The essential characteristics of digital informaton is that it can be manipulated easily and very rapidly by computer. … Computational tools for transforming, combining, altering, and analyzing images are as essential to the digital artist as brushes and pigments are to a painter, and an understanding of them is the foundtion of the craft of digital imaging.
A medium that privileges fragmentation, indeterminancy, and heterogeneity and that emphasizes process or performance rather thatn the finished art object will be seen by many as no bad thing.
The visual discourses of recorded fact and imaginative construction were conveniently segregated. But the emergence of digital imaging has irrevocably subverted these certainties, forcing us to adopt a far more wary and more vigilant interpretive stance-much as recet philosophy and literary theory have shaken our faith in the ultimate grounding of writtne texts on external reference, alerted us to the endless self-referentiality of symbolic constructions, and confronted us with the inherent instabliities and indeternimancies of verbal meaning. ..
We must face once again the ineradicable fragility of our ontological distinctions between the imagery and the real, and the tragic elusiveness of the Cartesian dream. We have indeed learned to fix shadows, but not to secure their meanings or to stabilize their truth values; they still flicker on the walls of Plato’s cave.