Notes for Ron Burnett How Images Think

Key concepts: continuums of interaction and dialogue, cyberspace, cyberworld, ecology, hybrids, imaging, incorporation, reverie, subjectivity, vantage point, virtualization, visualization.

Legitimate to assert that thinking has moved from humans to machines. Visualization example developed from photography through virtualization. Algorithms including compression and generation alters traditional concept of image. MRI scans are good example of unstudied history of imaging. Soon imagescapes will fundamentally constitute the real. Babbage eliminating error through mechanical means an attitudinal change, including images as performative tools not just aesthetic objects. Ecology is human-machine symbiosis. Cyberspace as trope for new kind of human interaction. Discusses relationship to software in terms of profound illiteracy, as well as how games reflect cultural desires. Survey of VR systems concludes that concern for technical, social and cultural implications advance or limit modeling subjectivity. Continuums of interaction and dialogue depend on analog processes, creating conditions for experiential relationships even in digital cyberworlds. Unapproachability of computers due to opaqueness, illiteracy of humans, knowable only through use despite the fact that their architecture is forty years old. His basic position is that images are involved in thinking as seductive, concrete substitutions for discursive or mathematic expressions. Games best examples of human computer symboisis cyborg identities. Immersive experience reflects fascination with technology, rather than desire for mastery. Virtual spaces support image and sound-based media; they themselves are not the medium. Permanent scaffolding and never-ending games supplant static model of textuality and images. Vantage point in image worlds implies perspectives on subjectivity and identity. Manovich gives examples of games that usurp common human perspectives.

Related theorists: Barthes, Benjamin, Castells, Deleuze, Eco, Gladwell, Haraway, Latour, Serres, von Neumann.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


INTRODUCTION

Legitimate to assert that thinking has moved from humans to machines using quasi-Turing criterion of conversational mediation.

(xix) This means that the newer technologies of the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries are no longer just extensions of human abilities and needs; they are enlarging cultural and social preconceptions of the relationships between body and mind. . . . To the extent that a device can talk back to humans and images can mediate the conversation, some fragment of the thinking process is being moved from humans to their machines.
(xx) The philosophically powerful suggestion that it might be possible to understand the human mind through imaging technologies says more about images and human desire than it does about thinking.
(xx) The ubiquity of computers means that they are increasingly being anthropomorphized, which for me is one of the best examples of the symbiotic relationships that humans have with their technological creations.


NOTES FOR THE PAPERBACK EDITION


CHAPTER ONE Vantage Point and Image-Worlds
Space and Time / News and Images
Nature and Artifice in Image-Worlds

(6) In this context, there are many identities within humans performing different functions, most of which are dependent upon the relationships humans have with image-worlds.
(6) The viewer's challenge is to describe events as if the visual field, artifice, and form actually move language from representation to visualization. The event is internalized, personalized, and then discussed as if the images approximate “being there.”
(7) Viewers site far enough away from the television or computer screen to be able to see its contents. At the same time, viewing is about the desire to enter into the screen and become a part of the images and to experience stories from within the settings made possible by the technology.
(8) Does human participation in and acceptance of image-worlds require new definitions of history and a radical reimagining of what it means to engage with events, both near and far? Are new definitions of place, locality, and community needed? Are images predicting a dramatic move to an oral culture, where notions of preservation and memory shift from written languages and discourses to traces, fragments, the verbal, the musical, and the poetic (Carpenter 1970)?

Vantage Point
(8-9) I suggest that method (the many ways in which the analysis of phenomena is approached, analyzed, and synthesized) is largely dependent on
vantage point, a concept that is closely related to perspective and attitude.
(9) To varying degrees, I believe that images are not just products, representations, or copies of reality. Images are not the by-product of cultural activity. They are the way in which humans visualize themselves and how they communicate the results.

Seeing Sight
(10) And the central issue remains, what can be said about sight and vision, about processes that require inner reflection to be understood?

