image taking form Technological
advances have enabled media technology to move towards acquiring
a greater “fidelity” in terms of audio and video reproduction. Sophisticated
security equipment carries out its functions of surveillance without
being noticed. Gadgets, on the other hand, such as palm tops, mobile
phones, mini cameras (all of which work in an increasingly integrated
fashion) are in constant use in big cities, giving currency to the
idea that such media devices are improved human extensions.
digital camera makes it possible for photos to be developed several
times over, and for the digitalized result to be instantaneously
modified by means of specific types of software. Mobile phones with
in-built cameras modify the use and function of photography in people’s
everyday lives. Potentially, any daily event “worth a photo”.
digitalization of images and their presence in technological devices
which are increasingly used in everyday life, generates fragmentation
and diffusion, increasing its role in the lives of all, creating
a subsequent naturalization of media images.
the naturalization of images we mean the cognitive process where
the sign is no longer perceived according to its classical definition,
“that which is in the place of something” and goes on to become
the thing in itself, or as Baudrillard calls it, a “real effect”.
This is exactly what is so powerful in the graphic interfaces that
operate through the use of metaphors and graphic icons. The speed
with which they send your message is related to the simplicity of
the message and the persuasive force essential to metaphors themselves
(witness the frequency with which it is used in rhetoric discourses).
to McLuhan (1998:348), the notion itself of what is “real” is proper
to the visual world. The author draws attention to the fact that
the word phony, which in English means “false” or “inauthentic”
originally meant “as unreal as a telephone conversation.”
used for cinematic and photographic purposes, videos and web-cams
serve as the gateway to information, which, through its extreme
referentiality, creates objects which become confused with reality,
lacking in the “true essence” of the real world. The race to achieve
greater perfection in the capturing of real images, or even the
creation of digitalized animation has become a reality in terms
of the market, acting on media products overall. In this context,
“The next big thing” will be geared towards greater fidelity than
either a software product or image-capturing device could produce.
makes possible for a media product to appear as being a world
in parallel to the “real world”, understood as part of a meta-reality,
both seductive and vigilant. MacLuhan observed that the advent of
new media technologies in living spaces has brought about the “Narcosis
of Narcissus”, a general lack of awareness regarding its psychic
and social effects, with the said technological devices becoming
the other hand, to speak of a controlled environment, “dominated
by media devices”, turns the latter into an omniscient and dominating
whole, whose tendency to control humanity had already been anticipated
in the film Terminator, portrayed in Blade Runner by the more
human than human replicants, where man is condemned to succumb
owing to the difficulty in distinguishing the “real” from the “imaginary”.
is not the intention here to ignore the communicative power of media
devices, but rather to break with the idea that such issues are
inherent in media supports. Whereas it’s true that media technology
enables communication to be both fragmented and integrated, the
fact that it is used to control and subvert cannot be seen a
priori, as an issue.
approaches exclude the discussion of the pioneering role played
by media technology which is established by means of contracts between
user and creator and which go beyond the mere illusory. It’s important
to point out that the input output process creates a code, subject
to alteration at any moment, not necessarily stucked in a world
of icons and metaphors created by a few. With regards to media images,
these are incorporated and customized. However, the nature of the
support is absorbed without any further questioning. As many authors
have already deliberated, it is important to make plain that such
and such an image is of a different nature and moreover, that it
does not necessarily relate directly to the real which it captures,
despite Peter Lunenfeld’s observation of the change (or re-interpretation)
that the image undergoes each time it is “compressed and decompressed”,
the very notion of original and copy does not does not function
in the same way as images generated by chemical procedures. The
capturing process is also a code, subject to alteration at any moment.
well known example of the unsuitability of metaphors introduced
by software such as Office Suite, for example, originates from the
fact that initially the use of computers was directly associated
with offices, whereas nowadays their use is much more widespread,
having become an integral part of most people’s everyday lives.
