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«It is with no little bewilderment that I have gradually come to realise over the course of the past 10 years that the computer, with its structured ...»

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(Andre Breton. Peinture, p. 113) Collage consists in reassembling preexisting images in such a way as to form a new image answering a poetic need. Max Ernst defined it as the chance encounter of two distant realities on an unsuitable level, a formula which is the happy codification of Lautreamont's famous proposition: Beautiful as the encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table. It gives us a remarkable method of triangulation that does not provide measures, but brings to the surface unrevealed mental images. Aragon states that collage is more reminiscent of the operations of magic than of those of painting. Everything hinges on the artist's success in persuading us to recognize as accurate the relationship now established between normally distant realities as well as in making us recognize their connection on the plane of poetry.

Asked, Do you think your collages are visible poetry? Jean Arp replied Yes, this is poetry

made with plastic means. [20] And Jacques Brunius comments:

... but if it is feathers that make plumage, remarks Max Ernst, it isn't paste [la colle] that makes collage. And indeed, it is quite possible to stick the elements of a collage together without paste. It is even possible to imagine work the elements of which would be left loose in a box with a transparent lid, and which would make up, as in certain games of patience or skill, a different picture each time they are shaken. [21]

4.1 The desktop as alembic:

The decisive property of a digital organ or mechanism, then, is that it is almost always in one or another of its two extreme discrete states, i.e., that the dynamic probability of its standing in the intermediate state which forms the connecting continuum is very small. One treats such, by ignoring the transition states--that is, by assuming that information is being conveyed in a binary code. [22] It is with no little bewilderment that I have gradually come to realise over the course of the past 10 years that the computer, with its structured desktop, itís neatly aligned icons and application toolboxes, arranged with the precision of surgical instruments; and above all in the workings of itís irrefutable binary logic of 0's and 1's, translated into simple yes and no commands; has become for me the ultimate alembic of the image-work. On the surface this does indeed seem like a contradiction: How can a machine that is so based in logic in its mode of functioning, so organised and incapable of impulse, be conducive to the free flow of ideas, the generation of images and sequences of images, of associations, combinations and permutations that translate the hour between the wolf and the dog, the twilight zone of our consciousness, into the image-work?

Within this context I am not so much intersted in the unique and novel output resulting from the implementation of digital technology, such as non-linear/interactive work, network/collaborative projects, random or code generated works, virtual environments and the like; as in the process involved in the creation of any work in the computer environment. When viewed from this point of view single frame images such as digital photographs, paintings and illustrations, that incorporate no interactivity, non-linearity or coding skills whatsoever are as integral to my interest as any of the above mentioned novel and sophisticated modes of expression.

Is the artist affected from the climate of virtually unlimited undoís and redoís; not to mention utilities such as history palettes that enable him/her to traverse the entire journey involved in the image-work backwards and forwards, saving and thus recreating virtually unlimited versions and variations of the original on the way? Has the ability to copy and paste from our own work, and thus generate new output without the risk of destroying the original not affected our image-work in some fundamental way?

And finally: Can search engines and indeed the entirety of hypertext, be used as vehicles of free association harnessed for the benefit of the image-work? Cannot the huge collective database we call the internet, so akin to a virtual manifestation of the collective unconscious itself; aid us in the discovery of our inner selves? I cannot help but wonder at how the likes of Max Ernst, Andre Breton and Marcel Duchamp would have approached google had they

had a chance to do so. A diary entry of some 60 years ago may help provide the answer:

–  –  –

References:

[1] Freud, S. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Horace Liveright. New York.

1920. P: 3 [2] http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~sibel/poetry/poems/oktay_rifat/english/once_upon_a_time retrieved on: 13-10-2005 [3] Freud, S. Brill A. A. ed. The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud. Modern Library. New York. 1938. P: 542 [4] Matthews, J. H. The Imagery of Surrealism. Contributors: Syracuse University Press. Syracuse, NY. 1977. P: 4 [5] Bollas, C. The Mystery of Things. Routledge. London. 1999. P: 28 [6] Freud, S. A Short Account of Psycho-Analysis. 1923.

[7] Freud, S. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Horace Liveright. New York.

1920. P: 91 [8] Freud, S. Introductory Lectures. 15: 232 [9] Freud, S. The Interpretation of Dreams. P: 312 [10] Freud, S. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Horace Liveright. New York.

1920. P: 145 [11] Freud, S. A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. Horace Liveright. New York.

1920. P: 146 [12] Levine, M. P. The Analytic Freud: Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. Routledge.

London. 2000. P: 294.

[13] Freud, S. Brill A. A. Ed. The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud. Modern Library.

New York. 1938. P: 635 [14] Freud, S. Brill A. A. Ed. The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud.. Modern Library.

New York. 1938. P: 680 [15] Freud, S. Brill A. A. Ed. The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud.. Modern Library.

New York. 1938. P: 686 [16] Seitz, W. C. The Art of Assemblage. Museum of Modern Art. New York. 1961. P.

[17] Matthews, J. H. The Imagery of Surrealism. Contributors: Syracuse University Press. Syracuse, NY. 1977. Pp: 2 [18] Bollas, C. The Mystery of Things. Routledge. London. 1999. P: 167.

[19] Seitz, W. C. The Art of Assemblage. Museum of Modern Art. New York. 1961. P.

[20] Carrouges, M. Andre Breton and the Basic Concepts of Surrealism. University of Alabama Press. University, AL. 1974. P: 171, 66 [21] Brunius, J. Rencontres fortuites et concertees. Catalog E. L. T. Mesens, ì125 Collages et Objetsî. Knokke-Le-Zoute. 1963.

[22] Garvin, P.L. Natural Language and the Computer. McGraw-Hill. New York. 1963.

P: 49



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