Photography and Visualization
(13) Seeing and thinking have often been bundled into reductive notions of perception as if perception were somehow less mediated and more instantaneous than just gazing or looking (Arnheim 1969). If to see is to create, then images are never “just” the product of one or many internal or external processes.
(13) The experiences of seeing images are always founded upon a series of engagements. To me, there is no such “person” as a couch potato.
(14) I would prefer to “see” figure 1.3 [Smokestack against a night sky] as
visualization. This is an important distinction. Visualization is about the relationship between images and human creativity. Conscious and unconscious relations play a significant role here.
(15) The problem is that when images are seen as records, the perspective that is chosen for analysis will generally shift to whether what they show reflects the reality the images are meant to depict. This locks images into a representational triangle of object, image, and viewer. The creative intervention of viewers is then seen as a disruption of the intentions of the image-creators rather than a necessary part of the process of visualization.
(15) It is precisely because images are the product of a particular moment that more must be added to them than is ever present in the images themselves. This excess, which is often seen as somehow interfering with the meaning of the image, is a necessary staging ground for interpretation and analysis (Deleuze 1986; Eco 1984).
(16) It is the active image that risks overwhelming spectators so that questions of truth and rationality become secondary to the viewing experience.
(20) The need to externalize an internal world, to project the self and one's thoughts into images remains as fundamental as the act of breathing.
(20) Images are one of the crucial ways in which the world becomes real (Scharf 1968; Kittler 1986).
(21) Ultimately, there may be a need to simulate the world in order to understand it.
(21) He [
Barthes] wanted to experience the kind of direct pleasure that sensuously and instantaneously connects viewers to what they see. This is similar to the Thomist view the Yates mentions in the earlier quotation. It is at the heart of why time seems to disappear in photographs, not because of depiction or realism, but because memories of past scenes are lost and regained every time a photograph is viewed and because the excess that is generated transforms images into traces within and outside time.

History Folds into Trauma
(23) The difficulty with images is that they bear witness in very different ways and make it seem as if events could be pictured or reconstructed when they can only be
reimagined.

Technology and Vantage Point
(23) Unlike literature, the use of technology to bear witness to trauma supposedly elevates pictures, for example, to a level of truth that does not need additional explanation.
(24) Photographs make it seem as if time can be seen and the past is waiting to be “produced” in order to be understood. In reality, photographs and images are traces or signs of what
may have been.

From Analog to Digital Photography
(28) Digital images fundamentally alter not only meaning but also materiality; images become defined by the layers of artifice that have been placed in them.
(31) Voice is an ongoing problem for photographers. The fact that technology has to be used to “take” the photo implies that the role of the photographer is actually less important in the creative act.
(31) Rather than assuming it is the
real that has to be captured or reproduced, the production of the real as image may be one of the foundations for the visible and may be the key sign of voice at work (Vasseleu 1998).
(33) The visual field is as psychological as it is “real” and external to the viewer.
(35) If the photograph is to be taken beyond its role as a phenomenon, then the levels of meaning I have suggested need to be mapped. This mapping will allow the image to be replaced, recreated, then positioned in a loop of communications, visualization, and exchange.

How Images Become Virtual

Images become virtual from distance between events and metaphors used to explain them.

(37) The ambiguity comes from the distance between the event and the metaphors used to explain the events that caused the image to be taken in the first place. It is this fluidity and the fact that the image can be used and viewed in any number of different ways that “virtualizesit (Grau 1999a, 1999b).
(38) The struggle of interpretation, then, is between the virtual status of the image and knowledge of events, history, and language.


CHAPTER TWO Imagescapes, Mind and Body

Reverie and the Transformation of the Analog Image
(40) When viewers interact with images they engage in an activity of visualization that is similar to the
reverie that music listeners drift into when they “listen” to a song or a symphony.
(41) The combination of reverie, empathy, and the need to give to sight encourages the process of visualization.

Content and Compression in Image-Worlds
(46) Compression technologies like MPEG-4 are designed to facilitate the communications of images that are used in games, mobile multimedia, streaming video, and digital television. This means that nearly all aspects of the future use of images will employ some form of compression, which is distinctly different from the analog properties of screen-based environments.
(47) The combination of algorithmic formulae and image generation decisively alters what is meant by images.

Daydreams, Reverie, and Images
(47-48) For better or worse, one of the crucial guiding cultural assumptions about viewer-image interactions is that a causal relationship exists between what is shown and what is experienced.
(48) Reverie is about “giving in” to the viewing experience, being entertained, as well as being able to recognize the extent to which one has to be in the “mood” to confer so much power to images and sounds.

Imagescapes and Bodies
(51) The scan never preexists all of these elements. Rather, scans are about bringing the elements together and developing a coherent and potentially empirical analysis of the outcomes of the process. It is this interdependence of culture and nature that magnetic resonance images exemplify.

Adapting to Images
(52) A long history of scientific illustration preceded the introduction and development of scans, and the relationship between scientific illustration and photography in general, has not been given the attention that it deserves.

