2016年4月30日土曜日

做梦的权利:数码时代中梦的解析

The Right to Dream:
 on the interpretation of dreams in the digital age

Hidetaka Ishida ( Professor The University of Tokyo)





http://caa-ins.org/index.php?title=做梦的权利:数码时代中梦的解析讲座


1  "Dream" and "Power" in the digital age


 Today, I would like to talk about the Dream, the Right to dream.
Two weeks ago, I was in Kyoto with jurists in a symposium. I told about this right to dream, I do not know what status has exactly the right to dream in legal doctrine. But this right seems now threatened. Until now the dream was preserved as belonging to the personal and private sphere, but it might not be the case today or tomorrow.

Here I’m with you specialists and/or practitioners of esthetic fields. I think the dreaming is a central domain of artistic activity, as well at individual level  as at collective level, because artists are “specialists of dream”  or “dreamers” for the society. And it is so important to know what is the situation of the dreaming in the digital age, what is now a technology of dreaming, what stakes for artistic activities, what could we say about the knowledge on the dream.

The legal and epistemological status of the dream is complicated, because it is beyond the responsibility of the conscious subject: the epistemologico-legal status of the unconscious or consciousness of the dream seems all the more interesting because it is problematic.
This legal issue concerns also the artists, since if a new technology goes toward a socialization or economization of the dreaming activity, that will directly concern artistic domains.

Furthermore this right to dream becomes more than more economic; it is invested with economic values, “economic” meaning here both “mercantile and libidinal” economy. The issue of the dream is really actual than ever, because we are at the age of development of technological exploitation of the dream.


I have just organized last March in Tokyo a symposium on the "Dream and Power for the digital age."
The "Dream" is not here a vague theme. It is indeed the 'sleep' and 'dream' as physiological and psychological activity. The aim was to reflect on the technologicization of the dream and to discuss about the crisis of the dream or the crisis of the dream culture in contemporary society.

For example, there may be mentioned Jonathan Crary’s book 24/7 Late capitanism and the Ends of sleep on which everyone speak in conferences worldwide. The importance of this book lies in the fact that the capitalism of the XXIst century assailed the field of sleep whose outcome would be the "End of sleeps". He pulls the alarm that " in affluent sectors of the globe, what was once consumerism has expanded to 24H activity of techniques of personalization, of individuation, of machinic interface, and of mandatory communication. " (p. 72)

Indeed, for the "attention economy" of contemporary cultural capitalism that has developed throughout the 20th century, sleep and dream remained the only areas preserved. But in capitalism 24/7 of the 21st century, while the user is asleep, the computer constantly connected is awake in sleep mode. So does go the life of information society or of the control society in the sense of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze.

Furthermore, as shown by the development of technology of dream decoding, human sleep can be connected to the machine in sleep mode, can be technologically externalized. The human dream then can be scanned and decoded, it is already thing acquired technologically: its exploitation would be the order of the day.
   This means that the human psyche will be in permanent interface with the machinic dispositive. It is exactly at this stage that has evolved the society of control of 24/7 capitalism. It is in this sense that we speak here of a hyper-control society.

 There are also artificial intelligence beginning to “dream”, as the project Deep Dream by Google shows. “Yes, the Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep”, as title it the British newspaper The Guardian reporting this Google project.


2 The life in sleep mode and the question of the interpretation of dreams


  In hyper-control society of 24/7 capitalism, the "colonization of the lifeworld " (Habermas) by techno-capitalism that had developed in the last century as with "consciousness industry" or "memory industry" penetrates so in the realm of the unconscious that is sleep and dream. Another problem of "biopolitics" in the sense of Foucault appeared in this form.

  If we remember that at the beginning of last century, Freud formulated his thesis "the dream is a wish-fulfillment", what are the relationships one might imagine between dream decoding technology and different knowledge of the dream that existed in the history of mankind?

