Digital Coding

Digital Coding

Using processing 3, I created this piece. My inspiration for the design comes from Sol LeWitt. LeWitt’s refined vocabulary of visual art consisted of lines, basic colours and simplified shapes. He applied them according to formulae of his own invention, which hinted at mathematical equations and architectural specifications, but were neither predictable nor necessarily logical. For LeWitt, the directions for producing a work of art became the work itself; a work was no longer required to have an actual material presence in order to be considered art, as he let the traditional materials speak for themselves, to demonstrate their own vulnerability to decay, destruction, or obsolescence. Other inspiration was drawn from the lecture in week 6 as we delve into the function of loops. With artists such as Andy Warhol, one way that variations have been used in art is through iteratively copying a work, each time a copy is made, it is degraded. Through experimentation I created a work that in bodies these artists and concepts, whilst displaying clear representation and interpretation.

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The Electrical Telegraph and Development of Morse Code

Throughout our society communicating has become easier now than ever. The introduction of new technologies has single handily changed the way we communicate, as we are forever evolving and developing new means of communication daily. Looking at it today, this modern technology can seem remarkable as our means of communication have evolved tremendously. This technology has allowed us to share information instantaneously, breaking down barriers that past inventions lack to offer.

An example of this can refer to the technical evolution and timeline of the computer. The first generation computers were formed in 1940 to 1955 and powered by vacuum tubes using magnetic drums to store data and memory. Filling almost an entire room, the vacuum tube controlled the electric current through a sealed container. The container was often made of thin transparent glass in a rough cylinder shape. The magnetic drum is a metal coated cylinder with magnetic iron-oxide material which stored data and programs. This contrasts the technology of today with the effortless design and access, highlighting its development and impact on the way we work, find information and communicate.

So it begs the question… How have we evolved, and what inventions have brought us to where we are now ?

An example of this can refer to the invention of the electrical telegraph. Developed in the 1830’s by Samuel Morse, the electrical telegraph revolutionised long-distance communication as it worked by transmitting electrical signals over a wire laid between stations. The system produced a single-circuit telegraph that worked by pushing the operator key down to complete the electric circuit of the battery. Before Morse, William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone developed a system with five magnetic needles that could be pointed around a panel of letters and numbers by using an electric current. Although this system was soon used for railroad signalling in Britain, Morse’s used Cooke and Wheatstone as electromagnetism inspiration, with the desire to create his own invention. This hinted for a better developed system where messages are accessed over the long distance cable, thus developing the system of ‘Morse Code’. (refer to image)

 

Vail-Lever-Correspondence

 

Sending his first telegraph message in 1844, from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland; by 1866, a telegraph line had been laid across the Atlantic Ocean from the U.S. to Europe, leading his invention to pioneer for a communications revolutions. The system works by transmitting two types of signals both long and short, known as dots and dashes. Initially, the code, when transmitted over the telegraph system, was rendered as marks on a piece of paper that the telegraph operator would then translate back into English. Rather quickly, however, it became apparent that the operators were able to hear and understand the code just by listening to the clicking of the receiver, so the paper was replaced by a receiver that created more pronounced beeping sounds.

International_Morse_Code

The Morse telegraph was successful for a number of reasons, including its simple operation and its relatively low cost. By 1851, the country had over 50 telegraph companies though most telegraph business was controlled by the Magnetic Telegraph Company, which held the Morse patents. Although this design was a breakthrough in the communications process, it did present limitations. The use of the telegraph was quickly accepted by people eager for a faster and easier way of sending and receiving information. However, widespread and successful use of the device required a unified system of telegraph stations among which information could be transmitted. These limitations included receiving one type of signal, not being able to receive or send images, as well limited messages for areas without telegraph lines and lack of interpretations due to limited knowledge of an english alphabet, thus creating various barriers. Although Morse code shows aspects that may be perceived as negative, the electric telegraph transformed how wars were fought, along with how journalists and newspapers conducted business. Through this pieces of news could be exchanged between different areas almost instantly, along with the design also having a profound economic effect, allowing money to be “wired” across great distances, proving it’s use for means of communication in that time.

 

Through the introduction of new technology, many of them are based on the same principles first developed from this telegraph system. Although these new technologies would be seen to overshadow and replaced by more convenient means of communication such as telephones, fax machines and the Internet, this invention will forever stands as a turning point.

References :

  1. Encyclopedia.com, (2016). telegraph Facts, information, pictures Encyclopedia.com articles about telegraph. [online] Available at: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/telegraph.aspx
  2. Message, F. (2015). Morse Code & the Telegraph – Inventions – HISTORY.com. [online] HISTORY.com.
  3. Morse Code. Youtube: Museum of Obsolete Objects, 2011. video.
  4. “White River Valley Museum”. Wrvmuseum.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 18 Aug. 2016.