[-empyre-] July on empyre: Screens

Brian Holmes bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com
Wed Jul 4 22:24:41 EST 2012

Dear Simon, Kriss, everyone -

Thanks for the openers, I'm really curious what will come of this 
discussion. It seems initially to be framed in a modernist way: it's 
about the screen as such, the medium hunted back to its essential 
characteristics. When one considers the bewildering quantity of 
referents for the word screen, that sounds like a good way to start! But 
the question is how to get something concrete, beyond the nice wrap-up 
of film and video theory.

Kriss wrote:

> Our mobile
> screens do not offer us anonymity, they relay and record our movements
> (via GPS); they can capture and convey our images as much as they can
> record images. Or they can create another type of image (data, or
> information about us).

It seems to me that the passage reveals the need for some more 
circumspect way of conceiving these things. After all, screens _as such_ 
neither track us, nor relay information about us, nor even capture our 
images. Networked and programmed interactive devices do that, usually in 
combination with databases and operators. Kriss, you get at that further 
on: "These interactive screens / machines respond to our voices, our 
touch, our gestures, but they are at the same time programmed."

Maybe we would need to place the screen at the center of a larger 
discourse on self-consciousness, the sensorium, representation, 
communication, interaction, and programming. A discourse on contemporary 
social relations, in short.  With six terms involved, it's considerably 
more than a triangulation - but could anything less speak in a precise 
way about the most proteiform medium of our time, the screen?

Looking forward to the rest,


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