When Moving Images Become Alive!
Lanfranco Aceti Editor in Chief, Leonardo Electronic Almanac Director, Kasa Gallery
L EONARDOEL EC TRONICALMANAC VOL 1 9 N O 3
I S S N 107 1 – 43 91 I S B N 9 78 – 1 – 906 8 97- 2 2 – 2
Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Volume 19 Issue 3
Lanfranco Aceti, Steve Gibson & Stefan Müller Arisona
Although the visuals are not actually alive, one cannot fail to grasp the fascination or evolution that visuals and visual data have embarked upon. It is no longer possible to see the relationship of the visual as limited to the space of the traditional screens in the film theater or at home in the living room with the TV. The mobility of contemporary visuals and contemporary screens has pushed boundaries – so much so that ‘embeddedness’ of visuals onto and into things is a daily practice.
Images are projected onto buildings – not as the traditional trompe l’oeil placed to disguise and trick the eye – but as an architectural element of the building itself; so much so that there are arguments, including mine, that we should substitute walls with projected information data, which should also have and be perceived as having material properties (see in this volume “Architectural Projections” by Lukas Treyer, Stefan Müller Arisona & Gerhard Schmitt).
iPads and iPhones – followed by a generation of smarter and smarter devices – have brought a radical change in the way reality is experienced, captured, uploaded and shared. These processes allow reality to be experienced with multiple added layers, allowing viewers to re-capture, re-upload and re-share, creating yet further layers over the previous layers that were already placed upon the ‘original.’ This layering process, this thickening of meanings, adding of interpretations, references and even errors, may be considered as the physical process that leads to the manifestation of the ‘aura’ as a metaphysical concept. (8)
The importance of digital media is undeniably evident. Within this media context of multiple screens and surfaces the digitized image, in a culture profoundly visual, has extended its dominion through ‘disruptive forms’ of sharing and ‘illegal’ consumption. The reproducibility of the image (or the live visuals) – pushed to its very limit – has an anarchistic and revolutionary element when considered from the neocapitalistic perspective imbued in corporative and hierarchical forms of the construction of values.
Object in themselves, not just buildings, can and may soon carry live visuals. There is the expectation that one no longer has to read a label – but the object can and should project the label and its textured images to the viewer.
Ultimately there will be no need to engage in this process but the environment will have objects that, by reading previous experiences of likes and dislikes, present a personalized visual texture of reality. (8)
If we still hold to this dualistic and dichotomist approach of real versus virtual (although the virtual has been real for some time and has become one of the multiple facets of the ‘real’ experience), then the real is increasingly slowing down while the virtual representation of visuals is accelerating the creation of a world of instantaneous connectivity, desires and aspirations. A visuality of hyper-mediated images that, as pollution, pervades and conditions our vision without giving the option of switching off increasingly ‘alive’ live visuals. 4