The analog may move backwards or forwards along a line, or even track movement across three or more dimensions, but only with the imposition of the digital code is it possible to cut the terms bounded by the digital line and rearrange them. Rather than an analog movement through space and time, the digital opens the possibility of a three dimensional space in which terms are arrayed along different axes and are drawn together via the code. Rather than a continuous line moving out from a point into a three dimensional space, one imagines rather a three dimensional space of fixed points, which can be called upon by the code to make up a straight line of distinct units. Because it is digital, the game can be ‘saved’. You can return to a point within the space the code describes, and start rolling your Katamari ball all over again.
The analog line connects topic to topic; the digital line divides topic from topic, unifying what it encloses in its difference from what it excludes. The topical is a continuum of analog relations — the ball rolling and gathering things in its path. The topographic imposes distinctions dividing one network of topics from another — the discrete stars in the sky. The topological subordinates connection to division across all scales of space and time. The transformation of topical to topographic and then topological space is the progressive subordination of the analog to the digital, achieved by the imposition of the lines of telesthesia, first in its analog and then in its digital form. (See Fig. 4) Thus the digital remakes the world of objects in its image.
The digital does not merely transform the world of objects. It transforms the world of subjects. The digital is what makes the distinction between object and subject. The subject emerges out of undifferentiated being, as something separate from the objects of nature. Martin Heidegger: “What was decisive, what actually happened, is that a projection was made which delineated in advance what was henceforth to be understood as nature and natural process: a spatio-temporally determined totality of movement of masspoints.” The primary divisions of topography, of the partial digitalization of the world, pass over into the intricate and intimate coding of subjective as well as objective being. The subject too becomes a calculus of masspoints. The Prince is what the Prince has achieved — a level, a number.
Digital object, digital subject — these are byproducts of a boredom that, seeking respite from nothingness, projects its lines across all space and time, turning it into commodity space and military space. This is the reckless act of creation with which Katamari Damacy begins — the King’s destruction of the mythic heaven of the old Gods, and the project of replacing it by commanding the transformation of a human, analog movement into an airless matrix of machine code. This is the new labor of Sisyphus. Gamespace is always and everywhere the imposition of the digital as a way of laying an invisible hand on the world — or an all too visible fist. Where the invisible hand opens its digits to calculate what it may gain, the invisible fist closes them to calculate what it may claim.
The military industrial complex develops analog telesthesia as a means of measuring and controlling its forces, but this development reaches a limit, and its forces exceed its capacity to manage them. Digital telesthesia emerges as the means of command, control and communication, a “nested set of increasingly comprehensive military enclosures for global oversight and control.” The theory of the digital, and of its difference from the analog, emerges as a byproduct of this attempt at self-control by the military industrial complex but transforms it beyond itself. The expansive movement of the military machine calls into being a code that can monitor and manage it. The analog begets the digital, but only produces the concept of the analog after the fact. Anthony Wilden: “Obviously, without the digital, we could not speak of the analog.” Without the recognition of the ball as a putative star, it cannot be named. The military entertainment complex emerges out of the control of the analog by the digital, of the military and industrial production lines by the digital lines of command, and by the extension of the digital to all aspects of everyday life.