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"MIND IS A LEAKING RAINBOW"

by Nicole Stenger

in Cyberspace First Steps Benedikt MIT Press (1991) Excerpts

Those idealists (among whom I count myself) who were shown the way by "Sunstone", the 1979 3-D computer film by Ed Emschwiller, and who decided to follow the light, had sensed from the beginning that the medium of computer animation was no mere image generation in the traditional sense, but rather a virtual world, populated by half living entities, that we would inhabit someday when the technology would allow it.
Like them, I felt that this hallucination behind a screen was just the first stage in a development,
a rehearsal for a D day when this substance would finally escape and invade what we call reality. Emschwiller was our Melies, our Kertez; he had revealed a state of grace to us, tapped a wavelength where image, music, language, and love
were pulsating in one harmony.

Inside the enclosed area of the computer, something was calling us, inviting us.

Isn't it exciting also to experience in cyberspace the life of all creatures? to let them come one by one in their cyberspace outfits and be named by you? O, the naivete of the first days of creation when you will set the clock for the independent animation of objects that will wink at each other, play tricks on each other, learn from each other.
In this primeval garden where a synthetic sun will rise, inner voices will whisper, immaterial kisses hover in the air, and you will lie in the reconstructed sense of fur. For blind bards as for nearsighted whiz kids,cyberspace will feel like Paradise!

 

The twenty-first century will give birth to the geysers of cyberspace, a sensory lava that will find its way through the cracks of that consensus. Computer hallucination will come in the foreground, as "Cinema Verité" and documentaries, and their trail of dogma about the Real will recede in the distance.
Godard said that in cinema he had found a continent where all the gestures of life would find their place.
As the twentieth century is drifting away, so is the continent of cinema, and the soft matte of its 2-D images.

 

 

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