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There has never been a Patient-0

Tiziano Derme, Daniela Mitterberger, Gonzalo Vaillo, Jordi Vivaldi.

ACADIA 2020 Distributed Proximities.

Conference proceedings︎︎︎

The arrival of the “Hyper-Communication” and its associated “Transparency Society” reveals a new Media Condition: an informational framework characterized by being carnal, recursive, omnipresent, immediate, intimate, and exact. It constructs a pervasive communicative scenario that differs from the pre-digital era: while the amount of information exposed has been massively expanded, the exposure time of each informational phenomena, particularly visual representations, has been considerably reduced. This informational singularity responds to a 21st-century technological condition in which iterative algorithmic repetition has become a mode of production. The massive, immediate and ubiquitous proliferation of information characteristic of our age, widely celebrated through our social networks, constructs a regime of sameness, inaugurating a new form of sensibility: a perceptual condition defined here with the expression “sliding perception.” It constitutes a perceptual condition that implies a re-sensibilization of the eye, orchestrating a twofold action: the eye is being hypo-sensitized as a tool for sensing differentiation while being hyper-sensitized as a tool for sensing repetition. In this biopolitical regime of sameness, that is, under a cultural scenario in which there is no Patient-0, the notion of “copy,” traditionally marginalized by the Western glorification of the idea of creation and its secularisation through the modern myth of the tabula rasa, is redeemed: in the 21st century, copying, particularly in its algorithmic register, is invested as the mode of production par excellence. Rather than approaching this phenomenon as a reverse for the creative disciplines, this text embraces the terminological abundance related to the term “copy” in order to identify opportunities intimately associated with the recursive nature of the digital realm. Terms such as replica, plagiarism, duplication, transcript, reproduction, mimesis or facsimile offer a semantic richness that plurifies the modern univocal logic of copy; their instrumentalization in light of current’s algorithmic scenario might pave the way for new contemporaneous forms of digital production.

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