Crisis of Transcendence: A Theology of Digital Art and by J. Sage Elwell

By J. Sage Elwell

From the web to the iPhone, electronic know-how isn't any mere cultural artifact. It impacts how we event and comprehend our global and ourselves on the inner most levels-it is a basic of residing. The digitization of contemporary lifestyles constitutes a necessary box of spiritual problem since it affects our person and cultural sensibilities so profoundly. regardless of this, it has but to be thematized because the topic of non secular or theological mirrored image. The difficulty of Transcendence treatments this via asking a unmarried major query: How is electronic know-how impacting the ethical and religious intensity of tradition?

How can anything as ineffable and nebulous because the intensity of tradition be identified and articulated, not to mention critiqued? writer J. Sage Elwell means that a solution lies within the arts. the humanities have traditionally acted as a barometer of the intensity of tradition, reflecting the non secular impulses and tendencies on the center of society. He argues that if the humanities subject in any respect, they are going to light up greater than themselves. via an experimental interpretation of electronic paintings, Elwell bargains a serious mirrored image on how electronic know-how is altering us and the realm we are living in at a degree of spiritual importance. using a theological aesthetic of electronic paintings, this e-book exhibits how the arrival of electronic know-how as a innovative cultural medium is remodeling the methods we expect approximately God, the soul, and morality.

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70 And within the immediate context, it becomes a way to think theologically about the digital arts and the depths of digital culture that they convey. indb 35 11/18/10 1:21 PM 36 CHAPTER 1 Universality and Particularity in Biological Art: The Death of God Applying the formulation of the structure of the being of the self to the metaphorical structure of works of art reveals an analogous mediation of universality and particularity. ”71 Using the language of “form” and “content” we might say that form denotes the criteria of embodied meaning and content denotes the criteria of aboutness.

More accurately however, GFP Bunny reveals that once code is taken to instantiate its own value, it ceases to be merely a tool for wielding control and becomes instead an agent of control itself with which control must be negotiated. This implication of the coded form of biological art cannot be overstated. Because code as form is operative at the most elemental level, it recasts all that it encounters in its image. To appreciate this and its relevance in biological art, imagine two works of art sitting side by side: Alba (under normal light), the rabbit from Eduardo Kac’s GFP Bunny, and a hypothetical painting of Alba executed by a master artist according to the most lifelike detail.

As evidence that SymbioticA had similar inclinations, in 2004 MEART embarked on a new project, the Black Square. In collaboration with the Ultrafuturo Group, SymbioticA installed MEART in the digital art space at the First Russian Biennale for Contemporary Arts and gave it the task of drawing a simple black square. This reduced the level of neuronal stimulus and allowed for a better comparison between MEART’s input (the image of a black square) and its output in an attempt to identify evidence of emergent creative behavior.

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