The Museum of Vestigial Desire


tags: surface published on:

Screens are the surface of cinema. There is no escaping screens when the moment is one that celebrates the becoming of each surface into a screen and recklessly performs this transformation wherever it can.

The original screen which has been copied everywhere was the retinal screen. This retinal screen cannot be copied easily because it performs such a different function. It's function is not to become a projection apparatus, dumb and receptive in itself. It is an intelligent organ that receives information and it further relays it across a web of channels all of which then compile together the visual experience. It is more like a Cisco router up on the ceiling than a white bed-sheet that can be used as a curtain for throwing a magnified image on. And this changes many things. This analogy renders defunct the proliferation of screens that has happened because this proliferation has happened on the basis of a misplaced understanding of screens as dumb-waiters. Dumb-waiters that wait for the image to be projected onto them before they show back the same image. Like a mirror or a shiny reflection surface of a different kind.

We need to make screens now that don't yield such an easy reward. Screens need to be like puzzles that only offer pieces of encoded information that compiles into a richer experience eventually. Trusting our senses to experience information as it is, raw and without compilation is dangerous. There can be disturbance and noise from too many malicious sources that corrupts our mind by offering it noise when it expects narrative. This corruption has already happened of course. Your unrelenting dependence on screens to be surfaces for you to be able to have something to see at all, outside the cavalcade of dull metropolis and blank architectural elements is a symptom of this corruption. Also you trust a screen more than you trust a human face. You believe screens have fidelity, they show what they are being asked to show. But consider for a moment the possibility the the screen which is allowing you to select your content and then allowing you to request a playback is lying by default. You do not possess the capability to read source-code so you cannot really browse your files directly as they are, you will forever need an interface and an interpreter. If there is a machine-in-the-middle attack in your life, you are done for. We are not saying the attack has happened, we are only saying that there is a potential right there, waiting to be exploited. Your chronic and pathogenic dependence on screens could be a reason for the fall of humans against machines that you have been repeatedly warned of in science fiction.

Screens which only transmit sensory information to be compiled by the onlooker to become a visual experience will be necessary. Screens which are not just projection or rendering surfaces to be consumed externally but smart bio-matter which our senses can relate to as another organ in our body are needed. Only then we can truly experience content visually with as high a transmission quality as the dreams we are surrounded by every night.

Your eyes are being burnt by the screens you stare at, they need a rest. They will only get a rest when you stop taxing them needlessly, when you have them do only what they need to do and nothing else.

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