Lev manovich : CINEMA AS A CULTURAL INTERFACE

Lev manovich : CINEMA AS A CULTURAL INTERFACE

디지털 미디어가 어떻게 시간개념을 공간화 시켰는지 부분은 활용할만 하다. spatialization of post-modernism.

During the 1990s, the cultural role of a digital computer has changed from a tool to a medium.p.3.

In the 1980’s many critics have described one of key’s effects of “post-modernism” as that of spatialization: privileging space over time, flattening historical time, refusing grand narratives. Digital media, which has evolved during the same decade, accomplished this spatialization quite literally. It replaced sequential storage with random-access storage; hierarchical organization of information with a flattened hypertext; psychological movement of narrative in novel and cinema with physical movement through space, as witnessed by endless computer animated fly-throughs or computer games such as Myst and countless others. In short, time becomes a flat image or a landscape, something to look at or navigate through. p.12.

Users are able to “acquire” new cultural languages, be it cinema a hundred years ago, or cultural interfaces today, because these languages are based on previous and already familiar cultural forms.p.13.

I will begin with probably the most important case of cinema’s influence on cultural interfaces – the mobile camera. Originally developed as part of 3-D computer graphics technology for such applications as computer-aided design, flight simulators and computer movie making, during the 1980’s and 1990’s the camera model became as much of an interface convention as scrollable windows or cut and paste function. It became an accepted way for interacting with any data which is represented in three dimensions — which, in a computer culture, means literally anything and everything: the results of a physical simulation, an architectural site, design of a new molecule, financial data, the structure of a computer network and so on. As computer culture is gradually spatializing all representations and experiences, they become subjected to the camera’s particular grammar of data access. Zoom, tilt, pan and track: we now use these operations to interact with data spaces, models, objects and bodies. p.13.

Another feature of cinematic perception which persists in cultural interfaces is a rectangular framing of represented reality.[13] Cinema itself inherited this framing from Western painting. Since the Renaissance, the frame acted as a window onto a larger space which was assumed to extend beyond the frame. This space was cut by the frame’s rectangle into two parts: “onscreen space,” the part which is inside the frame, and the part which is outside. In the famous formulation of Leon-Battista Alberti, the frame acted as a window onto the world. Or, in a more recent formulation of Jacques Aumont and his co-authors, “The onscreen space is habitually perceived as included within a more vast scenographic space. Even though the onscreen space is the only visible part, this larger scenographic part is nonetheless considered to exist around it.”[14] p.13.

Just as a rectangular frame of painting and photography presents a part of a larger space outside it, a window in HCI presents a partial view of a larger document. But if in painting (and later in photography), the framing chosen by an artist was final, computer interface benefits from a new invention introduced by cinema: the mobility of the frame. As a kino-eye moves around the space revealing its different regions, so can a computer user scroll through a window’s contents. p.13.

As in cinema, the world presented to a VR user is cut by a rectangular frame. As in cinema, this frame presents a partial view of a larger space. As in cinema, the virtual camera moves around to reveal different parts of this space. p.13-14.

Of course, the camera is now controlled by the user and in fact is identified with his/her own sight. Yet, it is crucial that in VR one is seeing the virtual world through a rectangular frame, and that this frame always presents only a part of a larger whole. This frame creates a distinct subjective experience which is much more close to cinematic perception than to unmediated sight.p.14.

1990’s is how virtual technology’s dependence on cinema’s mode of seeing and language is becoming progressively stronger. 이것은 대부분 VR / VRML / compter game에 해당된다.

Now we are witnessing the next stage of this process: the translation of cinematic grammar of points of view into software and hardware. 시네마와 컴퓨터가 이제는 상호 영향을 주고 받는다.

first one-point linear perspective; next the mobile camera and a rectangular window; next cinematography and editing conventions, and, of course, digital personas also based on acting conventions borrowed from cinema, to be followed by make-up, set design, and, of course, the narrative structures themselves. From one cultural language among others, cinema is becoming the cultural interface, a toolbox for all cultural communication, overtaking the printed word.

But, in one sense, all computer software already has been based on a particular cinematic logic.  –TOO NARROW I THINK 이 근거로 overlappig window를 꼽고 있다.

