A treatise on the loop as a desired form: visual feedback and relational new media

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Lodato, Thomas James
Nitsche, Michael
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The visual feedback loop has long-been ignored as a form and an aesthetic within new media. Media theories have largely assumed a medium is defined by the material technology, relegating visual feedback to a circumstance of media rather than a unique and well-defined concept. This thesis sets forth a criteria for characterizing the visual feedback loop as a desired form, that is, a distinct set of formal and phenomenological qualities that are independent of a medium. Grounding the criteria are the cinema theories of Gilles Deleuze and Sean Cubitt; these theories propose that the cinematic image relates visual forms to generate information in decoding rather represents information directly. The thesis elaborates the theoretical concepts in examples of visual feedback loops from video (Nam June Paikâ s TV Buddha, Bruce Naumanâ s Live Taped Video Corridor), new media art (Daniel Rozinâ s physical mirrors), and digital technologies (GPS navigation systems). To reconcile the visual feedback loop within media theories, the thesis calls for a radical change in how theorists define a medium. Moving away from notions of inscription and materiality, media now rely on a collapsed distinction between sender and receiver. Hence, visual feedback loops exist as remediations of a conceptual framework rather than a technological one, and so require a logic within media theory that allow for the rise of other desired forms like the visual feedback loop.
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