See Dumit.

(54) One of the most important features of imagescapes is that the relationship among viewers and images means significantly more than the actual status of the images themselves.


CHAPTER THREE Foundations of Virtual Images

Known and Unknown
(59) In all of these instances, the boundaries of knowledge are being pushed to the point where the real no longer exists without some reference to imagescapes.

Microcultures
(63) The phenomenon of open source programming (Linux) at the operating system level and the prevalence of hackers who change, if not transform, computer games suggest that the microcultural movement is a built-in part of the digital age.
(63) At the same time, so many variables come into play that it seems as if information, communications, and understanding were the same.

Information Rechanneled

Babbage eliminating error through mechanical means was an attitudinal change, including images as performative tools not just aesthetic objects.

(64-65) Babbage therefore did not just invent a machine; rather, he signaled an important attitudinal change in looking for accuracy and correct information by using technology. He wanted to eliminate errors through mechanical means.
(65) The connections between photography and Babbage as well as computers and television are a reflection of a particular
zeitgeist that envisioned the role of images as performative tools of information exchange and not just as aesthetic objects for display.

The Continuum of the Virtual and the Real
(69) One of the challenges of having so much information available in a form that cannot be seen is that “data” no longer has the meaning normally attributed to the simple flow of information. The visualization process has to be sensitive to aesthetic and formal issues of such complexity that data extraction becomes as important as the information itself.


CHAPTER FOUR Imagescapes as Ecology
Virtual Technologies and Presence

Ecology is human-machine symbiosis.

(72) I use the term ecology in reference to the indivisible nature of human-machine relations and the interdependence of humans on the technologies they create.

Compare attention to materiality of virtual experience and their need to take control to Castell real virtuality.

(73) Interestingly, virtual experiences rely on inferential thinking. They do not so much make the real come to life as they create an awareness of the many different planes on which perceptions of the real depend.
(74) These activities are about taking control of the virtual experience; control may be even more important than content or technology (Seiter 1999).
(77) In fact, immersion may just be another level of empathy, another way of discovering more entry points into the meaning of visually driven, sensuous experiences.

Cosmic Zoom

Serres multiple pleats history.

(78-79) Rather, historical events fold back onto each other creating a chain of interconnected fragments that are synthesized differently by different generations. Michel Serres (1965) discusses history in the context of time as multitemporal, polychronic, “multiple pleats” that intersect in predictable and unpredictable ways (60).

Cyberspace
(80-81) The Internet itself stands as an example of this profound shift from location to something more general and perhaps far more psychological and imaginary.

Cyberspace as trope for new kind of human interaction.

(82) The interaction of the virtual and the real and the manner in which they have formed a continuum reflects my own belief that Western culture has shifted its concerns and resources from images as representations to images as tools of mastery, visualization, and control. . . . Cyberspace, which incorporates networks of communications and various forms of cultural, scientific, and political activity, is a trope for a new kind of human interaction.

Virtual Mediations

Imagescapes as Ecology

Camera Obscura
(89) The minute an image finds a spectator (i.e., from the moment its creator casts a wary eye upon his or her creation), the “object” is no longer the main focus. As a consequence, viewers are in a middle zone between seeing, materiality, understanding, and feeling.
(90) Perhaps reproduction is about empowerment and new forms of authorship which is why the Web is so puzzling to copyright owners.

Interesting development of artistic production not being based on an ideal image because the artist is also focused on the object itself as lead up to interactivity of cyberspace.

(90) A work of art, like a painting, does not start its life as an image. Rather, it gains the status of image when it is placed into a context of viewing and visualization. . . . Interactivity is only possible when images are the raw material used by participants to change if not transform the purpose of their viewing experiences.


CHAPTER FIVE Simulation/Viewing/Immersion
Popular Culture and Cyber-Imagination

(94) The paradox is that the terrain of cyberspace is not physical, but it combines fantasy, projection, and the senses—an interplay that redefines what it means to inhabit real space and time.
(94)
Cyberworlds can be thought of as third-person image-spaces, that is, environments that come to participants as if they could be converted into first-person experiences through an investment in them.

Mapping Simulation
(95) Simulation is about mapping different realities into images that have an environmental, cultural, and social form.

Majority of humans face software from position of profound illiteracy due to opaqueness of coding and programming language illiteracy.

