Knowledge is predicated on the necessity of its erasure.
We "draw" on the screen by drawing the mouse over the
table top. Traditionally, we would draw a stick or soft
material to leave an incision or deposit on a surface.
This was direct -- or so it appears today. The concept
of directness continues to be important in how we
design interfaces. Directness connotes proximity: "The
shortest distance between two points is a straight line."
Technologies are often understood as mediating our
experiences of the world. Radio, television, cinema,
photographs. Such technologies are also very often
understood as subtitutes for natural abilities we
already possess. They substitute for our natural form
of communication: speech. In being substitutes,
it is said that they distance us from nature. Sticks
and pencils are rarely considered to be technological,
at least not high-tech. But pencils (and other
pigmentation tools) mark the technological basis of
drawing: the deposit (left as the drawn mark) is
a visible substitute when touch alone will not leave
a significant mark.
Digital media is permeated with the language of erasure, and yet, the meaning of erasure of digital records differs from the meanings erasure holds in relation to analog media. In analog media, when something is erased, it is often possible to sense the mark left by erasure. Thus Rauschenberg was able to present his "Erased de Kooning" drawing as his own (ironically). Erasure leaves its own traces, it is writing or drawing. It is a wiping clean which puts forth an order with the possibility of decipherment. How do we decipher the static of digital erasure?
I make drawing interfaces to draw upon the erasure of erasure in the realm of the digital. Is there a digital realm? Would not its limits as realm condition its identity? Can drawing an object over a surface remain significant as an act of depositing, of leaving, of loss and gain? Or will it become a gesture significant of something entirely other?