Ein Streifzug durch die Abstraktionsebenen digitaler Formen

  • Katharina D. Martin Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig


The binary system as presented by Leibniz owes its metaphysical appeal to a mathematical universality which is also often incorrectly attributed to digital operationality. The article draws on Friedrich Kittler and Umberto Eco to remind us that digital functionality is based on the conjunction of the binary system and mathematical logic. Strictly speaking, digital machines are part of a complex information technology, based on translation processes and dependent on a code (Joseph Weizenbaum). However, this essay not only explains the underlying operational principle of digital machines, but also introduces digital forms (Yuk Hui) that are existentially linked to our discourses, our way of thinking, and our modes of behaviour. The article does not answer the ontological question of whether the binary/logical machines develop creatively and intellectually – a notion that Dieter Mersch clearly contradicts – but gives us a form-theoretical investigation that visualises digital productivity.