Digital Haze and Non-Reductive Communication
Author: Zhenzhen Qi
Contemporary digital culture presents a significant challenge in balancing functionality and openness in communication. The design of the current hyperlinked communication model, inherited from the cybernetics system invented during WWII by Norbert Wiener, prioritizes efficiency at the expense of openness. This results in a situation where we paraphrase each other instead of expressing anything that is truly different. The self-referential circuit created by this system controls information, but it limits the possibilities for variety and chance that machines offer.
Furthermore, software plays a significant role in the deterioration of individuality that cannot be represented or communicated digitally. It operates as a giant conditional machine where every action is wrapped in a condition. Any quality of input information that cannot be matched with any of the predefined conditions is labeled as error or noise. This leads to a situation where individuality is rapidly deteriorating, and real difference that is not imposed by spatial temporal situations will cease to exist.
To address this dilemma, we must reimagine a radically different mode of communication through digital interactive media. We need to create a digital haze that allows for a dual-existence of an object’s digital presence, enabling a condition for communication that does not reduce the sender and the context. This allows for an alternative becoming that engages with the absent and attempts to non-reduce. The concept of “computationally brokenness” enables the conditions for alternative experiences that are not immediately flattened out by binary machine signals. It allows for communication by non-communicating on a physical, material, and functional level, creating the necessary opening for a poetic, non-reductive space of grandeur.
Thus, we argue that the hyperlinked communication model inherited from the cybernetics system presents a significant challenge in balancing functionality and openness in digital communication. By creating a digital haze that allows for a dual-existence of an object’s digital presence and using the concept of “computationally brokenness,” we can enable an alternative becoming that engages with the absent and attempts to non-reduce. This creates a poetic, non-reductive space of grandeur that reimagines a radically different mode of communication.