Tag: media history

Media Archeology Round Table

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Games

“Game world is a simplified subdomain of the real world.” Steve Swink

Game industry developed as the result of the military contract spin off some of their products around the 1980s. Flight simulators design their technology for the arcade games, including game council PC games muds was growing with a pace.

For example, Silicon Valley made the major products the Nintendo export for the play station and the extremely successful Super Mario series came out of that.

Digital Environments

First of all, to be able to articulate digital environments,  inherent language of digital environments has to be considered. Distinctive specify of the medium is its codes. What are the digital codes basically? Digital means switching between the states of one-on-connected and zero-off-disconnected by electrical terms.  As switching between the two states means representing information as binary data, what you do is adding the digit (bit) after you couple the circle of two. The bit depth (number of bits available) determines the accuracy and quality of the quantized value. 8 bit is 1 byte. 1 byte is enough to hold 1 typed letterMathematically: n bits yields 2n patterns. Kilobyte about 1 thousand bytes, Megabyte, about 1 million bytes, Gigabyte, about 1 billion bytes, Terabyte, about 1 trillion bytes.

There is an encoding representation for each typed letter by a number, called ASCII. Within this representation each number is stored in one byte, so the number is in 0..255. For example; in ASCII Code, representation of the A is 65, a is 96.

In term of digital images, which look natural, and smooth; there are lots of little numbers behind the scenes.  According to The Newton prism that shows the “hue” dimension technically color is a 3-dimensional space, mixing lights works differently from mixing paints. This is the behind theory of how to represent the color of a pixel? The red/green/blue (RGB) scheme is one popular way of representing a color in the computer. In RGB, every color is defined as a particular combination of pure red, green, and blue light. By this means, any color can be represented by three numbers in between 0-255.

Although the background of binary turns to Chinese via Leibniz, circa 1700; any datum is controlled within the logical structure a digital circuit in, for instance, computer. After its developments through Morse key, the action was designed into the telegraph system in 1753. So perhaps telegraph is the first digital process.After establising the Transatlantic telegraph cable, the first message of telegraphy send by Queen Victoria in 1858 “Europe and America are united by telegraphy. Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men, an additional link between the nations whose friendship is founded on their common interest and reciprocal esteem.” to President James Buchanan.

To be back to the point, digital acts like a language. “Language is, as it were, that which divides reality” (Barthes) Pixels are the discrete data of the digital. Sampling transform continuous data into discrete data. And then each sample is assigned a numerical value from a defined range. This process is what is called quantization. Quantisation of the data, as a process of converting a continuous range of values into a finite range of discreet values, has a capacity for a significant change in terms of calculation, determination and manipulation.

Very briefly digitalisation is converting data into a numerical representation. This implies a mathematical representation of the media as well as its algorithmic manipulation. Digitalised space is ready for the mathematical operation for the reasons of analysing, or migrating the data. This is one of the most significant pinpoints that media as a convergence point, capacity of algorithmic  variety in digital environments distort the identity of media and relevantly culture dramatically. These new systems by creating a different bunch of new gestures and behaviours intervene the daily life and create a new form of anthropocene. Following McLuhan, German new media philosophers Ernst poses that “cyberspace is not about content, but rather a transversive performance of communication. Without the permanent recycling of information, there is no need for emphatic memory.” By their dynamic nature, the new systems by acting like a living organisms intervene to daily life and their interaction is more impactful more than ever.

“Media becomes programable.” (Manovich, 2001)

“Digital environments is encyclopedic, spatial, procedural and participatory” (Murray, 2012)

Participatory instinct of digital culture is mot visible with the social media that allow even the off task people to participate by instant sharing. Social Media itself by containing the spontaneous and private behaviours, predilections, relations and intentions of people crete a vast database. “Instant sharing” function of media, which allows it meeting with its end users in an online environment while it is still performing the process, emphasise the living mechanism of the project, day by day, hour and hour. This function is a rupture from traditional communicational methods by its ability to multi directional communication and at the same time convergence of the many retroactive media. Social media is a reflection of a philosophy. Although the given data is very personal, in long term with such a grand participation, this is the media that has traits not like the other – possibly it is base the most objective and never existed data pool. By transcending the space and time, digital environments are profound implication for comtemporary daily activities of the people. Because the people’s life so much embedded to where they live, work and play; the spatiality of the digital environments crete foundational revolutionary new grounds, thus new ways of being.