References, on the other hand, have not caught up, leaving the computer
to mirror the routine of an old business company. Even with new
customizing proposals of some types of software, there is a constant
need to adapt to a standardization of use. One single discourse,
one single way of perceiving the digital environment and what
are the consequences of this?
is known (and widely used in advertising) that the more efficient
the communication, the more simplified it is. The question is what
sort of standard of efficiency could be used as a sufficiently partial
instrument in assessing the exchange of information, since it departs
from the viewpoint of the sender and therefore comprises a one-sided
vector, which prioritizes reception. The efficient message is that
which arrives to the receiver with the least “noise” or interruption.
paradox faced by communication is the following: according to cybernetic
theory, entropy (or noise) is more frequent than order. Communication
as an exchange of flows of information is in constant search of
a closed structure that will minimize the dispersion of energy (or
information). Yet permitting entropy to be somehow incorporated
into the communicative process allows for a greater complexity of
information. It is also known that a message with a hermetically
sealed structure receives such a small information load that it
becomes incapable of informing. What might happen to the reiteration
of the communicative format is that by losing its information load,
it is subsequently perceived as being its own object. At the same
time, this phenomenon creates a perceptual violence that does not
allow for a separation between sign and object, thereby reducing
every perception to one single pattern.
code however, is in a constant state of expansion and exchanging
energy. The media operate within closed circuits created in environments,
where entropy appears as the most constant element and the codes
as mere traces. The notion of environment here is derived from its
Greek equivalent perivello, which means to strike from all
sides at the same time” It has less to do with being related to
the natural world, than with simultaneity which includes constant
processing. Reception is not only de-codification, but rather re-codification
according to the parameters of whoever is receiving.
idea of a media bios can be re-incorporated by means of the notion
of BIOS as Basic Input Output System, not as a parallel life which
imitates, deceives, the materialization of the Platonic cave myth,
which proposes a duality between the real and the imaginary. It
is in the potential offered by the connections where important material
for exploration is to be found.
is necessary to leave the real vs imaginary dichotomy for another
that provides for communication as mediation. The medium is in the
environment, the latter containing another space, distinct and traditional
in nature. Understanding does not take place by means of dichotomies,
but by means of elements in a state of constant tension of a kind
which does not tend towards the equilibrium provided by the traditional
communicative setup (sender, message, receiver). There is the necessity
of complex thinking, diagrammatic and rizomatic, transcending platonic
logic as a means of resolving contradictions.
produced by media technology are difficult to analyse because, according
to Flusser (2002:13), “they do not need to be deciphered” Yet there
are several examples of artists and theoreticians who seek to break
with this notion of screen as window on the world and demonstrate
that it is more a question of another door leading instead onto
an Alice in Wonderland-type world than a “real” world. If photography
has checkmated traditional painting, whose perfection lay in overcoming
the real by means of a realistic representation, it was Eisenstein
who introduced us to non-naturalistic cinema by means of a montage,
which in the case of the digital media is made possible, among other
means, by creating new formats through the convergence of media,
all of which in their specificity, become informative and mutable
is not a question of assessing referential or non-referential images
using value judgments where the referential is “bad” because it
deceives and the non-referential is “good” because it is a liberating
truth. It is a matter here of discussing a unilateral approach for
constructing interfaces which would merely offer a channel for the
perception of digital space. Its references to the natural world
are also learnt. In fact even the most basic computer program requires
an operator with a certain digital literacy to handle it. Graphic
interfaces, which at first overlay codes, may assist in understanding
the multiple computer codes but which might bar access to the codes
themselves, which may be perceived separately and not as part of
one single element. As suggested by Flusser (2002: 9), “images are
mediations between Man and the World. They are meant to represent
the world, yet in doing so, they come between the World and Man.”
The graphic interface becomes the “real” ordering of digital space,
sometimes understood as the only possible ordering of this space.
the same way digital devices have their use widely spread around the
world, but a significant part of consumers use them merely as an analogical
media with new features. Web-cams are exploited as “points of connection”
between several parts of the world where it is possible to presence
that which takes place in locations very far from one another. These
images, however, produce the opposite effects, of non-referentiality,
of a constant no-place, where all spaces are equal in terms of result:
cars, passers-by, a fortuitous landscape. Obviously, there are other
examples illustrating the use of such cameras, but those which have
been mentioned, clearly characterize the fragility of web-cams as
mere video cameras without an operator; in such cases there is a clear
indication of the need for the resumption of a user who would bring
information which would interchange with that which is within.
