This Whitehead maxim seems applicable:
"The true philosophical question is, how can concrete fact exhibit
entities abstract from itself and yet participated in by its own
If insights from physics are to be applied to art, some abstraction
will necessarily have to occur (otherwise you're simply left talking
about physics, or reducing art to physics -- an analytic philosophy
trap). But how to fruitfully cross-apply these abstractions to art
a) slipping into grammatological wordplay (Derrida interminably
riffing on Adami, a post-structuralist trap),
b) cross-applying these new abstractions using old school dialectical
metaphysics (metaphysics which presume the existence of an
analog/digital divide in the first place).
And (beyond the philosophical), how to make art that engages with
these analogDigital conundrums (Leibniz's monadism wrestling with
Bergson's concrete duration) in ways that enact and foreground said
conundrums rather than merely re-presenting them via analogy.
>I think this is precisely the problem: that the metaphysics many of
>us take for granted is inherited from outdated science textbooks.
>Physicists have known since the beginning of the last century that
>nature's building blocks are assembled in messy states of
>superposition rather than lined up in neat compartments. ("Is the
>spin up or down? It's both!") Yet so many humanists I read,
>especially among the poststructuralists, yammer on about binaries
>and dichotomies as though the Law of the Excluded Middle were an
>incontestable truth. Or, almost as bad, as though they are the first
>to realize it isn't.
>Nor are all scientists immune from this outmoded determinism. Most
>biologists I speak to have heard of quantum mechanics, but
>implicitly assume that atoms are minuscule billiard balls careening
>predictably around, instead of some perverse foam that oozes
>contradictory states of matter when you're not looking.
>Even Newton didn't understand the metaphysical implications of his
>theory. Though a heretic by contemporaneous standards, Newton was
>still a devout Christian, and during his life wrote more about
>religion than science. He is remembered among metaphysics scholars
>for positing an absolute frame of reference for space and time, in
>contrast to Einstein's later relativistic one. Except that Newton's
>equations *are* relativistic for the scales he was considering--a
>fact he obscured by giving lip service to an absolute frame in order
>to reconcile his formulas with the dogma of his time.
>The design of digital computers to date has only reinforced the lay
>perception that everything around us can be boiled down to 1s and
>0s. The advent of quantum computers to which Simon alluded could
>challenge that perception--and maybe even give nonphysicists their
>first glimpse of nature with her hair down.