Art, Culture &
 Technology
              Week 8
  C om p u t e rs as Cultur e



            Presented by Sunny Lim (Sy|L)...
Presentation
       Outlines

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical
Reproduction

Case studies

Appendix Historical Tim...
The Work of Art in the Age
of Mechanical Reproduction
 Convergent Endeavours - Synergy Effects

 Pictorial Technology in 1...
Convergent
              Endeavours
Synergy effects in combinations of different technology of medium

    In 1935, Benjam...
Pictorial
Technology in 1935
An ill-considered questions in 1935 -
whether photography and film are arts?

Two film theorist...
Presence in Time
    and Space
The significance of presence - “The presence of the
original is the prerequisite to the conc...
Authenticity
Lost of controllability - When an original art work is in
presence, it can be freely captured by camera at th...
Aura - Art Works -1
The unique phenomenon of a distance - e.g. walking
in the nature, feel the aura of the natural mountai...
Aura - Art Works -2
Problem of Accuracy

Colour

Scale

Texture




                      Cadence #1 (a short span of time...
Aura on Human
      Actors - 1
The portrait was the focal point of earliest photography,
viewing a portrait of love ones, ...
Aura on Human
   Actors - 2
The audience’s identification is substituted by identification with he
camera - which means when...
Aura on Human
   Actors - 3
The image of ourselves in the camera or computer is
similar to the shadow ourselves in mirror....
Advantages of
        Mechanical
      Reproduction - 1
“Photographic reproduction, with the aid of Certain
Processes, suc...
Advantages of
       Mechanical
     Reproduction - 2
An opportunity for everyone to become a
“movies actor”

  e.g. in Be...
Case Studies

Bill Viola’s Video - Using simple techniques to
express his philosophical and religious views
about human be...
Historical Timeline
There is no single person invented camera equipments
for mechanical reproduction

1825 - French invent...
Historical Timeline
1956 - The first video camera that can record both
images and sound was commercially sold by Ampex

197...
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  • Art, Technology and Culture