  That while the man dreams, the machine works in sleep mode coping and doubling dreams of the man, is no longer a funny dream story! The "desire" which was prepared during sleep and which formulates itself by dream would have been already decoded technologically in advance before the wake of the subject and the subject awaken will be introduced in another artificial psychic circuit ready made. This situation of the dream could generalize, it may short-circuit the interpretation of dream by the subject himself, the subjective work of interpretation will be replaced by machine decoding and automatic profiling.

  While I am not a Freudian, I recently have advocated a "return to Freud" in a somewhat specific sense. It is precisely because the 24/7 capitalism brings us closer to a society where comprehensive system of libidinal economy is technologically implemented. I have a premonition that this will generalize an epistemic conflict of interpretations of dreams. We will see return the issue of Traumdeutung but an entirely different way. Or in the terminology of C. S. Peirce, who will be interpretant of  the dream: the machine or the human?

3  «Introduction to Dream and existence » by Foucault (1953)


  Deviating somewhat from the line of my argument, I would add that in preparing this talk on the "Dream" I remembered the first work of Foucault. Usually we think that Foucault has become the true Foucault after the first edition of the History of Madness in 1960 and Foucault's work will evolve from there to the question of the clinic, psychiatry, of humanities, criminal law and disciplinary society, etc. problematizing Knowledge and Power.

However even before the History of Madness, there was a prehistory : the Introduction to the Dream and the existence of Binswanger published in 1953 is in fact his first book.

We must now put in another way and so probably more acute manner the question raised by Foucault. In the digital age we must question the knowledge, power and technology a more intense way. And especially we can no longer put the issue of the dream out of the question of power and its technology. A more powerful thought is required to be able to articulate issues of dreams with the technology of power and the government of psyche, power and capitalism.

4 The sleepless capitalism and the disruption


   I would mention yet another episode that will not be trivial. The book of Crary 24/7 starts with the evocation of the military exercise to not sleep.
   But the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, also begins by evoking the development of technology of torture. The author discusses on the treatment of shock studied in a Canadian university in the 1950s which consists in destroying the distinction of day and night, abolishing the alternation causing a white-out of the world. And this technology aims to initialize the personality of the tortured. The book tells how the torture technology studied and developed in the 1950s will be invested and used by power military junta in Chile and Argentina and so had made possible the experiment of neoliberalism by Milton Friedman in the Conservative Revolution of 1970’s.

  Torture is thus not only an atrocious barbarism but at the same time a sophisticated technology of power that works on the psycho-somatic level. It was that which by "initializing" the society made it possible to integrate a neoliberal economic experience, reports the Klein’s book. Just as according Foucault the prison functioning as a model, the knowledge extracted from the praxis of torture could be distributed on the social body as like an invisible diagrams, which permeate the social body in sleep mode.

  The keyword of technological innovation in the world of today is by my friend the philosopher Bernard Stiegler disruption. This "destructive destruction" that is not the "creative destruction" of the economist Joseph  Schumpeter causes a "state of shock". This disruption casts its shadow more black on our world today. It is in the ends of sleep and the crisis of dream that the disruption of the neoliberal capitalism – the “late capitalism” in terms of Crary -- would have its root. This is to explain the background of problem form which we would start our reflection.
   Because the disruption in the 24/7 capitalism is destroying the sleep initializing the human psyche, if this capitalism is given a dream technology, it would be able to artificially hallucinate dreams, as shown in the case of Deep Dream project. As the Android of the SF novel of Philip K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? , we might risk in near future to dream a nightmare produced by AI, this is today more than likely.

5 Dream Culture :  undecidability of dream and reality


 In contrast to the realization of dream-colonization and as inverse of this technological hallucination of metaphysics of presence, one might evoke another civilizational paradigm, that of the undecidability of dream and reality.

At a time when the capitalism 24/7 threaten to technologicize and so destroy the dream it would be necessary to return to the dream culture:  each civilization should have developed its own dream culture.

In the case of Japan, what is it?

And in the case of China ?

In the days following the events of the disaster of March 11, 2011, many Japanese have  remembered the impermanence of t world (Mujo) which comes from Buddhist ontological paradigm. In this view of the world deeply rooted in cultural memory, there is also a conception of the world for which the distinction between the real and the dream is uncertain and undecidable.

