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Techniques of the Observer: Vision and Technology from the Camera Obscura to OpenGL

2f4faa539dc6a0ae688e58d6a329fce9?s=47 gregab
September 29, 2011

Techniques of the Observer: Vision and Technology from the Camera Obscura to OpenGL

I use the work of historian Jonathan Crary to tell a story about how visual culture changed from the renaissance to the modern era. By examining the camera obscura, zoertropes, stereographs, and film Crary explains how modern optical techniques created a new subjective visual world in which illusions were created by playing on the eccentricities of the human perception system. I'll then attempt to extend Crary's ideas to understand how our new computer-generated graphical systems imagine human vision and what they might mean for the future of our visual culture.

2f4faa539dc6a0ae688e58d6a329fce9?s=128

gregab

September 29, 2011
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Transcript

  1. None
  2. Vision and its historical construction

  3. Relation between subject and object

  4. Relation between subject and object i.e. politics

  5. “Whether perception or vision actually change is irrelevant, for they

    have no autonomous history. What changes are the plural forces and rules composing the field in which perception occurs. And what determines vision at any given historical moment is not some deep structure, economic base, or world view, but rather the functioning of a collective assemblage of disparate parts on a single social surface.” – Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer
  6. Camera Obscura

  7. Stereograph

  8. Computer Graphics

  9. None
  10. None
  11. None
  12. 3 regimes

  13. Renaissance 3 regimes

  14. Renaissance 3 regimes Modern

  15. Renaissance 3 regimes Modern Contemporary

  16. Renaissance “geometrical optics”

  17. “hidden chamber”

  18. “objective ground of visual truth”

  19. “universal rules of geometry”

  20. None
  21. Modern “physiological optics”

  22. “eccentricities of the human sensorium”

  23. “located within the body”

  24. “mobility and exchangability”

  25. None
  26. panopticon

  27. Contemporary “symbolic optics”

  28. “a rule-based simulation of Renaissance geometry”

  29. “a mathematical description of the 3D world”

  30. “reconfigurable reality”

  31. None
  32. The Matrix!

  33. Renaissance “geometrical optics”

  34. simulated “geometrical optics”

  35. programmable w/constraints

  36. None
  37. James George and Alexander Porter Sensor Vernacular

  38. “Itʼs an aesthetic born of the grain of seeing/ computation.

    Of computer-vision, of 3d-printing; of optimised, algorithmic sensor sweeps and compression artefacts. Of LIDAR and laser-speckle. Of the gaze of another nature on ours.” – Matt Jones, Berg London Sensor Vernacular
  39. None
  40. None
  41. None