Friday, May 21, 2010

Excerpt From My Essay on Computation and Process: Thoughts on HCI

There were a few questions after my presentation on the details concerting serial and parallel processing in computation. Here is a pretty good link to a op-ed article by the chief scientist at NVIDIA: Life After Moore's Law By Bill Dally

Affective Relations with Computation: the problem of HCI
There is currently a problem of transparency in the affective process of creation involving computed media. The process of computed media is generally obscured by perfect emulation of other forms of media. Lev Manovich’s critique of HCI (Human Computer Interaction) is merely a limited form of this issue.[i] The issue of HCI is not as Manovich states that it is bound to a cinematic mode but that HCI is a layer of mediation that obscures the procedural essence of computation. This layer of mediation draws on many different forms of media and epistemological organizations work to mask the procedural relation between artists and computation. In order for computed media and concepts to express and implicate truly new affects and concepts it will be necessary for those engaged to have a intimate and honest relation to the processes in which they explore.

An artist or thinker who wants to approach computed media on its own plane of immanence is to engage with the procedures that computation makes possible. This is not to say that the ability for an HCI to adequately emulate processes of previous media is bad. It is the mutability of computation that is its tremendously useful power. Yet for computed media to implicate something new, practitioners must engage with it on a much more intimate level.
This of course occurs in most experimental media in which the line between artist and engineer is largely extinct. There is however often a barrier to communicability of the experience of these practitioners and those who would be affected by their creations. It is fortunate that to experience a sculpture, painting, or even film can connect a viewer to the process by which the artist and medium are engaged. One can see and feel the artists brush strokes, chisel marks and imagine the directors splice at each cut. Computed media does not provide us with this kind of connection as long as it is used to emulate other media. For example, if digital-cinema is to critically approach computation it should impart to a high level of procedural transparency in which the viewer can be actively aware of the computed sequence that produces the images before their eyes.

[i] Manovich, Lev, "The Language of New Media," MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts: 2001. pp. 88-93.

Here is a link to the full essay for those interested.

No comments:

Post a Comment