Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wednesday section, Friedberg post

No longer do screens serve as windows bringing outside news into our lives. Now screens play an active role in two-way communication, by interacting with viewers through surveys and polls. Friedberg addresses the changing role of the "screen" when she says, "it will become apparent that an entirely different set of terms and philosophical assumptions are at play" (221).

At first, she states, "the user's relation to the computer screen can be measured in terms that we've used for other screen formats--the representation of flatness and depth, the use of the frame, the assumed "point of view" of the viewer, etc." But, "a computer metaphor acquires near-materiality as a virtual object" (221).

The changing purpose of the screen is captured in the movie "Time Code," where the screen is split into four continuous storylines and dialogues. When watching the movie, the screen merely presents the four storylines and it is the added effects, such as sound, that draw the viewer's attention to a particular area. This in and of itself shows the changing purpose of the screen, but the DVD of the movie takes it one step further. The DVD allows for viewers to choose which storylines to emphasize on their own time, therefore changing the direction of the entire movie. While the screen presents the same visual information, what it is presenting is integrated with audio differently.

Now that screens have moved from black and white to color, from plainly presenting information to interactive touch screens, its capabilities are endless. How can we channel its new functions to maximize personalization in new media?

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