[-empyre-] July on empyre: Screens

Martin Rieser martin.rieser at gmail.com
Sat Jul 7 16:20:51 EST 2012

Well out of synch now-but I would like to comment on the obsession with
particular technologies which is emerging in this discussion. I don't think
the old analogue/vector/pixel discussion is much help either.

When I talk about a paradigm shift in the whole concept of screens I am
talking about a transition from the old perspectival optical technology
which started with the *camera obscura* and led directly to photography and
cinema, now moving into the age of the holographic-not literally
holograms-but technologies which can capture full data descriptions of  3D
scenarios and recombine them with topologies, here I would cite both
augmented reality and the new fashion of projection mapping, 3D infrared
sensing devices such as Kinect which take 3D data and create functioning 3D
extrapolations of that data and reanimate that in real locations and
topologies. Therefore the screen has become not a reversal of the old
camera obscura process-which indeed maps an absence, but now functions as a
window into mapped data clouds-something Simon was hinting at with his
description of Kinect and that the X-ray embodies in principal , but the
CRT scanner exemplifies in fact.


On Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 8:36 PM, Sean Cubitt <sean.cubitt at unimelb.edu.au>wrote:

> Hi Kriss, Brian, empyreans
> Triangulation? Thrice Nay! But yes to the screen as a diagram of sorts,
> whose ubiquity and evanescence alike demonstrate the importance of clawing
> some kind of lesson - extract knowledge back from its alienated form as
> information
> Not but we will I hope turn our gaze towards the specificity of certain
> kinds of screen, particularly LCD and plasma, LED, and the allied
> technologies of DLP and LCOS, and to the silvered screen - there are
> practicalities here that matter to makers and curators (and teachers).
> As a first and obvious pass: screens hide as much as they provide apparent
> (should that be virtual or potential or even fictive or in the best sense
> of the word fantastic?) openings - magic as mirrors but of a wholly
> different order (?). The screens on which we project; the screens through
> which they project; and the screens behind which some other scene is
> hidden, Rafael's screening (a verb which Brian's remark opens up to
> exploration) onto buildings both supplants and reveals the building /
> pubic space; or the screen of cards held up by crowds in Phil Collins'
> Marxism Today (and differently in its subject, North Korea)
> The photo-effect discovered by Barthes and Berger - that a photograph
> re-presents an absence rather than a presence - refers us to the
> represented: the screen refers us to the actual space of screening which
> is obliterated (or in particular modes of screening revealed other-wise,
> as in Wodiczko's projections on South Africa House) in order for the
> absent to present itself. Is that truer of the old theatrical cinema than
> of the foetal curl around the handheld screen? The doubled present-absence
> of standing here but being elsewhere we observe so easily in others (but
> with more difficulty, at least in my case, when I'm lost in iPhone land
> myself)?
> The question is perhaps about whether there is something about the idea of
> (smoke)screen that will always make us think back to theories of ideology;
> where we also need to think through the producing-productivity of screens
> ("screen-ness") - or whether there is some other way to think through,
> with and beyond them
> S
> On 04/07/2012 13:24, "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
> >
> _______________________________________________
> 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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