[-empyre-] screens

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sun Jul 8 04:10:06 EST 2012

On 07/07/2012 03:46 PM, Ian Bogost wrote:
> On Jul 7, 2012, at 5:50 AM, Simon Biggs wrote:
>> 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.
> But, as has been said already, those devices are not screens. They
> are, most often, computers.

Computers are significantly correlated with screens at present. 
Televisions are now computers (or their thralls) following the death of 
analog broadcast and recording. Even cinemas are transitioning to 
digital projection with increasing speed.

> Many of which have screens of particular
> kinds. If we're ready to simply call all those things "screens" then
> I'm not sure why we wouldn't also call them automobiles or
> architecture or sandwiches.

I'm currently watching "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" on a baguette so I see 
your point.

Screens serve to conceal as well as present. Think of hospital screens 
(or the back wall of the cinema). In Simon's comment, the screens have 
served to conceal the computers. What the computers conceal probably has 
something to do with agency.

I'm not sure screens were ever passive though. Cinema was persuasive and 
broadcast TV showed news and opinion.

- Rob.

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