In a way, modern technical media much more to do with quantities instates of qualities, which means it does not necessarily withhold the quality seekers.

There is also another bifurcation in the digital media, in-terms of data’s born places. The digitalising the media that produced out of the digital system is one thing, producing in the digital system is another.

Whereas a printed letter can carry the meaning of only one phonetic unit, one byte is open to encode 256 different textual, acoustic, or visual options.

Metaphors and Scenarios

Of all metaphors, metaphors of height, elevation, depth, sinking, and the fall are the axiomatic metaphors par excellence. Nothing explains the, and they explain everything. (Bachelard, 1988: 10)

Metaphor that often carry special cognitive effects or meanings arises from the interaction of brains, bodies, languages and culture.

Juggling – Regarded as representative or symbolic of throwing the objects up into the air and manipulating them dexterously (or not) is so much like the life itself. First of all, it is an attempt to resist downward force of the gravity with a constant attention and will. Once and for all, the slung object has to down by the gravity. This very natural phenomenon might be corrupted by arduous practice and precise intention. This implies a decidedly created experiment of verticality.

Juggling, as its definition; a coping with by adroitly balancing (several activities), is necessary for every stage of life. One can perform various patterns. Although it gets easier with the skill of other patterns, each new pattern needs dedicated practices and lots of wrongdoings what maybe after called experience. There might be very different aims behind performing the juggling acts. But, whatever the reason is that if it is a bright one, it “generally” hides much amount of repetition behind it. I used the word generally, especially because the definition of “bright act” might differ from person to person or with other conditions. Perhaps looking into it carefully requires aesthetic theory.

Rejection of rationalism about beauty is the immediacy thesis

“is that judgments of beauty are not (or at least not primarily) mediated by inferences from principles or applications of concepts, but rather have all the immediacy of straightforwardly sensory judgments. It is the idea, in other words, that we do not reason to the conclusion that things are beautiful, but rather “taste” that they are.”

Archiving —-

Digital also has its metaphors and taste. Operating in the virtual environment, putting the body out of actuality, creating by the readiness of numerical intervention emphasise the dualism behind the practice and will to verifiable experience.

Facebook as a meeting place

Video as an immersive atmosphere

Digital Environments

First of all, to be able to articulate digital environments, an inherent language of digital environments has to be considered. Distinctive specify of the medium is its codes. What are the digital codes basically? Digital means switching between the states of one-on-connected and zero-off-disconnected by electrical terms. As switching between the two states means representing information as binary data, what you do is adding the digit ( a bit) after you couple the circle of two. The bit depth (number of bits available) determines the accuracy and quality of the quantized value. 8 bit is 1 byte. 1 byte is enough to hold 1 typed letterMathematically: n bits yields 2n patterns. Kilobyte about 1 thousand bytes, Megabyte, about 1 million bytes, Gigabyte, about 1 billion bytes, Terabyte, about 1 trillion bytes.

There is an encoding representation for each typed letter by a number, called ASCII. Within this representation, each number is stored in one byte, so the number is in 0..255. For example; in ASCII Code, representation of the A is 65, a is 96.

In term of digital images, which look natural, and smooth; there are lots of little numbers behind the scenes. According to The Newton prism that shows the “hue” dimension technically colour is a 3-dimensional space, mixing lights works differently from mixing paints. This is the behind theory of how to represent the colour of a pixel? The red/green/blue (RGB) scheme is one popular way of representing a colour on the computer. In RGB, every colour is defined as a particular combination of pure red, green, and blue light. By this means, any colour can be represented by three numbers in between 0-255.

