[-empyre-] noiseless world: Miguel's first post

There are several myths embracing the promises of new media, among them
one of the strongest is related with the idea of purity. In fact,
digital media and its defining codified information are very often
identified as a new and pure territory, purged from all those
impurities and troublesome noises associated with old media and
analogue information. It's true that digital information works as a
levelling tool, destroying by that way many of the 'noises' and
'scratches' that would result from the use of non-digital codes, but
this same digital levelling is also cause and effect of a strong and
confusing accumulation of information. That's something we can easily
verify comparing the few bytes of information inside our computers just
20 years ago, with the exponential grow of our data storing devices and
complex networks.
We know for certain, at least since the mid of the last century, that
technology, for itself, it's not the solution for our problems. In a
certain way, art opened that critical path very early on the beginning
of the XXth century. So, it seems very strange to see how certain myths
based on the coexistence of two worlds — impure and pure, noisy and
noiseless, low and high, etc. — are still emerging from contemporary
art practice, mainly in the so-called new media art field. That old
mythology, based on a transcendental belief on the effects of
technology, is still reclaiming, precisely, a utopian purity that will
emerge from technology as an autonomous apparatus. How can we escape
this technological fatality? How can we liberate art from this circular
media-based ingenuous position? Is it possible to sustain an
ontological character for those digital media? What is it really a
"noiseless world"?

Miguel Leal

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