How does the digital affect our physical environment?
I was reading Vilém Flusser ‘Form and Material’ essay (1991) where he addresses this question from the perspective of how form and material cope with each other! When thinking about how most manufactured objects are designed on a digital screen, I wonder how physical materials cope with the ambitious imaginings generated on flat screens.
Flusser puts it more eloquently – ‘What is at issue is the concept of in-formation. In other words, imposing forms on materials. This has been apparent since the Industrial Revolution. A steel tool in a press is a form, and it in-forms the flood of glass or plastic flowing past it into bottles or ashtrays.(…) The criteria for criticizing information are now more like the following questions: To what extent are the forms being imposed here capable of being filled with material? To what extent are they capable of being realized? To what extent is the information practical or productive?
Wherever I go I look at objects big and small… and think about how they came into being, and whether their material/physical existence matches up to their digitally designed expectations.