[-empyre-] screens

Simon Biggs simon at littlepig.org.uk
Sat Jul 7 23:15:09 EST 2012

I'm a multiscreen artist but perhaps I'm careless? I use same model projectors, like Julian, but to insist on sequential serial numbers sounds totally over the top. I wonder what Isaac's stereo is like? One of those systems pursuing fetishistic and impossible technical perfection? Surely life is too short?

In respect of the kinect. The IR light it emits is indiscrete, like the light that is emitted from a light bulb. It is the sensing of the reflected IR that is discrete. This uses a scanning rather than vector based system but unlike a video scan the sample rate can be dynamically varied. This is a bit like an oscilloscope and allows the image to be constructed as a point cloud rather than an all-over scan. These device specific characteristics are interesting and have implications but I'm not convinced they are so particular as to render the device as a different ilk. The end of what Sean describes as 'big' media is perhaps directly linked to what is proposed as the disappearance of the screen. One could also argue that the death of 'big' media is also linked to the passing of cinema as a vital contemporary medium.



Sent from a mobile device, thus the brevity.

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk
s.biggs at ed.ac.uk

On 7 Jul 2012, at 11:58, Sean Cubitt <sean.cubitt at unimelb.edu.au> wrote:

I'd like to make a small plea for retaining attention to the specifics of screen types. Rosalind Krauss made her claim that medium specificity was no longer relevant. She was thinking of "bg" media – like film, television etc. In the day, those were stable formations for decades. Now every individual project is made with idiosyncratic combinations of recording, storage, software, etc, none of them stable, many with one-off plug-ins etc – top the extent that we rightly don't have (big) medium specificity – we have medium-extreme-specifcity, where the unique assemblage of elements into a production (and its display) becomes as important as , say, the fat and felt in a Beuys piece. 

Like other multiscreen artists, Isaac Julien not only buys identical projectors from the same manufacturer but insists on sequential serial numbers – and even so each projector has its own distinct colour responses

So the interactivity of screens: yes, hugely significant; as is the typical distances they enjoin: theatrical (cinema), domestic (TV), personal (computer), intimate (handheld); and the distinction between reflected and emitted light

Tiny footnote: to the best of my knowledge CRTs were the basis for vector screens (ie non-scanned, in oscilloscopes, radar and early video games): the problem (as Alvy ray Smith told us at an event in melbourne) is the translation of vector space (as per Martin's post) to the bitmap screen, when There Is No Alternative mode of delivery – this too of Kinect? 

Holographic interactives like in Minority report?


From: Simon Biggs <simon at littlepig.org.uk>
Reply-To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Date: Saturday, 7 July 2012 10:50
To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] screens

I know Flash isn't needed. I use Java and Processing and they support vector graphics, with or without HTML5. The reason Flash is becoming unsustainable is lack of support for its engine on mobile media. I've heard that Adobe are considering adding an export function that will allow files to run with HTML5, platform blind, so it might not die anyway.

However, this has nothing to do with screens.

I think the current debate, about types of screens, is off piste from the original theme, which was to do with agency. Yes, different types of screens will have different affects and effects. But the key point was that we have moved from the more or less passive screen (whether a blank surface and projector assembly or an all in one CRT, plasma or LCD panel) to active and pervasive screens. Screens that we interact with, that form our environment, that control other devices - screens that actively mediate agency and can, in some cases, act upon things without human involvement. This takes consideration of the screen into frameworks concerning ontology, rather than aesthetics. Cronenberg fantasised about this in relation to video and TV but the technologies we have now aren't fantasy and are very different to what now seem quaint pieces of kit. Perhaps Gulf War 1, with laser guided bomb POV video on our nightly news, was when the change began, where the screen assembly became both targeting and recording mechanism, just as in Vietnam the portapak transformed the moving image camera. We have come a way since then. But let's try to avoid Virilio...



On 6 Jul 2012, at 18:18, Rob Myers wrote:

> On 07/06/2012 02:16 PM, Simon Biggs wrote:
>> With the death of Flash it's not just the vector based screen on its way
>> out (that's been on the way out ever since Evans and Sutherland invented
>> the framestore at the start of the 1970's) but also vector based
>> graphics (or at least one commercial application).
> Flash isn't needed for vector graphics on the web, though. Even if we don't use SVG, the html5 canvas tag supports all the usual vector graphics operations, and there are JavaScript libraries to support this:
> http://raphaeljs.com/
> http://d3js.org/
> http://calebevans.me/projects/jcanvas/index.php
> - Rob.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ @SimonBiggsUK skype: simonbiggsuk

s.biggs at ed.ac.uk Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/ http://www.elmcip.net/ http://www.movingtargets.co.uk/

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