(99) The opaqueness of “coding” and the skills needed to create software are out of reach for the vast majority of people. Imagine a situation of “illiteracy” with respect to language that is so widespread most people would not even have a rudimentary understanding of the grammar of their mother tongue. This is the reality most individuals face with software.
(101) The distinction between the optical and the perceptual is perhaps less clear than Crawford suggests, but the emphasis on the construction of photorealistic virtual environments misses the point about the complexity of human interaction with images and sounds.

Software studies connection in suggestion about Smithsonian game simulation.

(102) Could it be that the Smithsonian will quickly move to preserve the simulated games not being played because they are markers of the needs and desires of contemporary humans in Western societies?
(102) Technology is as much about cognitive change as it is about invention and the creation of physical devices.

Ethnography of the Virtual

Ethnographic survey of VR systems, comparable to that of Hayles, emphasizing extreme impact of virtual images on subjectivity, despite lack of concern over their social and cultural implications.

(104) Although participants have to wear head-mounted displays (HMDs) to see the images, the impact of Davies's design is so powerful that questions of interiority and the boundaries between dreams and reality are breached in a tumultuous fashion.

Immersion in CAVEs
(112) The various prostheses that are used to support the relationship between subjects and virtual spaces suggest a great deal about the technologies but may not easily provide the analytical tools to make claims about what is experienced (Brahm and Driscoll 1995). When Rokeby talks about sensory systems, he assumes an understanding of the cognitive relationships among perception, action and throught.
(113)
The lack of concern for the social and cultural implications of immersive experiences means that the ways in which they are built and used is conceived of through a limited model of human subjectivity.
(113) Rather than thinking about oppositions here, virtual images need to be approached as one of many
levels of experience for viewers. Viewing or being immersed in images extends the control humans have over mediated spaces and is part of a perceptual and psychological continuum of struggle for meaning within image-worlds.

Continuums of interaction and dialogue depend on analog processes, creating conditions for experiential relationships even in digital cyberworlds.

(113-114) Continuums are about modalities of interaction and dialogue. In fact, continuums are built through analog processes, which require subtlety and shading in order to be understood. This is the irony of new media and new technologies for image production. They create the conditions for experiential relationships, conditions that cannot be reduced to the discrete characteristics of the digital.
(115) The “space” of writing is now partially defined by the size of the screen that is used and the ability of the writer to work with large bodies of text that are interrupted by their framing. This moves (or transforms) the written word from its material and historical base (i.e., paper) and from its conventional role as marker for the process of thinking and/or feeling into a broader, even more fragile environment.


CHAPTER SIX Humans—Machines
The Brain Sees, but Does the Mind Understand?
(119) There is an assumption that the link between the [MRI] diagram and brain function is a direct one, but it may well be the case that culture is being mapped onto the brain and vice versa in an attempt to provide physicians with a vantage point for research and analysis.
(122) If the impulse to compare humans to what has been created is dispensed with and an integrative approach is accepted, then it is likely that humans will be able to explore the implications of what they
share with machines and computers. At the same time, hard questions need to be asked about the process of sharing and the granting of greater autonomy to digital technologies.

Thought Machines
(125) In a general sense, computers are referred to through a series of anthropomorphic metaphors that both personalize and enlarge their role as “agents” for exchange.

Unapproachability of computers due to opaqueness, illiteracy of humans, knowable only through use despite the fact that their architecture is forty years old.

(128) The challenge is that computers now have many different uses, but they remain dependent upon programming principles that have not changed for forty years. In addition, the interior workings of computers remain, for the most part, opaque to users. This is why computers are dealt with as if they are “other” to humans, as if they are unapproachable and can only be understood through use.

Can a Neuron Think?
(129) The desire to recreate the brain in a mechanical form is grounded in generalizations about human thinking. These generalizations are founded on a hierarchy that places human thought above all other biological activities, including the body.

Connection between Benjamin arcades and networked environments.

(132) A good deal of what he [Benjamin] has to say about arcades anticipates what twenty-first-century culture is trying to achieve with the networked environments that are now being built.

What Telephones Have Done . . .
(133) The telephone is not simply a tool of communication or exchange. It is one of the primary vehicles used to develop vocabularies of interaction.
(134) Infrastructures should not be dismissed because they are silent.
(134) Clearly,
incorporation is a better term to describe the breadth and extent of human-machine relations.
(134) Malcolm Gladwell has brilliantly unveiled the building blocks of cyberspace and electronic commerce in the same way as the Cuban films did for the industrial process.

