I’m rather conflicted. On the one hand, the technical magic and tricks Stolley presents are snazzy and useful. But on the other, much of the material so far rings of ancient things I’ve learned. My thoughts about art and production get to me.
This is so on the portions from LOFI: many of these tactics presented are baroque. I mean this to say that the self-learning of production methods gained prominence in the Renaissance through to the late baroque periods, especially with Rembrandt’s The Three Crosses. In this, Rembrandt used a series of plates using drypoint to print states of the same artwork. He revised each version by scraping away certain portions of the drawing on the plate while preserving others and adding new portions. He displayed much ongoing skill, openness, flexibility, and iteration.
Nothing is special about the device. That’s what artists have always proven, and that’s what this manifesto states. The creator and their skills matter. Obviously, this manifesto prioritizes lo-fi as a lingua franca between operating and production systems for sake of ease, but Stolley doesn’t give credit (in my view) to his ancient principles. I admire the emphasis on production and its mastery. His argument that writers should have understood more quickly the bridges between written and computer languages points to the idea that old and new bridge as well. But the new is more of an update of the old. Version control is like drypoint: you can erase old portions, add others, and try out the revision as much as you like.
I think lo-fi and LOFI afford the greatest chances for “human intentionality” to sneak out. Or be employed, more accurately. There is less automation to fill in the gaps. Good production comes down to the user and their skillset. The idea of Git being suited to people as opposed to the program tools comes to mind. In that way, I think Git being a lighter digital tool emphasizes its lo-fi temperament, despite the multitude of functions it seems to automate. (On this last point, I’m spitballing. I’m still foggy on automation.)
Anyway, those are my reflections! I plan to bring these up in class.