Dada and the Database Aesthetic

In Recombinant Poetics and Related Database Aesthetics, Bill Seaman describes the database as derived through human activity:

“The poetic of computers lies in the genius of individual programmers to express the beauty of their thought using such an inexorable medium.”

He uses Claude Berge’s description of combinatorics to further these human like codification processes by correlating them to ‘the notion of combinatorics’, or ‘the precise concept of ‘configuration”, a ‘mapping of  set of objects into a finite abstract within a given structure’.

In Seaman’s own work he uses these database combinatorics to code environments over space and time in order to ‘recontextualize or reconfigure’ data in an ongoing poetics that allows a participant to actively become engaged with this recontextualization of text, image and sound elements.

“A work of art is a complete and closed form in its uniqueness as a balanced organic whole, while at the same time constituting an open product on account of its susceptibility to countless different interpretations which do not impinge on unadulterable specificity. Hence every reception of a work of art is an interpretation and a performance of it, because in every reception the work takes on a fresh perspective for itself”

~Umberto Eco The Open Work

Seaman poses the question: “If we think words are particularly inadequate in reflecting the complexity of media environments in terms of meaning generation, could we build a device that better enables one to come to understand the nature of meaning production?”

Seaman uses Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations to explore language in game-based model where the concept of ‘the meaning of the word is its use in language’. Particularly in his work The World Generator/The Engine of Desire that “seeks to provide a place to reflect on the combinatoric and projective qualities of thought as it intermingled with matter/energy processes and experience…provid[ing] a platform for exploring an expanded linguistic form of media authorship”

How does this work and potential new media work (from ourselves or others) address notions of ‘meta-meaning’ and an ‘ongoing language/meaning production’?

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