It will be necessary to go back into the semantic depth of the Japanese language to make return these archaic strata of culture and language. And this in order to operate a healing of culture against the technologicized world.

For example, the real is said in ancient language with the word Utsutsu. But soon it is contaminated semantically to get to designate a state indistinguishable between the real and the dream whose idiom Yume Utsutsu the rêve- reality. Utsutsu begins to designate a state of sleep and dream in the world. Utsutu also designate a Utsuro, empty, empty like a dream, before Utsurou derive a verb, move, float.

The literature abounds in this experience of mixing of dream and reality, a spatial and temporal floating half sleep half awake.
I think it is true also for the Chinese literary tradition, as we can read for example in Dream of the Red Chamber.

There is not distinction of the Western and the East.

As the A la recherché du temps perdu begins with the evocation of the experience of sleep, the world of Tale of Genji is full of beings indistinguishable from dreams with real: one reflecting the other and operating transfer times. Dream of the Red Chamber begins with the evocation of the non distinction of real and fiction, dream, illusion and reality. In Japanese case,  the modern writer Tanizaki paradigmatically revived this life indistinguishable universe of dream and reality.

Here is the translation by Tanizaki a waka poem in Tale of Genji.

見てもまた逢ふ夜まれなる夢のうちにやがて紛るる我が身ともがな
“So few and scattered the nights, so few the dreams.
Would that the dream tonight might take me with it.”
  Transl. by Edward G. Seidensticker

Utsutsu rhymes with Utsuru - transfer - reflecting Utsusu also ephemeral worldly life Utsushsemi body, which is reflected in the universe of dreams and making beings apparently be transferred over each other.

  This universal existence of dream culture invite us to reflect on the function of the dream for human and even animal life.

6 Paradoxical sleep vs. hallucinatory technology: taking care of the dream


  We know thanks to Michel Jouvet, eminent French neurologist, that the paradoxal sleep - REM sleep - is the privileged period for the expression of dreams.

This is the sleep phase in which dreams we remember occur.

It is characterized by rapid eye movements, hence the name of this REM sleep stage for rapid eye movement, muscle weakness, irregular breathing and heart rate, body temperature is out of adjustment. There is an expansion of the pelvic organs and an erection which can be followed by ejaculation. The electrical activity of the brain is similar to that of awakening, as shown in the EEG trace. (Wikipedia)


  Perhaps, to cope with the crisis of the dream, it would be better to rehabilitate the dream its paradoxical status. While entirely dreaming, it is indistinguishable from the real.
  Hallucination is the opposite of the dream, although the dream is hallucinatory in its very mechanism of projection as Freud explain by his metapshycology :

In sleep, the junction with the motility is unplugged and the machine is running in reverse, the psychic apparatus begins to make the process "regredient" - this is the "dream process" according to Freud - and the machine begins the hallucinatory projection of  "images" on the dream screen.
Allan Hobson, another eminent neurologist of dream who is in many respects critical to Freudian psychoanalysis, nonetheless considers the function of the dream consisting of primary processes which reorganize in puissance the psyche by its  specific logic.


7 Artistic creation and criticism in Digital Media


We must ask therefore all an aesthetic problem: how to make a artistic hermeneutics of dream in digital technology environments.

Both the neural Network of Deep dream that dream of electronic sheep, and the dream decoding machine of ATR, submits the dream to the logic of presence of real images. And so they do lose the properly inconsequent dimension - the primary process in the sense of Freud or Hobson - of the dream.

Here hermeneutic distantiation appears to be important: oblivion, delays and misunderstanding of dreams are probably more essential than remembering and storytelling. The experience of the dream is so fundamentally fragmented and therefore is infinitely open to interpretation.

