The Original Digital

Digits….Can I get yo’ digits; How many digits are significant; Composing digital screen play; We recognize digital in this context, but do you know the original meaning of “digital”?

Latin: “digiti” means “fingers”.

Spanish: “dedos” means “digits” which indicate “fingers”

Cartoonist Lynda Barry has a saying that “In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits!” In the 2000s, digital has adopted a new meaning of being a projection through a device, but the truest, most organic form of digital comes from your own mind through your fingertips. This is where you access the purest form of creativity.

Author Austin Kleon in his book Steal Like an Artist capitalizes on this concept of losing yourself to a computer. He says that it robs us of the feeling that we are making things, and in addition to stealing this feeling, it also robs us of many of our ideas as the delete button is so easily accessible we don’t give ourselves a chance to give potential what initially seems like a useless idea. Oh but honey, every idea is worth something. It won’t be complete when it first strikes you. Follow me in this analogy:

Idea is to seed.

Thinking is to water.

Elaboration is to growth.

Product is to fruit. An idea seed isn’t a substantial diet for your entire creative capacity, but it is the core to a satisfying creative feast.

The artist Stanley Dogwood, who has designed every album artwork for Radiohead, believes that computers are alienating because they put a sheet of glass between you and whatever is happening;  it’s hard to feel connected to something when there is a screen between you and the product of the creativity.

A couple weekends ago, the Power Center hosted the Cadence Dance Co. put on an incredible demonstration of the original digital: a pure exhibition of the channeling of inner creativity through their own digital devices: their bodies. Activating every part of their body with  astounding strength yet notable grace, the dancers moved to twelve songs, each with its own story.

Encore, Rhythm, the Friars, and Funktion performed between songs by the Flux crew, also exhibiting their own digital creativity. The human body is a reservoir of digital potential. Very cool to see.



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