Mapping A Sensibility: Computer lmaging





Author(s):




Exhibition:


SIGGRAPH 1983: Art Show

Category:


Essay

Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

“The work of art,” as the surrealist Andre Breton said, “is valuable only so far as it is vibrated by the reflexes of the future. These “reflexes of the future” have introduced, since the early l900s, increas­ing1y powerful visual technologies. To rephrase Andre Breton – in certain critical epochs, art anticipates effects that are only fully realized by newly emerging technology and new art forms.

It is often stated that our new “information society” or the “electronic age” is now at a critical time of societal transformation. In this transformation, new visualization tools are predicted to play an increasing role.

How can we gain an insight into the characteristics of the emerging visual media? According to Andre Breton’s perspective, contemporary art concerns can anticipate those of the new visual technology. Therefore, by mapping one to the other we can locate clues pointing towards a changed visual sensibility.

The following text maps contemporary art concerns to computer imaging in three major aspects of image making, First, the techniques of forming an image are called in the text, “image formulation.” Second, the image’s relationship with the viewer (and/or creator) is called “interaction” (after the person/machine relationship in computer science). The last aspect, the image’s relationship with its subject matter, is called ‘Reality.” It is these three sensitive areas that begin to subtly shift as new technology forces adjustment in human perception.