Although the background of binary turns to Chinese via Leibniz, circa 1700; any datum is controlled within the logical structure a digital circuit in, for instance, computer. After its developments through Morse key, the action was designed into the telegraph system in 1753. So perhaps telegraph is the first digital process.After establishing the Transatlantic telegraph cable, the first message of telegraphy send by Queen Victoria in 1858 “Europe and America are united by telegraphy. Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and goodwill toward men, an additional link between the nations whose friendship is founded on their common interest and reciprocal esteem.” to President James Buchanan.

To be back to the point, digital acts like a language. “Language is, as it were, that which divides reality” (Barthes) Pixels are the discrete data of the digital. Sampling transform continuous data into discrete data. And then each sample is assigned a numerical value from a defined range. This process is what is called quantization. Quantisation of the data, as a process of converting a continuous range of values into a finite range of discreet values, has a capacity for a significant change in terms of calculation, determination and manipulation.

Very briefly digitalisation is converting data into a numerical representation. This implies a mathematical representation of the media as well as its algorithmic manipulation. Digitalised space is ready for the mathematical operation for the reasons of analysing, or migrating the data. This is one of the most significant pinpoints that media as a convergence point, capacity of algorithmic variety in digital environments distort the identity of media and relevantly culture dramatically. These new systems by creating a different bunch of new gestures and behaviours intervene the daily life and create a new form of Anthropocene. Following McLuhan, German new media philosophers Ernst poses that “cyberspace is not about content, but rather a transversive performance of communication. Without the permanent recycling of information, there is no need for emphatic memory.” By their dynamic nature, the new systems by acting like a living organisms intervene to daily life and their interaction is more impactful more than ever.

“Media becomes programable.” (Manovich, 2001)

“Digital environments is encyclopedic, spatial, procedural and participatory” (Murray, 2012)

The participatory instinct of digital culture is much visible with the social media that allow even the off task people to participate by instant sharing. Social Media itself by containing the spontaneous and private behaviours, predilections, relations and intentions of people create a vast database. “Instant sharing” function of media, which allows it meeting with its end users in an online environment while it is still performing the process, emphasise the living mechanism of the project, day by day, hour and hour. This function is a rupture from traditional communicational methods by its ability to multi-directional communication and at the same time convergence of the many retroactive media. Social media is a reflection of a philosophy. Although the given data is very personal, in the long term with such a grand participation, this is the media that has traits, not like the other – possibly it is base the most objective and never existed data pool. By transcending the space and time, digital environments are a profound implication for contemporary daily activities of the people. Because the people’s life so much embedded to where they live, work and play; the spatiality of the digital environments create foundational revolutionary new grounds, thus new ways of being.

In a way, modern technical media much more to do with quantities instead of qualities, which means it does not necessarily withhold the quality seekers.

There is also another bifurcation in the digital media, in terms of data’s born places. The digitalising the media that produced out of the digital system is one thing, producing in the digital system is another.

Whereas a printed letter can carry the meaning of only one phonetic unit, one byte is open to encode 256 different textual, acoustic, or visual options.

Interactive Documentary

With little notice, computer and web technologies just told us a lot about our contemporary world and its transformations. The developments have an impact on each level of human lives. Of course, As a way of narrational genre, the documentary is also affected by this revolutionary exploration.

By reflecting the logical connectives new form has the attributions of digital language, in other words its bases rely on the digital’s discreet nature. Remanding the basic syllogism with a well know example of “All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, Therefore Socrates is mortal” – it could also applied for the digital and the documentary relationship. Basically; quintessence of digital is discrete, interactive documentary is digital, Therefore quintessence of digital is discrete. It consist of small bricks that can be combine with each other  variously.

In the linear documentary making, shots are recorded then combined together on a timeline on a linear scheme. The exported documentary is one video file made up of quite a few shots. In other words, it is fixed. In contrast, interactive documentaries are designed to present video in separate files and its users can decide which elements to display in which order or have a random access. In a way user can participate the co- creation of the work as the co-author.

