Mediations of light: screens as information surfaces – Christiane Paul

Mediations of light: screens as information surfaces – Christiane Paul

in Digital Light


In his chapter on “the Spatiality of One’s Own Body and Motility” in Phenomenology of Perception, Ponty makes a crucial distinction. Pn the one hand there is the body image (schema corporel) as the visual apprehension of the body-the object or content of intentional (noetic) consciousness. On the other hand there is the body schema as a flexible, systemic form of distributed agency that extends from within the boundaries of the numan body to the whole space of embodied mobility. This is essentially prenoetic function. 이게 내 theoretical frame이지. 

As Shaun Gallagher points out, Ponty’s distinction between body image and body schema illustrates the limitations of the phenomenological method, which, by definition, could not have access to the prenoetic role of the body schema. (182)

While Merleau Ponty’s theories do not seem directly related to notions of digital light, they are in fact crucial to the role that light plays in projected digital environment and the way we interface with screens.

Ernesto Klar’s Relational Lights. (2010) 이거 McCall하고 연결해라. 그리고 역시 projectedlight 이 아니라는 데에서 차이점  

Relational Lights uses light, sound, haze and a custom-software system to produce a three-dimensional light-space that participants manipulate with their presence and movements. Lines projected through the haze onto the floor of the gallery create light-spaces or disembodied enclosures within the haze that can be ‘entered’ by people. As participants move around in the projected spaces, the lines adapt to the movements of the people occupying them, enabling a relational, collective shaping and expression of space. Light literally enables the creation of the space and the software-driven processing of people’s movement in it. (183)

.. that screens now play as mediators of light. .. The notion of the screen as ‘interface’-an in-between or surface forming a common boundary of two bodies, spaces, phases-requires taking closer look at that exactly is being ‘interfaced’. In ‘What is Interface Aesthetics, and What Could it be (Not)?’, Florian Cramer distinguished between the following interfaces; hardware to hardware; hardware to software; software to hardware; software to software; humans to hardware; humans to software.

The following exploration of screen, as surfaces on which different forms of information peocessing meet, will predominantly focus on interfacing bewteen software and hardware, humans and hardware, and humans to software. (184)

While the motif of turning the gaze back onto the viewer has a long tradition- Tony Oursler’s projected eyeballs being an obvious precedent among more recent works. (186)


Digital technologies can be said to expand the role that light plays in our engagement with the world: light is not only a basic principle of vision- tied to the ocularcentric paradigm-but also an essential element in mediating embodied action. (191)


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