[-empyre-] July on empyre: Screens

Martin Rieser martin.rieser at gmail.com
Thu Jul 5 07:34:29 EST 2012

Dear Kriss, Simon et al

 Given the growth of mobile and pervasive media forms, all dependent to
some degree on screens, this changed condition really forms a new paradigm,
variously described by  researchers who now tend to regard the screen as a
window into an extended  “Hertzian” space,  ‘hybrid space’, ‘augmented
reality’, ‘mixed reality’, ‘pervasive space’; or from the user behaviour
end as forming  ‘trajectories’ (Benford) , and even as ‘sculpture’ (
Calderwood) .

The primary role of the screen, as Simon points out, is now one that
mediates or remediates the world in a growing number of ways  (although the
internet of things and NFS promise to make direct -and
screenless-interaction more prevalent)  not as another space like cinema ,
where fantasy is experienced through a locked and dreamlike suspension, but
as a dynamic and changing condition of experience, where the user is
interactive or pro-active in creating their own personalised experience.

I am interested in the next week in  examining this changing condition of
reception as the key to the phenomenon, and I am worried that we could
become distracted by past understandings of screen theory or get totally
lost in placing "the screen at the center of a larger discourse on
self-consciousness, the sensorium, representation, communication,
interaction, and programming" as Brian suggests.

I am happy to be more forensic in trying to understand the new uses of
screens from the user/audience perspective and working outwards from that
place. I am certainly not arguing against understanding the social/
commercial imperatives for the huge expansion of mobile and urban screens
and their concomitant social problematics or the new semiotics of this
communication mode.

Hope we can start to look at examples and specific ideas


On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM, Brian Holmes
<bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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,
> Brian
> ______________________________**_________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Martin Rieser

Professor of Digital Creativity
De Montfort University
IOCT: Faculty of Art Design and Humanities
The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH
44 +116 250 6578

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