In the world of computers, the user receives information presented in a way that fits the user’s ordinary senses. When that information-presentation breaks down, the computer is ‘broken’. Failure breaks the film, the suspension of disbelief, that users have to have when they rely on computers to conduct their business and personal lives.
Signal : the information stream. We rely on our senses to present good ‘signal’, or a reliable stream of information, to our brains. Our nervous system carries signal; then our brain decodes it, re-presenting the information we use to walk, talk, orient ourselves in space, create memory, and more.
Part of my affinity for working with digital media comes from my interest in signal and its translation, a process we rely on every day without being aware of, for the most part.
The computer user’s ignorance of the underlying process … Well, do we really need to understand the process of combustion and the machinery that harnesses it in order to drive our cars? We have to remember to get the oil changed, no matter if we understand how the failure to change the oil will break the car.
These screenshots were taken of broken stream of the television show CSI : NY. The premise of each of the CSI shows fascinates me, in part because they are driven by the authority of the evidence, or, the examination of material reality. Authority, trust, questions about what is real, representations of reality; the narrative of the episode about a seemingly paranoid young woman whose murder proves she was really on to something. The signal bled all over my screen. The results? Beautiful.