There are artistic uses of digital images that are distancing themselves from the logic of immersive realistic vision. I recently worked with Masaki Fujihata for his anarchive with use of AR technology. This artistic and critical use of AR seems close to YUME UTSuTSU. There are two attitudes face to the digital image: immersive and critical. YUME Utsutsu can be to criticize the dream with reality and the real with dream: this conception is familiar with the impermanence of the world. This is no doubt the wisdom of dreams in life, which make possible to relativize the dream by the reality and at the same time vice versa. The dream make possible to criticize the real and it make possible to open the world to a infinite shimmering of dream and real. This is undoubtedly the wisdom of dream and of Art that leaves open our life in its radical impermanence.

8 Taking care of the Dream

 The technology of presence - of the metaphysics of presence – tends to erases the paradoxical suspension of the real by the dream. But if this fundamental paradox is cleared, there is no dream. If the dream is awake and then there will be nothing but hallucination.

Care must be taken of the dream, dream that takes care of our daylife by its paradoxical function. Hence we must return to the inconsequence of our dream culture.

By starting perhaps with the proustian incipit:
Long time I went to bed early ...

Or by recitation a hymn of Nirvana Sutra

うゐのおくやま けふこえて
あさきゆめみし ゑひもせす

有為の奥山  今日越えて
浅き夢見じ  酔ひもせず

Today crossing the heights of illusion,
neither hollow dreams
Nor charms


Which is an ABC of dream cultures both western and eastern. Must there perhaps we go back.

石田英敬演讲“知识的数码转向:人文学院的未来”


The Digital Turn of Knowledge:
on the future of Humanities


Hidetaka Ishida ( Professor The University of Tokyo)



http://wtoutiao.com/p/1d7LPAR.html


Introduction   

  I entitled my talk “The Digital Turn of the Knowledge: on the future of Humanities”.

  My topic today will follow 5 moments:
1 First I will situate the Transformation of the Humanities in media age
2 In second moment, I will develop a little about Media Revolution and Media studies since 20th century
3 In third moment, I will present my point of view on Technological grammatization  and  problems of semiotics
4 In fourth moment, I will present my researches on Information Semiotics and Digital studies
5  Finally I will discuss about Digital Turn as Perspective on the future of Humanities


1 Transformation of the Humanities

  Today the transformation of Humanities is evident, necessary and inevitable.
  This evening, I have no time to develop about the history of Humanities. I’m obliged to proceed to an oversimplification: I try to define the Humanities from three points of view :

1)      Historically, that is a tradition from the Western Renaissance
Humanitas and Humanism, opposed to the theological vision of the knowledge. That means a human knowledge of the universe - universal knowledge -  by the man, including scientific knowledge in modern sense.
   Is there another model of Humanities in Asian cultural tradition? This question is very interesting, exciting issue especially here in China or more generally in east-asian cultural tradition like Japan and Korea. I’m much interested by this question but today we have no time to bifurcate toward this issue.

2) Institutionally, the Humanities constitute the base of knowledge of the modern citizens, so the aim of the modern university is to provide these basic knowledge for future citizens. The Ideal of Bildung in Humboltien universities comes from this Humanities tradition. So we are all concerned by this issue of the Humanities. I belong to the faculty of the humanities, you too. Etc.

3) Epistemologically and technologically, and this is the point that I would accentuate in my talk, the Humanities are knowledge by/of the “typographic man”, so outlined by the thinker of the media studies Marshall McLuhan.
   The Renaissance coincides with the Gutenberg Revolution, with its secularization-rationalization process M. Weber with the cognitive revolution by the printed books, etc. Modern sciences are founded by this technologico-cognitive revolution of the printing. The Humanities were so naming of the studious ethos of this epistemic transformation. The man comes au center of this change so that the name of Humanism. The subject of the knowledge is the man: his intellect founds the knowledge of culture, society, law, economy, all things of the universe and also the knowledge of the man himself.  So the philosophy occupies the central place of this system of knowledge, as Kant synthesize it by his three critiques. The man occupies the central position of the knowledge defining both  the empirical and transcendental.

