isea 2009 のための覚え書き

Seeing the ‘light-color’ seduces a new kind of touching    

When we use a computer, what do we do? Almost all of us look at some image on an electric display, grab and move a mouse, and type on a keyboard, then our right hand holds the mouse in order to point to an image called an icon on the display. This is all very 'natural' for us; if our body makes some actions, then the images on the computer display change. However, this relationship between our body and the image did not exist until the computer, and especially until the Graphical User Interface, appeared.  I call this phenomenon 'Display Acts': the action formed by connecting our body action with the change of images on the electric display. Through living with the computer, we have acquired new actions in order to inhabit this new image world.  In other words, 'Display Acts' is the first step for our new actions in the man-computer world. I have already discussed ‘Display Acts’ on the first computer graphic system, Sketchpad, concerning the action of drawing with light. However, that study did not show why we touch the light on the electric display. Now, electric display, for example ipod touch, seduces us to touch the light. Therefore, this presentation will focus on why we try to touch the light from the electric display.

While the classical cinema and even television broadcasting still emphasize distanced and physically nonactive forms of spectatorship, video game consoles, mobile phones, laptops, iPod and other >handy< electronic devices have familiarized millions to the >>tactile dimension<<. (p.130)
Erkki Huhtamo ‘Tactile Temptations:About Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, and Tactility’

When we see the electric display, what we see? We see the motion.
What can we see in the electric display?
TV = motion → apparent motion → Goodman → color
Mcluhan: electric light
Komachiya: light color
Consider about electric color and light color.
merge figure and ground.

What we see in the electric display
The mode of the TV image has nothing in common with film or photo, except that it offers also a nonverbal gestalt or posture of forms. With TV, the viewer is the screen. He is bombarded with light impulses, that James Joyce called the “Charged of the Light Brigade” that imbues his “soulskin with subconscious inklings.” The TV image is visually low in data. The TV image is not a still shot. It is not photo in any sense, but a ceaselessly forming contour of things limned by the scanning-finger. The resulting plastic contour appears by light through, not light on, and the image so formed has the quality of sculpture and icon, rather than of picture. The TV image offers some three million dots per second to the receiver. From these he accepts only a few dozen each instant, from which to make an image. (p. 418)

Apparent motion
A ceaselessly forming contour of things limned by the scanning-finger.

Can we leave it at that? Does this cover everything pertinent to the startling of the color experiments? On the contrary, I think result of the most central and conspicuous consideration of all: that virtually every clear case of visual motion perception depends upon abrupt shift in color. (p.88)

With visual system taking such leaps in stride, with their indispensability for motion-perception, with object-identity dependent not upon smooth color transition but upon contrast with the background at the contour, the color-jumps in the Kolers experiments seem so inevitable as to leave us wondering how we let a false analogy trick us into expecting anything different. (p.89)
Nelson Goodman “Ways of Worldmaking”

object-identity dependent upon contrast with the background at the contour.
motion-perception: contrast vs blur. contrast is normal for us, blur is still strange for us.
Not smooth but abrupt shift.

Goodman is right but he did not think about the electric light. We have to think about the nature of electric light and it’s color.

Electric Light and Light-color
In a word, the message of the electric light is total change. It is pure information without any content to restrict its transforming and informing power. (p. 57)
Mcluhan “Understanding media”

When we see the electric display, aesthetician Asao Komachiya says that we see ‘light-colors’. ‘Light-colors’ throw away material information and extract only color information from the object. Komachiya writes: “light has no weight. This is our recognition from the experience of human history. Similarly, light-color does not express its weight. However, the object described does have a weight. Therefore, the description of the object conveys the weight feeling for us. Paintings have expressed this. .... However, the image made from light-color does not essentially fit this principle”

The depth without awareness and the inaccessible depth.

Take Dan Flavin’s discovery of the dark corner, rarely used by other artists before him. By dint of pressing a single eight-foot fixture into that cavernous angle, or leaning fluorescent light into the triangular penumbra, or lacing it with chromatic grid, he reveals the inaccessible depths of the background while flooding the foreground to expose its unsuspected tunnel of color. (p.459)
Barbara Maria Stafford ‘Picturing Uncertainty: From Representation to Mental Representation’

Electric light merges figure and ground.
Electric light blur the distinction figure and ground.
This merge and blur makes ‘ways of worldmaking’

Touching Blur = no weight
Believing our body

The TV image requires each instant that we “close” the spaces in the mesh by a convulsive sensuous participation that is profoundly kinetic and tactile, because tactility is the interplay of the senses, rather than the isolated contact of skin and object. (p.419)
McLUHAN “Understanding Media”

We want dare to focus to the isolated contact of skin and object in the electric light, especially our fingers. Our finger try to touch something in no-weight world. It is necessary to live in no-weight world. We re-train our fingers in order to explore new reality.

