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Shifting locations

May 22, 2012

The image on the internet is an image of the internet. Its provenance does not lose its relevance, but it is re-rendered after it is encoded into HTML.  Thus the image is subject to the modes of application, taxonomy, access and classification on the internet. As such the series of interfaces, and the lines of encryption that assign its location are part and parcel of its modes of signification. Each of these processes further “inform” the image in Flusserian terms.

youtube in the room, Constant Dullaart, youtube still frame

Artist Constant Dullaart, for instance, investigates how these digital vernaculars affect human gestures e.g. in becoming a DVD player’s screen saver in Joshua Tree, California; or how what was known as video, is now filtered through an online interface e.g. youtube in the room, where the youtube play button stands between the room and the camera. In this piece, it also prompts to certain objectivity of the interface as the sign is printed on transparency and held in front of the camera, and thus at times a reflection makes the filtering layer visible. It is a play button that does not operate in a click. This however does not imply a mere reduction of discourse to medium specificity, rather, it is a shifting location of experience that is significant. While for instance the urban and landscape experience was for the most part a horizontal one (with the exception of post WW I reconnaissance), now it is a combination of a vertical and a horizontal form of navigation. Thus the image of the city, has changed as it is encountered through navigation interfaces and maps. This shift of location of experience is highlighted in many of contemporary commercials, online and on television, where the product is advertised through a series of actions performed by the protagonist on a gadget, mostly a device that takes photos, a touchscreen browser, or a combination of both. Needless to say that these are not advertisement of the mediatory device. Thus an experience that is not worthy of mediation is discarded and unworthy of being advertised.

Premier League – Last moments – My Reaction. Manchester City win Title. United Fan. CJB, youtube still frame

As explained in the title, the youtube video Premier League – Last moments – My Reaction. Manchester City win Title. United Fan. CJB, shows a man’s reaction to the final minutes of Champion’s league final game. In the video we see a man watching soccer, in his living room, sometimes talking to his girlfriend (who we do not see), while we also see that two laptop computers logged onto Facebook on two coffee tables. Here, a feeling (of loss in this case) is experienced through its online representation, without which is not worth feeling. The video though, is hardly unique, there were too many reactions to the final minutes of the game online that talkSPORTmagazine has created an online compilation of them. Nevertheless, although these emotions were not experienced offline, they are hardly unique to each individual.

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