   Please forgive me this extreme simplification and schematization  of the Humanities problematic. This is to make a preamble for my argumentation. This humanistic tradition continues until now in our academic world, and of course still valid now. Almost part of our knowledge is written in books, the man is the center of the activity of knowing, and  even for natural sciences, the fundamental knowledge is written in and transmitted by books.

   But this historical configuration of the civilization is challenged since the last decades of 19th century. At the turning of the 19th to 20th century, there had been already a general crisis of the Humanities and Humanism. This has been the problematique of the End of the Book and the Crisis of Humanities.

   Let me talk a little about my own research career, I directed the translation in Japanese of the works of the French philosophe Michel Foucault, I published also books on the Contemporary thoughts of 20th century.
   There is a famous book of Foucault The Oder of Things Les Mots et les Choses (1966) . This monumental book is subtitled “archeology of human sciences” and it became famous because of its conclusion about the End of Man.

“….as the archaeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end. If those arrangements were to disappear as they appeared… as the ground of classical thought did at the end of the eighteenth century, then one can certainly wager that man would be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea.” (Order of Things, p. 387)

   The periodization by Foucault of the central figure of the man is certainly more recent, but all the study of the Order of Things situates the question of Humanism as question of archeology of the problematique of letters, signs, books and language since the Renaissance.
   The epistemological problem of “human sciences”, -- ie. psychology, sociology, linguistics, psychoanalysis, anthropology, etc. -- is located by Foucault at the limits of the Humanism.

   Nowadays can one assert that contemporary linguistic is human science ?, and psychology, cognitive psychology, human science ? And anthropology , evolutionary anthropology, human science ?  
   The epistemological work of Foucault questioned the structuralist moment of the Episteme, as symptom of the End of Humanism.

   Jacques Derrida, another important thinker of the second half of the 20the century started his Grammatology (1967) by declaring the “End of the Book” and “beginning of the writing”.  

The idea of the book, which always refers to a natural totality, is profoundly alien to the sense of writing. It is the encyclopedic protection of theology and of logocentrism against the disruption of writing, against its aphoristic energy, and [...] against difference in general.

   Derrida is discovering the “writing before letter (écriture avant la lettre in french)”, traces which constitute originary level of signs, “program” before gram. Architecture of the Book as recipient of the Metaphysical Truth is a occidental cloture which must be deconstructed by the traces of what he calls ecriture and archi-ecriture. This is the situation of the letters in the derridien deconstruction. If Humanities are knowledge of/by letters, we understand the stake of derridien deconstruction. Humanities are object to deconstruction in their economy of letters of the metaphysics of presence.


2 Media Revolution and Media studies since 20th century


   I worked longtime on this epistemological question of human sciences, and examined how became possible the inauguration of modern linguistics by Saussure, the invention of the Psychoanalysis by Freud, the foundation of Phenomenology by Husserl, etc.

   Pursuing the work of Foucault and other philosopher, like Derrida, Deleuze, etc. but also inspired by more contemporary theorists as Friedrich Kittler, and Bernard Stiegler, now I think that this epistemic change at the turn of the 20th century, presuppose the technological shift of media condition.

   These great thinkers of the beginning of the 20th century, Saussure, Husserl, James, Peirce, Bergson, Freud, all these people belong to the period when the properly human activities, like language, consciousness, psyche, memory, perception, etc, began not to be studied and registered with only human handling apparatus; I mean with letters and books.

   For example, Saussure’s phonology studies human language with phonograph and telephone: Husserl studies the stream of consciousness by means of phonograph and he dictates him self by stenography instead of writing letters ; Freud models his psychic apparatus with phonograph,  photography and certainly cinematography.

   The revolution of knowledge which gave birth to the human sciences in the beginning of the 20th century was technological revolution. The knowledge is not written no more only by human letters and books, but by technological writing apparatus that we call media devices.

   To explain the epistemological and cognitive shift – change of episteme in Foucault’ s sense -- , we must take in account the change of medium for the knowledge. I call this change at the second half of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century the Analog Revolution of grammatization (cf. the Technological revolution of grammatization by Silvain Auroux).