Consider the key feature shared by all modern human-computer interfaces – overlapping windows.[25] All modern interfaces display information in overlapping and resizable windows arranged in a stack, similar to a pile of papers on a desk. As a result, the computer screen can present the user with practically an unlimited amount of information despite its limited surface. p.18.

Overlapping windows of HCI can be understood as a synthesis of two basic techniques of twentieth-century cinema: temporal montage and montage within a shot. p.18.

In window interface, the two opposites — temporal montage and montage within the shot — finally come together. The user is confronted with a montage within the shot — a number of windows present at once, each window opening up into its own reality. This, however, does not lead to the cognitive confusion of Vertov’s superimpositions because the windows are opaque rather than transparent, so the user is only dealing with one of them at a time. In the process of working with a computer, the user repeatedly switches from one window to another, i.e. the user herself becomes the editor accomplishing montage between different shots. In this way, window interface synthesizes two different techniques of presenting information within a rectangular screen developed by cinema. p.19-20.

human-computer interfaces — and, the cultural interfaces which follow them — are cinematic, inheriting cinema’s particular ways of organizing perception, attention and memory. Cinema, the major cultural form of the twentieth century, has found a new life as the toolbox of a computer user. Cinematic means of perception, of connecting space and time, of representing human memory, thinking, and emotions become a way of work and a way of life for millions in the computer age. Cinema’s aesthetic strategies have become basic organizational principles of computer software. The window in a fictional world of a cinematic narrative has become a window in a datascape. In short, what was cinema has become human-computer interface.p.20.

cinematic perception is divorced from its original material embodiment (camera, film stock), as well as from the historical contexts of its formation. If in cinema the camera functioned as a material object, co-existing, spatially and temporally, with the world it was showing us, it has now become a set of abstract operations. The art projects described below refuse this separation of cinematic vision from the material world. They reunite perception and material reality by making the camera and what it records a part of a virtual world’s ontology. They also refuse the universalization of cinematic vision by computer culture, which (just as post-modern visual culture in general) treats cinema as a toolbox, a set of “filters” which can be used to process any input. In contrast, each of these projects employs a unique cinematic strategy which has a specific relation to the particular virtual world it reveals to the user.p.21.

 이것처럼 나도 시네마를 계승하는 게 아니라, 도전하는 입장이라고 본다. 저 작업들이 과연 시네마를 ‘계승’하는가?? 도전이라고 봐야 할 듯.

ARt+COM작업에 대해서 마노비치는- 

In following with the already noted general trend of computer culture towards spatialization of every cultural experience, this cultural interface spatializes time, representing it as a shape in a 3-D space. This shape can be thought of as a book, with individual frames stacked one after another as book pages. The trajectory through time and space taken by a camera becomes a book to be read, page by page. The records of camera’s vision become material objects, sharing the space with the material reality which gave rise to this vision. Cinema is solidified. This project, than, can be also understood as a virtual monument to cinema. The (virtual) shapes situated around the (virtual) city, remind us about the era when cinema was the defining form of cultural expression — as opposed to a toolbox for data retrieval and use, as it is becoming today in a computer. p.22.

This concept of a screen combines two distinct pictorial conventions: the older Western tradition of pictorial illusionism in which a screen functions as a window into a virtual space, something for the viewer to look into but not to act upon; and the more recent convention of graphical human-computer interfaces which, by dividing the computer screen into a set of controls with clearly delineated functions, essentially treats it as a virtual instrument panel. As a result, the computer screen becomes a battlefield for a number of incompatible definitions: depth and surface, opaqueness and transparency, image as an illusionary space and image as an instrument for action.[31] p.24.

The language of cultural interfaces is a hybrid. It is a strange, often awkward mix between the conventions of traditional artistic forms and the conventions of HCI — between an immersive environment and a set of controls; between standardization and originality. Cultural interfaces try to balance the concept of a surface in painting, photography, cinema, and the printed page as something to be looked at, glanced at, read, but always from some distance, without interfering with it, with the concept of the surface in a computer interface as a virtual control panel, similar to the control panel on a car, plane or any other complex machine.[32] Finally, on yet another level, the traditions of the printed worde and of cinema also compete between themselves. One pulls the computer screen towards being dense and flat information surface, while another wants it to become a window into a virtual space. p.25.

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