How does the digital matter? Envisioning corporeality through Christian Volckman’s Renaissance Markos Hadjioannou

How does the digital matter? Envisioning corporeality through Christian Volckman’s Renaissance

Markos Hadjioannou

Studies in French Cinema Volume 8 Number 2 © 2008 Intellect Ltd

Article. English language. doi: 10.1386/sfc.8.2.123/1

이 글은 나와 반대의 입장이다. Digital이 anlaog film을 완전히 단절시켰다는 입장. device / apparatus위주의 의견이다. 아놔. 진짜 digital 은 absence가 아니라 difference이다!!!! 

The transition from photochemical transcription to computational codification makes issues relating to historical and physical reality pertinent to a discussion of cinematic technology. How does the cinematic image gain a sense of corporeality when it is cut off from the real world, not simply due to some subjective alteration of its authenticity, but as a procedural element of its very creation?

At a first glance, this question invites one to think of the image’s nature as a consequence of the apparatus and its function. Photographic film does not simply depict reality, but carries it in its photochemical cells. Digital bytes, on the other hand, convert the real into a form that is physically dissimilar and analogically irreconcilable, thus eliminating it from the image created. This differentiation is the result of the index that physically links the real and its representation in the photographic, and the absence of this bond in the digital. It is an assumption that seems to hold up as it meticulously follows the image’s generation on the basis of the producing device. On the one hand, a photographic apparatus is a medium through which light from the world is transferred to its image through reflection, and so the image is a real  image. But a digital apparatus is a tool that transmutes the light of the world into numerical strings that bear a logical relation to the world instead of a physical one; and therefore the image is an image  of the real world. 저자의 견해는 기본적으로 device based이다. 이 놈의 지긋지긋하게 반복되는 이슈…. 빌어먹을 그만 좀 하자. (123)

Consider Man Ray’s short film Le Retour à la raison/Return to Reason (Ray, 1923) that connects abstract patterns and shapes, nails, objects, shots from a merry-go-round, and a woman’s torso, to create an assemblage of images. To describe these depictions plainly as images results in a crucial omission, because what is visible is directly that which the film had been subjected to at the time of its creation: nails, a woman. 이 작업은 digital만 불가능한 것을 만들어 내지 않는다는 반증으로 들 수 있을 듯? 

The foundation for my quest to acknowledge that we are in fact confronted by or making our way into something new for cinema, is that which is at the immediate disposal of my scrutiny: the technology itself. I align myself with Vivian Sobchack who maintains that technology is never just a separate part of a society independently existing in itself, but an important element of the way a society realizes its presence and lives its relation with the world. In other words, technology is thought of as a dynamic element of the correlative structures of society, which stimulates our being-in-the-world, constituting, as Sobchack explains, ‘differing modes of presentation and representation to different aesthetic responses and ethical responsibilities’ (2004: 136). To reflect on technology is ultimately to go beyond the steel and plastic of the object and to look at the sort of thinking that led to its creation, and most importantly the kind of thinking that it itself promotes as a technology. (124) 말을 이렇게 해 놓고서는 전혀 그렇지 않아 보인다는 게 문제… device 결정론 적. 

From this perspective, one can recognize a movement from a lightbased, indexical and analogical medium, to a code-based, non-indexical and digital medium. The important difference between the two forms is how they treat the physical world in the creation of their images. In The Language of New Media , Lev Manovich (2001) distinguishes numerical representation as the most crucial nuance introduced by the digital, as it eliminates the analogical continuity that had been preserved by other recording mechanisms. Indeed, both technologies use the light reflected off the world in their processes, 나는 여기에 주목한다. 둘 다 결국 light 을 다루는 공통점이 있다. 아주 fundamental한 공통점. but where analogue representations are direct and isomorphic transcriptions, digital representations are conversions of these patterns of light and shade into abstract numbers that are assigned formal relationships on the basis of a preformatted numerical grid. As a consequence, the image’s internal continuum is disrupted by becoming a set of separate, discrete, self-contained units (pixels) that can be described using a mathematical function; and the image is subjected to an overtly accessible manipulation of each separate component by applying appropriate algorithms.저자는 완전하게 digital  analog 단절로 본다. 

Manovich draws attention to the fact that both photography and analogue film also have a form of discreteness: 역시 나는 여기에 주목한다. 둘다 discrete하다는 것. in the first case, the minuscule grains of silver halides that become evident when we blow up the image, and in the second the further temporal slicing up of movement into still images that form the 24-frames-a-second illusion of continuity. But in actuality, the continuity–discontinuity dichotomy is somewhat more complex in the case of photographic media, as the grains are inseparable, glued together, as it were, in their condition as the physical trace of the event-object-subject recorded. more and less complex의 문제라고 하면서 왜 단절이라고 보는 건지 이해하기가 힘들다. Moreover, as time is recorded and made visible through the successive flow of stills, the rhythmic motion of the apparatus can be seen to be the bearer of the natural continuity of the actual event.

The specific relation between continuity and discontinuity changes with digital technology that favours absolute discreteness. digital is absolute 그리고 analog는 less absolute. 이거 너무 arbitrary하지 않은가? Once an image is digitized, it becomes numerical no matter what its original state was. Therefore, for a computer, the only difference between a digital photograph of a landscape and a computer-generated landscape rests in the numbers. In effect, they are both just a set of numbers and really nothing more and nothing less. The indexical quality of the photographic is eradicated by computer genetics that create the potential for representing non-existent, entirely fabricated images. 과연 이게 digital에서만 가능한가요?  Here is where one can posit the inherent absence of a concrete materiality in digital media. (125)

이런 의견은 위험하다. digital data의 성질이 digital image 성질과 결코 동일하지 않다. ㄷ그렇다면 왜 music도 아예 동일시 해 버리지? 그 이전 담론들을 너무 쉽게 무효화 시켜 버린다. 음악과 달리 image는 object를 represent 한다. 대상을 ‘지시’ index한다는 것은 여전히 동일하다. 

Thus, as digital constructions are constituted by isolated elements all the way down to the level of the text character, cinema’s relation to the world as a highly complex array of intra- and interdependent relations is displaced. (126)

All the same, the question of the corporeality of digital images remains unanswered. Both André Bazin (1967) and Roland Barthes (2000) based their theorization of photographic reality on the indexical function of the camera. But if the digital is not of the same representational nature as the photographic, and is instead a non-analogical, non-indexical, numerical transcription in some form or other, does this mean that it is incapable of rendering the real altogether? To argue this would essentially mean evaluating the digital on the basis of what it is not doing, bracketing it within a negation and not opening it up to see what its constructions can achieve. In fact, dealing with it on the basis of indexicality is part of the problem, because it is not an indexical system. 아주 단정적인 입장이다. On the contrary, as it is a numerically based coding and decoding, it is possible to examine it from the point of view of a symbolic system like language. (133)

 

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