[-empyre-] ambiguous artistic strategies & critical engineering

B. Bogart ben at ekran.org
Thu Feb 16 04:10:10 EST 2012

Hello all,

I would like to thank all for fleshing out this little transgression I
seem to have followed from Julian. This will be my final message on this
topic, as I feel the thread has passed. Perhaps to be returned to in a
future topic.

I feel some hesitation to reply as I am unfamiliar with many of the
references discussed below. I've decided to take a crack at it anyhow.

It seems to me this issue is not one of analogue vs digital at all, but
an issue of complexity and encoding. I can follow the thinking that an
analogue signal may be directly accessible to interpretation, as one
could follow, say the movement of a mic diaphragm, and see the
corresponding change in voltage. This seems to assume there is only one
mapping between the movement of the mic element, and the signal in the
wire. Lets take a more complex analogue system as an example: What of a
system that uses filters to break the signal into a number of signals of
differing frequency? Each would not be as easy to link to the movement
of the mic element. In short a single signal has been encoded into the
variance of multiple signals. This seems analogous to a digital system,
and thus I don't see the discontinuity between analogue and digital systems.

I am also not convinced the requirement for an interface is any
different in both analogue and digital cases. In the example above the
mic itself is the interface, translating sound waves into an invisible
electrical signal. You could argue that this interface is more simple,
as the signal resembles the sound waves, but there are still many
different ways in which the movement of the mic could be translated into
changes in the electrical signal. Some of these mappings are more
obvious than others, but because there are different options, there is a
requirement for an interface designed with a particular mapping in mind.
I see this as no different than in a digital system.

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