In the world of design and art, it is sometimes said that one of the main advantages of the analog over the digital is that of its singularity. Benjamin called this the ‘aura’ of a work of art, in which the way the space and time of the creation changed how we perceived the work of art. A work of art independent of the digital realm always posses this aura. This singularity is always there, whether you like it or not. It comes with the package.
The digital realm and its precedents (letterpress being one, for example) are part of the age of mechanical reproduction, where the resemblance between the ‘original’ and the ‘copy’ is complete and indistinguishable. Yet, the computer has a processing power higher than any other machine ever invented. In many ways, it is much more advanced than the human brain. Why then is the design done in the computer sometimes so inferior? On one hand, I believe this happens because of the mis-use of the computer and the use of software to create one digital “original” and printed “copies”.
The interesting part is that singularity is easily achievable in the digital realm. Because of the processing power brought upon by the computer, every single creation can be unique. This uniqueness doesn’t come from the usage of the typical WYSIWYG software. Rather, this uniqueness must be programmed into the computer or onto the work itself (because of the lack of this type of software). But certainly, the uniqueness of a digital creation is certainly achievable. Randomness is incredibly simple in the digital realm. The abstraction of rules (a native feature of the native realm) can lead to a path were every creation is inherently different.
Singularity might be even more simple in the digital realm than in the analog realm, given the right treatment and condition of the problem. It will just take a different approach to the digital tools we currently use.