[-empyre-] stepping out of the frame/konnecting airlines

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Jul 19 00:32:40 EST 2012

dear all:

am happy to report ryan airlines brought me safely back from rural Spain to the colder forests in Germany (the flight was on time and that gets announced now apparently by a musical trumpet signal, whereupon all customers applaud and appear pleased, while ryan airlines on their cheap flights relentlessly peddles all kinds of things to buy on board including non-screen baguettes and non-smoke cigarettes). In the mean while, i was off line and now it is (too?) late to ask the futurologists amongst you (Simone?) whether the vision of the ubiquitous urban screen-net-to-end-all-screens is a globalized metropolitan vision for the hyperdeveloped, leaving out the regional, the less developed, underdeveloped and non developed (along these predicted lines)?

Catching up, i much enjoyed all your postings and discussions, both now the historical reminders of screening architectures and some of the descriptions of recent or current installations, and the important analysis on screen relations (as commodity relations) given us by Sean Cubitt; 

I'd like to pick up on the "interactive" side that has been implied in these recent posts, and also the reference Simon makes to the public's behaviors, following for example also Scott Mcquire's wonderful evocation of the Anri Sala installation, and Karen O'Rourke's fascinating commentary on the "choric."  I propose we might want to reflect on chorus and the choric, if you are interested.

   Simon Biggs schreibt: 
..Using multiple projections further enhanced the sense that the screen, as a defined area, no longer applied. Since the 1980's I've extended this differentiation of the visual elements by making them independently interactive, so objects react individually to user/viewer presence and action (not just their physical location or movement, but their voice, the words they speak - using voice recognition - and other behaviours). >>

   Scott Mcquire schreibt
The standardisation of the rectangular screen is certainly integral to the current production of screens as commodity form, but the frame (which does not have to be rectangular) as a function pre-exists this relation, and hence shouldn’t be reduced to it.
But I take your point about the assimilation of video art — this where the shift of the screen beyond the gallery starts to ask interesting questions about protocols of display.

I think it's quite true that early video artists reacted to the other medium (TV) when using single or multichannel video and sought to "de-frame" or dé-collage the thing (as Wolf Vostell did, for instance, when he buried the monitor in the ground in TV Begräbnis). They had to or wanted to, and now the genre or screening medium is wonderfully re-assimilated into the galleries and biennials, true. And things have been projected into all imaginable surfaces and mixed frames. 

But did interactivity (as a new imperative) or performance change anything? 
Some of you mentioned new "affordances," and Kriss responded to me by citing the example of the UC Davis Kinect Lab which can cause vertigo...... And Salvatore mentioned a performance in which bodies "displayed"... (body of the performer was a "display" [screen?] of user interactions and, in turn, everything that was heard/shown as sound and video of the performance was generated my the dancer's movements and biological data.);  Salvatore, could you please elaborate on that, and how you, and others here, think about the performance side of interactive behaviors and what they might or might not indicate?  Following Sean's critique, have consumer relations changed at all in principle?

Karen's comment on how visitors or publics relate to multiple screens interests me, in this respect, as on the one hand such behavior in galleries is to be expected, and yes, they tend to make us more aware of social interaction spaces and rituals (public viewing is such a ritual form, but not much different from families going to the movies as they always did) and "choric" behaviors, thus opening perhaps a slight political dimension for the gestures of gathering, observing, acting and co-acting, co-playing  - yet what are these shared and mimicked gestures?  And in programmed/augmented environments, how would one evaluate such behaviors if they ever depart from the banal and commonsensical sharing of public space? When do we get "bumped" (Simon Taylor) -- and when are we pushed and gifted, to speak with Tarek, and driven to an "ethical operation that connects overwhelming affect with a political project that was highjacked from the people"? 

Surely not in real-time interactive art installations, and I wonder or worry about crowdsourced raising of political consciousness/cognitive compasses, too...

Johannes Birringer

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