[NetBehaviour] You Can't Spell Fungible Without Fun

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Thu Nov 11 01:04:14 CET 2010

On 11/10/2010 07:32 PM, Alan Sondheim wrote:
> this also relates to aura and the istinction

Yes auratic and mechanically reproduced artworks are basically 
autographic and allographic, non-fungible and fungible.

> between analog and digital
> phenomenologies, and what's tagged where; it's possible to make a digital
> editor as an artwork and tagged as such (for example an editor of inter-
> ferences and substitutions);

An editor is more a schema, mode, style or canon or than an artwork, I 
think. A meta-artwork? Look at Casey Reas's Processing. That's what (and 
who) will be remembered from the data visualisation era, not any 
individual visualisation.

> it's also possible to consider a digital art-
> work as basically functional since any pixel can be substituted for any
> other (and at what point does the artwork lose its originary distinction?)

This is true but we can encode any English text as an ASCII document of 
less than (e.g.) 100 megabytes. This means that we can produce a Godel 
number for any literary work as easily as for any digital image. This 
does not seem to problematize literature in quite the same way...

> - the fungibility of cultural works has to do with setting; it's also
> possible to quote them (Sherrie Levine or re-enactment stuff like Mark
> Tribe today) as discourse - issues also arise in relation to forgeries or
> copies - take a fake Vermeer - what makes this less valuable to the viewer

Forgeries are a product of non-fungibility, of the original being 

> - what makes an unsigned copy if WinX less valuable etc. - Macs are flawed
> and brilliant here, bridging analog hardware and digital signatures, as if
> you can't have one (their) without the other (theirs) -

There is something culturally interesting about Macs that has as much to 
do with logistics and experience design as with software. They are 
constrained experiential affordances, carefully ground lenses for being 
- they are like the lone ranger mask or the star trek communicator or 
the power rangers morpher of a child's toybox. Invest emotionally and 
imaginatively in them and they aren't just information appliances, they 
are hooks for a whole different aspirational way of relating to the world.


- Rob.

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