The sense of touch (in which, for simplicity of exposition, we also include kinesthesis) indeed does not provide all of the subtle nuances available in vision. Also, remote sensitivity, which has reached full development in vision, is found in only rudimentary from in touch. Even so, from a perceptual viewpoint we must give precedence to touch over all other senses because its perceptions have the most compelling character of reality. Touch plays a far greater role than do the other senses in the development of belief in the reality of the external world. Nothing convinces us as much of the world’s existence, as well as the reality of our own body, as the (often painful) collisions that occur between the body and its environment. What has been touched is the true reality that leads to perception; no reality pertains to the mirrored image, the mirage that applies itself to the eye. (p.240)
David Katz “The world of touch”

According to Komachiya, however, a ‘light-color’ object is beyond control for our senses because it does not fit our traditional principles. ‘Light-color’ objects are object but weightless. We try to merge this new principle to our familiar one, but, this task may be beyond the capacity of our brain. Therefore the brain asks the body to make new a reality for the ‘light-color’ object. This seduces our body to touch the ‘light-color’ object.

However, at first, we just see ‘light-color’ on the electric display. Now, we have computers in order to control the weightless object formed by the electric light. 

electric display + computer = Burnett → blur the distinction between image and information → Fujihata: color as a concept
To visualize the blur between images and information is ‘light color’.
‘light color’ is just concept.
Fujihata ‘color as a concept’ = no material. free from the material.

I have discussed the transformative impact of the move from the analogue to the digital in such detail because, for the most part, there is a tendency to assume that images remain constant. In other words, the move from the analogue to the digital doesn’t change the basic fundamentals of communication using images. However, in the analogue world images are not information in the sense that they have become bits and pixels in the digital world. In fact, some serious questions need to be asked about the role of aesthetics and design as the distinction between images and information blurs into pixels, lines, and rates of compression. Further questions must be raised about what happens to images that are products of programming processes and have been generated inside the virtual spaces of a computer. (p. 47)
Ron Burnett “How images think”

I want to conclude by raising another problem. Finding ways to visualize blur, vagueness, ambiguity, equivocality, and uncertainty in all areas of scientific and cultural production are, I believe, among the central issues of our time. Quantum mechanics, born at the close of the nineteenth century, has made us familiar if not exactly comfortable with the bizarre and counterintuitive actions of the tiny denizens of the submicroscopic realm. Not only does quantum theory undermine solid object by supposing them to be waves, it injects uncertainty into their positions and movements, so that as we gain knowledge about one property, we lose it about another. (p.464)
Barbara Maria Stafford ‘Picturing Uncertainty: From Representation to Mental Representation’
We already visualize blur, now we have to touch blur in order to sette down it. And, Making new reality of no weight.

Our seeing of ‘light-color’ seduces our recent touching. We have always touched materials which had their own weight. Material like the plastic mouse or the glass of the display do not change by our touch. However, now our touch to the material causes some changes in a weightless object on the electric display. The human and computer are making a new circuit for dealing with weightless objects made from ‘light-color’ via the material object which is our body and something like the mouse. Bernard Stiegler says that our touch is blurred in the digital. We apply this blurriness to the ‘light-color‘ object. When we see ‘light-color‘, we paradoxically feel the heavy density of our body by giving some weight to the weightless object via our touching. We believe our body’s weight and density in the ‘light-color’, weightless world. And this belief creates new ‘Display Acts’ for our action.

Touching Concepts
This is an extension of the fingers appearing in Chapter 3 where a finger traces corners. However, the corners traced here are dotted lines, parentheses, and things made up of conceptual elements, and hence can’t actually be touched. “Touching concepts” is a representation that you don’t experience in your daily life; this is an endeavor to use “perceiving difference” as a means to give you that experience. (p.143)
Masahiko Sato “Difference”

an affinity between “Touching Concepts” and “Touching light color”




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