Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Multimedia Experience: Reading response #4

The Screen and The Body
This chapter taught me that the only limitation of the screen is its rectangular shape, which serves as a cut to reality. The paragraphs about the imprisonment of the human body, also known as the user, made it clear that the computer screen is, in an essence, a medium that is limited by its physical existence. In the vast history of the screen that is described, the general trend has always been that, in order for it to be viewed, the body has to remain still. In early photography, the process of capturing an image or subject matter was limited by the exposure rate. For example, in the daguerreotype process, living things had to be immobilized or held still with clamps in order to capture a clear photograph. Eventually, cinema introduced a screen that allowed audiences to "take a journey through different spaces without leaving their seats." The body was intended to remain still, while the images on screen moved in order to present constantly changing frames of a simulated reality.

The cinema screen could also be viewed as a setting for a stationary camera to capture a virtual space that moves and changes its position with each shot. With this theory, the spectator and the camera are immobile while the presentation of imagery is doing all the work.

The introduction of virtual reality, which enabled the screen through which the virtual world of imagery is being viewed moves simultaneously as the viewer does (with limited motion), paves way to the same function of the computer mouse. The user becomes connected to the computer via this "joystick" that allows for interactivity and control of what is being viewed. This applies to my current M.X. project because the viewer of my portfolio site is controlling what they are looking at as they navigate the given content through using the mouse. The information on screen is a result of what they desire to view and when they desire to view it.

As a graphic designer, I haven't ever considered the history of the screen and how it's design actually influences, restricts or supports my personal design process. While working in Adobe software and using the mouse and keyboard as my connection to what I am seeing on the virtual window of information, I have never been conscious of the screen as such a dynamic medium before. Since the computer interface has become such an invisible, yet valuable part of my life and my design experience, this article opened my eyes to the importance of recognizing its existence and how its developed over time.

No comments: