24
Nov
08

Burnett’s How Images Think

Ron Burnett

How Images Think

Area: Digital Media

Introduction

·                  MRIs and image quality: many issues arise in the relationship between images and diagnosis

·                  Middle space: combines the virtual and the real into an environment of visualization that has the potential to displace conventional notions of subjectivity

Xiv: “How Images Think explores the rich intersections of image creation, production, and communication within this context of debate about the mind and human consciousness.  In addition, the book examines cultural discourses about images and the impact of the digital revolution on the use of images in the communications process.”

Xviii: “However, a great deal of intelligence is being programmed into technologies and devices that use images as their main form of interaction and communications.  The screens that mediate the relationships humans have to the technologies that surround them have become increasingly sophisticated both in texture and detail as well as in content and what can and cannot be done with them.  I use the term image to refer to the complex set of interactions that constitute everyday life within image-worlds.”

Chapter 6: Humans—–Machines

·                  Rather than thinking about human and machine as a collapse, think of it as a convergence

·                  Computers have the capacity to talk to each other

·                  What do “listen” and “talk” mean with computer-computer communication?

·                  Humans transform machines into surrogates

125: “Communications networks to some degree are about autonomous relationships developed and maintained by machines with connections that are generally sustained without too much human intervention.  Of course, machines do not literally speak to each other.  They do communicate although the assumption is that humans mediate the interchange.  However, a great deal takes place that is not governed by humans even if they may have been the progenitors of the interaction.”

126: Can a machine feel pain? “On the one hand, computers are related to as if they have no bodies. On the other hand, when a hard disk crashes and wipes out its ‘memories,’ it also takes something from the humans who may have used it.”

Chapter 8: Computer Games and the Aesthetics of Human and Nonhuman Interaction

·                  There is intelligence in the game, but the question is does the game know?

·                  Technology has always been mapped into and onto human bodies

·                              And…human bodies have always been mapped into and onto technology

·                  Customization is the game

·                  Even though open source may be messy, writing code appears to be the most concrete of activities

·                  When playing video games, there are actually very few choices.  The “trick” to winning is to figure out the limitations

170: “The computer is a trope, a part-for-whole-figure, for a world of actors and actants and not a Thing Acting Alone.  Computers cause nothing, but the human and nonhuman hybrids troped by the figure of the information machine remake worlds.” (Haraway)

171: “Latour suggests that machines and humans form a collective and are continuously acting together in an associative chain of relationships that is only interrupted as people move to different levels of complexity in the process.”

175:  “Current frameworks for developing technological products reflect a limited conception of their role.  In designing such a product, the emphasis is placed on what can be preconceived about its use, as expressed in its functional specification, its optimization to meet specific functional needs, and the evaluation of its performance by predetermined metrics.  This perspective on design is not sufficient to address the agenda of cognitive technology; it takes too little account of the interaction between a technology, its users, and its environment.” (Beynon)

177: “When an individual says something to a friend and he or she responds, there is not direct way to fully comprehend all the intentions that governed the communication.  Instead, both parties agree by convention, habit, and the desire to understand each other that, to a certain degree, the gaps between them will not affect the content f the exchange.  Although the gaps are present, they are part of the process.  Awareness of the gaps, however, pulls the process of communications into a netacommunication, where individuals must develop an awareness of what works and what doesn’t.  They also have to be aware of the constraints that the gaps introduce into every part of the exchange.  It is the combination of exchange, awareness, and communications that produces additional spaces of interaction and conversation—these are third spaces that can only be examined by looking at all parts of the exchange.” (Bateson)

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