response to pp 103-115 the screen and the body
new concepts learned in the passage:
“the body must be fixed in space if the viewer is to see the image at all. from renaissance monocular perspective to modern cinema, from kelpler's camera obscura to nineteenth-century camera lucida, the body has to remain still.”
to really view an image, the user must be still. if someone is moving, they might catch a glimpse of the image
“in one of the earliest depictions of the camera obscura (dark chamber), we see the subject enjoying the image inside a tiny room, oblivious to the fact that he has had to imprison himself inside this 'dark chamber' in order to see the image on the screen.”
a majority of the pages talk about how user is trapped by the devices she uses. in early photography, portrait shots took minutes to expose. Photographers used ‘various iron clamps, reminiscent of torture instruments, to hold the subject in place...a voluntary prisoner of the machine in order to see her own image’. in cinema, viewers sit in a dark room, face forward and cannot talk to enjoy the experience. we are restricted my sitting down and facing forward. you are not completely contained—you could walk out of the theater and miss the rest of the film. Virtual reality devices continue immobility by ‘fastening the body to a machine, while at the same time it creates an unprecedented new condition by requiring the viewer to move.’ it's a very interesting contradiction. using virtual reality in order to have 'user experience', they must hook themselves to a machine, limiting mobility. in the device, the user is able to control camera angle and move through space as if they were walking. this, the most constricting device, allows for most user control in the experience. when designing websites, we as designers need to understand who our audience is and what kind of experience we are allowing them to have. a more exploratory site allows for more user freedom and should perhaps be more experimental with navigation or aesthetic. the opposite is said for a site where people know what information they are looking for. when reading a book, we think of the experience as linear, the author has control in pacing. in actuality, the reader is completely free to flip through pages, spend as much time on any page (pacing) or decide if they want to finish the story. On the other hand, film/motion prevents users from controlling these things because each scene and its pacing are already created for the user to sit back and reflect upon.
technology both hinders and facilitates freedom at the same time. although we sit at a desk in a particular room to use a computer, we are able to explore much more information quickly, as opposed to physically walking around in a library to search for specific books. In class, I'm able to sit at my desk and get the same, if not more, information from the internet than if i was walking through a library sifting through many books. although we are restricted by sitting at a table, the possibilities of communication can be as much or greater than 'real life'. As a user, I am also able to stay in contact with people over long distances much easier with the aid of technology. not only are we being restricted by computer screens, but now smaller electronic devices such as mp3 players and cell phones. to contradict an above sentences, i am able to connect with users far away, but this makes me neglect the people around me. take for example, bus riders. they sit next to one another, but usually spend the bus ride home on their cell phones talking to others that aren't there, or playing music on headphones that tune everyone around them out completely. perhaps we should choose a time and a place to use electronics for the advantages at the appropriate time. when someone is sitting next to you, why not talk to them? if you're sitting home alone, that might be a more appropriate time to converse with someone on the computer or phone.
because of cell phones, we are able to 'be in touch' and always 'plugged in'. it's a good thing if i need someone right away, i know how to get in touch with them. on the other hand, if these technologies make it more difficult to enjoy a nice vacation. when i went on vacations with my family, my dad would always have to take calls from work. this didn't allow him to relax, like he should of been on his time off. even these small gadgets restrict us.