Is it time to tell your digital devices what time it is?

Matthew Battles, in “But it Moves: The New Aesthetic and emergent virtual taste,” [1] suggests that the New Aesthetic is “an attempt to frame something akin to Spinoza’s notion of Natura Naturans – nature ‘naturing’ – nature expressing itself in its unfolding, a process whose edges we barely touch.”

Battles also critiques Timo Arnall’s “Robot Readable World”.

“Learning to see through machines, Battles contends, “is not the same thing as learning to see as machines.”

Battles uses Berg’s QR clock [2] as an example to demonstrate his point. Berg’s QR clock is “a clock only readable by a machine,” as Battles states.

I did a search for more information about Berg’s QR clock, in order to full comprehend what they were trying to achieve with having a robot for clocks, and I found a blog post (video included) by Matt Jones of Berg [3] discussing “Clocks for Robots”.

Jones explains that the QR clock is an object that signals both time and place to artificial eyes. In the video provided on the blog, Jones asserts that the QR clock “gives the device a trusted sense that it is really ‘there’ and really ‘then,’ in comparison to using satellites for location purposes.

Jones also states that the QR clock offers the device a “human-legible sense of place and time matched both to my senses and its [digital device] senses, binding time and place together for both of us.”

Having said that, Battles questions:

“What do computers care about clocks or faces? We teach machines to indicate them, to prick up their ears in their presence, because that’s what we need. Our imaginary just manages to graze the edges of what might be called the experience of machines—and it’s on that borderland which the New Aesthetic emerges, traveling a differently-ordered sovereignty, in which we’re feral interlopers.”

Edit:

To rectify the confusion occurring from claims made by critics that the New Aesthetic is about 8bit retro and nostalgia, Dan Catt [4] makes an excellent point in a blog post.

The “New Aesthetic, Catt states, “is about the polygones and edges and pixels of now vision, not the polygones and edges and pixels of back then creation.”

[1] Battles, Matthew. “But it Moves: The New Aesthetic and emergent virtual taste“.

[2] Berg’s QR Clock

[3] Matt Jones. “Clocks for Robots

[4] Catt, Rev Dan. http://revdancatt.com/2012/04/07/why-the-new-aesthetic-isnt-about-8bit-retro-the-robot-readable-world-computer-vision-and-pirates/

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