Robots
(137) Human biology acts without a master and in so doing makes use of autonomous processes that are not reducible to a simple set of instructions, although it is one of the conceits of humans that they think control is possible.

Neuroscience perspective broadens study of effects of computers on human subjectivity by releasing from equation of thinking, knowledge, language.

(137) This effort to extend the realm of the neurosciences into culture, psychoanalysis, and belief systems is a radical departure, but an essential one, in order to move beyond mechanical versions of thought and mind. The often simple equation that is drawn among thinking, knowledge, and language has made research into computers and their effect on human consciousness far more reductive than is necessary.
(138) The question is why do the issues and trajectories represented by Dertouzos's work circulate credibly both within cultural circles and in many areas of research in the computing sciences and engineering?
(139) It is an irony that the mythology of control makes it possible to envision rules and procedures that connect machines to mind. The problem is that the effort to reverse engineer human-machine relations ends up modeling the mind in such a contradictory manner that machines seem to be even more powerful than their inventors ever intended.

Realistic Foundations
(140) To know that matter is more than it is on the surface, and that what is considered to be inert may not be, puts humans in the position where they will have to alter the nature of the relationship they have developed with the world around them. The same issues apply to research into the human mind. . . . If the mind is simply an input-output mechanism, then the ways in which information moves from environment to mind and then from mind to langauge and expression can be portrayed simply and directly. If computers are, similarly, input-output devices, then the jump to mechanical strategies and information acquisition seems like a natural move.

Basic position is that images are involved in thinking as seductive, concrete substitutions for discursive or mathematic expressions.

(141) Images produced by computers are seductive because digital visualizations bring concreteness to hypotheses that would otherwise exist either at a discursive or mathematical level. This adds more weight to the argument that images are part of a circle of intelligence and a continuum of linkages that transform the relationships humans have with their machines.
(142) In addition to the process of interaction framed by the use of language and the worlds of discourse shared among families, friends, and society, there is also the shared communal context of visual and oral cultures.


CHAPTER SEVEN Peer-to-Peer Communications/Visualizing Community
Networks of Exchange and Interchange

Visualizing Community

Classifying Conversations

Imagination and Networks

Community

Information

CHAPTER EIGHT Computer Games and the Aesthetics of Human and Nonhuman Interaction
Fantasy Play

Games best examples of stunted human computer symboisis and cyborg identities, where images in computer games appear to be thinking due to what is very simple and narrow AI..

(168) Computer games are the firmest indication yet of the degree to which humans and their technologies have become not only interdependent but also profoundly interwoven.
(169) Game companies and players talk about the use of artificial intelligence as if all the variables they encounter are evidence of cleverness and brainpower within the game. The irony is that AI is really no more than a series of random selections that are programmed into the engine such that it appears as if choices are made by the game. Sometimes the variables are complex enough that the images appear to be thinking.

Hybrids
(170) [quoting Haraway] “Computers cause nothing, but the human and nonhuman hybrids troped by the figure of the information machine remake worlds” (126).
(171) The distinctions that are drawn are not between machines and humans, but between disparate levels of involvement with technologies and many levels of synergy and interdependence as well as alienation (Haraway 1997).

Latour hybrid in combination of human usage and machine; also the site of Hayle posthuman subjectivity, and underlying reason of Gee fascination with learning to play computer games.

(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.
(172) Latour is talking about a
third level that is a combination of human usage and machine. It is not that the object changes, but the relationship developed with objects transforms all the partners in the exchange. . . . The hybridization is evidence for the ways in which the user and technology have found a common ground that often exceeds the design and engineering objectives built into the hardware and software.

Interaction and Computer Games
(173) The word processor becomes a vehicle for the creation of this “third” space allowing users to feel as if they control the processes of interaction.
(174) Rather, playing a game creates a mixed and complex space that exceeds many of the intentions built into the original structure, and it is this excess that is the site of potential mastery.
(174) In other words, the synergy generated by interaction is eventually included within the technologies.
(174) hybrids underlie the process of change and evolution as technologies and humans encounter each other. To think in these terms is to put intelligence and the subjective back into human-technology relations.
(176) For me, the point is that customization
is the game (Adams 2001).
(177) Smith's most important insight is that the categories governing the creation of software, for example, need to be developed in recognition of their dynamic and evolutionary aspects.
(177) Code is a kind of
virtual toolbox into which a great deal has been placed and from which a great deal can be extracted. Yet with careful qualifications, the grammar for language is also a higher order system of tremendous abstraction—speakers don't need to know grammar (in the literal sense) in order to speak.
(178) It has been one of the major fallacies of software development and programming to assume that code is equivalent to grammar and that it is possible to postulate a rational relationship between creation and use.
(178-179) The brilliance of Bruno Latour's book,
Aramis or The Love of Technology (1996), is that he explores the institutional base upon which the hybridized process both develops and is sustained. . . . Latour explores the evolving relationship among projects, the way projects are visualized, and their development into “objects.”