   I insist that these all media technologies are graph technology, so a new species of writing, it is no more the man who writes, but the machine.  Their naming photo-graphy, tele-graphy, phono-graphy, cinemato-graph, attest that they are well writings or traces which are wrote or traced by machines. Cf. Friedrich Kittler’s Gramophone, film, typewriter . 

   Replacing human hands, machine begins so to write. Phonograph writes the speech, and so linguists discover phnemes: the modern linguistics will no more be philology which was historical studies of human language by means of books and written documents. Phonograph writes the melody and Husserlien phenomenology discovers the phenomenon of “internal time consciousness”. Cinematograph writes movement and perception of movement, then Bergson discover durée, devenir and image-movement. For Freud, the human “psychic apparatus” is like a assemblage of photographic camera lens: the unconscious is structured like a cinematographic projection.

   We understand why these thinkers are unclassifiable in Humanities. Freud is not psychologist nor philosopher. Husserl nor Bergson are not mere philosophers . Because they are in fact thinking on the base of another medium; they doesn't think on the base of letters and papers: in that sense, they are post-humanists.

   We must consider thus problem of the technological unconscious that determines the cognitive and epistemological change occurred around the 1900. Friedrich Kittler will call this epistemological break Aufschreibensystem 1900.

   These media technologies invented since 19th century, I call them technological grammatization. The proper of these analogic grammatization consists in that they operate -  inscribe or write  -- under the conscious level of human being. For example, when you are photographed, you can not see the very instant of shutter’s release. But you make afterwards  a consciousness-memory of the past moment from this photographic instant that you never assisted. The camera operates at the unconscious level while you make afterwards your remembrance at the conscious level: this unconscious act of the machine produce human consciousness. This mechanism is general for the cinematograph, television, etc. The cinema consists of a flow of 24 still photograms per second, TV, a flow of 20-30 frames per second: humans cannot see each photogram nor frame so that they can see flows as movements. You can see because you cannot see. The cognitive gap between the machine and the human make it possible that the human undergoes a passive synthesis of his consciousness.

   The technological unconscious begins to produce consciousness of modern mass. This cognitive gap between human and machine comes at the center of the dynamics of culture industries of the 20th centuries.

   You may understand thus the crucial stake of media revolution.
This means that media problem is prior to the synthesis of human conscious. The technological unconscious escape the conscious level of human knowing.

   This wasn't the case for the letters, literal grammatization, because that was human being who writes letters and pictures:  the man – the typographic man – was at the heart of the knowing activities. The letters and books were thus apparatus of the conscious truth.

   But if media constitute human psychic phenomena, as to consciousness, remembrance, movement-image, vision, time consciousness, etc. , human reality begins to escape the very human knowing activities; then the human world began to escape the control by typographic man. This is, I think,  the very fundamental cause of the crisis for the humanities.

3 Technological grammatization  and  problems of semiotics

   
  Since the 20th century, thus,  the man is not anymore a transcendental subject of the human condition, this is the very meaning of the “End of the man”  by Foucault. The man is not at the center of the modern episteme. Another writing – écriture – before the letter is always already writing human conscious phenomena, this is the very meaning of the proposition of grammatology by Derrida.

   The knowledges of the man or human phenomena are conditioned by the unconscious technological process. So to know the human phenomena, we must understand how they are made by the media condition. They are made by language, more generally different signs, images, or information. So at the heart of the human condition, you discover the effect of new “writing technologies” that are modern media technologies.
   Here I introduce my specialist issue, my research on a new science of sign,that I call information semiotics.
   Because I think we must reinvent a general science of signs, not the semiology and semiotics that were effective in the structuralist moment of the modern human sciences in the middle of 20th century.
   Semiotics or precisely semiology, as you know, was a general science of signs proposed by Saussure for one part at the foundation of modern linguistics. When phonographic media technology began to write the human language, the language turned out to be a system of signs. That means that the phonography functioned as a semiotic technology to note or mechanically write and analyze the human speech. Because the language is a principle mental activity for human being to control his mental and social life, this semiotic knowledge of language made possible to revolution the understanding of human culture and society. This revolution of human sciences, was named structuralism and gave after that post-structuralism, that took part for the linguistic turn of the knowledge of the 20th century.

