the concept of imachination

"Without the computer-based simulation, the material culture of late-twentieth-century microphysics is not merely inconvenienced - it does not exist.”[1]

The Imachinations throw light on the relationship between machine, mathematical concepts and the human imagination. The artifical notion fusing the latin words machina and imaginatio symbolizes a new quality of numeric images: At the one hand the code base of numeric images dissolves a static pictorial concept. Images can change and become mobile. At the other hand a new complex relation is created between code and image as two different levels of perception. Not only the final user is involved in this process, but indirectly the whole "imaging chain" with all the developers of the hard- and software machinery. So numeric images become a performative and highly social product as well. (more...)

"imaging chain" in astronomy

The pictorial products of the so called vision machines (Paul Virilio) can be considered as an imachination. Visual information is not only transmitted by a classical physical optic, but also processed by a program. This machine based interpretation shall help to improve the image quality. The use of such a program enlarged optic is usefull for star observation, but also for the automatic target recognition (atr), e.g. for robots or military purposes. The processes work with a physical superposition of images or a “soft” overlay of images by a software program.

Imachinative techniques are not applied only for military purpouses but also play an important role in the scientific context especially in astronomy, particle physiscs or biology.

  • In astronomy the interferometric facilities joining single telescopes to a virtual telescope constitute an imachinative complex (more).
  • In particle physics collider rings can be considered as machines producing imachinations: images, which oscillate between the machines and the human notion of formula. Furthermore the CERN/ Geneva invented the WWW and was one of the first institutions that provided images via the internet. With the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is going to start a new experiment facilitiy at CERN in 2007. A gigantic picture machine as well is the neutrino telescope “Icecube” in Antarctica. (more...)
  • In nuclear science for the first time artificial" but real existing elements were created (more...)
  • optical interferometry

  • Genomics
  • The information processing in genomics has a lot of in common with the digital imaging processing - like in astronomy. There is just a "small" but interesting difference: genomics has almost no images.
    The Imachinations propose a modell to discuss this common ground. (more...)

    a dance: nuclear dynamics

  • Imachinations in bio-modelling
  • Cellular dynamics: Cellular automata (CA), a grid of interrelated discrete cells, can result in very complex pattern formations. (more...)

    Imachinative Virus: : For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have visualized the changing atomic structure of a virus. (March 2006)

    an imachinative tobaco virus:

  • Military imachinations
  • ATR (auto targeting recognition): visual orientation for robots or missiles.

    ATR in "Germany 1994"

    theoretical links

    - detailed concept with the basic ideas of imachination (more...)
    - collection of concepts found in the WWW (more...)
    - further approaches to the notion of imachination

    [1] Galison, Peter: Image and Logic, – a material culture of microphysics, Chicago 1997, p.689