Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital

Book Review

  • Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital

  • by Greg Lynn, Christiane Paul et al.
  • 304 pages, 280 black-and-white and color illustrations
  • Published by Black Dog Publishing, London, 2013
  • $34.95

Wim Delvoye, Twisted Dump Truck (CW) (2011), laser‐cut stainless steel, nickeled, 200 x 70 x 80 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Patricia Low Contemporary.

The distinction between analog and digital media is intricate. What does the shift from industrial age mass-production technologies (chemical photography, the printing press, phonograph records, etc.) to information age binary code entail for art, design and architecture? For aesthetics in general? Does the commercial triumph of digital media extend the factory logic of analog reproduction and further accelerate the decay of “the artist’s hand”? Are digital files simply a new kind of printmaking template, offering a set of constant parameters equivalent to the marks on a litho stone or the grooves in a relief block? Or are they something fundamentally different? In the exhibition and catalogue Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, curator Ron Labaco examines the creative use of digital fabrication technologies to create tangible objects, and contends that the advance of digital tools does not necessitate the loss of expressive content.

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