Recombinant Reality

" The term 'recombinant reality' considers binary worlds as a reality deformed by the digital, recombined, mixed and manipulated. A kind of deforming mirror, an extension of our reality with which there are information exchanges." Patrick Keller, Alternet Fabric

The digital media have brought up new modes of thinking, based on processes of inFORMation, computation (information formalization) and communication (information transfer). The main property of these technologies is to operate on any type of information, including space, a reduction in a sequence of information coded in a binary language - 0/1 or bit/second. The digital medium dissociates information into strings of the same smallest basic units, common to all different types of information; it is the transposition of any fixed 'FORM' into transmittable and editable 'inFORMation'.

In this manner, digital technology has brought dissociation between data, information, form, and appearance. Form is now governed by the computation process: inside the binary stream of data, information is an inscription (structured combination) identifiable after these data have been processed through a code - computation. As such, computation is defined as an operation performing transformation of symbols from 0/1 to words, images, spaces... according to determined rules. The compilation/reduction, transmission, extraction and distribution of information within the computation process define its logics or its operating mode, and the rules it sets, its status of language.

The separation to the smallest semantic unit (0/1), this reduction of objects and processes to the same smallest basic unit, and their computation describe the information de-coding and re-coding process. As such, this process integrates actively the manipulation of information (through a code), a necessary condition to its transmission and transformation into signs.

Beyond the simple manipulation of data to transmit information through a binary flow, this process of computation uncovers previously invisible relationships in the transformation and combination of data building up information, in relation to its form, representation as well as in its essence, by modifying the mapping (instruction/construction) from data to representation. Such processes of information have a deep impact on the concepts of space, matter and time, the very ones determining our conception of the real. From genetics engineering, nano-technology and cognitive sciences to traditional concepts like matter, body, reality, form, the methodology that prevails now is the one of computation, information processing that leads as much to the understanding of phenomena as the creation of new models. In this context, Recombinant Reality is a hybrid of fundamental concepts and inFORMation processes, of decoding - re-coding and data transfer.


<...> VR- Virtual Reality <...>

" Cyberspace is more than a breakthrough in electronic media or in computer interface design. With its virtual environments and simulated worlds, cyberspace is a metaphysical laboratory, a tool for examining our very sense of reality. " Michael Heim, in 'the erotic ontology of cyberspace'

Cyberspace is a completely spatialized visualization of all information, inscribed in global data processing systems along pathways provided by present and future communication networks. As a communication medium, it enables full co-presence and interaction of multiple users, inputs and output from and to the human sensorium and real/virtual simulations. According to the concept of Recombinant Reality, cyberspace inverts the relations between man and information and literally places the body and senses in information spaces entirely designed by the mind.

As information becomes intimately related to the human experience, communication through a binary coding conditions our experience and perception of the real inside the digital space. As extensions of our possibilities, whether related to the body (senses) or the mind (knowledge), NTIC transform as much our perception (senses) and conception (representation) of ourselves as physical entities, as space and time.

In this condition, space and time operate as a referral that allows location (being there), an element pertaining to our ontological definition. Ontology is closely related to the question of interface, as described in contemporary phenomenology, based on the concept of the real as a notion of information 'transmission' and particularly on the stimulation of our sensitive apparatus. The computation of stimulations - inputs - determines our concept of the real, an ontology based on transmission, synthesis, representation processes... This process is present in our neural system inside which electro-magnetical impulses are interpreted by the brain into images, odors, feelings... Reality has so become a parameter for transmission and computation. Technologies therefore become extensions of the body and anticipate the mental processes, instruments/interfaces indispensable to the reconstruction of space, a re-combined space.


<...> ML, Modeling Language <...>

"Cyberspace is an invented world; as a world it requires "physics," "subjects" and "objects," "processes," a full ecology. But since it is an invented world, an embodied fiction, one built on a fundamental representation of our own devising, it permits us to redirect data streams into different representations: selves become multiple, physics become variable, cognition becomes extensible." Marcos Novak

In this relation, the language is the key. Playing on the relation between the senses (esthesis) and the sense (semiosis), NTIC, as extensions of our sensorium (perception), our cognitive and mental devices (semantics), produce new 'senses', constituting the language. Between the conceptual (mental pattern), the intelligible (perception) and representation (code), these new 'senses' are based on computation and communication. From concrete to abstract, form the body to the mind, Recombinant Reality becomes a question of code, language and processes, a composition of "senses".


<...> VRML <...>

"... we already live in a rhizomatic multiplicity of globally mediated mind spaces." Marcos Novak

VRML is a programming language, a code composed of instructions, a standardized language like HTML, but which includes the necessary commands to set up shared tri-dimensionnal environment. VRML allows to program space (a coordinate system) with objects, subjects (avatars), and physical rules (gravity, collision), such notions that were directly extrapolated from our reality. Yet VRML is also a behavior programming language in space where senses (proximity sensor, touch sensor), time (time sensor, interpolator) and the distribution rules (shared events) are variables allowing the conception/experimentation of space-time configurations proper to the electronic medium.

It is therefore a transformation of space into the concept of behavior programming related to individual and collective interactivity and into the concepts of shared environments and networks (communication) -an instantaneous space that can be shared and transmitted. VRML is a recombinant reality; a language introducing the hybridation of space-time settings and "sense" by inFORMation processes of computation and communication.


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