On Ditigal Beings (SE)
3digital units, synthetic wood, electronics
Carl-Johan Rosén (SE)
Three digital units make up On digital beings. Each unit is constituted by a sensor through which it registers the world (light, wind and motion sensor), an actuator through which the unit can act in the world (lamp, fan and motor, respectively) and a programable circuit board upholding the process of evaluation. Each unit’s next action is determined by an non-complex algorithm evaluating the sensory input using fixed thresholds. The code loaded into the three beings differ only to accommodate for their sensorial differences.
Apart from registering its own actions, the unit also register shifting environmental properties caused by human and other activities. The digital unit can not experience the world clearly without subtracting itself from its perception. Furthermore, the digital units are connected: each unit transmit its normalized sensory input to another unit, which incorporate the experience of the first unit in its evaluation process. This means one unit, whose only experience of the world is through a wind sensor, tells another, whose only experience is an amount of light, that this is how much wind there is at this moment. Even though both the physical and virtual composition of the units are explicitly noncomplex, the exhibited behaviors quickly become intricate and inseparable from the individual units as parts of the particular space in which they act. And as such emphasize the uniqueness and precariousness of each digital unit.
Carl-Johan Rosén works with digital units. He investigates what it means to exist as a digital body and as a software process, experiencing the world through electronic circuits and binary data flows. Using programming, circuitry, and human language he tries to create objects that bring humans closer to acknowledging the existence of a digital other. These objects propose different points of departure for the human interested in understanding the digital unit and the digital process. Often they are also in themselves traces or incarnations of such processes. Through alternative narratives of technological existence, such objects might expand the possibilities of critical thinking about the technology we create.