Connection between Latour hybrids, projects, and objects in Aramis to Linux.

(179) The idea that a computer operating system, such as Linux, could be constructed through a worldwide and quite spontaneous consortium of people suggests that both the computer and its programming logic are not as opaque as some would believe.
(180) Writing code appears to be the most concrete of activities—there is after all a direct link between coding and the operations of a computer. The power of this metaphor is initially very strong, but what happens when codes combine with other codes in an autonomous fashion and produce results that exceed anything that was programmed in the first place?

Code and Artificial Life
(182) The reality is that unless the machines become completely autonomous and cease to be viewed, interpreted, fixed, and so on, it is unlikely that they will survive on their own.
(182) How can the evolutionary process be observed if it is autonomous?

The “Life” in Computer Games

How do virtual realities work, relate thirdness to Gee real, virtual, and projective identities.

(183) The most important point to remember is that the magic comes from the unexpected exploration of a space and time that seems to be outside the constraints posed by the game.
(185) The tensions between identification and the reality of being in front of a television set produces the “thirdness” of which I have been speaking. It is only in the combined real/imaginary space, inside a hybrid, that it becomes possible to
feel as if the player were hitting the snow, as if the model or simulated space has managed to exceed the boundaries that govern its operations.

Hacking” the Game

Building New Worlds
(190) In other words, they are about using the power of fantasy to allow players to see into their motivations and to hear their desires through the avatars that are generated in the screen environment (Vilhjalmsson 1997).
(190) I would even posit that what is described as hypermedia is about the joy that comes from virtual travel, a phenomenon that has its roots in literature, art, and the relationship humans have always had with technology.
(191) The tone, design, and direction of computer games have been set by a host of cultural assumptions driven by the audiences that use them.
(191) It is nevertheless important to understand that players cannot change the aesthetic of individual games unless they become the authors of the code that organizes the game's orientation, direction, and content.

Immersive experience reflects fascination with technology, rather than desire for mastery; virtual spaces support image and sound-based media, though they themselves are not the medium.

(192) Perhaps this desire for the immersive experience is not as much about mastery as it is about the very character of the technology itself. In other words, the technology (and not necessarily what it does) may be the real attractor here. Immersion makes an assumption about human experience that is verified by reference to the technology itself. . . . In other words, virtual spaces have no ontological foundation, and claims that suggest participants are capable of entering into virtual spaces are more than likely claims about the strength of interfaces than they are about human experience. . . . The confusion here is how to distinguish among the use of the tools, experience, and interpretation. Virtual spaces are, by themselves, not the medium of communications. Rather, virtual spaces are the context within which a variety of image and sound-based media operate.
(195-196) Simulation is about a world that has a measure of autonomy built into its very grammar, but that autonomy is illusory. . . . Players use their senses in so many different ways that part of the challenge is to integrate the intensity of playing with enough self-awareness to maintain some control. This suggests that the ability to use visual signs and cues is as much about the intersections of popular culture and simulation as it is about already existing “bodies” of knowledge.

Permanent scaffolding and never-ending games supplant static model of textuality and images, and this vantage point in image worlds implies perspectives on subjectivity and identity; Manovich gives examples of games that usurp common human perspectives.

(196) The artifice is permanent scaffolding for buildings that will never be completed. Players don't like it when characters are killed off and can't return, because players want to keep constructing and reconstructing the scaffolding. It may be that this restructuring is actually the physical underpinning for interactive processes.
(197) Computer games are pointing toward a new process of engagement with image-worlds. At the same time, as part of the living archeolgoical process that I mentioned earlier, all the layers of previous forms and experiences remain in place. . . . Crucially, computer games signal how important vantage point is, because without some perspective on subjectivity and identity, image-worlds make it appear as if players are not at the center of game experiences.


CHAPTER NINE Reanimating the World: Waves of Interaction


Burnett, R. (2004). How images think. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.


Burnett, Ron. How Images Think. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2004. Print.