Week 1- Binary and printing


My thoughts for some time have been regarding units of memory, digital or embodied.
I am interested in the concept of prints used as a means of fixing memory.
What is fixed and how fixed is it rather than a drawing which is more fluid, inchoate, temporary?
The impact of our ‘digital age’ is likened that of the invention of printing press in the 15th Century and so to Enlightenment and Reformation in Europe.
As I am moving back, re-examining and re-presenting work it felt appropriate to investigate the some of the earliest examples of prints.
Rather than those made directly with hand and mouth,40,000 years ago I wanted to explore those mediated through another material, an interface, between hand and the print made.
I used Sumerian cylinder seals 

I wanted to reduce ‘something’ to composite units: Text to binary.
At night, a fragment of remembered speech/verse/text came to me as I fell asleep.
I cannot remember if I heard it/ spoke it/read it.
I typed the few words into Safari on my phone and found the full quotation:

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’
William Shakespeare – Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

and converted it into binary notation:

01010100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101101 01101111 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01100111 01110011 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01101000 01100101 01100001 01110110 01100101 01101110 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110100 01101000 00101100 00100000 01001000 01101111 01110010 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100100 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101101 01110100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01110000 01101000 01101001 01101100 01101111 01110011 01101111 01110000 01101000 01111001 00101110

The initial small positive and negative cylinders have a small amount of the binary notation inscribed.

Below is a monoprint of part of the text and also the residual imprint on the glass plate after the print has been removed.
This latter is, of course, not reversed whereas the print is.

Using prints of the documentation images from Unscheduled (2010) seen in my first post, I made monoprints and photographed the prints and the residue as below.
This time the digital ink prints I used to draw from were in black and white and of rather poor quality.
It was hard to determine the lines I wanted to follow.
The lines I made did not follow the original as exactly as before.
Some lines were made which I realised afterwards did not follow the original thread but were joined as I saw them as I was making this drawing.
The print became more of a construction based on an original than a representation.
It was not even made from my memory of the drawing or of the original performance, but an act of piecing together the fragments of visual information I could retrieve from the paper copy to make an image on the paper and the glass plate below it.

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3 thoughts on “Week 1- Binary and printing”

  1. This is really interesting for me because you translate text into 8 bit binary code. What is the key to the mapping of the Shakespeare quote and the binary strings that you show? I have worked with binary encryption by opposition of meaning, and now I work with the binary encryption of musical structures and statements about them to compute them by bitwise operations (http://wp.me/p5UdfJ-4). I think it would also be interesting to try binary symbols that are not related to Gobar or Hindu-Arabic numerals, such as dark (concave) and bright (convex) circles. Great art!

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    1. HI Thanks for the comment!
      I’ll check out the references and your site and have think.
      What do you mean by ‘the key’ please?

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      1. By the key I mean the mapping from Shakespeare to binary strings based on some formal or semantic criteria. How do the meaning or expressions of Shakespeare become binary strings- through what formal transformation process? Thanks for the response, k

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