Preliminary Notes Toward a Concept of Kino-Gait

decouple camera from eye + gait surfing + vitruvian man + cubo-futurism + matrixial borderspace =

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agamben: "an age that has lost its gestures is, for this reason, obsessed by them. for human beings who have lost every sense of naturalness, each single gesture becomes a destiny. and the more gestures lose their ease under the action of invisible powers, the more life becomes indecipherable" (notes on politics, p. 53).

MJ - Bullet Time - Courtesy MJ to the Max

virilio: "the first difference between cinema and photography is that the viewpoint can be mobile, can get away from the static focus and share the speed of moving objects" (war and cinema, p. 16).

muybridge and marey are both known as grandfathers of the cinema, but also as grandfathers of biomechanics, the scientific field of study that breaks down the human body into its functional components for discrete analysis and optimization.

Animal Locomotion - courtesy of Eadweard Muybridge

muybridge: sequential images from single or different cameras; sensation or perception of the surface of the moving body.

marey: one camera capturing a spectrum of movement in one image, united by stroboscopic lighting; presence of clock within photography illustrates the folding of time within process.

Photo Finish

this folding of time within the image — making it chronometric — has become the politics of the high performance athlete as speed increases, challenging the earlier usefulness of a foucauldian understanding of surveillance and panopticism as politics.

Steve Mann

the concept of sousveillance first proposed and practised by steve mann — a seeing from "below" of those who see us through surveillance — was an important step towards navigating and negotiating such a politics, but suffers in that the camera is still identified with the eye.

in the age of gait-based surveillance, how can we make our gait see? how do we reduce ocularcentrism without becoming blind to the politics in which we live?

(i think a personal moment in the genealogy towards asking this question may be located in my 2007 mind's camera portrait study.)

Bubble Matrix (vertical swimming pose) - courtesy of Antony Gormley

the first instinct upon seeing antony gormley's sculpture above is to presume the moving body is an object of volumetric striation in negative space.

why can't it suggest that the moving body itself is a total visioning apparatus? call this kino-gait.

Courtesy of ProZone

with motion capture and econometric technologies like prozone, multiple cameras function together to synthesize a single omniperspectival gaze.

similarly, kino-gait should have multiple cameras functioning together to create a single omnidirectional volumetric vision.

the goal of kino-gait is to have the whole surface of the body function as an eye: the entire skin-as-camera becomes a preliminary limit of kino-gait.

might kino-gait become a strategy for negotiating the topological transformations of three-dimensional information environments?

this is not to replace or diminish the flesh as a means or locus of knowing, but rather to complement or enhance it.

Peroneus Longus (Kino-Gait Sketch No.1)

Sketch No.1: Lateral aspect of left leg, peroneus longus.

"He wants to write about physical culture at the University of Disaster as that most Sisyphean quest for knowledge!"

"In the aesthetic lies the political, for in the contemporary city we are indeed all characters in a cinematic production, the archiving of everyday life under the rubric of an ever-contingent notion of risk and security. There is no soundtrack to this cinema, no rousing symphonic score or pounding techno breakbeat, but only the barely-audible hiss of white noise to accompany the otherwise bleak visual tracks from which nothing is relegated to the cutting room floor." (sb rmx)

spectacle, enclosure, togetherness

"Today, in the era of the complete triumph of the spectacle, what can be reaped from the heritage of Debord? It is clear that the spectacle is language, the very communicativity or linguistic being of humans. This means that a fuller Marxian analysis should deal with the fact that capitalism (or any other name one wants to give the process that today dominates world history) was directed not only toward the expropriation of productive activity, but also and principally toward the alienation of language itself, of the very linguistic and communicative nature of humans, of that logos which one of Heraclitus's fragments identified as the Common. The extreme form of this expropriation of the Common is the spectacle, that is, the politics we live in. But this also means that in the spectacle our own linguistic nature comes back to us inverted. This is why (precisely because what is being expropriated is the very possibility of a common good) the violence of the spectacle is so destructive; but for the same reason the spectacle retains something like a positive possibility that can be used against it." — Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community, p. 80

iwishi, olympian

"It is essential at any rate that the human community comes to be defined here, in contrast to the animal community, through a living together that is not defined by the participation in a common substance, but rather by a sharing that is purely existential, a con-division that, so to speak, lacks an object: friendship, as the con-sentiment of the pure fact of being. Friends do not share something (birth, law, place, taste): they are shared by the experience of friendship. Friendship is the con-division that precedes every division, since what has to be shared is the very fact of existence, life itself. And it is this sharing without an object, this original con-senting, that constitutes the political." — Giorgio Agamben, What is an Apparatus?, p. 36

Beware, Surfers

Simcoe Wavedeck

Figure 3. Simcoe WaveDeck, Toronto, ON: "No rollerblades, skateboards or bicycles on the deck."

Split in Time

Beijing Fireworks

We have noted that the Beijing Olympic Games, and in particular the Opening Ceremonies, most fully realized a stereoscopic aesthetic with no distinction recognized between real and virtual spaces. But it also bears mention that the specific example of the fireworks which punctuated the lighting of the Olympic Torch suggested an opening to complement the closing or tangential touching of the two spatial layers. While the temporal length of each fireworks sequence — both the computer-generated version shown on television and the material version exploded in the physical area surrounding the Beijing National Stadium proper — was of the same duration and run in synchronized form, in fact a rupture or split in time was introduced.

As Siegfried Zielinski suggests, if we are able to speak of a metaphysics of communication perhaps it is because its basis can be located in its time-based character: media, above all, capture time and fold it within its communicative process. We cannot step out of time, but rather only objectify and structure it, as each successive phase of capitalism makes increasingly apparent.

While emerging from vastly different eras in the depths of media history, fireworks, television, and CGI graphics may each be considered a form of writing or inscribing with light against a remote perspectival backdrop. But the ways in which each of these forms of writing captures time are radically different. The material substrate of fireworks-based writing — gunpowder and other pyrotechnic fuels — possesses a chemical ignition or burn rate that is temporally distinct from the time in which a television signal is transmitted and written to screen, or in which computer processor chips may render the graphics of optically-convincing bursts of coloured fire.

Though the spectacular outcome lasted an equivalent number of seconds for each audience, the chemical and digital inscriptions each folded time in separate ways. So while on the one hand we can suggest that during the twentieth century spectacle industrialized the compression of information in a spatial sense, and on the other hand we can suggest that the multiple cuts into the time of a video reel creates a narcotic effect for the viewer, perhaps we ought to consider the two together and suggest that narcosis is equally possible with a compression of information in a temporal sense, one that is unique for each member of the viewing audience.

hands, time

Courtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBACourtesy of FIBA

Print is, of course, an expression of the eye taken in linear sequences. But it is also a folding and capturing of the hand and its sensual laying of pen to paper, hammer to marble, remington typekey to carbon paper substrate, plastic keyboard to digital sensor to random access memory chip to immaterial hard drive memory sector. And though translation does not belong exclusively to the domain of print, we must bear in mind that even in the most seemingly disembodied form of communication as a written manuscript, the act of crossing a threshold through translation will bear to some degree this folding and capturing of the body. As such, it will also fold and capture time.