The Screen as Boundary Object in the Realm of Imagination

by Lee, Hyun Jean

Abstract (Summary)
As an object at the boundary between virtual and physical reality, the screen exists both as a displayer and as a thing displayed, thus functioning as a mediator. The screen's virtual imagery produces a sense of immersion in its viewer, yet at the same time the materiality of the screen produces a sense of rejection from the viewer's complete involvement in the virtual world. The experience of the screen is thus an oscillation between these two states of immersion and rejection. Nowadays, as interactivity becomes a central component of the relationship between viewers and many artworks, the viewer experience of the screen is changing. Unlike the screen experience in non-interactive artworks, such as the traditional static screen of painting or the moving screen of video art in the 1970s, interactive media screen experiences can provide viewers with a more immersive, immediate, and therefore, more intense experience. For example, many digital media artworks provide an interactive experience for viewers by capturing their face or body though real-time computer vision techniques. In this situation, as the camera and the monitor in the artwork encapsulate the interactor's body in an instant feedback loop, the interactor becomes a part of the interface mechanism and responds to the artwork as the system leads or even provokes them. This thesis claims that this kind of direct mirroring in interactive screen-based media artworks does not allow the viewer the critical distance or time needed for self-reflection. The thesis examines the previous aesthetics of spatial and temporal perception, such as presentness and instantaneousness, and the notions of passage and of psychological perception such as reflection, reflexiveness and auratic experience, looking at how these aesthetics can be integrated into new media screen experiences. Based on this theoretical research, the thesis claims that interactive screen spaces can act as a site for expression and representation, both through a doubling effect between the physical and virtual worlds, and through manifold spatial and temporal mappings with the screen experience. These claims are further supported through exploration of screen-based media installations created by the author since 2003.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Winegarden, Claudia R.; Do, Ellen Yi-Luen; Nitsche, Michael; Bolter, Jay David; Mazalek, Ali

School:Georgia Institute of Technology

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:literature communication and culture


Date of Publication:01/09/2009

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