The idea of a relation with the outside as an eye without a brain
exhausts the support as a medium and thus fails to explore its potential.
is a project developed by the Argentinean artist Rafael Marchetti
that carries the debate along a different path: this image is not
an image, but a system created from codes the input and output of
which continue to reproduce results already obtained.
the approach of the digital image as graphic interface is once again
taken up; an image-system where the output and input of information
create one dynamic whole. According to Manovich (2001:183), digital
images can be image-interface or image-instrument, depending on
what they are used for. What they have in common is that these images
are not simply offered up, ready for enjoyment since they may be
altered by the viewer.
objective here is the exact opposite of realistic visual experiences
in order to explore what is not immediately visible or at least
to build a whole, which is geared towards experimentation into the
particularities of the support itself and how it relates to the
surrounding media environment. It is based on an inter-related vision,
far from the realm of metaphor that we can promote new discussions
on the technological environment and its surroundings.
images created are synthetic and do not conform to any external
referent. On the web there is a continuous here and now element,
albeit mobile, non-localized. It is defined by Contreras as follows:
images born of the computer are converted into signs which do
not signify any external object, signifying themselves as a self-contained
project. In the universe of simulation we can ensure the
results of an experiment beyond any risk of the same action in
the real world. It is a game played with algorithms and mathematical
procedures. Time and space have not coordinates in single action
which can go backwards and forwards without altering the final
result. Actions may either reconstruct themselves or be altered
continuous temporality does not relate to the evolution of media
technology taking as its base merely the sequences of new technological
developments but to a distinct temporality which can be further
removed from spatial limits. It is a fluid space which continues
to be discovered by means of experimentation bound to go beyond
the real vs imaginary dichotomy.
interface is understood according to both Contreras and Manovich,
as being based on the cultural codes, which carry messages, and
for the same reason, signified phenomena which may be altered or
is also a term which Logcam aims to discuss, but interaction as
a cognitive process by a user that fills spaces left by possibilities
opened up by codes (understood as cultural memes). If the
referent-oriented image creates a strict codification the images
being constantly created by the webcam in Logcam seek to highlight
digital image is made up of pixels, luminous points which in turn
are basically consist of a binary code which circulates by means
of electrical energy. In Logcam there is the fragmentation of the
image, its two-dimensional presentation, the montage created
by means of a random sequence which operates through contrast.
it is true that metaphors and references directed at the real world
can be new forms of control, the mathematical matrixes which comprise
digital images can be reconstructed ad infinitum. In the
case of painting and photographs on the other hand, there is one
sole perspective, in digital systems, a perspective from which the
image will be projected is determined by multiple and temporary
searches some means of rationalization, the visual concretization
of an idea. Yet this rationality cannot be confused with closing
or rigidity, for if this were the case, they would lose their communicative
force. A project that aims to put in discussion the characteristics
of digital mean implies to be constantly modified, since relations
governing distinct vectors of meaning and density do not operate
in absolute equilibrium.
exchanging languages In
Logcam the media supports will not be used in isolation, but by interchanging
project make use of webcams and other digital cameras, both as a
means of capturing images in physical space, and like sensors of
movement, also trying to explore typical textures and colors.
aim is to expand the means in which the various media may be used,
for example: physical space as an interface for interaction and
webcam as a sensor for capturing images of a non-referential nature
and graphic results which do not operate on the level of “author/spectator”,
but rather as a dynamic spatial reading. The degree to which the
work is rendered more or less complex equally depends on the use
made of it by the message receptor.
experiments aims to create a whole, which on the one hand, seeks
to highlight a possibility for digitally processing the creation
of a graphic sequence, while on the other, including the individual
as part of the process without necessarily making use of the camera
setup which merely captures the external, simply reproducing it,
or alternatively, interactions using the mouse a graphic interface
widely used on the web and which may generate certain automatisms
(causing the disappointment by some users when an action involving
the mouse does not generate an immediate response on the interface).
the contrary, the element of chance has been included by random
sequencing in an effort to integrate causality in the ordered structure
of the work. It is known that there are rules in chaotic organizations,
but rules, which Peirce called “evolutionary”, not defined a priori,
as a rationalized variety.
the Logcam’s proposal does not claim to provide an answer to all
the questions raised, but to present itself as a diagrammatic experiment
of some of the presented proposition. Assuming that visual language
is rapidly absorbed (hence its persuasive power), we have attempted
to subvert the closed discourse of icons by moving in the direction
of an open representation, which is constantly re-building itself.
This leads us once again to agree with McLuhan (1998:355): Why should
it be the fragmented lines of the monitor that emphasize the sculpted
outlines of objects?”
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