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Panel presentation at international symposium for electronic art 'Waves of technology'

Flaxton, Terry

Panel presentation at international symposium for electronic art 'Waves of technology' Thumbnail


Terry Flaxton


This panel was formed to create a picture of, then interrogate the tsunami-like effect of the expanding capabilities of moving-image capture and display and place this within a reading of history that proposed that technology comes upon us insistently like waves upon the beach and that this situation is of our making.

Panel Chair, Professor Terry Flaxton University of the West of England. Introduction 10 minutes: The concept of ‘Waves of technology’. Then part 2, 10 minutes: Examination of Cognitive Neuroscientific ideology within evaluative methodologies.

Charlotte Humpston Bath Spa University and Independent Researcher, case study of contemporary innovation within current tendencies of innovation. Presentation 15 minutes: Immersive Textile Projection.

Terry Flaxton, a second case study of innovation. Presentation 10 minutes: 3D disruption

Leon Gutrevich Wellington University. Presentation 15 minutes: The production of the Iconic in a post-digital age.
Q&A 30 minutes

A specific question arises from the above metaphor of our creation of insistence of waves of technology: Why do we utilize technology to promote an evolving state of human ontology and the development of our psyche, our physiological sensorium and our accompanying aesthetic production and appreciation of what we call art? In fact what is the benefit of art?

Since the very beginning of image making with paint spat out of the makers mouth at their hand placed on a cave wall, it has been possible to create an image that lodges itself in the psyche and evokes complex feelings and ideas and we have labeled this kind of image as being an iconic representation of the state it evokes. Today however, there has been a proliferation and innovation of image capture devices placed in the hands of the ordinary, rather than extra-ordinary persons. In previous eras only the extraordinary person has had access to the various imaging technologies through scholastic or clerical isolation or through their hands by patrons who have sought to curry favor with their god by commissioning the image makers to create those images.

Now as you travel along the Grand Canal in Venice you can only see images on various platforms, pads and phones instead of the passing palazzos and waterfronts of Venice. Each image is gathered as a badge of accomplishment, like a token in a game, rather than for its own inherent representation and mediation of what lie before the lens. We will situate this present topography, assembled as it is from standard photochemical histories, in a revised history that now reflects the reality of current electronic capture technologies. This now means that the history of the production of the moving image stretches back prior to the birth of film in 1895 with it’s genesis in dental implant materials and sewing machine stop-start technologies, to look instead at the fundamentals of electronic capture of the image, based on AL-kwarizimi’s invention of the Al Gorythm in the 9th Century. Necessarily this moves onwards through Da Vinci’s use of lamp black to print the images of leaves onto parchment, through the grid of half tone printing on paper, slowly morphing through rasta-scan capture and the subsequent firing of electrons onto phosphorus and finally manifesting in the matrix-like grid of today’s ‘sensor’ and display technologies.

But consumer technology is a pale reflection of what is available to professionals and so a current and heightened question of the moment is that given the observable proliferation of new goals in the expanding parameters of the moving image, what might new forms of capture and display reveal about the logistics and aesthetics of vision and the subsequent production of moving images? In the UK, work is being undertaken on the world's first higher dynamic range, higher resolution, higher frame rate systems to examine the psychological immersive point at which human perception is ‘activated’. There is an underlying conviction in this research that something will be revealed about how these accelerations perturbate or excite the human perceptual system and now that we are coming closer and closer to producing an equivalence in veracity to the parameters of the eye-brain pathway in both capture and display of moving images, a conceptual entanglement arises.
Due to funding cuts, governments have exerted pressure on cultural researchers to concentrate on evaluative methods primarily derived from the scientific paradigm. We now test outcomes with socio-economic models, or scientific methods which use objective testing with eye-tracking or FMRI technologies - but do these apparently neutral measurement procedures come with an inherent ideology that we should question?

In this panel we specifically placed cognitive neuro-scientfic method and its attendant ideology under a microscope, present case studies of new imaging forms (with attendant display), question the historiographies that have given cause for us to arrive at this point and then ask and seek to answer an important question: In a post iconic age, can there be new forms of imagery that engage the need for the iconic in the human psyche?


Flaxton, T. (2015). Panel presentation at international symposium for electronic art 'Waves of technology'

Digital Artefact Type Other
Conference Name International Smposium for Electronic Art
Conference Location Vancouver, Canada
Start Date Jun 1, 2015
End Date Jun 1, 2015
Publication Date Jun 1, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Keywords technology, technicity, waves of technology, mapping, cognitive labour
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