“The pixel is the fundamental unit of digital imaging, a square representation of a single color. Pixels are always the same size, and always arranged in orderly grids. This project looks at what happens when you change these universally agreed upon standards. More broadly, I’m interested in how the construction of digital images alters our perceptions of reality. Does computer-mediated vision change how we see without computers?”
Flexible Pixels | benjamin grosser
"To me, the idea that our dominant contemporary aesthetic is one that explores “a way of seeing that seems to reveal a blurring between ‘the real’ and ‘the digital,’ the physical and the virtual, the human and the machine” was kind of a no brainer. We’ve been covering projects that tackle this physical/digital grey area for years, but the recent proliferation of this aesthetic in mainstream culture is what seems to give it new weight and, according to Sterling, the makings of a new avant-garde."
"There really is no excuse for being technoculture illiterate if you’re under 40 and living in the Western world. You can plead ignorance of the technological specifics, but not of the cultural effects produced by the gadgets and interfaces that have invaded your life. Technology is not something that happens to other people, nor can you escape it by hiding out in “the humanities.” To be human is to be technological."
"The New Aesthetic isn’t Impressionism or Cubism. Revolutionary art is not shocking and provoking society, as it did in the case of Monet and Picasso. The New Aesthetic, as it exists in drone technology and Google Maps imagery and data surveillance, represents a ground-level change in our existence. Instead of shocking society, New Aesthetic art must respond to a shocked society and turn the changes we’re confronting into critical artistic creation. Artists are only just starting to take the raw material of the New Aesthetic and aestheticize it in a conscious, intelligent way.
What we need to do now is to go native, to stop gathering data points and start making things in the intrinsic language of New Aesthetic. Here’s my forecast for fulfilling the potential of this new medium: We will not just observe how machines act and perceive, but integrate how they act and perceive into our own sensory experiences and creative processes. As the digital and the physical move closer and closer, that combination will eventually look less like a hybrid and more like a united whole, the new aesthetic reality.”
"The fact that your laptop is arguably “less intelligent than a goldfish” does not stop us from collaborating with machines to access new experiences and augment our creative capacity. Interacting with computers, with the world of information and each other through these interfaces has irreversibly transformed us.
The tools we make shape culture. The culture of technology is a human culture and a human experience. Reconciling with our inventions, we embrace the stylized pixel-goo as a reflection of ourselves. An aesthetic based on computational systems and their associated visual memes has become fashionable and beautiful, indicating a broader acceptance of digital prostheses as essential to contemporary life. That integration of visual technologies into our cultural lexicon will only continue.”
“New Aesthetics is not simply an aesthetic fetish of the texture of these images, but an inquiry into the objects that make them. It’s an attempt to imagine the inner lives of the native objects of the 21st century and to visualize how they imagine us.
Moreover, as Object-Oriented thinkers, New Aestheticians are interested not just in the significance of face detection algorithms, surveillance drones, gesture recognition systems, image compression techniques, CCTV networks, book-scanning operations, satellite maps, and digital fabrication schemes for humans but they’re also obsessed with how these new 21st century objects impact the things we design and cohabitate with. They want to know what CCTV means for social networks, what book scanning means for iOS apps, and what face detection means for fashion. And again these objects are not just interesting to each other as a set of constraints and affordances for the objects’ human makers but for the hidden inner lives of the objects themselves throughout their existence.”