Title: Locating the ephemeral: capturing the fleeting moment in digital arts

Authors: Aleksandra Kaminska

Addresses: York University, Toronto, Canada

Abstract: The idea of ephemerality is often used to describe digital art and digital artefacts. The impulse behind this paper is to try to understand what exactly we mean when we refer to ephemerality and suggests how we can locate the ephemeral moment in the material construction of the digital artefact. The problematic division between material/immaterial and software/hardware is revisited through the languages and codes that constitute the basis of software. This paper suggests that we can trace ephemerality to moments of translation, the disjunctures of rhythms between various languages and to the reusability of digital materials. The ephemeral is not just a consequence of an immaterial nature ascribed to digital objects or problems of storage. Rather, it emerges from the very material nature of the digital and occurs in the minutiae of its hidden processes that make transmission and communication possible.

Keywords: computer code; digital aesthetics; digital art; digital immateriality; digital languages; digital manipulability; digital materiality; digital rhythms; digital poetics; digital temporality; ephemerality; software languages; transcoding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2009.024056

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2009 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.40 - 50

Published online: 24 Mar 2009 *

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