Tristan Perich – 0.01s: The First 1/100th Second of 1-Bit Symphony


Physical Editions, ISBN-13: 978-0692215739, English, 695 pages, 2015, USA

The spatial dimension of the digital world is a very abstract idea. Being conceptually bound to the lightness and invisibility of atoms, digital is an imploded dimension in terms of its physicality, taking place in an imaginary space and being extraordinary fast and huge. Perich understands digital as few other artists do. His artwork “1-Bit Symphony” inoculated a generative micro-computing instrument in a CD case, becoming later an official music label product, and consolidating different opposing dimensions (analogue, digital, finite, infinite, etc.) in a single place. This book is its perfect addendum. It’s an exploded “textual photography” of an incredibly short computational moment taken from 1-Bit Symphony (precisely, its very first hundredth of a second): its pages host the inner computational processes in progress through its cycles. This digital sound time has been slowed down incredibly, similar to a video of a shot bullet, shown in slow motion through its whole trajectory. The calculations, figures, memory states and instructions unfold through the pages, constrained in a precise layout. This progress describes exactly the ongoing dynamic process in almost 700 pages. It can coherently be defined as a conceptual art book, rather than a sculptural one, as its nature is purely dynamic. But it’s also a book that computers would love to read, as an experiment in “publishing for the machine,” as well as being of interest to post-digital intellectuals.