on/with the object.

To be really dialectic, it must be read be first. or somehow be applied to the whole object/universe.

If the process is normal vision, then what does mean "add a bit". Or even a pixel. For example, we can assume that the "thesis is a rectangle, whihth white margins. The new pixel will be somewhere in the margins.
A comment, an explaation..

Generative : transfer as a kind of negation (leave my book).


The digital artist does not (or rarely) deal with bits. It uses superior unities.
But they must have this radicality in mind.
It is behind the code.



e Automatization

Operatios on language: induction andeduction

Two "logical" opeations give life to the systems of signs : induction and deduction.

Induction, Generalization

Any cognitive system (animal, human, computer) takes the risk of generalization and induction. It takes the form of "Since I have met 500 sheep, whics are all white, and I know no black one... all the sheep are white".

The old premiss about the Socrates syllogism "All men are motral". In other words : "Since up to now, all men died, we can infer that all men are mortal".

Such generalizations are OK... up to new data... and with risk. When the Greek author writhes that, some humans are not dead (yet...). Then there is a bias in the "all".

Or event (Fontenelle) : "De mémoire de rose, on n'a jamais vu mourir un jardinier".

Deduction, démonstration
Two assertions, one conclusion.

We see a progressive evolution from the sophists (who can prove anything) and the Aristorlean syllogism (which remain close to intuition) up to the automatic demonstration of today, through more and more formal phases in Arab or Occident middle-ages. Bacon, yet, called for the securitu of mahines.