  The modern semiotic inaugurated by the genevien linguist Saussure and the American logicist Peirce was the basic general science for this cognitive revolution of human sciences in the first half of the 20th century. But it has expired.

  Why? Because the media revolution since the 20th century has two phases. In the age of the structuralist human sciences, that was the analog media revolution which introduced the epistemological break making possible structuralism and so on.

  But after the second half of the 20th century, another huge media revolution took place that is the digital revolution.
  All media technology became based on digital technology, all media apparatus became computers in reality. Almost totality of analogic signs based on analog media technology are now translated or transcoded in digital signs.
  The computer has come at the heart of the epistemological account of human culture with the digital revolution.

   For the structuralism and the post-structuralism, the semiotics and /or semiology in Saussurien and/or Peircien sense was the core project of basic general science never accomplished and now almost abounded .
   Scholars have forgotten the semiotic project. But there is a paradoxical situation.
   The semiotics is dead but the world has become semiotic.
   I means by this that almost all media devices are now semiotic machines in certain sense: they all are, not analog but digital semiotic machines 
   We must remember the history of the knowledge. The semiotics has a long history. The modern semiotics with Saussure and Peirce is from epistemological and technological point of view, semiotics of analog media revolution. But the semiotics has a more long history and if you go back further in history you rediscover the general science of logic and signs Semeiotike by John Locke and especially the Characteristica universalis of G.W. Leibniz, that was the very project of the universal semiotics, which constitutes the philosophical invention of the idea of computer.

4 Information Semiotics and Digital studies


   To reinvent a new basic science of signs, I think we must return to the Leibniz moment of semiotics.
  In our world, the human semiosis  -- that is the term of Peircien semiotic to designate semiotic meaning activity -- is mediated and treated by computing process. This situation made needs to change paradigm to interpret human semiosis.
  I proposed this new field of research naming it Information Semiotics. If the 20th century semiotics was inaugurated by Saussure and Peirce, we must remember that the conception of computer was invented far earlier than the modern age, in the baroque age by the great thinker G.W. Leibniz. He called this art of universal notation and calculation Characteristica universalis, that was the name for a semiotic science of the baroque age. That was the other baroque thinker John Locke the very rival of Leibniz who called for a Semeiotike, general science of signs and logic.

  To respond to the challenge of computer mediated world, we must go back to the baroque moment of semiotics to reinvent a new science of signs apt to explain the semiosis of digitized world.  This is like a “Long jump” sport, to jump longer, we must recede longer to meke possible a longer approach run.

  This Information semiotics is a study of the interface between human world and computer system, because we are now constantly in interface with computer network : while the man follows the semiosis, the machine is operating the information processing. The information semiotics is first of all a study of this semiosis in interface with information processing. But it is also a methodology with this interface: it is a study of the semiosis in interface with information processing but it is also an exploitation of the heuristic potential of this interface semiosis/information processing. In this sense, my formulation of the Information semiotics is a semiotics of and by   IT.

  In this epistemological interface, I think, we could make junction of Information technological process with cognitive resources of human sciences, and furthermore with more classical knowledge of Humanities. This is from this optics that I consider concretely inscription of my personal research in Digital Studies fields.


 
  To illustrate more concretely my talk, I would present you very shortly two examples of achievement of my laboratory projects.

