Sunday Book-Thought 116

Dagognet articulates the basic question, even if he doesn’t provide the most useful answer: what is an edge and what is a center? Where does the image end and the frame begin? This is something with which artists have played for generations. Digital media are exceptionally good at artifice and often the challenge comes in maintaining the distinction between edge and center, a distinction that threatens to collapse at any point like a house of cards. For example, the difference is entirely artificial between legible ASCII text, on a Web page, for example, and ASCII text used in HTML markup on that same page. It is a matter of syntactic techniques of encoding. One imposes a certain linguistic and stylistic construct in order to create these artificial differentiations. Technically speaking, the artificial distinction is the case all the way down: there is no essential difference between data and algorithm, the differentiation is purely artificial. The interface is this state of ‘being on the boundary.’ It is that moment where on significant material is understood as distinct from another significant material. In other words, an interface is not a thing, an interface is always an effect. It is always a process or a translation. Again, Dagognet: a fertile nexus.
Alexander R. Galloway, The Interface Effect (Cambridge: Poltiy PRess, 2012), p. 33.


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