Make something which cannot ‘perform’ without the assistance of its environment. Make something which the ‘spectator’ handles, with which he plays and thus animates. — Hans Haacke
Technologist Kevin Kelly states, “Last year, digital-display manufacturers cranked out four billion new screens, and they expect to produce billions more in the coming years. That’s one new screen each year for every human on earth. With the advent of electronic ink, we will start putting watchable screens on any flat surface.”
With the high speed Internet downloading of videos and music, we are clearly seeing the end of physical media like CDs and DVDs, but what about physical media devices like flat screen TVs, laptops, tablets and cell phones? Marshall McLuhan asserts, “…we are the television screen. We wear mankind as our skin.” Does this mean anything will be a screen sending and receiving content? This seems like a terrible end to physicality and retail storefronts if we live in a Minority Report world. The abandoned HITE Radio and TV storefront façade in Boston foreshadows a tombstone to the eminent demise of physical media devices.
HITE Screen brings life back and monumentalizes HITE TV and Radio, and at the same time, looks to the future of media screens. The steel roll-down door covering the storefront presents an opportunity for a video projection installation. A motion detection camera is mounted on the storefront, and captures the environment of the sidewalk and pedestrians walking by. A small projector is mounted to the bus stop marquee and receives the capture, simultaneously projecting a black and white pixilated environment back onto the screen. The black and white pixilated projection represents how contemporary media devices represent resolution and is a nod to the original black and white TV. The projection is in contrast to the horizontal stripes of the steel roll-down door, which reference the traditional resolution
lines on a traditional CRT tube TV.
This ironic twist of old and new aims to shed light on our awareness of screens; how will we interact with them in the future as well as preserve this historic building for educating future generations of past, present and future technologies.
Originally published at http://jamesjgrady.com on June 8, 2012.