 1)  Critial PLATEAU project
  Since the 20th century, all aspects of our everyday life are dominated by cultural industries, TV, cinema and animation film, radio program, and now by many kinds of social media.
  These media have characteristics that I have described: they function with the logic of technological grammatization and the technological unconsciousness. The semiosis by media machine surpass our cognitive capacity.
  If you are in the age of the Gutenberg galaxy, ie. in the civilization of the book, you are not exposed to these huge flows of images and informations. You can analyze your self with your memory, the books you have read, try to reason with your jugement faculty by reading journals, by dialoging with colleagues, etc. But after the 20th century, with development of media culture, that is not the case anymore. You are not in the Gutenberg galaxy in McLuhan’s terms.
  So we are exposed to overflow of images and information. We, as with our own human capability, we can not seize exactly the process of meaning of the media communication.
 For example, every day we look at TV programs. But as I have said, we cannot determine each photogram composing the flow of  TV images. Nor we cannot see all TV programs, because if you have seven channels on TV like in Tokyo for national broadcasting, you cannot look at several channels at the same moment. So the total view of the TV communications escape our cognitive capacities: that is too speedy and too huge !

  Once, I said myself that to become capable to say something exact about TV semiosis, how can I procede ? The critique in Kantian sense is it possible with TV communication ?

  I wondered if we could exploit a cognitive potential of computer machine for analysis of TV program, we could realize a quite rigorous analysis of TV semiosis, since if human cannot seize each frame of TV image sequence, you will be able to do that if you delegate the task to a computer.

  And that was the starting point of the Project for a platform for madia analysis.

  2) The second example, is a proposal of hybrid reading environment for a New Library Project of the university. I was responsible of a New Library Project of the University.   
    Today, our semiosis pass by hypermedia environment via interface devices like i-Pad, i-Pad, etc. The books are more than more digitized and so become inseparable with computer devices. The activity of reading today happens in interface with hypermedia environments. And this project aimed to create an technological  environment for what I called Augmented Reading: the reading assisted by computer environment but also a environment to read – the hypermedia semiosis – by aid of semiosis by book. Because I think fundamentally the cognitive potential of books can note be surpassed by any other computer devices. This connection for AR is I think important to conceive a possible future of Humanities. We could transpose the bookish reading ethos in another digitalized environment.
 

5 Digital Turn as Perspective on the future of Humanities


   In fact, what these examples of the Critical PLATEAU and the Hybrid Reading Environment, show positive to understand the situation of the Humanites today?

   The modest example of Critical Plateau illustrates the situation of the critique of media text today.

   Let’s compare with the critique by literal grammatization. When you began to write human language, the language became a objet of grammatization. By virtue of this writing criticality, you discover a grammatical regularities ruling the language production. The grammar as knowledge forms. It also regulate the linguistic production. Language become literate language. You begin to form a literate knowledge like grammar, rhetoric, logic, and you begin to form a literate culture like literature, history, law, etc.

   Analogic grammatization gave cultural industries and popular culture, new artistic genres, massive journalistic communication, etc. The major parts of these cultural production escape the literal critique and then the man’s conscious control. You are not able to analyze the media production yourself.

   If you have not a text that you hear, you can not verify and analyze it. You cannot make critique of the text.
Nowadays in the new media technological configuration of digital revolution, we must make possible the critical usage of technologies which will make us possible to evaluate the new media semiosis of the digital technology.

   Digital media is ubiquitous today, Social media, IoT,  we are connected 24/7 to digital network, all cultural production is digitized, huge archives as Google, relational technology as Facebook, etc.  
   McLuhan said that the history of media is a stratification, one media doesn't replaced another older one but proceed by stratification
It is important to keep the cognitive and epistemological connection with older strata of culture and knowledge and make possible usage of both new technological environment and classical humanist knowledge. My example of the hybrid and augmented reading is to illustrate this necessity.

   The Humanities are a huge accumulation of knowledge about the human, the society, the culture, the politics, etc.

   Nowadays there are spread of the Digital Humanities around the world.
But it is not always sufficient to transpose the humanities categories on the digital media practice.

   That must entail a more essential transformation of the knowledge. This transformation will be done in interface of the new environment and the classical knowledge. And to make possible a true evolution of knowledge, we must invent a new epistemological paradigm to think human and machinic interactions. And here intervene a huge necessity to work on the conceptual level for invention of new categories. I think that it is in this epistemological moment that the Digital Turn of Knowledge is necessary and inevitable for the future of Humanities.