I am adding this preface in order to explicate to some degree the relation of my talk of April 28 to my visual work. Since I do not want to describe each work precisely as I see it, I will make general connections between issues I am concerned with in my work to themes discussed in the talk. But I want to allow the reader to augment such connections for him- and her-self. It is my hope that readers will share questions and insights about such connections in the discussion area on the Tech90's Web site.

In my work I am concerned with a number of issues arising around two ideals: the analog and the digital. Though these modes today are considered technically and somehow sensorially different, I doubt the sustainability of their distinction. My doubt arises from the fact that technics and senses are evaluated and made operational socially, within a social system of discourse. All discourses are systems of metaphors, and other rhetorical figures, which through centuries of use and abuse, have accrued relations to many different disciplines and arguments. We cannot always be aware of all the possible connotations a term may have. Subsequently, one use to which we may put a term may be not only semantically different from another valid use for it, but also contradictory. Such friction within a term (as opposed perhaps to that between terms) is due to a materiality which we feel as the history of its use. Such a history may be considered, metaphorically, a set of social inscriptions that we must read (but not necessarily resolve) in order to use a term.

  When considering a term such as analog, we could think about it in terms of an actual object. I take a traditional time piece, a clock, as an example. With "face" and "hands," a clock is already entrenched in analogy. We also speak of the way in which such devices "keep" time as being "analog." This can be further underlined when placed in contrast to the newer digital clocks. But rather than discuss distinctions between digital and analog artifacts, let's continue with analog clocks. It is true enough that they are made from moving parts, such as gears, but to what extent can such components be considered purely analog? Gears have a discrete number of teeth which allow them to function only seemingly in analog fashion, albeit, continuously. The device relies on digital representation, each tooth being discrete and symbolic. Insofar as analog modes of representation (such as analogy) are deployed to effect continuities, we see with the example of the clock that such continuities are limited. They are limited not really from a perceptual perspective, but by a social, rhetorical context. By metaphorically "looking" differently at the clock, we hint at a different, and, in fact, digital interpretation of the analog device.

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