Art as Encoded Message

Information encoding for message transmission is a function expressed in (and as) visual culture and which evolves over time.

Information encoding for message transmission is a function expressed in (and as) visual culture and which evolves over time. What we experience as style, technique, idiom and medium (of information or message transmission) are all in fact optimally concise methods of communication in the context in which they occur. What is more interesting than this fact of optimally concise communication is that of the exponentiated recursive function by which the method of optimal information encoding is itself optimally encoded in the artefacts of material culture, the extended environment and culture within which information is transmitted and in the minds of the participant observers of that culture. A logic of communication is stored in material artefacts and its expression and distributed embodiment in culture evolves over time.

The method of any particular artist or style incorporates and manifests an unwritten and generally unacknowledged (optimal) representational grammar and logic of information encoding. Art in this sense not only encodes the representational Zeitgeist of an era but also a distributed method of cognition and communication. Thought and cognition is really nothing more than internal, mental communication so in many ways we should not be surprised to discover that, like the old alchemical dictum of “as above, so below”, that the external artefacts and the internal mental life if an era exist on a reflexive continuum. The artefacts of material culture are also the mnemonics in which we store references to the logical methods and cognitive grammar of our era. The artifacts of any previous era can become imbued with a meaning specific to the era in which they find themselves. The recombinatory juxtaposition of divergent historically-distinct artefacts and representational idioms is always occurring but we find now in this hyper-inflating information environment that the causal steps of logical convergence between different epochs is no longer a necessary barrier to creative convergence.

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