The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Recombination
Jos de Mul begins by stating that artistic media, as mediating interfaces, structures both artist's imagination and work's aesthetic reception. Being the computer an omnipresent interface in today's media art [I would add 'life'], how does this constitutes and structures the aesthetic experience?
The author defends the database constitutes the ontological model of today's work of art. Given that the database is such a cultural presence, everything is perceived under the metaphor of the database. As result of this and the flexibility and combinatorial possibilities of digital databases, everything becomes an object for manipulation and recombination; as in the age of mechanical reproduction when everything became subject for mechanical reproduction.
And as in the age of mechanical reproduction when the value of an object was relative to its exhibition possibilities, in the age of digital recombination, the value becomes proportional to its openness to manipulation. [think of the contrary moment: limitations hard-coded into digital objects - itunes songs/ipod/ebooks-renting. Copyby Jussi Parikka ]
De Mul also points out that due their mutability digital objects are inherently unstable, closer to a performance-art form rather than a product.
This multiplicity of the digital is making power more dependent on the ability to manipulate information. Politicians no longer rely on their exhibition value, but on their manipulation value. And data recombination can materialize in desired pictures which can influence economic and social policies. [yoha - database projects - http://yoha.co.uk/invisible /]