There are many scholars who did their research on the field of interactive documentary. One of them; Whitelaw (2002) observes that—due to the expansion of bandwidth, the development of online video and the increasing emergence of interactive documentary forms—the formation of relations between shots is altered in a multilinear structure:

“New media forms pose a fundamental challenge to the principle of narrative coherence, which is at the core of traditional documentary. If we explode and open the structure, how can we be sure that the story is being conveyed?” (Whitewall, 2002)

Gaudenzi (2013) draws attention to the evolving nature of this form of documentary within a field that is also continually changing. Gaudenzi states:

“If documentary is a fuzzy concept, digital interactive documentary is a concept yet to be clearly defined. What is implicit in its terminology is that an interactive documentary needs to use a digital support, and be interactive. A linear documentary that has been shot with digital technology, and that is distributed on the Web, is a digital documentary but not an interactive one.” (Gaudenzi,2013)

 

3d render eyeballsNash (2012) states that:

As new media technologies and new forms of communication emerge, contemporary documentary makers are engaging in a process of actively re-thinking the documentary project. They are imagining what documentary might become: non-linear, multi-media, interactive, hybrid, cross-platform, convergent, virtual, or something else as yet un-thought. Within this experimental space the webdoc has become an established mode of documentary production. (2012, p.197)

O’Flynn (2012), similar to Nash (2012) and Gaudenzi (2013), evaluates the emergence of different forms of interactive documentary across multiple digital platforms and connects this development with a transformation towards incorporating design into documentary practice. O’Flynn proposes that:

…notions of interactivity have changed over the past decade… [due to],a shift away from a binaristic ‘choose your own adventure’ orientation towards plot as an either/or structure and narrative causality to an exploration of experiential interface design. Here, i-docs of the last five years have demonstrated an increasing attention to interface and user experience design as dynamic structural elements expressive of a thematic core to the given narrative. (O’Flynn, 2012)

Game feel constitutes the new genre of documentary.

All interactive documentaries have the feel of game.

Even there is a novel genre of doc – games, which consist of the social events, mostly critical ones and the digital simulation of it. by allowing the users to participate in a scenario, the designers aim to give values and the strategic actions to their users as well as anticipate their reactions and get a data out of them. According to Dr Tim Lenoir, educators in the conflict resolution has recognised the role model simulation with the game playing. These lead major organisations like the Un and various similar organisations routinely use very sophisticated role-playing games in their classes. Learning by doing bridges the gap between the conflict resolution theory and its practical resolution in the world of crisis that requiring complex strategy, problem-solving and adapted thinking according to Dr Tim Lenoir.

Representation of Memories

“…that the past is not given, but must instead continually be re-constructed and re-presented” (Asrid Erll, 2008)

Memory is so much about the media, which express and disseminate contents of remembering. In our age of rapid changes, there are many ways to represent the memories. Archives, with and without a narrator, are tools for collective memories. We are recording visible and even non-visible data with the enabling technologies. The new technologies make the storage easily accessible and keep the cleanest archives because of its capacity of organisation and calculation make the fastest developments.


 

Even if Ernst insists on the epistemological nature of the media archaeologist as a reverse engineer (also literally, as elaborated later), his context for the ideas stems from a certain ontological understanding concerning technical media culture. In short, it is the calculation- and number logic–based ontology of technical (and especially computational) media through which cultural memory is articulated. This provides an alternative to the literary based narrativization that historians provide in their epistemological and ontological premises. Ernst’s position is aware of the materialist media grounding of contemporary archives that engage not only with images and sounds but nowadays increasingly with software-based cultural memory. The issue of digital memory is then less a matter of representation than of how to think through the algorithmic calculation– based ontology of a memory.

Kittler’s claim: technical media record not only meanings but also noise and the physicality of the world outside our human intentions or signifying structures.