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A picture in Le Parisien (4/27/2014). Wherever you stay, get access to your data and applications.


Last revised 9/4/2014. Return to Major concepts.
See Form and matter in digital art.

This picture, published in 2013, illustrates a paper about a man who lost ten days in a chirurgical department. *with an iPad, and all the ligt and powerful devices of today, materialization has no longer the same importance as yesterday, when a digital image had to be sotred in a big box droning under the desk. Even the most basic objects begin to bear "immaterial" resources. And materialization becomes necessary only when we wish to make it heavier or bigger.

An example, in TV and cinema production, : La dématérialisation gagne du terrain. (video, broadcast ...) 13 pages in Sonovision 4/2012, signed by Sophie Bosquillon, Lionel Ollier and François Plohye.

Bits do not exist out of matter. Their environment (OS, etc) assumes they stay binary, with a very low error rate, They have to be located, but generally their actual precise location does not matter, as long as we have a handle (an address, a pointer, an Internet link) to reach them. Their actual location can differ quite strongly from their "natural" structure, in order to fit hardware requirements, for instance (tracks and sectors on a disk). Due to communication speed, a data base can be multilocated. The "cloud" makes that even more actual.

As a general rule, materialization of a document is not straightforward. There is no "pure matter", and you will yave to cope with its own structure, grain, patterns, speed and even reliability (using redundancy and error correcting codes).

You may have to meet two other, complementary, problems/
- your data (image for instance) is to "poor" to fill the targeted material support, and you will look for ways to "enrich" it some way or other (smoothing, antialiasing...),
- your data is too "rich", and you have to make some sacrifices, for instance compression with loss of data.

For instance, you could have a high resolution scan of an engraving by Durer, but you want to print it on a colored shawl. Then you have at the same to accept a lower resolution and to find some way to add color.

So materialization demands frequently to take decisions, and that may be the responsibility of the artist, or the publisher. They can also market different material versions of a same work, and let the customer make its choise. See for example my communication What matters in digital art ? The digital soul. An image, for example,

- can be available only as a low resolution file on Internet (click on "image" in your favorite browser"),
- printed on paper of various sizes and qualities,
- printed on high grade matters (plexiglas, metal plates), as on the Madmagz website; see also our paper (2012, in French),
- printed on tee-shirts or other fabrics, possibly see our note,
- project on objects and buildings (video mapping), see for instance Hugo Verlinde).
- integrated into sculpture (which may help to satisfy the art market commercial and legal conditions),
- use 3D printing

Transmedia is a global frame for materialization of all sorts. See for instance Moben.

Matter may be more or less important for a work, an artist. It can be "anywhere in the cloud", or located in a definite place, public or private. It may be geolocalized.

Time is an important facet of matter. And live performance, through its "happening" nature and incarnation in the body of actors, is of course highly materialized, even if may by highly "spiritual".

See a note by Frédéric Naud (in French, circa 2011), about photography and iPad.

On the futre of plastics. A post in Perpectives 3Ds.



Paris ACM Siggraph, the French chapter of ACM Siggraph, worldwide non-profit organization of computer graphics.




Galerie Charlot An important supporter of digital art.