Enfoldment and Infinity has 9 ratings and 1 review. Essma said: I have yet to come across an art theory book that moved me so profoundly that I cried aft. “The universe is not dualistic, but folded, so spirit is separated from matter only by degree” – Laura Marks, Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic. In Enfoldment and Infinity, Laura Marks traces the strong similarities, visual and as computer code or the words of the Qur’an) is an interface to the infinite.

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What are the parallels and relations between Islamic art and New Media art?

That is the main question Laura U. The title of her book is just as alluring and bold as her topic. During the first two chapters her motivation of the title becomes enfoldmeny. Enfoldment is a term she borrows from quantum physics and Deleuze and infinity is one of the main topics of her book.

I will come back to this later. Second, there is the interwoven theoretical, philosophical and even spiritual framework existing behind Islamic and Western art. As Marks poses, both Arabic artists and Islamic body of thought highly influenced European and Western culture.

This book is important because it reveals how much Islamic culture actually influenced the world and it has the power to make us recognize traces of Islamic culture in.

Marks herself notes that. One of the main if not the main theoretical arguments of this annd is that objects have a hidden meaning in the sense that they emerged from the infinite, the endless pool of virtual objects which all have the potential to become actual. This intrinsic meaning was generated from its context in time and space and anr re interpreted by the human subject experiencing it within his or her own timeframe and perceptual abilities.

Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (Leonardo Book Series)

However, we as humans can only get in contact with the infinite through information and image. Here, information acts as a mediator between the imperceptible infinite and the actual image.

The three-ply model of infinite — information — image Marks proposes is in fact a Deleuzian model with the mediator of information added. Information unfolds from the infinite, image unfolds from information.

The infinite is the intrinsic meaning enfolded in both. After explaining this, Marks notes that in theories of digital media, models of mediating levels between user and network or user and hardware can reach up to seven layers.

The layers between the Web and the searching user using Google for instance, according to Bernhard Rieder, has four layers, the web and the user themselves enfoldmet included. The four stages between the web and the user using a search engine like Google, by Bernhard Rieder.


On the far left side there is the vast universe of the web. The web is crawled by Google robots and from the results an index is built.

Enfoldment and Infinity: an Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art | Screen | Oxford Academic

The index is where Google stores all of the information about the web. However, users can never access the index directly. Access is only granted to Google itself and obtaining information from the index happens through a process of searching and ranking by Google algorithms reacting to keywords, location, user information, etcetera.

This information is presented on the right side: As can be seen in Figure 2, there is a correlation between the algorithms and the user interface. The user can only interact with those two layers. The index and the web enflodment are invisible. Comparing the models infinkty Marks and Rieder, one might argue that they are conflicting. Firstly because they pose different numbers of layers and secondly because with Rieder at least two layers are invisible and with Marks anx one.

In that way, the Web and the Google Index are infinity, the Google crawlers and algorithms are information and the user interface is the image. Whatever the opinion on the similarities between these models, one has to credit Marks for noting that New Media models vary from hers in layers and for seemingly fitting into enfoldmment category nevertheless.

She discusses the similarities of unity God and codeinfinity spiritual and virtualthe vector Mecca and telepresenceaniconism figurative images and viralsabstract line and haptic space abstract decorating figures and inrinity art and embodied perception subjective experiences in time and space. Also, her discussion of the relation between Islamic atomism, the abstract line as connecting points and the pixel is very intriguing and pursued throughout the book.

Eastern Influence in Western Art Enfoldment and Infinity gives a very enfoldmet insight into mutual exchange of cultural values between the East and the West.

Not only does Marks describe how and why contact was established between the two worlds, she also elaborates on how Islamic influence can be recognized, even if adapted and combined with native art and culture. For example, in chapter three Marks discusses anr century Holland being a Dutchy, I am familiar with this topic.

Laura U. Marks

In those times, Holland was one of the European countries exploring the world by ship, bringing home many exotic items such as Chinese porcelain, Indonesian spices, Oriental metalworks and — of course — Islamic art.

Dutch artists mastered the Islamic pattern skills, developing a special interest in Arabic carpets. With this painting it becomes only too clear how deep the influence of Islamic culture reached into Dutch art and Western art.


The Metropolian Museum of Art website http: Being submerged in Islamic culture and art, sometimes without even knowing it, it is only logical that the Western culture developing from this foundation would owe some of its stylistic traits to Islamic art.

I would argue that there is a combination of native and outlandish practice involved here and I think Laura Marks would agree with me.

Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art by Laura U. Marks

Nevertheless, the importance of this book lies in revealing and highlighting the importance of Islamic culture in our own, serving the noble purpose of reaching out to our Eastern neighbors and enlightening Western people with what was there all enfoldmnet. I would say the Islamic part of the book overrules the new media part.

I acknowledge that the Islamic genealogy is the main argumentation of the book, but I think Marks could have postulated more on modern culture instead of mostly discussing historical Eastern and Western culture.

All things taken into account, I think this is a fine book which can teach us much about our origins and our ignorance. As said before, it is important to recognize the Eastern culture within our own as a means of better understanding the Islamic world. This counts especially for Holland in my opinion, seating one of the endoldment anti-Islamic political organizations, PVV Party for Freedom in the minority government. Here readers can view interactive artworks companioning several chapters with information, explanation and motivation.

I would recommend anyone interested in modern art to take a look on http: LikeBe the first to like this post. Class of Alumni: Enfoldment and Infinity by Laura U.

I am a Dutch student at the University of Amsterdam. My interest in new media is triggered because of its novelty, the steady growth in popularity and the all-round integration of it in our daily lives. Having a better understanding of this phenomenon is really important for the present and anr future way we all behave on every level enfoldmebt our existence as humans. On my website I post the public publishings that are on the web and my bachelor thesis. This book is important because it reveals how much Islamic culture actually influenced the world and it has the power to make us recognize traces of Islamic culture in Figure Marksmodernparallelspixelsquantum physicsWestWestern.

Clarke and Robert K. What cultural policy in the era of globalization and electronic media? This blog is protected by Dave ‘s Spam Karma 2:

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