    1. 1. Art, Culture & Technology Week 8 C om p u t e rs as Cultur e Presented by Sunny Lim (Sy|L) 2009
    2. 2. Presentation Outlines The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Case studies Appendix Historical Timeline
    3. 3. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Convergent Endeavours - Synergy Effects Pictorial Technology in 1935 Presence in Time and Space Authenticity Aura on Art Works Aura on Human Actor Advantage of Mechanical Reproduction
    4. 4. Convergent Endeavours Synergy effects in combinations of different technology of medium In 1935, Benjamin foresaw that Printing + Lithography = Illustrated Newspaper and Magazine Picture + Sound records = Sound Film What about in today’s technological world? Film camera + Computer Cinematic Effect = New genres arising: Virtual Reality and Game-alike Film Fast Computer Processors (mainly for calculating A.I.) + Fast Computer Graphic Processor (Simulating Photorealistic Graphics) + Fast Sound Processor (multi- surround sound) = Cinematic Games A telecommunication + Internet + GPS + a camera + computer alike software and hardware + SOC (system on a chip) design = convergent portable devices have millions of possibilities in applications (e.g. iPhone) In todays, Who foresaw these possibilities of synergy effect arising from convergent endeavours in computer industry? Steven Job, Bill Gates...?
    5. 5. Pictorial Technology in 1935 An ill-considered questions in 1935 - whether photography and film are arts? Two film theorists’ opinions(Abel Grance & Werfel) were mentioned in the article “Pictorial language has not yet matured because our eyes have not yet adjusted to it” and “The film has not yet realized its true meaning, its real possibilities...” Think about the camera technology using in earliest twenties-century when the era Benjamin living. Black and white Man with a Movie Camera (1926) Mostly no sound
    6. 6. Presence in Time and Space The significance of presence - “The presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity.” What’s that meant? We are now having this ongoing presentation and lecture within this 2 hours (time) and classroom (space). What would be different if we are having a virtual online classroom in the Second Life?What if teaching materials and teaching are scripted into an A.I. virtual lecturer by a real lecturer before class? What are the art value of a human being (the lecturer) in a class room?
    7. 7. Authenticity Lost of controllability - When an original art work is in presence, it can be freely captured by camera at the angle or distance at well. In contrast, after the image of the art work was captured, its camera angle and compositions are fixed. Lost of intimacy - “technical reproduction can put the copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the original itself” (p. 214) Manual Reproduction (Actual) vs Process Reproduction (Production) vs Photographic Reproduction (Post production) (p.214) The arising of new reproduction methods makes it harder for us to identify the originality of art works.
    8. 8. Aura - Art Works -1 The unique phenomenon of a distance - e.g. walking in the nature, feel the aura of the natural mountains, sunlight... Cult value or Ritual function - originally art works were created for the religious purpose, they were instruments of magic. Exhibition value - environment conditions in museum: spot lights casting on the objects. Criticism on people who cannot distinguish the A figure of Guanyin from China differences - “To pry an object from its shell, to in 12th to 13 Century destroy its aura, is the mark of a perception whose ‘sense of the universal equality of things’...” (p.217)
    9. 9. Aura - Art Works -2 Problem of Accuracy Colour Scale Texture Cadence #1 (a short span of time) by Robert Owen (Australia, b.1937) In total 259 x 838 cm
    10. 10. Aura on Human Actors - 1 The portrait was the focal point of earliest photography, viewing a portrait of love ones, absent or dead, offer a cult value of the picture for remembrance. Picture taken before the fleeting expression of human face which constitutes the melancholy and incomparable beauty When actors performing before camera, two consequences: Need not respect the performance as an integral whole Lacks the opportunity of the stage actor to adjust to the audience during his performance
    11. 11. Aura on Human Actors - 2 The audience’s identification is substituted by identification with he camera - which means when stage actors become film actors, they are not longer interactive with human audience but the camera Stage and body of the actors are evaporated and vanished in front of camera. The pictorial technology remediate the stage performance, acting as an agency of a new medium - “the projector will play with the actor shadow before the public and the actor play before camera” (p.223) Again, Benjamin tied the aura of human with presence. But he didn’t deny that there is another kind of artificial aura of human on screen. Can we say there is a “digital” aura in our digital photo?
    12. 12. Aura on Human Actors - 3 The image of ourselves in the camera or computer is similar to the shadow ourselves in mirror. It means that there is a distortion. Benjamin used the feeling of strangeness and estrangement to describe the distortion. The cult value emanates from a human body - e.g. People like to worship movie stars as watching them in movie is not real enough. Same principles of aura on art works can apply here: Accuracy of human skin’s texture, colour and body scales are distorted.
    13. 13. Advantages of Mechanical Reproduction - 1 “Photographic reproduction, with the aid of Certain Processes, such as enlargement or slow motion, can capture images which escape natural vision.” (p.214) Photograph become standard evidence for historical occurrences (p220) e.g. for legal purposes Developing Cinematography: Montage, photomontage A performance is no necessary to complete in a given time-frame continually. Shots can be done a week later and cutting together later.
    14. 14. Advantages of Mechanical Reproduction - 2 An opportunity for everyone to become a “movies actor” e.g. in Benjamin’s Era, Russian films In today, the line between film producers and consumers are more blur than before because of the widely availability of affordable digital camera and the internet acting as a “free” distribution channel.
    15. 15. Case Studies Bill Viola’s Video - Using simple techniques to express his philosophical and religious views about human being, in particular, perception on human body. Eye Pet - Using the Eye Toy Technology Metal Gear Solid 4 - Integrating cinematography for story telling in game Tom Tykwer - Run Lora Run - Using cinematography to create game-alike experience
    16. 16. Historical Timeline There is no single person invented camera equipments for mechanical reproduction 1825 - French inventor - Nicephore Niepce successfully produced the first permanent chemical photograph. 1900 - 2008 - Visual Effects: 100 Years of Inspiration 1926 - In Russia, Dziga Vertov, filmed Man with a Movie Camera (a silent film) 1935 - Benjamin, Walter - The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
    17. 17. Historical Timeline 1956 - The first video camera that can record both images and sound was commercially sold by Ampex 1971 - Sony sold their first video camera 1998 - Run Lola Run, Directed by Tom Tykwer 2006 - Release of Sony Playstation 3 (a video game console was claimed to have cinematic graphics capability) 2008 - Release of Metal Gear Solid 4 (a video game) 2010? - An augmented reality game - Eye Pet

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